My 3rd Grade India Journal

My project will be an exploration of my family’s culture and an effort to understand others’ choices as well as my own cultural identity. In a lot of ways, this is very closely linked to my identity as a writer; much of my early journaling (and also some of my more recent journal writing) centered on self-exploration, on trying to understand the “self” that was developing in the midst of a large, close-knit Indian community and a diverse American community at school. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, of course, but looking back I can see my writing as an effort to reconcile the tensions between my parents’ beliefs and the kinds of things I was hearing, reading, and feeling outside of my house. Over time, I progressed from simply recording my frustrations and opinions to questioning them and trying to understand my parents’ (or other people’s) perspectives.

Going to India when I was 8 really challenged my thinking and helped me to get a better sense of where my parents were coming from at times when I disagreed with them. As part of a school assignment, I kept a journal while I was there; while it’s lacking in insightful analysis, it does contain a record of some of the things that surprised me and challenged me. It also makes my privileged and previously narrow mindset (hopefully “previously” narrow!) painfully visible, which inspires me to work even harder to open myself up to as many different perspectives as possible as I move forward with my project.

My India Journal (Nov-Dec. 2000)
My India Journal (Nov-Dec. 2000)
My first entry! (Nov. 2000)
My first entry! (Nov. 2000)

2 thoughts to “My 3rd Grade India Journal”

  1. This is awesome!! This would really be a great way to explore your past writing and the changes that have taken place in your writing since then! I also love the connection between your Writer’s Evolution Essay and your Capstone Project. It would definitely be interesting to compare your reflective writing or, specifically, your journal entries through the years. What has changed about your “free writing?” Why do you feel you have made these changes in your writing? Have these changes in your personal journaling style had an impact on your academic writing? How so?

  2. Artifacts! I love it. I think that I have been in those same shoes where, looking back on old writing, you smack your forehead and think “Oh my God, there’s so much I didn’t know.” But recognizing what we didn’t know once-upon-a-time (I think) is one of the best ways to 1. see how far we’ve come and 2. identify places where we’re not finished progressing. Granted, we can only work within the confines of where we are right now, but it’s always worthwhile to keep checking in with our past writer selves and look for opportunities to grow just a little bit more. For instance, it will be really cool when four years, fourteen years, or forty years from now you look at THIS project. Who knows what you’ll think of it by then? And that’s the fun part 🙂

Leave a Reply