Face. is an international design agency with a global perspective and a focus on branding. Founded in 2006, Face. has already created some impressive designs that showcase their modernist flair. Although many of their pieces are done in a straightforward style, they keep it fresh with fun color palettes and intriguing typography. Having already created multiple offices across North America in their short life span, keep an eye on Face. for their next move.
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By James Ker-Lindsay
There has rarely been a more interesting time to study secession. It is not just that the number of separatist movements appears to be growing, particularly in Europe, it is the fact that the international debate on the rights of people to determine their future, and pursue independence, seems to be on the verge of a many change. The calm debate over Scotland’s future, which builds on Canada’s approach towards Quebec, is a testament to the fact that a peaceful and democratic debate over separatism is possible. It may yet be the case that other European governments choose to adopt a similar approach; the most obvious cases being Spain and Belgium towards Catalonia and Flanders.
However, for the meanwhile, the British and Canadian examples remain very much the exception rather than the rule. In most cases, states still do everything possible to prevent parts of their territory from breaking away, often using force if necessary.
It is hardly surprising that most states have a deep aversion to secession. In part, this is driven by a sense of geographical and symbolic identity. A state has an image of itself, and the geographic boundaries of the state are seared onto the consciousness of the citizenry. For example, from an early age school pupils draw maps of their country. But the quest to preserve the borders of a country is rooted in a range of other factors. In some cases, the territory seeking to break away may hold mineral wealth, or historical and cultural riches. Sometimes secession is opposed because of fears that if one area is allowed to go its own way, other will follow.
For the most part, states are aided in their campaign to tackle separatism by international law and norms of international politics. While much has been made of the right to self-determination, the reality is that its application is extremely limited. Outside the context of decolonisation, this idea has almost always taken a backseat to the principle of the territorial integrity of states. This gives a country fighting a secessionist movement a massive advantage. Other countries rarely want to be seen to break ranks and recognise a state that has unilaterally seceded.
When a decision is taken to recognise unilateral declarations of independence, it is usually done by a state with close ethnic, political or strategic ties to the breakaway territory.Turkey’s recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are obvious examples. Even when other factors shape the decision, as happened in the case of Kosovo, which has been recognised by the United States and most of the European Union, considerable effort has been made by recognising states to present this as a unique case that should be seen as sitting outside of the accepted boundaries of established practice.
However, states facing a secessionist challenge cannot afford to be complacent. While there is a deep aversion to secession, there is always the danger that the passage of time will lead to the gradual acceptance of the situation on the ground. It is therefore important to wage a concerted campaign to reinforce a claim to sovereignty over the territory and prevent countries from recognising – or merely even unofficially engaging with – the breakaway territory.
At the same time, international organisations are also crucial battlegrounds. Membership of the United Nations, for example, has come to be seen as the ultimate proof that a state has been accepted by the wider international community. To a lesser extent, participation in other international and regional bodies, and even in sporting and cultural activities, can send the same message concerning international acceptance.
The British government’s decision to accept a referendum over Scotland’s future is still a rather unusual approach to the question of secession. Governments rarely accept the democratic right of a group of people living within its borders to pursue the creation of a new state. In most cases, the central authority seeks to keep the state together; and in doing so choosing to fight what can often be a prolonged campaign to prevent recognition or legitimisation by the wider international community.
James Ker-Lindsay is Eurobank EFG Senior Research Fellow on the Politics of South East Europe at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of The Foreign Policy of Counter Secession: Preventing the Recognition of Contested States (2012) and The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know (2011), and a number of other books on conflict, peace and security in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.
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By Eric Anderson
Sexual taboos are falling in Western cultures. Largely due to the Internet, today’s youth take a much more sex-positive view to what comes naturally. They have shed the fear and misconception of masturbation. They enjoy a hook-up culture, where sex is easier to come by; there is less of a double standard for women who also enjoying these freedoms. Pornography is commonplace, with most boys seeking it out around 11. It has withered from moralistic Victorian ideals of heterosexual, missionary ‘sex’ to LGBT pornography, which youth today view, demystifying what their parents so feared. This has even opened the development of heterosexual men receiving anal pleasuring.
