Multiple Identity Crisis It was the summer before my Junior year of high school that my life changed. My mother, along with my stepfather, younger brother, and sister had moved to Oregon. My older sister and I stayed on Maim, although it took a lot of convincing and persuading my mother that I could handle It she eventually let me stay. I originally lived with my uncle for a few months. It was those few months living with my uncle that I really experienced a change Inside of me. My Uncle, Samson Harp, Is renowned In the state of Hawaii as one of the, If not the, best tattoo artist.
He Is also renowned or his place In the Hawaiian community. Contrary to belief, there are not a lot of people who withhold the knowledge of Hallway language and traditions.. When I went to live with my uncle I learned how to understand the language as well as speak bits and pieces of It. My uncle would bring me along with him to “Hale Mum- which Is directly translated as “the house that moves forward”. Hale Mum Is a “club” In a sense, while at the same time it is also a “do]o”. Hale Mum is a place where Hawaiian can learn their culture and traditions, language, history, fighting, and war strategies, or example.
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Being part of Hale Mum required me to be respectful, humble, selfless, and independent. Learning the language was hard because we weren’t in a classroom with teachers. The elders spoke it and if we wanted to understand what’s going on we had to catch on as fast as we could. Sentence structure, pronunciation, and spelling were completely foreign. I had to learn how to take orders, which I wastewater good at, and know when to submit and let goof my pride. It was a lot of hard work, to make such a big change but it was worth it.
I had to let go of my old says in order to become, what I now realize is, a better person. This was the start of a brand new me, I had grown and shaped a new “identity’ for myself. What is Identity? Identity is the fact of being who a person is. If identity is indeed fact then it is indisputable, it cannot change. If it cannot change then people cannot change who they are, however most of us know of people who change and start to see the world differently. Paul Hillier talks about “genres” in his essay “On Genres as Ways of Being”.
He claims that going through different events in our life and being required o do something out of our norm, in most cases, causes us to change our ways of being in order to meet the requirements of what Is asked of us. Ways of being Is what Heeler says when talking about people’s way of behaving. These different ways of being, or “genres” is “how we are In the world. It Is very Important to have genres and Identities. Genres and Identities, however, are two very different things. What Is that difference between the two and why do we need both? Identity and genre, In my opinion, are two different things.
The need for both are Important, however. How e think and perceive things, how we act, and everything we do make up our Identity. It Is what makes us act, behave, and perceive things differently from other people. Identity helps us to be individual and unique. I believe that identity is simply who we are as people. Genre, on the other hand, I think of as style. Movie or book genres are based on the style of the content. If the content is scary than it is of the horror genre. If the content is all love and emotional than it would be the romance genre. Have multiple genres, I consider the fact that people have multiple genres as well.
My theory about the difference between identity and genre is that we have an overlying identity that defines, in a sense, who we are, and at the same time we have temporary identities that we portray to others, which is our genres. The difference is one is who we are and the other is how we act depending on what is required of us. Hillier explains this when he talks about his shock when he wrote his commencement speech. How he had no business writing that speech and it wasn’t the type of person he was, but he wrote it anyway and it turned out “cogently’ as Hillier put it.
In the last sentence of that paragraph he says, “Writing in that genre gave me, required of me new ways of being in the Hillier talks about how this speech required him to change who he was, not completely, but enough so that he could write in this type of genre. This is my opinion, Hillier is a “putt”, as he says yet, when he was required to write a formal and professional speech he had to change the way he acted and wrote to meet these requirements. He was “called up and out of himself” he had to learn to be different so he could meet those requirements. In short, he learned a new genre so that he may meet those acquirement.
So, I guess you could say that people learn genres to survive. We learn different ways of being so that we can act according to what is required or expected of us. Granted there are most likely people who do not act different around different people and scenarios, but for the most part this is true. For example, a person may be respectful and refined around their parents, while at the same time being a goofball around their friends, and being romantic around their lovers. Genres are simply a way for us to act so we can meet the requirements of how we would be.
