My name is Jake O’Rourke. I am a Creative Writing major (with a poetry emphasis) minoring in Communications at The University of Arizona. Writing as a hobby has provided therapy, allowed for expression, and given me opportunities to gain greater knowledge. I have developed an eclectic taste from reading poets and authors such as Pablo Neruda, Marvin Bell, Gabriel García Márquez, Martín Espada, Eula Biss, Maya Angelou, Neil Gaiman, who have captivated me through literature.
Aside from reading and writing, I have a multitude of other hobbies. Golf, basketball, volleyball and weight lifting are among my favorite physical activities, and staying fit and healthy has been a profound component in my journey toward developing my identity.
Music is another entity that I admire profoundly. Artists and bands such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Blink-182, Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, Sublime, Dave Matthews, and the John Butler Trio have diversified my music preferences. Playing guitar for the past twelve years has provided a muse and a constant source of music in my life. Like music, food offers so much insight into a culture.
Food has played a major role in sculpting the person I am today. Living in Tucson my entre life has allowed me to become fully integrated into the wonderful presence and perpetuation of culture that reside within the city. Culture is something that needs to be experienced through all five senses. To deprive oneself of that experience because of a fear of unknown flavors and scents leaves so much of that culture on the plate. We should take time to digest and appreciate what others have to offer us in order to gain a greater sense of cultural cohesion. Just as different flavors create a meal, diverse people create a cohesive community.
Through food and drink, culture saturates our body. Beers and liquors from different regions, made by different hands and minds, also exemplify the diversity of our world. As a 21-year-old, I have recently been able to experience the same culture I have always lived in through a completely different lens. The rich and smoky flavors of local brew and liquors prove just how varied one craft can be. As I eat and drink my way around the city of my upbringing, I am constantly reminded of the vast cultural harmony that is constantly displayed around us.