Despite all of this social-sexual progress, our pornified culture has yet to erode the sexual taboo of engaging in — or even admitting to desperately wanting — sex with someone other than one’s monogamous partner. Monogamy is so esteemed it remains virtually compulsory in our relationships.
But despite its cultural esteem, there are faults with the practice; problems covered by a culture unwilling to ask critical questions about it. Monogamy’s regard is maintained through multiple, robust cultural myths in the forms of both a carrot and a stick.
Young men entering into romantic/sexual relationships are misled into thinking that monogamy is capable of providing them with a lifetime of sexual fulfilment and that if they truly loved their partners they would not desire others. This, we are told, is because monogamy is healthy, proper, moral, and natural. Anyone deviating from or challenging this script is stigmatized.
We must hold monogamy, not only cheating, to a critical light. We must expose the myths supporting monogamy, especially for young men who have grown up with easier access to sex, a panoply of pornography, and a greater number of sexual partners before finding love. Let us examine the stages of a monogamous relationship:
(1) Young men enter into romantic relationships believing in the myths of monogamy. Many men have come from families broken by cheating, and they don’t want to be ‘that guy.’ They believe that if they love their partners, they will be sexually satisfied with them in perpetuity.
(2) Despite this belief, sexual habituation sets in quickly. Attempts to spice-up one’s sex life normally occur about the time a couple enters into the emotional storming stage of a relationship: three months. But despite these attempts, the veracity and frequency of sex declines within a few months.
(3) The relentless urge to have sex with someone else grows stronger as the emotional strength of the relationship develops. Young men who fail to love their girlfriends or boyfriends aren’t compelled to stay with their partners. Instead, they are culturally free to leave their partners. But men don’t leave their partners because of waning sexual desires alone; they love their partners and do not wish to leave them. They simply want sex with someone else to fulfill their somatic desires while keeping their emotional relationships intact.
(4) Men begin to resent their partners. When every cell in their body is craving sex with someone else, monogamy begins to feel like sexual incarceration. Men want to escape, and, to some extent, their inability to do so is taken out on their partner, who is viewed as keeping them sexually incarcerated.
(5) Men must decide. Do they break up with their partners so they can have sex elsewhere? Tell their partners that they desire a sexually-open relationship? Discuss their sexual desires with their partners but not ask for an open-relation
Yesterday (September 24, 2012), Elizabeth Warren responded to Scott Brown's attack on her heritage by putting out an ad in which she rhetorically asks "What kid would?" ask her parents for documentation of her Native heritage.
Ms. Warren? Here's my answer. A Native kid who is part of her Nation would, that's who!
From her childhood, my kid knew what it meant to be Native, not in a "family lore" way like Elizabeth Warren, but in a day-in-and-day-out way where being a member or citizen of Nambe carries a responsibility to the Native community.
Several hundred years ago, our ancestors fought for our rights as nations. They prevailed in the face of enormous onslaughts of military might, but, they prevailed.
Our responsibility is to continue that fight.
Will you join us in that fight? Right now, your statements undermine our sovereignty.
And, by the way, since you have no idea what it means to be a citizen of a Native Nation, your outrage at Scott Brown's staff for their war whoops and tomahawk chops is superficial.
I'm a Democrat who makes phone calls and knocks on doors. I supported you until I learned of your claims. No more, Ms. Warren. My strongest allegiance is to my ancestors and the status of Native Nations. There are things you could do to regain my support and maybe the support of other Native people who have questioned what you are doing. And you know what sucks (pardon my use of that word)? Democrats need you to win your race so that things we care about are more attainable.
Scott Brown? You're as ignorant and racist as they come. You don't know what Native Americans look like.
3 Stars My Name is Rebecca Romm, Named after My Mother’s Mom Rachel Levy Lesser No. Pages: 32 Ages: 4 to 8 …………… …………………. Back Cover: Rebecca Elizabeth Romm was named after her late grandmother Rebecca. She is annoyed when everyone compares her to her mother’s mom, because all she wants is a name of [...]
