Curb Scholar Blog: Communicating Our Stories
This blog post was written by Serena Deutch.
People are not good at talking about themselves. Of course there are exceptions, but a prevalent value in our society is modesty, and being humble is sometimes even a praised trait. On this note, when we, the Curb Scholars, were asked to write a brief biography about ourselves, we struggled. We wondered where the line is between self-flattery and boastful pride. There were mental blocks because after a lifetime full of noteworthy personal experiences and characteristics, it appeared difficult to summarize this in a three-sentence biography.
So we changed tactics. At a recent Curb Scholar session, a new approach arose. Instead of writing a short biography about ourselves, which had proved to be very difficult, we were faced with the challenge of writing about a fellow scholar. Maybe this seemed even more daunting. As a first-year student, I did not know the upperclassmen very well after just one month of school. However, this approach proved effective.
There’s a lot to be learned from a person based on what they cherish. Each student found, showed, or created an object that had value to them, and through a short interview session, we examined the depths of a partner’s identity based on his or her explanation of an object. These objects ranged from fruit to art projects to shoes and even a motorcycle.
What we learned was that although our objects offered a great range of diversity, the common trait shared was a passion elicited by our speech on a subject near and dear to our hearts. This session was inspiring to me because I got to know another person by exploring what we had in common based on seemingly unrelated objects. It was about more than the physical objects, though. This session was a special opportunity for the Curb Scholars to bond and understand each other on a different level in a unique atmosphere, resulting in biographies that capture the essence of ourselves better than we were able to articulate on our own.