Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!


sdane's picture

In trying to choose my avatar, I started to think about what represents my interests and what I enjoy doing – and the first thing that came to mind was my love of traveling.  I googled “map” and this was one of the first images that came up.  So, the compass represents the traveler in me, but since uploading it I’ve also been thinking a lot about Johnny Cash’s song “Folsom Prison Blues.”  I feel a huge amount of empathy for that man stuck in Folsom Prison hearing the sound of the train everyday – I know that when I’ve been stuck in institutions (hospitals) the realization that traveling continues to happen on the outside is very demoralizing.  The compass is also interesting in that it is also a reminder that white/Western privilege seeps into all areas of our lives.  North is always on the top of a compass, and maps usually scale up the size of North America and Europe.  It also reminds me of the fact that travel in itself is a very privileged activity that most of the world doesn’t have access to.  I haven’t really reconciled this yet – the idea that I only have the ability to do something I love because of where I was born – but I’m glad this 360 is sparking the question.