The US Census released 2010 demographic data a few days ago. Among the data being pointed to in articles and essays is that "...American Indians and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the most likely to report being of more than once race. Blacks and whites are the least likely." That excerpt appears in the New York Times, in the March 24, 2011 article by Susan Saulny.
It suggests that more American Indians claim more than one race than was the case in the past, that there is more mixing than ever before. I don't doubt that, but let's hit the pause button...
I'm tribally enrolled with Nambe Pueblo. I grew up there. My daughter and I, like my parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, etc., live our identity as Indians of Nambe Pueblo.
I teach at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. In every class I teach, I've got a handful of students who say they have a great grandparent who was Native. They don't know what tribe that ancestor was, and, they usually have only a vague idea of what it might mean to be Native. Most of them have no idea of Native Nations, of Native sovereignty, of being on a tribal census, what treaties mean, that dances might be sacred... A great many of them romanticize an Indian identity based on popular culture and (sadly) biased teachings in school. Some of them manufacture that identity, putting it on in the form of, for example, a bone choker. They mean no harm. In fact, they wear such things with great pride. But! They don't live a specific Native Nation identity.
Yet, many of them check a box on school enrollment forms, and, likely on the U.S. Census, that says they're part Indian. And so, the statistics are kind of... skewed.
A few months ago, the Times ran another article in which college students reported being mixed, some of them with Native heritage, but that none of those distinct identities mattered.
Identity matters for those of us who are raised Indian. We work very hard at maintaining our nationhood and our sovereignty, and, we work to protect the integrity of our traditions from being exploited by people who don't understand them...
The students interviewed for that Times article mean no harm when they say their Indian identity doesn't matter. It doesn't matter---to them. But it does to me, and it does to Native Nations. The students' well-meaning embrace of a mixed identity, in effect, obscures a lot, and in that obscurity, it does do harm. It contributes to the lack of understanding of who American Indians are... And it takes the US down a merry melting pod road where we all hold hands and smile in ignorance.
Ignorance is not bliss. It is ignorance.
You don't have to be ignorant. You can learn a lot about American Indians, and know us---and maybe your own ancestry---for who we were and are, rather than some abstract stereotypical notion you've been carrying around.
Spend some time on American Indians in Children's Literature, learning about who we are and what we care about. Read our newspapers! Check out Indian Country Today. Read Mark Trahant's columns there, and see how ICT covers mascot stories. Listen to our radio stations! Start with National Native News. Did you know we have Tribal Colleges? And a journal called Tribal College Journal that you can read online? There's a lot to know!
I was in the beauty shop last week getting a haircut. It was on a Friday and the business was booming; every one of the half dozen chairs was occupied with customers and operators working as fast as they could to process as many clients as possible. I often enjoy looking at the costumes of beauty shop operators because I think that they think they must be in punker garb to be successful. Purple and orange hair. Rings in noses, earlobes, belly buttons. You get the picture.
My beautician is dressed normal. She is fifty years old and perhaps that makes a difference. I don’t know. During a lull in my conversation with her, I overheard a customer at the other end of the row of chairs speak to her beautician. I couldn’t see either one of them since my head was tilted down so that we could cut around my neckline, but I heard, “I met this guy and he’s great. He owns his own business and he’s a Republican.”
It made me laugh and I said to my own beautician, “Never mind that he’s divorced because he beat his wife and cheats on his taxes, but he’s a Republican!
Of course, I know many people who have different formulas for whom they like. For example, mothers who don’t want their daughters to go out with anyone other than Jewish men, Mormon men, Catholic men, Armenian men, Germans, Swedes, Poles, and, of course, Democrats or Republicans. Need I go on?
What has happened to the time when we decided to like someone who was kind to others, ambitious for their families, charitable, intelligent, hard-working, lovimg, open to new ideas, or just simply nice.?
Filed under: Culture
Very sharp, intelligent identity work from Swedish-Australian-Parisian art director Hampus Jageland. It’s delightful to see work that combines striking minimalism with smart thinking. It’s one of those skills that is easy to identify but difficult to imitate.
