John Koenig: a freelance video editor, voice actor, graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, director, and writer. Mr. Koenig is the creator of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, an online dictionary consisting of invented words. He creates neologisms to represent human emotions for which terms do not yet exist such as “sonder,” “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.”
Will Pattee: a 20-year-old writer and style consultant from Upstate New York. Mr. Pattee is in the process of launching his own style consultation company. In his articles on The Odyssey Online, he encourages society to reconsider the role of fashion and style in menswear. He also advocates for awareness about a number of health conditions, including mental health conditions.
Edwin Sorto: a salsa dancer and Kindergarten teacher in Washington, D.C. who teaches his students how to dance and speak Spanish, in addition to teaching core subjects.
Aranya Johar: a 19-year-old Indian spoken word poet who has received over 650,000 views on YouTube for her performance of “A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender,” since the video was posted on March 10. The poem is a tale of gender discrimination, bringing focus to the sexualization of girls and women. Additionally, Ms. Johar is an advocate for mental health awareness and performs spoken word poetry on this and other social issues.
Mickey Huff: the director of Project Censored, which was founded as a media research program at Sonoma State University in 1976 by Dr. Carl Jensen. The Project researches, vets, and compiles highly censored and under-reported stories as a means “to [educate] students and the public about the importance of a truly free press for democratic self-government,” according to its mission statement.
We only hope that Mr. Koenig would be prompted to invent a new word at the HDP. We would like to know if his words are inspired by his emotional experiences, those of others, or a combination of the two. We think Mr. Koenig would present himself as highly perceptive.
Perhaps Mr. Huff would share a similar level of perceptive abilities to Mr. Koenig. Being a director of an organization focused on delving into censored or under-reported stories must be an indicator of keen observation skills.
Since Mr. Huff and Mr. Sorto are obviously passionate about education through unconventional methods, of what would their conversation consist?
We reckon that Mr. Pattee and Ms. Johar would have particularly compelling conversations based on their mutual interest in advocating for mental health awareness and their existence in the same generation. But would their perspectives contrast? Why?Would they contrast because of their different genders? Would they contrast because of their different cultures? How would this incite broader discussion within the group?
Each of these guests has a unique relationship to words. One man invents words, one man writes words, one man teaches words, one woman speaks words, and one man shares words. This week’s HDP theme is: the undeniable power of words. What is your relationship to words? Which words are the most powerful to you? For that matter, heck, we would love to hear your favorite words from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
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