Sunday, January 26

Cultural Snapshot of Myself

For my next assignment, I need to gather and analyze 20 artifacts of my personal culture.  These  artifacts are supposed to be images or recordings.  So here they are.

An American Flag because I am an American citizen, and because my personal culture is shaped by the culture of our nation.

Unfortunately, I only speak the English language fluently, with a tiny working knowledge of Spanish. This affects my culture based on what I can express in my written and spoken life. 

However, my husband speaks fluent German, and it has enriched my life and culture to learn about another language and people. 

School was always a set priority in my life, and it was expected that I attend. 

It was also expected that I earn high marks on all of my work, and that I learn something while doing it. 

I attended a charter school that had different philosophies of education than other public schools and I was able to experience lots of inquiry-based activities in the classroom that helped education be fun and meaningful to me. 

I have also trained as a soccer referee for 8 years of my life, and it affects how I watch any sports game, usually from the side of the officials now.

I learned the value of equity (fair treatment) of boys and girls, men and women in my home and on the soccer field as a little girl when I could play with the boys and my father was just as dedicated to my success as my brothers.  I also learned about it when my sister was allowed to choose dance instead of soccer, because that is what she as an individual wanted to do (not because she was a girl).
We are all people, and we should not be limited by our gender on what we want to do, or our chances for success.

From the time I was a little girl, we had written rules for table manners posted on the wall near our kitchen table.  As we grew older, those came down, but we were still expected to be respectful and polite and have good manners, even if it was just family at the table.  

From my parents and church leaders, I have learned to value money, and to spend it frugally. 

This picture represents an informal cultural more' that I was taught: you dress up nicely for church and attend every Sunday.

I have also learned the value of virtue, purity and cleanliness throughout my life. 

My family always comes first, and it is important to me that families are valued in our culture.  (Unfortunately I don't have any digital family portraits right now, so this is not my family, just a family.) 

From identifying and reflecting on my culture in these artifacts I have identified several areas that have been essential in transferring and teaching me my culture.  These institutions are my home, my school, and my church.  From these I have learned my values and beliefs, and accepted the norms of society.  I have been taught how to interpret the symbols and the language of my home.  My culture is very... typical for an young white woman, except with the strong influence of my church environment.   I have been blessed with the best that my family could offer with our middle class budget.  This could be a hinderance to me in a school setting as I try to teach children that are not as privileged as I was, or that were not taught the same principles in their home and at church. Although I feel that I have an open and tolerant mind, I still need to work to understand them and their stories.  Getting to know any person takes work, but it is even more important and difficult when you don't have much in common.  However, because of my upbringing and culture I have firm beliefs in the importance of education and of all students succeeding.  Culture is an important element in the life of every individual and plays a significant role in our interactions with other people, especially in the school room, which is usually a mechanism for teaching culture.