In Whitworth on February 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I had to write a one-page essay for my writing class describing what the word ‘frontier’ means. I didn’t know I was taking a class at Emerald Ridge… haha. Anyway, I liked it and thought I would put it up. Constructive criticism is welcome!

EDIT: Sorry about the formatting. WordPress doesn’t like Safari or Firefox…

Space… The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

This was my first experience with a true frontier. The frayed periphery of commonality. The bleeding edge. This is what the frontier was, and for me, always will be. Introduced to me by Captain Jean Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise when I was only 5 years old, my father at my side, my dreams in my head, I watched, listened, and wondered what frontiers and new trails I would be blazing. Frontiers have always been the place of excitement, of discovery, that the child in me still looks to. It’s dangerous, chaotic, totally unknown; a place that I want to be.

I guess that might be part of the reason why I want to live and work in Africa. That is as close to the edge of the world as you can get. It is a ‘frontier’ in all senses of the word. It is brand new (to Westerners, at least), undeveloped (by Western standards), dangerous, and full of possibilities. The latter is what draws me the most to Africa: the possibilities of what can be done there. And I’m sure that was the same reason that the old American ‘frontier’ had such a powerful draw on people. It intrigued you with its danger, and then grabbed a firm hold with the endless possibilities of its undeveloped and dangerous new world. A world that could save people from their sometimes dreary lives in the Eastern United States.

A frontier has that power because it takes on a new meaning for each person. It can be whatever they want, whatever they need. To me, it is a place calling out for answers to difficult questions. I feel that pull, and I’m responding; just like the people of the mid 19th century. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

  1. I really enjoyed reading this and I like the way you threw Star Trek in there. I’m just like you, I can’t hear the word “frontier” without thinking about Star Trek. I guess that makes me a real geek.

    Love Dad

  2. Jaryd,
    Great essay. I remember you and Dad watching Star Trek together. It seems like just yesterday you were 5 and now look at you. All grown up! It’s pretty exciting to see you as an adult now, but sometimes, I sure wish I could go back to when you and Brandon were little. Even if it was only for a day. I sure miss those times. I love you.

  3. You certainly take after your dad. It’s funny because I was always a Trekkie also.

    Love, Papa

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