Return to Scholarship Page

Presenting the NATO of CA/NV 2017 Scholarship Winners...

“Arriving to Conclusions”

As our world population leaps past the seven billion mark, the severity of existing issues continues to heighten. How will we minimize war and encourage peace? How will we make our planet livable and sustainable for everyone? And while no one, including myself, has the definite answer to these or many other twenty-first century challenges, I do know one thing for certain. No matter the issue, there is one fundamental mechanism that is required to solve all of these problems: communication.

This epiphany came to me on a Friday evening with a couple of my friends late last year, right after viewing the sci-fi film Arrival. The movie centers around Louise Banks, a college professor linguist that is recruited by the U.S. government for a special mission. After a dozen extraterrestrial spacecraft arrive at locations scattered across the globe, Louise and government officials try to initiate communication with the unidentified organisms. The movie then details the trial-and-error progression Louise endures to learn the extraterrestrials’ language, and the difficulties that arise when trying to establish communication in an unknown language. When individuals from other countries fear the aliens and declare war, Louise endures and successfully determines that the newcomers are peaceful.

This movie should be seen by everyone worldwide for the important lesson it teaches on communication. Our diverse population is a melting pot of thousands of different languages from a multitude of races, which does not make communication easy. I have witnessed countless events, both among others and with myself involved, where a simple misunderstanding sprouts into a web of fear, greed, anger, and so on. These situations can cause irreversible consequences in all settings, whether it’s destructive war between other countries or simple disdain between a pair of classmates. While the severity of consequences from miscommunications vary, the outcomes are almost always toxic.

The film Arrival highlights this pitfall towards the end of the movie, when the leader of China declares war on its spacecraft site. The country misunderstood the extraterrestrial language, and believed the visitors were there to attack. But, the protagonist Louise prevails by working even harder with the aliens’ language and determines the peaceful intent of the outsiders. This part is essential to the movie’s lesson, and the main reason I think everyone should watch this film. Louise recognizes the errors that miscommunications can yield, and uses compassion and understanding with the extraterrestrials to continue solving their language and figure out their actual intent of peace. Audiences will see that it’s easy to fear outsiders that aren’t familiar or fully understood. But, miscommunications are generally the culprit and can lead to wrongful assumptions.

So, what should viewers of Arrival do with this new lesson on communication’s importance? Should they learn as many languages as possible to prevent communication errors? Is all of it only relevant when a crazy spaceship lands on Earth? The takeaway should be more abstract, with its center around communication. It could mean learning new languages, but it goes beyond that. The movie helps viewers appreciate the medium of communication itself, and how vital the building block is for so many aspects of life. Awareness on both the positive strengths and easy traps communication can possess is the main goal, and one that I made myself cognizant of after watching Arrival. I hope that many others can experience this story for themselves in the future, and be reminded of communication’s utter importance like I was back on that Friday evening at the movies.

 

Read More Essays

Yousef M. Assabahi
AMC Century 15 Theatre

University of California, Los Angeles

Read Essay


Adam Barner
Cinemark Century 20 Oakridge and XD

University of California, Berkeley

Read Essay


Sara Marie Bartlett
Regal Edwards Bakersfield Stadium 14

California State University, Bakersfield

Read Essay


Joseph Boche
Galaxy Theatres Atascadero

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Read Essay


Stephanie Castañeda
Krikorian Downey Cinema 10

University of California, Irvine

Read Essay


Sarah de Leon
AMC Orange 30

Chapman University

Read Essay


Emily Evans
AMC Del Amo 18 Theatre

El Camino College

Read Essay


AJ Franklin
Cinema West - Palladio 16 Cinemas

California State University, Sacramento

Read Essay


Amanda Garcia
Dependent,
AMC Santa Anita 16

St. John’s University

Read Essay


Adriana Guevara
Regal San Bernardino Stadium 14 & RPX

University of California, Riverside

Read Essay


Austin Hunt
Cinemark Jess Ranch

University of California, Los Angeles

Read Essay

Kylee Hunter
Regal El Dorado Hills Stadium 14 & IMAX

Brigham Young University - Idaho

Read Essay


Madeline Johnson
Galaxy Theatres Atascadero

California State University,
Monterey Bay

Read Essay


Collin Kennedy
Cinemark Century Northgate 15

College of Marin

Read Essay


Katherine Larlee
Regal Edwards Canyon Country Stadium 10

San Diego State University

Read Essay


Vivian Ly
Pacific Northridge Fashion Center 10

University of California, Los Angeles

Read Essay


Diana Mendoza
Cinemark Redwood Downtown 20 and XD

Santa Clara University

Read Essay


Nicholous Mirgoli
Regal El Dorado Hills Stadium 14 & IMAX

University of California, Los Angeles

Read Essay


Austin Montoya
Regal San Bernardino Stadium 14 & RPX

University of California, Irvine

Read Essay


Francine Morales
Regal San Bernardino Stadium 14 & RPX

University of California, Berkeley

Read Essay


Julian Oliva
Cinemark Jess Ranch

California State University, Fullerton

Read Essay


Breezy Phaneuf
West Wind Las Vegas Drive In

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Read Essay

Julianne Putman
Brenden Vacaville 16 Theatre

California State University, Long Beach

Read Essay


Emilee Ramirez
Regal San Marcos Stadium 18

California State University, San Marcos

Read Essay


Katherine Reichle
Regal Palm Springs Stadium 9

California State University,
San Bernardino

Read Essay


Juan Rios
Cinemark Century 14 Northridge Mall

California State University, Long Beach

Read Essay


Ziyiah Rogers
Regal Island Cinema

University of
Southern California

Read Essay


Ryan Sigala
Cinemark Century 14 Northridge Mall

California State University,
Monterey Bay

Read Essay


Vanessa Smith
Sierra Theatre and Uptown Cinemas

Simpson University

Read Essay


Jose Luis Soriano Jr
Cinemark Century Northgate 15

University of California, Berkeley

Read Essay


Linda Torres
Maya Cinemas
Fresno 16

California State University, Fresno

Read Essay


Kristen Tuntland
Cinema West
Palladio 16 Cinemas

University of California, Davis

Read Essay


Karim Yamak
Dependent,
Regal Alhambra Renaissance 14 & IMAX

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Read Essay