Identity, or who do you think you are?

Identity, or who do
you think you are?
O What does the word “identity” mean to you?
O What other words (synonyms) can you come up
with to describe the word “identity”?
Examining the Everyday
O Lost for nearly 50 years, a wallet is returned
to its owner, Casimiro Naranjo III, by a
Japanese construction crew.
O Read the story . . .
What do the contents of a wallet reveal
about a person’s identity?
O Imagine how your life would be thrown in disorder if
you lost your wallet. How would such a loss affect
your ability to function normally – at least until you
could replace the lost items? In many ways, our
wallets and purses represent our identity to the
O For instance, like Naranjo, most of us carry several
forms of identification in a wallet or purse: pool or
gym memberships, driver’s licenses, library cards,
ATM cards, video store cards, club membership
cards, school IDs, coffee club cards, discount cards,
and credit cards. Even wallet-sized photos identify
our families and friends.
O This is the nature of identification, yet most
people do not connect their identification to their
sense of identity. After all, what do all of these
pocket-sized pieces of plastic and paper really
say about us? They identify us to others like
bank tellers, librarians, sales clerks, so that we
can make transactions. They help to label us to
O However, for Naranjo, each item in his recovered
wallet helps construct a portrait of his 19-yearold self. Each item has a story to tell about his
identity at that time.
O What stories could someone piece together
about you based solely on an examination of
your wallet, purse, or backpack and its
O For this initial assignment, write a one-page
profile about yourself using only your wallet
or purse and its contents to represent your
One-Page Profile:
O Your profile should answer the following
1. Taken separately or together, how do the
contents of your wallet/purse construct an
image of your identity?
2. What assumptions might someone make
about your personality, values, or identity
based on what you carry in your wallet/purse?
One-Page Profile
O Add a final paragraph that answers this
3. If all they had to go on is your wallet, what
would people miss or be unable to know about
Assignment Instructions:
O Sign on to a computer
O Open up the Hand-Out folder
O Find my name: Brandt, Sara
O Open up the document:
O Follow the instructions from there to know
what to do.
Work Cited
O Latterell, Catherine G. Remix. 2nd Ed. New
York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010: 3 – 4.

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