Friday, February 18, 2005

Tooting my own horn


he other day, I wrote about enjoying simplicity, and mentioned detachable's monochromatic photos, which I really love. I also said that a recent profile pic she had up was rather scary. Barberic said:

i bet you hurt detachable feelings.

Ack! I hope you're wrong! I wasn't talking about her current pic. She had a pic of herself that she edited, copying half of her face, flipping it over into a mirror image of that half and attaching the two halves together creating a completely different face. It was not the face of the adorable Detachable I have grown accustomed to. That's what I was talking about. Detachable, baby, I hope you didn't take it the wrong way!

Over a week ago, I also wrote about not being musically incined, and ydurp left me a comment that got me thinking--always a dangerous thing, dangerous because I only have a limited supply of brain cells remaining, having stupidly killed--and still killing--them by the buschel every time I reach for a cold one. Anyway, she wrote:

This is sort of a personal comment and since I hardly know you it may not be appropriate, but it saddens me to hear you put yourself down. I notice it a lot and since you seem like such a cool guy to me, I don't get it. Maybe it is a cultural thing and it is gracious to be humble. But I think you should toot your own horn more, or should I say strum your own guitar, more.

Hmm... This is a tough one. I'm not the kind of person to toot my own horn, I mean, not frequently at least. I have heard that some consider me to be quite self-effacing, and that is perhaps a cultural thing. I had always been taught not to brag or talk about myself in tones that could be misconstrued as "self-important." Of course, I realize that in today's world, self-promotion can be a crucial tool in interviews and certainly in careers. Indeed, I have been made aware of this all too painfully in recent years when I was not recognized for contributing my share. It was painful and I was rather depressed most of last year... Not that anyone would have been aware of it. I have always considered myself a clown, one who is always smiling in spite of what might be churning inside.

And yet, I do not see myself changing very soon. How do you change at 49 going on 50? Besides, being self-effacing or self-deprecating often puts others at ease. It is my way of getting them to open up and being up front with me. This is very useful when dealing with students. I mean they don't tell me everything--yeah, I had great sex this weekends, or I have herpes... wait, some have told me things like that... I sometimes feel like a surrogate father. Some have found it hard to talk about certain subjects with their parents, but have come to me for advice about "adult" matters. I am flattered but usually give little advice. I just pepper them with what I think might be pertinent questions in the hopes that they will pull out the appropriate answer from within themselves. I too was once young and stupid--maybe even younger and stupider--so I am in not position to give advice.

The point is, I enjoy making others feel comfortable, making them feel good about themselves and, where my students are concerned, and make them realize that someone cares. Well, most of the time. I'm sure they don't feel it too much when they get a quiz from me, the one another techer looked at and thought it was a midterm!

Still, I think Prudy might be a bit more insightful than I'm willing to admit. I think that I may put myself down at times. And to a greater or lesser degree, I think it's the result of the constant indignities I was forced to endure as a minority growing up in the 60s and 70s. It wasn't easy getting beat up for being a Jap, or worse, being ignored. So perhaps the self-deprication is not just an act, but a defense mechanism, a way to put myself self down before anyone else can. Yeah, having a J-Town was definitely a good thing for me.

But lets see if I can toot my own horn... um... well, uh... hehehehhehe. This isn't easy... How about some self-promotion: If you haven't already, you can join a blogring that someone set up for me. It's called Onigiriman Rocks. *blushing* It was set up by a sweet girl named simply_marie when some jerk was jerking me around with lies. As a member of this blogring, you have easy access to many of my loyal readers. Oh yeah, another thing: If you are a member of the Rice Bowl Journal--a blogging community for Asians, mostly Asian Americans--and you come here to read pretty regularly, then why don't you book mark me? Paiky, Hanzo, Zetton_v, sleetse. I know you and others are members at RBJ. Just logon to RBJ, do a search for the O-man, or just go to the Japan directory and click the "Add" button beneath my photo.

Okay, okay, I'm getting embarrassed. This blatant self-promotion is, is, is so antithetical to what I am... sorta, kinda...

Well, whether you join the blogring or bookmark me RBJ OR NOT, have a good weekend anyway. As for me, its back to work. I have lots to do...

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