Jes Therkelsen (Jagaran Media Center – JMC): Jes was born and raised in New Jersey. He has lived in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Germany and Greece – where he taught through the Hellenic-American Education Fellowship. Jes graduated from Amherst College in May 2002 with a degree in Geology. After returning to the states to work as a state geologist, he produced a photo documentary which caught the attention of Rider University. He was awarded a grant to author another film, “The Best Part of Everything.” After Jes completed the film he moved to Washington, DC to pursue an MFA in documentary filmmaking at American University's School of Communication. After his fellowship, Jes wrote: “There are many other things I’ve gained from this amazing experience. I’ve definitely become more of a global citizen as this was my first time living in Asia. I have forged lasting friendships and have made professional contacts that will help me in the future."

my five tools

19 May

overstimulation: the overload of sensory perception.

it’s exhausting, yet it’s what i love about being in a different and new place – the complete unfamiliarity of it all. it’s like being 2 years old again – the world is so amazing, so incredible. when we are introduced to new environments, we become aware to a greater degree because it is different and new.

eventually this fades; it has to. like by the time we’re thirteen, the world is already old hat and nothing seems to amaze us anymore. but for now, as i adjust to this new time zone, my sensory perception is at its most receptive. and kathmandu is a constant assailant.

i’ve been in nepal for two days. walking the streets is like having thousands of sensory bullets being fired at me from every direction: the brilliant yellows and oranges of the women’s saris, the squish of the feces (dog? human?) below my feet, the linger of masala on my tongue from my morning breakfast, the motorcyclist’s horn blown in my ear, the stench of the drainage canal i cross after walking out of my flat, the heavy humidity curling my hair, the buzz of mosquitos around my head. at some level, this all registers with me. yet i also find myself trying to float above it; a sense of meditative numbness to remain sane.

at some level we all must enact a sensory filter to our lives to tune out certain stimuli. without doing so would be exhaustive and stressful. perhaps it is a survival mechanism. but is it not the more experiences you have, the better?

i hope to make an effort to remain aware of these filters. not just on this experience, but throughout other journeys i might find myself on.

Posted By Therkelsen

Posted May 19th, 2008


  • Ted

    June 4, 2008


    Jes! I am glad you made it safely. You hit the nail on the head… those first few days are a trip! I look forward to hearing more about your experience. Pheri Bhetaunla.

  • John Charles

    June 16, 2008



    Fantastic description of your current experience! I hope you can focus more on the recent visuals more than the smells.

    AU Career Center

  • Patricio Chile , Media Assistant

    June 23, 2008


    Hi Jes, great post! I can’t wait to hear more about your experiences. Keep posting!

  • FB

    June 24, 2008


    More! More! We want to hear more! Must be hard to blog from remore regions. When do you get a chance?

  • Elizabeth Gilhuly

    July 11, 2008


    One last comment from me…

    I read a book which brought to light an interesting perspective: The fading of your awareness to all the world that is different and new isn’t because you become familiar with it but, rather, because you become entangled in thought and unconscious. Adults become entangled in our own thoughts so that, unlike children, we overlook the everchanging life that is around us because, for one.. we’ve begun to judge it. What book? “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle.

    I learn something new everyday. I work in an office, sitting in front of a computer 8 hours a day, (for the meantime) but I’m aware of the very sub-worlds of the people around me. I could write a tv script with the antics of my office–not to mention my friends.

    Cheers to your adventure!

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