Finding my way

Photo of 13 students seated in chairs

Halil Ocakli with fellow students

In my last year at UC Berkeley in 1995, I asked Professor Yoko Hasegawa in East Asian Languages and Cultures, “I wonder why there hasn’t been a ‘proto-vocabulary list’ study comparing Old Asian Turkish with Old Japanese?” She said, “Well, you could do such a reconstructive vocabulary mapping since you know Turkish. Why don’t you do it?” Upon this powerful spark of thought that encouraged me, I realized that I had found my way to study historical linguistics that would make me happy.

And one day there was a conversation among students about the purpose of life. Hasegawa sensei joined us and said, “The primary life purpose of every person should actually be to raise the level of consciousness.”

Thank you very much, Professor Hasegawa.

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