Jageland’s work is witty and entertaining. I love the ease in which he communicates the essence of a concept — there’s a distinct visual payoff you receive when the mark does register.
Via Justin and FFFFOUND.
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Last night I went to a meeting of a book club which I have been invited to join. I have known some of its members, but not all. In being introduced, I learned that there is another woman in the group whose name is Alice. My head bobbed back a bit in surprise. Alice! Nobody I know, or have ever known, has been named Alice.
The lady I met was as shocked as I to meet another Alice. Well of course there are others: Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, Alice B. Toklas, member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early twentieth century, or Alice Paul, associated with furthering the suffrage movement for women, to name a few. The one thing we have in common is that we all are of a certain age and older.
It makes one realize that names are fashions of an era, just like the clothes we wear, the music to which we listen, the art we admire, the way we raise our kids, the values we hold, and the list goes on.
In my day girls had names like Nancy, Barbara, Elaine, Patricia, or Anne. Fast forward a couple of decades and you get names like Linda, Laura, Bonnie, Sue, or Kathy. Fast forward again to the names of today’s kids and you get Ashley, Laura, Bridget, and Emma.
As you probably read in Becoming Alice, I actually chose the name of Alice for myself. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. I chose it because my brother was dating a girl named Alys. In today’s world that name would be Allison. I don’t fit that name.
Most people don’t ever veer from choosing the names of the time for their babies. That’s why I have so much admiration for the young couple I know who had the courage to name their son Oscar.
Filed under: Becoming Alice
, Dating oneself
Sometimes I wonder if there is a connection between self-image and reality. When I reflect back to my childhood, there was a very strong connection between my self-image and the child that I was in reality. I thought I was not like other children and I wasn’t. I was this scared, funny-looking European kid going to school with a lot of happy American kids. I wrote about that in my memoir, Becoming Alice. Imagine how aweful these poor kids have it who suffer from anorexia when what they see in the mirror, a perfectly normal child, is percieved as a fat kid.
As time went on, my self-image and the person I was in real life became closer. I became an American adult. And the feelings of inferiority and lack of self-confidence went away. I was pretty much the person that I thought I was. It would be up to somebody else to tell me otherwise.
But now a chunk of years have gone by and I think that misconnect between self-image and reality is creeping up again. I still think of myself as a pretty average, normal, American adult. But now I often am reminded that I fall into another category. This incident made me become aware of that fact: I am sitting around at my athletic club having coffee with a group of girls/women (why is it that the older you get, the more likely it is that older women are called girls?) talking about this and that, nothing of great significance. I did notice, however, that most of these ladies with whom I play tennis are much younger than I am. I looked at one of them and was reminded that she wrote me a very nice note telling me how much she enjoyed reading Becoming Alice and that she figured I must be her mother’s age. Okay. And then the cute young thing sitting next to me remarked that she thinks it wonderful that I still play tennis … and she hopes she will be able to do the same thing when she is older.
There it is. There is that word older that doesn’t fit with my self-image. I don’t know what to do. What behaviors should I undertake to fit into that category of old. There is a glitch between my self-image and what other people think of me. I know what I must do. I think I shall just ignore them and keep my self-image as an average American adult.
Filed under: Becoming Alice
, self confidence
It's that time of year again--Cybils time! I'm a little late getting this plug in (you know--life and stuff interfering with my writing) but I wanted to mention it all the same. This will be my fourth year with the Cybils. After a year as a Round Two judge, I am back as a Round One panelist, which means a whole lot of reading and hopefully lots of great recommendations for this blog. I am
At The Kenyon Review website, Hilary Plum has been doing some excellent blogging about questions of empire, writing, canonicity, etc. I left a comment on one post that was mostly just me giving a short version of my canonical nationalism schtick, not because I thought the post was bad, but because the article Plum used as a basis for her thoughts annoyed me. (I wish I had made my gratitude for her own thinking clearer, but I was in a hurry, and it's internet, so...)
