Wednesday, October 27, 2010

School spirit and individuality

Today everyone was encouraged to wear school colors at the girl's school and the school T-shirts I bought at the Open House last month were delivered this week. She had initially come down in another t-shirt (albeit in school colors) and I was confused why she didn't want to wear the actual school shirt. After some prodding from me, she said that she overheard some girls who were going to wear the school shirts and she wasn't interested in being identified with being like those girls. I was impressed and grateful that she articulated this concern to me.

I told her that I respected her individuality and how she chose to wear school colors; and if she wanted to wear the other shirt, it was fine by me. But I also advised that with this method of avoiding being associated with certain folks, you could end up limiting yourself. The drastic example I pulled up was if those girls go to college, are you going to skip college because you don't want to seem like them? (I know, such an Asian mom example.) My point was that in an effort to prove how you're NOT like certain individuals, you lose time and energy that could be spent developing who you really are. (I know I've been guilty of this myself.) I had an example of a boy in our last neighborhood who turned out to have a natural ability and passion for opera despite no interest or skill by his physicist parents. Because of his confidence in his own individuality, he was able to discover and develop this fairly unique talent and went on to the high school of performing arts.

I could have gone on but I already noticed that the girl has an uncanny way of appearing to be listening to me yet obviously zoning out at the same time and she was there. So I went back to basics. Anyhoo, I told her, I'm glad you're wearing school colors and I'm fine with whichever way you want to wear them.

She chose the school shirt. I don't know if she did it thinking it would appease me or just shut me up, but I'll always take the opportunity to wear matching clothes with the girl:

Go Hornets!

1 comment:

Pound said...

when i started reading it, i was totally identifying w/ v cuz i do that all the time. i don't watch popular movies cuz eeeeeeveryone watches them, i listen to music no one has ever heard of etc. but once in a while i'll do it (like reading the kite runner) and think, shame on me, this was so awesome and i missed out on it (almost!) cuz i didn't want to be mainstream. you can use my kite runner example next time for v hahaha. more compelling than opera boy.