person develops as the results of a multitude of factors including those that are inherited and those that are environmental. The nature-nurture controversy is that nature's heredity is the most important factor in one's life, while others hypothesize that the environment imposes the crucial influence. The objective is to reflect on your experiences and evaluate your character.
Your answers to the following questions can provide greater insight to who you are.
What is your name **KURT**? What is the meaning or significance of your name ***Reference***?
My name is Kurt. The meaning or significance of the name "Kurt," is, according to the web article "Behind the Name: The Etymology and History of First Names," one of Germanic origin, and in fact a German contracted version of another, less common (at least in America) name, "Conrad." The name "Conrad" itself is, according to that web article:
derived from the Germanic elements kuon "bold" and rad "counsel." This was the name of a famous 10th-century bishop from Switzerland. It was also borne by several kings of Germany. In the English-speaking world it has been common only since the 19th century.
All of this came as a surprise to me. Having never before researched the etymology of my name, I always guessed, up to now anyway, that it meant something like "courteous" (as it turns out, according to the article, the name "Curtis," which is English, not German, means "courteous"). I sometimes thought the name "Kurt" might possibly mean something like "abrupt, or impatient," like the English word "curt" (I hoped it didn't). It is interesting now, looking back on both assumptions that somewhat shaped my behavior, I have always tried to be courteous, in case that was what my name meant. I have also tried not to be abrupt or impatient with others in case my name meant that and people would say "His name fits him, he's so short with people." As it turns out, my name means something like "bold counselor," which as a kid I would not have bothered trying to understand.
2. Where were you born?
I was born in Newport Beach, California, north of San Diego but south of Los
3.What is your family background? Who raised you? As you grew up, whom did you consider "family?" Where did you live? Who were your closest friends?
My family background was not entirely happy or stable, I now realize, looking back. I was raised by a single parent, my mother (my father died when I was very young and she never remarried). Often, my maternal grandparents also looked after me. Growing up, I considered my family to be my mother and maternal grandparents, and my mother's two younger sisters, their husbands (my uncles by marriage) and their children, my cousins. We lived in Newport Beach, where my mother's parents also lived. My closest friends growing up were a boy who lived down the street named Gary, and a girl who lived next door to him Darla (until, at about 7 or 8 years old, I started thinking girls were "icky").
4.What schools did you attend? In general, did you feel like you belonged, or did you feel like an outsider at school? Were the values you learned at school similar to the ones you learned at home? Did you feel the need to "leave your culture at home" in order to be accepted at school? Start with high school then college for this question.
A attended Camino High School. Since I was active in sports (football, baseball, track) I felt like I somewhat belonged, at least in those areas, but only when I was actually playing sports. In the classroom it was strange, because I was a very serious student (my mother and grandparents emphasized education much more than sports, and I actually liked school), which (I learned) was unusual for athletes. So I didn't fit in that well with other athletes, because I enjoyed school and put time into it. But I didn't fit in with the smart kids either, since I was an athlete. I think both groups were a little suspicious of me. Also, especially in 10th grade, some teachers thought if I wrote a good book report or aced a math test I had cheated. I remember one English teacher saying something after class like, "You're asking about this?" when I asked about some detail in a book, since athletes weren't supposed to be interested in books, or something like that. College has been much better in that respect, because no one has any assumptions so you can just be who you are. Also, in college it's ok to be interested in learning.
A lot of the values I learned at school were similar to those I learned at home, although some were not. I think a lot of my peers came from more casual homes where there wasn't as much expected of them, especially academically. My mother and grandmother valued education, my grandmother in particular because she didn't get to finish college. My grandfather valued education and sports, in that order. Both my mother and grandparents valued teamwork, cooperation, perseverance, not complaining, etc. You didn't take aspirin for a headache, you just toughed it out, and if you woke up sick you went to work (or school) anyway. I was sent off to school with colds, flu, etc. I had to be immobilized or have something contagious to stay home from school, and then my mother would go get all the school work and I had to do it when I was sick.
My grandparents, my mother's parents, were both from Europe. They grew up poor and came here with a strong work ethic, which they passed on to my mother, which she passed on to me. I think that has made me stubborn, and a hard worker. In high school I worked part-time at one of my grandparents' stores after school. I never thought I had "too much" homework, or "too much" football practice, although most of my peers did. In that one respect, I did have to "leave my culture at home" when I came to school, especially my grandparents' culture. They were completely Americanized, but they never complained about work, or something being hard, or whatever, they just went and did it. They didn't like to hear complaints; it was just "be glad you're in America." My mother was also like that, although a little less so.
My grandfather didn't understand my not fitting with the athletes (or the smart kids) because where he came from you were supposed to be good at everything. In high school ("gymnasium") he was both soccer player and top of class, and no one saw any irony in that. In college, I don't leave my culture at home at all. I think the family background I came from, and even playing high school sports, where I learned endurance, not quitting, teamwork, etc., have been helpful in college.
5.How has your identity been influenced by your race, gender, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and/or social class?
Being a white guy named Kurt I have not had to deal with the racial prejudices many others have to deal with day-to-day. As far as gender, I admit I do fit certain stereotypes, e.g., athletic, and that is also part of my positive self-image. I do not have the stereotypic "sense of entitlement" a lot of white males (many I know) definitely have. I have worked very hard on myself not to develop this, especially since that is very easy for athletes to do, and I do not like that attitude. I was helped early on in this by watching my grandfather, my only male role model, working 80+ hours a week, sick, well, happy, sad, etc., to build his business. My family is Lutheran, and I think that explains a lot of their (and my) core values, e.g., hard work, perseverance, respect for others, independence, e.g., "God helps those who help themselves." But I am not as religious as my mother, who is not as religious as my grandparents. As far as sexual orientation, I am straight, but I have nothing against gays, male or female. Growing up, I did not realize my grandparents were upper-middle class. They worked all the time, never took vacations, didn't drive fancy cars or wear fancy clothes (although they sold clothes retail). My mother did not ever make all that much money on her own (she ran one of their stores) but we never lacked for anything. I attended public schools. I worked to earn spending money, etc. The only difference was when I really wanted something my grandfather got it for me, sometimes behind mother's back. An example was my motorcycle when I was 16, the top of the line at the time. I had 1/3 the money saved, and my grandfather just added the rest because he knew my mother wouldn't know one motorcycle from another.…