Most recently, she wrote a post titled "Writing American Empire" that collects a nice range of ideas about U.S. novelists and the lands the U.S. has been occupying, invading, bombing, etc. recently. Trying to summarize the different points of view would likely distort them, so I'll just exhort you to head over to the KR blog to see what it's all about. If you've ever felt either excited or queasy about the phrase "cultural appropriation", this is a discussion you should read.
Those who “choose to be gay” offer the disturbing possibility that attachments and affiliations can be chosen outside of state-sanctioned norms. That there are ways of living not envisioned in school textbooks. That how we choose to live matters just as much, if not more, than how we are supposed to live.
To choose what one “likes” over one’s “duty.”
Strictly speaking, it wasn't really Cilla's fault that I was bitten by a dragon. It was probably sheer coincidence that she decided to throw a bucket of whey in my face on the very day the man from Dunark came. But every time my arm hurts...every time I miss Cherry Tree Cottage and the pear trees and the chickens we had...I get mad at Cilla all over again.
Ten-year-old Dina Tonerre has very special eyes, but no one wants to meet them. Even her own friends gradually stop looking directly at her, and don't play with her anymore. She inherited those eyes from her mother, The Shamer. A Shamer is a person with the gift of reading a person's soul, of being able to see everything a person is ashamed of. But as Dina soon learns, it is a gift that is both blessing and curse, and she's not at all sure she wants it.
Her mother is sentenced to be fed to the dragons because she won't condemn a boy accused of murder - a crime that, after looking into his eyes, she is adamant that he did not commit. Dina is tricked into joining her mother at the castle where she is being held, by the very man who has decided her mother's fate. But when she meets the accused boy, she sees what her mother did - that he is innocent.
With the help of unlikely allies, Dina embarks on a perilous journey to discover the true killer, and to save her mother and the boy. Along the way, she learns about trust and friendship, and finds the courage to accept who she is.
For Teachers and Librarians:
The Shamer's Daughter is a dark fantasy with heroic proportions. There are fantastic themes here of good vs. evil, self-acceptance, trust, courage, ethics, and seeking identity. From the mystery angle, have your students keep notebooks and fill them with clues Dina discovers, as well as any other tidbits they feel are important to finding the real killer. Let them discuss the feelings Dina struggles with as she comes to grips with inheriting the Shamer's eyes. Have them chart the good things Dina discovers she can do, as well as the more unpleasant aspects of her gift.
You could also go with the political angle. Who stands to gain from the murders committed? Why? Or, have your students explore the friendship/trust theme: Dina misses having a true friend, and laments that her Shamer's eyes have scared them all away. What does her mother tell her about this? What do your students think she means by that? When does Dina discover the truth of her mother's words? When is she confused by them?
Go with the fantasy angle, and delve into dragons - where do they appear in history? How have they been described in literature? Are they based partly in fact? So many ways to use this book...which will you choose?
For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
The Shamer's Daughter is most appropriate for your older kiddos - probably age 9 and up. It is a gripping story, part mystery, part self-discovery, part fantasy, and they won't be able to tear themselves away. (And neither will you - you should read it, too!) It offers valuable lessons in self-acceptance, trust, and courage, but it's not at all preachy. It comes across in a totally organic way, and is seamlessly woven into the plot. Be available as they read, to explain things they may not understand, and to discuss words they may not have heard before.
For the Kids:
The Shamer's Daughter has lots to like: dragons, castles, mystery, a girl with strange and powerful gift, action, adventure, and did I mention dragons? You will not be able to put this one down. And guess what? The author has written three more books in this series! Try it - and see what you think.
For Everyone Else:
Though The Shamer's Daughter is a novel for the youngish set, adults will be completely drawn into this fantasy. Full of action, adventure, political intrigue, dragons, and no small amount of soul-searching, it is a book that will grab your attention and never let go. And the great thing is, once you finish, there are three more books in the series, so you can continue the adventures just a little longer.
The Shamer's Daughter has something for everyone, no matter what your age. So go find it, and get reading!
