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Published by Emiko Morimoto

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Published by: Emiko Morimoto on Dec 10, 2011
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Artifact one: Soap from UAE – Each time I smell the soap that I got at the old souk (bazaar) in Abu Dhabi; I’m reminded of my freshman year in high school. It was only two weeks of my life but it seems to encompass an entire year of that particular stage in my development. My visit really opened my eyes to how different and yet similar different parts of the world are. The UAE was the first time I had been out of the country. It is a predominately Muslim country where most of the women wear burkas and there are separate parks and facilities for them to use. Although there was a difference in equality between women and men my trip also made me see that a lot of the prejudices held in America about the Middle East and burkas are completely unreasonable. Whenever I smell my soap from the UAE, I am reminded of a period of real growth and development. My freshman year I wasn’t very self-assured or confident in myself but by the end of it I grew to be more comfortable in my own skin and my trip out of the country serves as a reminder of that. (Understanding different cultures and stages of my development) Artifact two: Orange Blossom water from Lebanon – The smell of the orange blossom water from Lebanon reminds me of my junior year in high school. It was a nice way to wrap up to the end of my junior year. It reminds me of prom, the boy I was seeing, and my family and friends. I think junior year was a fundamental year in my development as far as confidence and open-mindedness goes. It was another year in which I feel like I really grew as a person and the best, most memorable part of it was my trip to Lebanon. I’m so glad that I was able to go all over Lebanon and see a different part of the Middle East. Although there are many Muslims in Lebanon, it is not the country’s official religion – unlike the UAE. Therefore there were a lot more freedoms in terms of dress and how mindful I had to be about taking pictures. (In the UAE I had to have most everything covered 100% of the time and you could be jailed for taking pictures of certain areas and buildings) The trip allowed me to see and appreciate the incredible depth and history that the Lebanese people that spans thousands of years have vs. America’s short 200 year history. It really helped me understand some of the conflicts that occur in the Middle East that I feel are hard to grasp if you grow up in America and don’t have a 2,000 year family history of squabbles and fights with a certain group or family. (Understanding different cultures) Artifact three: A salted caramel brownie from Amelies French bakery. – Even the thought of the brownie brings a smile to my face. It reminds me not only of my indescribable love of sweets but of my best friends. For most of my junior and senior year you could find me and my best friends at the 24 hour café, Amelies, in NODA. It was a place we went to just sit and talk while satisfying our sweet tooth and our urge to people watch. It reminds me of late night drives in my 1983 Mercedes, riding along with the hum of the diesel engine and one of my best friends, Dave, falling asleep beside me to the sound of Telepop Music’s Breathe. It reminds me of the times that my best friend Allison has visited from Miami and loved the way that Amelies was decorated. It’s somewhere I went to observe people and talk about the world with close friends. (An on-going process understanding other people)

Artifact four: An elephant head carving that my brother Dan got me from India. – I respect my brother Dan immensely. There’s no one that I look up to more than my big brother. He got me the wooden elephant head while he was traveling with the President’s delegation to India. It just serves as a reminder to me of the big things that he’s accomplished in only 24 years and the big things that I can accomplish if I set goals and work very hard. It reminds me that there’s nothing more important to me than my family and how badly I want each and every one of them to succeed and be happy, healthy, and safe. I honestly feel that I would be okay with average if it weren’t for my family, I want to succeed and do better for them (The impact of other people on my literacy) Artifact five: Mascara – Mascara represents my knowledge of makeup. I’m constantly watching tutorials online on how to do it better and how to create different looks. In high school my friends would always come to me to do their makeup, some even came to me for prom. I’ve been using it since sixth grade and feel like my skills are constantly improving. I like to think of the face as a palette and makeup as my paint. I can enhance certain features with contouring and highlighting while I cover any unflattering areas with concealer. It’s one of my creative outlets that I get to work on everyday. Artifact six: license – My license represents freedom to me. It’s a literacy that I worked hard on through drivers ed and behind the wheel. It’s a huge part of my life. I’m constantly driving and find it to be therapeutic. I crank up music that fits my mood and just relax. Most of the time I enjoy sitting in traffic just because I like the hum of my ’83 diesel engine coupled with a good song. Artifact seven: glasses/eye patch. – When I was little I used to have to wear an eye patch on my right eye to try and correct my lazy eye. I guess training my lazy left eye counts as an acquired literacy? It’s something that people take for granted but by god I worked hard on it! Today most people can’t even tell that I have one (or so I’d like to think). My eye patch represents a struggle that’s still ongoing for me, getting over tiny insecurities. Kids are cruel and my lazy eye and I were not spared from the constant mocking or occasional dodge ball to the face in gym. I hate to say it, but I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from the bullying I received when I was little. But I think that it’s also something that made me who I am today. I seriously doubt that I would be as empathetic towards the underdog or hate bullies as much as I do if I had not been bullied when I was little. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. (Empathy literacy) Artifact eight: A baking tin – A baking tin represents my baking literacy. I love, love, love to bake. One of my favorite things in life is to decorate a freshly made cookie or cake. Baking and decorating are extremely cathartic for me. The only bad part is clean up. Everything else is like heaven on earth: the smells, the taste. (Baking literacy)

Maybe add into the Domain analysis that my voices were affected by my travels. It was an unconscious decision to focus on the most important part of my life. These

allow me to focus in on certain literacies but at the same time most of my literacies are ingrained at a young age, being polite, reflect on your behavior and attitude. What’s my traditional literacy? What is everything else? Traditional literacy or nontraditional? Institution shapes formal literacy but not informal and not my identity.

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