Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Message on the sign:

January 24 - January 25, 2011
Other signs on the Quad: 
- "Peace Corps"

- "Please Give Blood"
Notable discussions:

Several people came up when the signs were up and in coming weeks to tell me this message had made their day. One faculty member walked by saying, "Nice sign. Nice sign." 

Many said they thought people are told in our society by various sources that there is something wrong with them: the media, parents, teachers, politicians, advertisers, and others.

Some said the sign suggested we need to think about whether there may be something wrong with us we're not aware of.

Most said the message on the sign would apply to everyone. Some said it wouldn't apply to murderers or thieves, but were not sure where exactly to draw the line. Some said it wouldn't apply to Hitler but some said it would, explaining that it is still possible to do bad things even if there is nothing basically wrong with you.

One person disagreed with the thesis of the sign, saying that he had physical deficiencies that made it impossible to say there was nothing wrong with him. He agreed, however, that it was not my place--or anyone else's--to judge whether there was something wrong with him. I realized that my sign could be interpreted as an implicit assertion that there's nothing wrong with me and I asked myself whether I had any right to assert that.

One person said this sign and the previous one ["DON'T THINK"]  imply that what you know already is enough and you shouldn't worry so much about the things they make you learn in classes and stress out; be yourself, be less conformist.

One guy asked what I was doing. I said I was standing by a sign. He asked if I was guarding it and I asked him if he thought someone might steal it. We decided that someone doing so would be extremely ironic.

Some interpreted the sign to mean it was okay to be gay, or that it was okay to be a woman. The woman who thought it meant it was okay to be a woman used a photo of the sign for a project for her gender studies class.

For a complete transcript of discussions with people about this sign (or at least as complete as memory would allow, see here, January 24-25.

1 comment:

  1. To my friend:

    I hope you see like I see
    I hope you feel what I feel
    You're someone to stand beside me..

    Whether you see or whether you don't - you are beside me
    Whether you feel or whether you won't - you are beside me..

    Sergei and Timophey from Russia (Zhukovskiy)