English Blog

Book 3 April 12, 2010

Filed under: Identity,Middlesex — writing4english @ 4:55 PM

In the “Waxing Lyrical” chapter of book three, Cal’s identity seems to change quite a bit in respect to her physical appearance and the actions taken to respond to this change. After church one Sunday, Cal was informed by Sophie Sassoon that she was starting to get a mustache. Although Cal was not completely surprised by this fact because it was somewhat of a norm in her heritage, her panicked reaction showed concern for her image of womanliness. “A mustache? Was it true? Like Mrs. Drexel? I hurried to the bathroom to see. Mrs. Tsilouras was reapplying lipstick, but as soon as she left I put my face up to the mirror” (Eugenides 308). This point in the chapter seemed to indicate the beginning of womanhood for Cal. I feel that this point in Cal’s life was the most normal feeling she had probably experienced. The feelings that Cal had through this part of the text may not have been clearly and literally stated, but they seem to be very similar to what every other teenager, now matured to adulthood, has been through. I think it could be easily confirmed and agreed upon that every teenager has been through that certain awkward stage in their life. The stage that things which seem to be unnatural and unfamiliar happen to a young body. The stage that brings the most confident, self assured kid a sense of self-consciousness. The thing that I am referring to is puberty. I believe at this part of the writing, Cal began to show her first signs of puberty, and this is probably the thing that she has held most closely in common with all other teenagers in search of their identity. Judging by her own panicked reaction and support from other feminine figures, Cal’s decision to remove the hair as soon as possible tells me that she had began puberty and was turning into a woman, not a man.

-Jake Morse


European Mutt March 3, 2010

Filed under: Identity,Uncategorized — writing4english @ 2:39 AM

My cultural background is Polish, French-Canadian, Scotish, Irish and German. As you can tell, my ethnicity is basically all European. My mom is 100% Polish, so that makes me half Polish. And the rest of me is from my dad’s side. I really like learning about my family’s history because it’s cool to know what makes up the Harteau Family. Family has always been an important factor in my life. A lot of the important decisions I have made in my life so far have been impacted by my family. I think my family is pretty close and we have a lot of fun together. My family has definitely had a great impact on my life so far because they always believe in me and are extremely supportive. They also give me great advice and are always there to listen if I ever need to vent about stress from college. The relationships with my family members has also had an impact on what kinds of friends I have too. According to Silverman and Reader, relationhips are vital. I think this means that all of our relationships somehow impact our lives, whether it is positively or negatively. I also feel that ethnicity is an important factor of my identity because where I come from has shaped who I am today. It fascinates me to know about my family history. As a whole, familial history, current family members and other relationships in some way have influenced and are major factors of my identity.

Danielle Harteau


ohh so hungary! March 2, 2010

Filed under: Identity — writing4english @ 1:52 PM

I do believe that nationality and race play a roll with identifying a group of people (ie. where they are from, what they look like) and also an individual. Each and every person are descendants from all different countries and regions all over the world. If we were all from the same place, we would all be identified together as one. This is what makes everyone special and not identical to one another. I am Hungarian and Macedonian. I rarely hear people talk about those two nationalities and I feel that they are very unique and that makes me who I am. They distinguish me from others and I am alright with that. I have the olive, dark skin, and dark features that the rest of my family from Hungary has and many people have been like ohhh alright when I tell them my nationality. Everyone identifies different races and ethnicities with a social class. And I agree with Silverman and Rader saying that white Americans do consider themselves middle class. We associate other races with poor or not as wealthy as Americans. No one wrote it down on paper but it has been something that society has convinced us to think as a whole. There are so many aspects to someone’s identity and who they think they are. Many people call themselves by adjectives to describe themselves but I believe it is so much more than that. In order to identify a person we need to consider race, nationality, interactions with other people including friends, family and strangers, their interests, where they live, who they associate themselves with or even their friends, and whatever makes up an ideal person. There are so many things to talk about when identifying a person, that some people forget reading between the lines.


You’re Related

Filed under: Identity — writing4english @ 1:51 PM

In my case ethnicity doesnt play as big of a role in my life as i want it to. Most people i meet expect me to be more “mexican”, whatever that means.  My grandparents both come from a hispanic background, so they grew up speaking only spanish and eating all the delicious foods.  However, when they had kids of their own, they used spanish as a “secret language” to talk about things that they wanted no one else to understand.  Although, they did pass on all the good cooking to my mom and her sister, my aunt.  But other than that, i do not feel like we embrace our background as much as we should or as much as i would like us to.