I find this to be absolutely true because when I was at Hale Mum I had to learn to act and be different around them, but that wasn’t how I was around other groups that I hung out with. It was a way of being, but not a permanent one, one that I needed to know because it was necessary. One might argue that it wasn’t necessary but more of a choice, however, it was important to me therefore I deemed it necessary. I attempted to explain that we have both identities and genres. Now let us consider if people could have more than one identity and genre.
If how people think and perceive things, how we act, and everything we do makes up our identity. Then we only have one identity. However, those things can change, your perspective the way you act can change, ergo our identity can change. That does not change the theory, however, that we can only maintain one identity at a time, without having a psychological disorder. We change as we grow, and the way we see things and what makes us individual will change and that will be our identity. But genres are how we have to be in the world. How we have to act according to different scenarios.
Arguably this is not always true, but it would be pretty weird if we treated our parents the same way we treated our lovers. Hillier explains the need for different genres in different scenarios when he talks about his AAA meetings “l begin, quite reluctantly at first, to read and write the texts that make me a member of this community'(134). Hillier is reluctant at first about accepting that he needs help and talking about the things they talked about, however, he adapts to his scenario and learns that he has to be a certain way in order to meet the requirements of this squired of me to change and be more humble.
It required me to let goof my pride and take orders, and although I was reluctant at first I eventually picked up this new genre so that I could fit in in this scenario, this “community’. So we have multiple genres and one identity. We are one person and we know many different ways of being to fit into many different settings. We have one identity and multiple genres. One question that really sparked my interest is when Hillier asks, “So when students take up your writing assignments, the genres you assign, how do they need to be in he world? “(140).
Later in that paragraph he says, “Conversely, what do they have to give up to write in a particular genre? “(140). What Hillier is asking is, when students are asked to write in an unfamiliar style or genre what they have to give up, or push to the side so that they may write in the required genre is sometimes very hard. Although Hillier is talking about literature, wouldn’t you agree that people could apply this to life? When people approach different scenarios they have to act and portray themselves differently. They have to give up part of themselves to meet he requirements of that genre.
The same happened for Fan Sheen, author of “The Classroom and the Wider Culture” sheen talks about this conflict of identities when he says, “… My ideological and logical identities. By “ideological identity’ I mean the system of values that I acquired… And by “logical identity’ I mean the natural (or oriental) way I organize and express my thoughts… Both had to be modified or redefined in learning English composition. “(182). Sheen is in school learning English Composition, however he finds himself torn between two identities as he struggles tit the contrast of the familiar and what he is trying to learn.
I crossed a similar path while learning to speak Hawaiian and Japanese. Sheen has to alter his literature identity which he was used to and grew up learning, in order to learn a new writing style, or genre. However, he is struggling to push his old ways to the side. This Just goes to show that a lot of the time people have to give up so much simply to meet the requirements of others. At Hale Mum I had to “give up” my stubbornness and my pride. I had to learn how to carry myself and use the knowledge of my ancestors, owe to be a respectable “Kanata Mali” (Hawaiian) and overall human being.
People, as it seems, have to “give up” quite a lot to acquire a new genre. Well I believe it depends on the circumstances. Changing the way you are is difficult a lot of the time it is hard. Especially when it comes to culture. For example learning a different culture’s language, or values. When learning a new genre you have to give up your old ways in order to learn the new ways. Although I do not believe that you give it up permanently. You will always remember how to use that old genre of yours but you ay not ever use it again, for example, language.
I had to learn a new sentence structure, pronunciation, and language rules for Japanese and Hawaiian. I had to give up everything I knew about the English language in order to learn these languages. However, I will always be able to speak English. Identity and Genres makes up who we are as individuals and how we are in the world. There is a great difference between the two, however a person needs both to be. Genre is directly responsible for how we are in the world. We need all of our genres to properly meet what is required of us. Whether it is literature of life, it is our genres that help us to be who we are.
But what is it that changes when we need to learn a both in order to be, true. But it is not entirely true that we change because of what is required of us. It is not an external force that molds and shapes us into the way we are “supposed” to be. The choice to change is our own. It is our internal instincts that makes us want to change to meet these requirements, so that we may survive. It may not be a life or death survival or anything that extreme, but to survive in our society we must change who we are and learn new ways of being.