Real Life Applications

I go through phases where I just get a little bored with blogging, and then I feel like I’m passing that boredom onto everyone who reads this. Sorry about that.

The new boy likes eggplant and even prefers specific varieties. He’s not driven by money, but loves the 1040 long form. And we share a quirk: he doesn’t believe in flat sheets — only the fitted sheet and a blanket/comforter (this is not empirical knowledge — he just told me).

The social psychology class is amazing… Actually, the class isn’t all that special (too much personal information sharing by students when it’s only sort of relevant is at times excruciating), but the material is exciting. I feel like the applications are broad, and I love when I can see examples of a concept in my own or others’ experiences. For instance: I mentioned before the whole individualist/collectivist society thing (with the world map)… Last week the professor brought up some studies done by Markus and Kitayama, who have looked a lot at European-American v. Japanese cultures. One of her slides reminded me of my January 1 blog post…

Culture Self

On the last box, there’s the part that says “Tries to have a sense of self that’s separate from others, stable, consistent, positive, unique.” Holy crap! That’s what I was talking about last week in my “why I have this blog” post — not exactly to establish this “self,” but to give it a platform, make it consistent and stable so that people could come in and out of my life and I’d still know who I was. Anyway, it’s interesting to step back and see my behavior as a product of my culture, much as I try to act independently. I’m no different than the hipsters at Sputnik who can’t help but be a bit homogeneous in spite of their obvious efforts towards being unique.

And that’s fine.

The professor also asked the question, “How many of you know yourself?” — obviously a rhetorical question, and not really one you can answer by a show of hands (which is what she wanted). But I started thinking… I think I know myself better than I did, say, six years ago. But “my self” is ever changing, and to “know” it in one state would be to limit it, don’t you think? To expect consistency, or worse, to strive for it, would be to miss out on a lot of potential growth. I can’t say, “I’ve known myself since my solo-Europe trip in 2002,” — even though that certainly made me more aware of myself than I ever had been, the “self” is not static, and has to be constantly re-examined if one is ever to “know” it…

There’s this movie I watched a few years ago that looked really lame, but ended up being moving (and depressing): Rules of Attraction (2002). In it, James Van Der Beek’s (yeah, I know, but it’s seriously a good movie) character says, “No one ever ever knows anyone.” That line struck me as tragic. But I think the point is that just as my “self” is not static, neither is anyone else’s. It’s the whole “can’t step in the same river twice” phenomenon, where we are all constantly in flux, and while knowing each other is possible, it requires constant effort because no one is ever the same.

So, there’s my rant for the weekend… It’s been beautifully sunshiny — the kind of weather that makes me want to nap cat-like on my bed, shifting as the sun’s warmth moves across the room.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Real Life Applications

  1. That was a really nice blog.

  2. Yeah.

    This blog reminds me of something the chair of the painting department (which I was a student of) said.

    “Everything has been done.”

    Sooner or later you realize that you really aren’t all that unique. Maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but it stands to reason that over time there is a lot of redundancy. Even from one country or continent to the other.

    BUT the upside of that is that because it’s so hard to really be a pioneer you can concentrate on any level or layer of specialization and do whatever you like, whatever little microscopic differences you have. Because even if I am only a shade different, a slight flavor variation from so-and-so, it’s better than nothin’. Being special is such a need. Then again so is feeling a sense of sameness and universality.

    I guess this is one of those things you could argue about for hours, but I’ll pass. Hehhee. I’ve had a tiring weekend.

    SMOOCHES,

    Uncle Hannah

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