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sara.gladwin's picture

As I just realized when checking my account information, two days ago was the anniversery of the day I joined Serendip. Since then, I have fallen in love with the potential I see in this site for creating connections and communication across all kinds of disciplines. The one semester I did not use serendip in those two years, I could feel a piece of richness missing from my academics. I am excited to interact with you all more, not just in class, but here on serendip! This all being said, the reasons why I choose to use my real name today for posting are the same as when I first created my account. The simplest reason is that I couldn't come up with pseudonym that fit me. Nothing that I thought of sounded like me at all. Strangely enough, chosing a psedyonm felt confining, and some how revealing, but in an uncomfortably inadequate way. For example, if someone's name is doglover12, you are going to automatically know, first and foremost, that person is probably a dog lover. This way of naming myself felt like writing my identity into wet concrete, and when in dried all anyone would ever see when they stepped over my name in the sidewalk was just a dog lover and nothing more. My real name felt like the best representation for the very fact that it wasn't really a representation at all. Using sara.gladwin leaves you all the room to percieve me in many differing ways and through your own eyes, past the misleading concreteness I associate with crafting my own moniker. Your own various interpretations will be the best representations of my identity I could as for. My second reason for choosing to use my real name is that I am often very nervous and overly attentive to the words I use (an example being that it took me entirely too long to write this post), out of fear that I won't be able to communicate well enough or sound "intelligent" enough. This might seem like a reason to remain anonymous, but I also strongly believe that the only way to alleviate that fear is to continually confront it. Truthfully though, the nervousness never really goes away. I will always feel anxious and insecure when I hit the submit button. What has changed and I assume will continue to change is how I deal with those insecurities- I become better each time at reassuring myself that what I have to say is valuable.

I chose my avatar back when I was in the women and walled communities 360. I originally chose the eye picture because it fit well with one of the themes of our 360 then, which was vision. It continues to fit with this 360 as well, as a component of our classes is thinking and talking about how we envision our environment, and the words we chose to represent those perceptions. I also like this avatar because it is something I drew, and so when I see it I am reminded of the time and work that went into the piece; I can still remember the layers upon layers of color that it took to create one whole image. I like the idea that what I see when I look at that eye will be different then what you all see; and that the final product can't even represent itself fully because there is no way to ever wholly recapture each moment of it's creation. However, if you look closely, it is still possible to separate the hues of pink, yellow, orange; it is still possible to imagine the process of shading and blending. If you were to look really closely, you might even see where I used blue and grey in creases around the eye to reproduce the skin tone of the original image. The eye for me, represents the multiplicity of vision; it represents what is somehow both lost indefinitely and what can be found again through imagination.


Anne Dalke's picture


and to me that eye of yours has always looked like an ear! .... i like it, actually, because it evokes both senses...

sara.gladwin's picture

thats because I'm not

thats because I'm not technologically literate enough to figure out how to make the eye turn right side up!! you have to tilt your head to the left!

Anne Dalke's picture

tilting your head

but that's what's so great about the image--your technological limits means that it's a more ambigous/provocative figure than it would be if you could figure out how to turn it "right" side up...