Character Connections – January 2008
Individuality – Amelia Earhart
#1 Student: (“flying” around the front of room with arms out like a plane) Guess who I am?
#2 Student: The Little Airplane that Could?
#1: No. I’m a person -- one who really did a lot of flying.
#2: One of the Wright Brothers? The Red Baron? The President of the United States?
#1: (stops “flying”) No, no and no. But you’re getting closer. I’ll give you a big clue – I’m a woman.
#2: So you’re a woman who spent a lot of time flying. Hmmmm. I give up. Just tell me.
#1: Okay. I was trying to get you to guess AMELIA EARHART – the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic. That was 1932 – a time when men mostly dominated the air industry. She’s what you’d call a real individualist – someone who stood out by being herself.
#2: An individualist, huh? Does this have anything to do with our character connection trait this month? I know it’s INDIVIDUALITY. But I’m not exactly sure what INDIVIDUALITY means. Everybody is a separate individual, so shouldn’t everyone possess INDIVIDUALITY?
#1: You make a good point. Everyone is unique, but not everyone is happy being unique. Haven’t you noticed that there are an awful lot of people who try to be just like someone else? You know, follow the crowd. They’re missing INDIVIDUALITY. I guess you could say that it’s really being comfortable in your own skin.
#2: So Amelia Earhart felt comfortable in her own skin?
#1: Did she ever! Unlike other young girls of her generation, her mother sometimes let she and her sister wear pants while they were growing up. You could say she was a bit of a tomboy – climbing trees, hunting rats with a .22 rifle, “belly slamming” down sledding down hills. She also kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in predominantly male-oriented careers such as the film industry, law, advertising, management, and mechanical engineering.
#2: So if we want to have INDIVIDUALITY we should be like Amelia Earhart?
#1: No, silly! You can’t have INDIVIDUALITY by being like someone else. You have to be 100% yourself.
#2: I think I’m getting it. If I want to demonstrate INDIVIDUALITY I simply be my own, wonderful self. That’ll be easy. I’ll eat nothing but _______________________, only wear clothes that are my favorite color – _____________. And since I have to wear shoes, next time I buy a pair I won’t bother to consider what’s fashionable or cool. I’ll just walk up and down the aisle waiting for a pair to call my name. Who knows, maybe a pair of rubber farm boots will shout, “Hey, ___________________ let’s go tromp through some mud/puddles.” Yes-siree, INDIVIDUALITY is definitely for me! (Tromp off the “stage” pretending to wear rubber boots.)