Friday, September 19, 2014


The other night, Michael called me a nerd.

He was helping me plan an activity about characterization in which I would have my students make inferences about me based on things I've said, things I've done, or choices I've made. I said, "Do you think they could guess what table I sat at in high school?" 

He said, "I think they could figure out that you sat at the nerd table."

I said, "I wasn't a nerd in high school."

Of course, if you asked most of the people I went to high school with, they probably would say I was a nerd. It's just that I personally never self-identified as a nerd and certainly wouldn't have listed "smart" as my defining characteristic.

Michael asked me, "So if you aren't a nerd, what are you?"

"A hippie," I replied as if it were obvious.

Michael disagreed, seeing as I don't smoke pot or listen to jam bands.

"Okay, maybe we have different definitions of the word hippie. Maybe a better word to describe me would be crunchy. Granola."

"I could see that," Michael conceded.

Environmentalist. Yogi. Gardener. Bike-rider. Folk-music lover. That is how I self-identify.

Thinking of this conversation, I asked the boys tonight, "What do you think is your main talent? How would you describe yourself? Nerd? Athlete? Artist? Musician? Dancer? What?"

Eli said athlete, which I was not expecting, but his answer might have been skewed by the fact that we were coming home from soccer.

Cole said geek, which he insists is different from and better than a nerd.

I think it's interesting to think about how others see us versus how we see ourselves. How do you self-identify?


  1. This might show up twice since blogger is dumb.

    I think it's interesting to compare self-portraits of famous artists with photographs of those artists. Or with portraits of them painted by other artists.

  2. I'm self-identified as awesome!!

  3. Kellie, isn't it interesting how you can see yourself so differently from how everyone else sees you?

  4. I don't see you as a nerd - very smart yes, but you have lots of other interests and specialties besides just being smart - you read for fun, you bike and like yoga, you wear cute clothes and do funky things with your hair, you play with your kids and travel on adventures, you love music - many different types, you are religious and practically vegetarian. That's a perfectly well rounded person and I'm sure that's what Michael sees and loves.

  5. I'm fascinated by how we self-identify vs how other's see us. I always wonder how people see me, maybe because I'm an introvert that can act like an extrovert when I need to (singing time). And a lot of the time I feel like I'm acting against my "nature" by being talkative and such. When I'd really rather be at home reading a book by myself :)

  6. This post has had me seriously reflecting how I see myself. I'm not sure how I self identify. This is a good exercise for me.


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