For some time now I've been reflecting on my identity. One's identity is formed through interactions between one's nature, roles and environments. In other words, it's rather complicated, and simplifying it in order to make it manageable is a formidable task indeed. My new profile picture is my latest attempt to accomplish this task. The image consists of 3 major L-shaped brush strokes. They represent three words describing my approach to life: Loving, Laughing and Learning. The strokes are arranged to form a T-shape. The T-shape represents teaching. I was inspired to choose words beginning with "L" by Curtis Kelly
who has described the EFL learners that many of us teach as 3 L learners. The three "L"s are Low proficiency, Low motivation and Low self esteem. This describes many of the learners I teach and it describes many of the learners that Native English speaking teachers in Japan teach, often by default. 3 L students inspire us to love, laugh and learn, and they inspire us to encourage them to love, laugh and learn too. We inspire each other toward the positive. The last two strokes in the image are a period and a comma, representing language. Put all together the 5 strokes form a smiling face. The background is yellow ochre, one of my favourite colours - Van Gogh's favourite too, I think. The background has the texture of paper. There also two lotus flower stamps in the background. The lotus flower symbolises peace. Peace is a universal value, and it is of particular importance in the cultural mythologies of Canada and Japan.
Your comments are most welcome and I hope you'll share your own thoughts and/or images illustrating identity.