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Curb Scholar Blog: Communicating Our Stories

Posted by on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 in 2012-2015 AY, Curb Scholars.

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.