Friday, September 30, 2005
My students recently began working on their first full essay for the Advanced 1 Writing class I teach. They were able to pick from about 10 general topics from our textbook, and one of the most popular topics seems to be tatoos. They had to generate an effective thesis statement, prepare a (somewhat) formal outline, and they began writing their rough drafts yesterday. Among the Asian, African, and Latin American students in the class,we have a few students who find them unacceptable. However, not surprisingly, most of these young people think they're OK. As I went around the room helping people, I told a couple of them about a woman I met last year, who, as a 50th birthday present to herself, got a tattoo on her ankle. It was fairly small, a daisy or a butterfly or something. I don't remember. Anyway, I told a young Costa Rican and a young Japanese man about it, and their mouths dropped in I don't know...horror, disgust? It was, at any rate, a negative look of surprise. I pointed out that a young person who gets a tattoo now will someday be a 50-year-old with a tattoo, and even though they agreed, still seemed to find this bizarre. I'm going to ask the entire class (after they have finished this essay, so they won't be influenced) what the difference is between a 50-year-old woman who gets a tattoo, and a young woman who gets a tattoo now and someday turns 50. Rosalia pointed out she would have her tattoo done in a place that she can hide and that wouldn't be as subject to aging (Hah!Wait until she finds out everything is subject!) but the ankle, I think, meets both those requirements. I am really looking forward to this discussion.