Walking through the burrow earlier this month, you may have been invited to take a postcard and answer a simple prompt: “I am…” The Multicultural Student Services were set up for a week during lunch to offer students the opportunity to anonymously share something about themselves. The project has been done for the past three years, and this year, the results are displayed in an installation in the SLTC.
The post card project has had tremendous success. 993 notecards from the three year span are a part of the installation. The results of the Hendrix community sharing something about themselves on a small index card are unique and worth viewing; the answers aren’t censored, and they are anywhere from proud, sweet, and inspirational, to blunt, silly, and intimate. Each card leads to curiosity. Some because they make you wonder who would come up with such things on the spot, and some because there is a desire to know more about who might have written something that you relate closely with.
Some cards have beautiful and intricate art drawn in place of words; others have simpler, funnier drawings.
Some speak to identity: “I am a woman in STEM. I am a feminist. I am a proud Latinx. I am non-binary.”
Others speak to attitude and point of view: “I am persisting. I am positive. I am capable. I am unapologetic. I am motivated. I am willing to speak my mind.”
Many of them are funny (or, in some cases, confusing) : “I’m tired of digging these holes grandpa. I am not ashamed to love a lizard. I am a goofy goober.”
Some feel like hesitant admissions: “I am trying. I am figuring it out. I am (a little) stressed. I am soft, and it’s okay.”
Some are upfront about disabilities: “I am deaf. I am borderline and proud. I am bipolar, and that matters. I am depressed and anxious. I am broken, but so is stained glass.”
The best cards, in my opinion, are the ones that show strong values: “I am an aunt. I am a friend. I’m trying to be the good in the world. I am growing to be more.”
And the ones that fuel curiosity and intrigue about the creator: “Ask me WHO I am. I am a rule breaker. I am an enthusiastic clapper and laugher.”
There are many, many more cards that showcase a variety of other things about the Hendrix community. The installation, with its flickering lights and beautiful curtains, is an invitation itself to step inside and take a look at what makes Hendrix unique. Each card represents someone with diverse interests, skills, and values, but the project itself is a projection of what the community looks like as a whole. As individualistic as each card and answer is, any person who looks around for a few minutes will find something that they can identify with. Even if you don’t know who wrote the card, you know that there is another person on campus who is focused on the same goals, worried about the same issues, or caring about the same values as you.