One of the most important things that makes up my identity is my family. They truly mean everything and more to me. Without them i would not be the person i am today because they have tried so hard to bring out all the my best features and traits to mold me into the best person i could be.  That takes a lot of time and effort to put your all into someone elses life.  It is funny though, beccause people on the outside would never guess that we are all one family. I live with my mom, step-dad(even though they got married when i was 2 so hes basically my dad), and my half sister.  My dad is a white, about 6 foot tall, and looks like mr. clean if that gives you a better visual. My mom on the other hand, is only about an inch or two taller than me, and couldnt look more mexican if she tried.  So when people see us together they are often surprised that we are a family.  This is a perfect example of categorizing people by their appearance.  Our family is like other visual constructions, we have to be slowed down and digested more actively (Silverman and Rader 268).  Once people get to know us all, they see how we all build off of each other and how vital we each are in each others lives.

-Breanna Perez


Who am I?

Filed under: Identity — writing4english @ 1:23 PM

Who am I? Well that is a very tough question for me to answer. For those people who don’t know me they would say that I am a short, blonde hair, blue eyed, white girl. For those who do know me would probably say somehwere along the lines of a happy, always smiling, very kind, big-hearted girl who would do anything for her family and friends. To me, the first description of who i am is not very fitting for me. I don’t want to be classified as just another white girl. I like to be known for my personality and other crazy attributes about me that is like no other person. I feel like your identity  should be about something that defines you that is like no one else because everyone is different. I mean obviously, I am caucasion, but really that has nothing to do with who I am. I believe that the color of your skin does not clearly define who you are. In the book, The World is a Text, Silvermann and Radar explain about the whole quote of “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”. I love this quote because of the truthfulness behind it. Basically whether you deny it or not, everyone judges everyone. Its pretty much a known fact. But usually once you get to know the peson you figure out that your prejudgments were very wrong.  That goes for the same thing about a persons identity. If you judge them only by their race or ethnicity you could be missing out on a wonderful person. I guess what Im trying to get at is that you can’t judge a person soley on their race because it’s probably not even close with what they want to be identified with. Call me a sister, a daughter, a friend, or even crazy, but please don’t call me just some white girl. 🙂

-Brittany Cifka


Objects may not be what they appear to be

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality,Identity,Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:32 PM

Well, my identity is kind of complex is suppose. I’m not really sure what it is even yet. I know I’m of Irish, German, and Cherokee nationalities but that don’t really mean very much to me because my family don’t really hold many of their traditions. Race does not matter at all to me, nor does ethnicity. I can be in a room with six black people and be the only white person in there and not even notice. “White people wrongly, and often tragicaly, assumed blaces were inferior or that American Indians were ‘savages'” (Silverman and Rader 268). I know that many blacks are proud to be black because of their troubled past, but I am not proud to be white. Anyways, most of my friends are black and all my girlfriends have been black so I guess it has just made me color blind on the issue of race. One thing that I do identify with is my religion. I am Roman Catholic and I am proud to be Catholic. Catholicism and Family are two things that really help me identify myself. Family life is an important aspect of my life as well as deepening my relationship with God and solidifying my faith. Another major thing that identifies me is athletics. I am proud of being an athlete and I cannot imagine not being an athlete. I’ve been doing sports my whole life almost and I plan to continue doing sports until I die. If how I feel is how I defined me, I would be an athletic Catholic guy who is a family man but not restricted to being just one race.

-Jeffrey Senecal


I love my family.<3

Filed under: Identity — writing4english @ 11:56 AM

As far as family goes, I think mine plays a huge role into my identity. Everything I know and believe in has been learned through my family. I have learned how to stay strong, work hard and have a strong & loving relationship with God. My mother has definitely been my inspiration to never give up. Times were tough growing up but as a family we always made it through everything together. 

Race and ethnicity also play a large role within my family. I come from a very large Mexican family. Both my mother and father’s parents migrated from Mexico to the US. My grandparents have worked hard and fought through struggles to make their lives better than they were before. I think it’s so interesting when I hear stories from my grandparents and how crazy of a change it was for them when they came to the US. 

I don’t usually take any race jokes to heart but I do think it’s funny when you hear how Mexicans can most likely be found doing some kind of landscaping job or construction. I always like to get back at them and say, ‘Well, yeah, but that just makes Mexican’s look like harder workers because we see them out working most often.’ Obviously, that is not true because hard work cannot be classified by race. “Sadly, in the US, views on race are often influenced by financial concerns” (Silverman & Rader 272). It really is sad because although we don’t mean to—we often assume that because someone is an immigrant they don’t have it as good as someone born and raised in the US. Although, my family’s lives have improved, we never forget where we came from and the hard work it took to come such a long way. I am proud of my family and what I have become through each and every one of them.

Nayeli Garza.