Title: The Shamer's Daughter
Author: Lene Kaaberbol
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Publisher and Date: Henry Holt and Co., 2004
Edition: First American Edition
Published In: United States
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
Illustrated by Jim di Bartolo
Publication date: 1 October 2009
ISBN 10/13: 0545055857 / 9780545055857
Arthur A. Levine Books Category:
Young Adult FantasyFormat:
Goblins, Demons, Fey, Curses, Superstitions, Wanting, Romance, Fantasy
Find the synopsis on goodreads.com.How I found out about this book:
Judging a book by its cover? Hells yeah. That's me.Quickie:
The insides are pretty good, too.My review:
The stories ramble a little bit, but they always get where they're going--to the pit of a cherry of a romance coated in lip-smacking fantasy--whether it's goblins in some hick town, or a cursedly beautiful singing voice, or a demon-possessed mother and daughter on the run. I loved Taylor's stories and how they were coupled with di Bartolo's flowing illustrations. This is the kind of book I'd read on a dark and stormy night, but for want of rain I just read it anyway. It was still good. Who should read this book:
The tales explore yearning, memory, superstition in a lyrical, dreamy fashion. Older teens (16 and up) will probably get more out of these stories than the younger ones. There's nothing too objectionable (the "rutting" in the last of the three stories takes place "off the page" if you will) though anyone seeking a moral to the stories may be left unsatisfied, and baffled to boot. Lips Touch: Three Times
is Laini Taylor's 3rd novel.
Find the author at http://www.lainitaylor.com/
, on Twitter @lainitaylor
Shortlink to this review: http://bit.ly/lipstouch3
Find this book on goodreads.com
What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)
Wanting something is entirely different from knowing what you are good at. I know a girl who admitted to cooking up blood pressure readings rather than admit she did not know how to, while she was volunteering at a doctor's office. She is doctor today. Someone with such an abhorrent paucity of integrity is a doctor only because her other sisters are. Its a public joke in our circle that we should avoid hospitals when any of these sisters are on duty. The point I am trying to make is this- its the 'being doctor' she wanted, not actually practicing the craft.I give her five years before she goes into depression or, God forbid, hurt a patient. Meeting that girl again made me more than slightly annoyed. Why do people do things for appearances? is that why they think they were born- to be what someone thinks is the right person to be? I know it takes a lot of emotional maturity and moral integrity to look for you within yourself. I did talk about this in my earlier blogs. Aim for something you want to do, not something you want to be. You want to play with fabric and cuts, be a designer. Do not do it for the bow at the runway. Join a political party because you want to work for the upliftment of the country, not solely to be a senator.
But this is about more than just a case of choosing an occupation solely for image. It is about our ability to recognize ourselves, and respect our own selves enough to follow our heart's dictates. And this brings me to something I have been trying to understand, or maybe just trying to put into a coherent thought. Who are we? Not as a community but as individuals. Each one of us is ONE person. It is not as facile as it sounds. Not us qua what our occupation or relationships define, but us in the raw; us with all extraneous layers are peeled off. The real person we are when we are alone.
I believe that if we can be exactly that same person when we are with others, it leaves a lot of tranquility and space in your mind and heart to discover other things in life. It leaves enough energy within yourself to learn new thing and grow as a human being.
How many of us behave differently in different crowds? Our reactions change when the recipient of those reactions changes. Of course, we act differently with a old friend than we would with someone we have just met, or treat a child differently from the elderly. But when our very style of interacting is dependent on who we are interacting with; when the tone, style and content dictated by the other person-then something is really missing within our own compass. It is not a simple question of civility, for genuine civility is independent of place, time and person (idea paraphrased from Rasha's essay :))
Everyone needs approval. It is a natural human need for approbation from family , friends and society. Everyone would like to be famous, but some do drastically crazy things to get attention. It is the same craziness whether Paris Hilton lifts her dress up enough to leave nothing to imagination, and assures her photo in a magazine, or whether I agonize if I should wear the same outfit to a lunch only because someone else might recognize a repeat.
The point I am trying to make is this: What you do must be only what you want or need to do, not what will make you appear 'cool or 'fun' or 'smart' or 'rich' or whatever else an empty soul might conjure up. Lets face it- your bag and shoes will garner a comment of admiration, or maybe derision, but you are the one who wears them-so you should be the one who is comfortable with them.
