I know I've been neglecting you. If I knew who you were, and why you read my blog, I might apologise to you. But as I'm a bit hazy on ultimate blog purpose and intention, for now I will simply acknowledge your potential sigh of boredom.
I'm in the middle of exams, and we all know how seriously mature-age students take their exams... don't we?
For one subject this semester I've needed to submit posts to a weekly reflection blog (what a novel idea). Need I say that this has possibly been my favourite subject? I'm annoyingly enthusiastic about just about all subjects I choose to study so it's hard to pick a fave.
I'll give you something to read, just in case you're grappling. It was written by me, even if not written for you, specifically. Here's how my final blog post went:
For the benefit of revision and getting my mind to think anthropologically (while the neighbourhood children are playing very loudly outside my window) I'd like to ponder some of my favourite words or topics from this unit.
My first favourite is a quote from Dr Paul Mason, guest lecturer in week 7: "Embodiment involves the ontogenetic confluence of intersubjectively experienced dynamic construal irremediably determined in time and space by socially embedded, historically insituated, culturally orchestrated, environmentally situated, embodied brains."
While I believe the discourse used in this quote, the convoluted and alienating language, is completed unnecessary, it gave me great satisfaction to come to the point of understanding this definition of Embodiment after an hour and a half of intense concentration. "Embodiment is when culture becomes anatomy." Dr Mason's 2nd quote... So much easier to understand, after he has gone to great lengths to impart knowledge of the first one. I now feel such a rich appreciation for the word Embodiment.
My second favourite word is Enculturation... the process of embedding an individual within a culture, of steeping the individual in the language, knowledge, arts, economics, values, taboos, fetishes, music, way of moving, methods of cooking, materials of living - in order to imbue the individual with their cultural flavour. I read somewhere that enculturation happens only in an individual's culture of origin, that only a babe born into a culture may be enculturated. I disagree. I don't see why enculturation must occur only once, within one culture. Of course an individual may continue to evolve and experience life in a variety of environments and socio-cultural contexts, thereby learning new ways of being, of thinking, of moving... new perspectives. I love the word enculturation, and all that it conjures. It speaks to me of education and enriched living. It implies that every experience gives us something, teaches us something, and is therefore valuable in who we become.
"The common goal of anthropology is to advance knowledge of who we are, how we came to be that way, and where we may go in the future." (Dr Aaron Denham)
It is this goal that has brought me back to uni at the ripe old age of 37. To advance my knowledge of who we are, how we came to be that way, and how I might be able to change directions in health in the future.
Thank you lecturers and tutor. You have all inspired me.
May you too, dear blog reader, also be inspired in all that you are experiencing.