Day 2 is
Nine things about yourself. Some people have interpreted that as random quirky facts, but in 7 years of blogging I've done that meme too many times to have anything new to say. So instead I'm going to repeat an exercise I did at some workshop or teambuilding thing, where you had to write down the groups or identities you belong to, picking the first that come to mind and not over-thinking it.
- I have long hair. It's down to my hips at the moment, and I don't cut it nearly as often as society insists I should. So it's a bit of a mess, uneven lengths and full of split ends, but I don't care because I don't feel like me if it's shorter than about waist-length, and I find that hairdressers don't really understand that.
- I'm a teacher. I started teaching my younger siblings to read when I was about five or so, though honestly I'm not sure how much their learning to read had to do with my "teaching". And I've been teaching ever since, really. I started teaching seriously when I was 13; the minute I finished my Bat Mitzvah education I went back to teach Sunday school. Now teaching is 50% of my actual full time job, which I'm really enjoying, but I still go out looking for more teaching when I can.
- I'm Jewish. This is a big thing about my identity, both religious and cultural / ethnic. I was brought up, and still consider myself, Reform, but that's a much smaller part of my identity than Jewish in general. I spend a lot of time hanging out in Progressive / Liberal, Conservative / Masorti, post-denominational and vaguely Orthodox communities, and I value different things about all of those. When I move to a new town I find the Jewish community, and it tends to take up a big part of my volunteering effort and provide a big part of my social life.
- I'm English. I would like to say that I'm European, and in some ways I am, but English is a much bigger part of who I am. I've lived in Scotland, and was happy there, but I was definitely an expat, so I can't honestly call myself "British". I'm not madly patriotic or anything, but I do love lots of things about the country, and I'm steeped in English culture and of course formed by media in English, primarily English English rather than any of the other varieties.
- I'm bisexual. Or at least, that's the simplest and most easily understood term for what I am, without needing a paragraph of explanation. In truth I find that gender just isn't a big factor in my attraction to people, but that puts me into the social category of bisexual.
- I'm short-sighted. I've worn glasses since I was 7, and I really can't see much without them, nor form an image of my face without its familiar frames.
- I'm cerebral. One of the obvious things to put in this list would be body-type, but honestly I think of myself mainly as a mind. I could say "female" or "curvy" or "short" or "white", and I wouldn't deny being any of those things, but none of them form a big part of my identity. I think a lot, and I take pride in my intelligence. And I'm very happy interacting with people in plain text, I don't think of purely verbal friendships as only "virtual".
- I'm an academic. I've managed to stay in university environments since I left school, and I intend to carry on doing so if at all possible. I am passionate about intellectual enquiry as well as teaching, and much as I'd like to contribute towards finding a cure for cancer, I am mainly motivated by increasing knowledge for its own sake.
- I'm a scientist. I think scientifically, I am part of the scientific community, I don't ever stop being a scientist even when I'm not doing biology. I think that's why I chose "scientist" rather than "biologist" for this one. I also didn't pick "researcher", because that's just what my job happens to be; I'd still be a scientist even if I happened not to be doing research at a particular moment.