For the past few semesters I’ve had my students do an exercise on self-identifying. Which words would you use to describe yourselves? Which stereotypes are associated with these words? And where did you get these ideas in the first place? Meant to be a deep and mind-blowing exercise, it almost always turns into shocking revelations. Students use some crazy things to identify themselves and I always learn something new about them. This has been my favorite so far:
Me: Write down 5 words you use to identify yourselves. What are your identifiers?
Student: Son, student, Polish, writer, registered minister.
Me: Wait, what? You’re a registered minister? How old are you?
Me: Why are you a registered minister? Did you have to marry someone?
Student: No, I just did it for fun. Now I walk around the dorm offering to marry people. Especially drunk people. They think I’m joking and then they wake up hungover and married.
Me: I feel like….I should report you….to someone?