Your identity is two-fold. It is a perfect state when both parts are in synchrony. One part is what you know of yourself, and the second is what is perceived of you. If you do not know the first enough to be true to yourself, or if you do not accept the persona you are, the second part- the identity you present to others- is going to be an ineffective artifice. The identity is ideal only if the person you project is
Blog: Some Novel Ideas
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Rob Lowe
, Teachers Challenge
, Teachers Challenge Activity #4
, The Columbus Academy
, The Outsiders
, Add a tag
By: Stacy Nockowitz,
The hideous attempt at a PicassoHead of myself is at left. In the past, my students have absolutely loved this kooky web tool, so when it was suggested to make an avatar using it, I thought I'd have fun. Well, sure, it's fun when you want to make something weird and wild, but making an avatar for oneself? More like humiliating. Just to clarify, I don't look like that.
But in creating this (Teacher Challenge Activity #4), I started thinking about how I identify myself on the web. Sometimes, my avatar is a stack of books. Other times, I use the shield of my school. And then there are the times when I use a picture of all the cute guys from "The Outsiders" movie. Oh, and on Tweetdeck, I use an actual picture of myself (a terrible mistake that I addressed in an earlier post). That error in judgement aside, I can say that I generally identify myself as a book lover, a proud member of The Columbus Academy community (even more proud if we have a snow day tomorrow), and someone who has been kind of obsessed with The Outsiders for about 20 years.
Now, I'm not going to say that those three things tell you everything about me, not even close. I am also a great mom, a fabulous wife, a cancer survivor, an art aficionado, a writer, and a teacher. But those three things- books, the CA shield, and The Outsiders, are a good place to start if you're trying to understand me. My avatars are a metaphor for my identity. I am not just one thing, but an amalgamation of lots of things. Some days, I am that book lover, and I feel that being a librarian is the complete embodiment of who I am. Sometimes, I am my school. It is my home, a place of love and true joy for me. And then there are the times when I am just a nostalgic 80s girl. One who still, yes, still has a chance to nab Rob Lowe.
So, pay no attention to the picture at top left. That's not my avatar. That's not how I would ever identify myself. Instead, I present myself to you as:
My little granddaughter is twelve years old right now and entering her teenage years. She already has a group of girl friends that mean the world to her. I remember raising my own girls and learning that when in the full bloom of adolescence, their friends meant more to them than their parents.
I got to thinking about the fact that most people want to be liked … throughout their lifetime. But the intensity of that desire seems to change in a bell-shaped curve during a person’s life span.
Think about kids in nursery school who relate to one another in terms of playing with a toy or fighting over the possession of a toy. They ususally want to have things going their way … at all costs without worrying about how the other might feel about them. Forget about being liked.
As the years pass, they begin to start wanting to be both liked and respected. They want their classmates to think of them as “nice” or “smart” or “good athletes” or “good at the trombone,” etc. etc. In adolescence being liked is linked to being “cute,” “beautiful,” “a hunk,” “popular,” and “part of the in-group.” Being respected has not yet become a big deal. The most brilliant kid in the class could be a “nerd.”
Then in adulthood, being respected is as important as being liked. It involves ones success in whatever career they may have, as a breadwinner or homemaker/stay-at-home-mom. One alone is not enough to achieve happiness. The most brilliant, respected doctor who is disliked by his patients isn’t going to get very far. And the “nicest” guy in the neighborhood who can’t keep a job to support his family also has a problem.
Then there is old age. Of course, if you haven’t enough money to retire and take care of yourself, you aren’t in very good shape, no matter how “nice” you are. But if you are are okay financially, you probably don’t give a hoot if people like you or not. Take a look at all the “grumpy old men” out there who are forgiven their behavior because of their age. Or, the “old biddies” who are accepted as they are.
I guess the lesson learned is that if you are lucky enough to make it into old age, it doesn’t really matter if others like you or not. Hope I get there someday!
Filed under: Identity
, self confidence
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