Deep Cultural Exploration By: Bethany Glessner

My name is Bethany Glessner. I grew up in a small town with my four siblings and parents. I was very active in sports and activities throughout my life and still enjoy those things. I decided I wanted to be a teacher because of my mom. She is also a teacher and has been very inspiring to me throughout my life. Not only has my mom been a big impact on my life, but my whole family. We are all really close and they are all extremely important to me.

Surface Culture:

I grew up in a white family and community. It was an extremely rural area as well.

My ancestry is something I've been very interested in recently. My mom's family came from Germany in the mid 1800s, and my dad's family I've traced back to the 800's. The part of his family I know came from England in the early 1400s.

I would consider my family to be a part of the middle working class. I don't think it's the best place to be because we had enough to get us by, but we understand you have to work for what you want. You don't just get things handed to you. I think it helps you keep a level head.

All of my siblings are in college or have graduated college, and my mom and dad both went to collage. My mom went and graduated from K-state and my dad went to a technical school.

I don't recall hearing any family folklore stories growing up. My grandparents, except for one grandpa, all died either before I was born or when I was young so I don't have many stories from them and my parents didn't really tell me any stories.

Shallow Culture

In my family, we don't really show emotion like many people. If you're sad, you don't show it. You go take care of it in private and move on. We also aren't very lovey-dovey or any of that. We are more sarcastic and upbeat, but not mushy or emotional.

I think my community was much like others where people enjoyed good-looking people. However, since it was such a small town, the social aspects might be different. The people whose parents are from there are the popular ones. There are groups of families who have been there for years. Those are the ones that thrive socially. My mom and grandpa both graduated from the same school as me, and we live in my mom's childhood home so we were definitely part of that culture.

I have always been raised to respect everyone, especially teachers, coaches, adults. It seems like common sense to me to respect someone older than you, even if they are below you on the work chain or whatever the case may be. I also believe in respecting everyone though.

When I was younger I didn't really talk to many adults except teachers and aunts and uncles. My aunts and uncles I called by their first names, but obviously I did not call my teachers by their first names.

Things in my family that got me shamed would be if I did something to get in trouble with the law. That was very frowned upon. My family is also very conservative, so if I were to be caught with a boy, I would have been in a lot of trouble for that as well.

My parents didn't allow me to talk back or question them, however, as a curious and sassy child, I did it anyway. I often got in trouble for it though and knew I wasn't supposed to do it.

Deep Culture

Learning Behaviors Every Student Should Exhibit:

motivation, interest, self-determination, self-discipline, curiosity, patience, understanding, respect of others, self and property, inside voices,

I think all of these behaviors are things that my family have instilled in me. I think students, no matter what race, ethnicity, or gender should be able to sit down, motivate themselves, and do what they need to do.

When I think of intelligence, I think of someone who is well-rounded. It's someone who isn't only smart in school, but also has a good, level head on him or her. I think they should be street smart as well as book smart as well as people smart. I think intelligence is partly set when you're born, but I think the way you grow up has a lot to do with it. I also think each person as an individual has the choice to want to learn and to want to be successful too. Those people who have that self discipline and determination are the ones that become intelligent. I've grown up being told that if I want something I have to get it. If I want to do something, then I need to do it. I am the only one in charge of what I'm doing, so if I want to be intelligent, then I need to do what it takes. I think that is the main factor in intelligence. I do know for a fact that some people are just born smart. They are born with the ability to understand and grasp concepts more quickly than others. I have seen this in real life. I have also seen people who were born smart, but who don't care and waste it. It all comes back to that self motivation and determination.

What truly shapes and drives you?

While going through and answering all of these questions, it has become clear to me that the one quality that was driven into me by my family was self-motivation. I think it might be partly because my parents didn't have much time to sit around and play with us or entertain us. We had to play with each other. Playing with siblings, you learn at a young age that you have to fight for what you want. You are the only person who can get the things you want done. I think that has truly shaped me into being the self-motivated person I am today. I think if everyone realized that you're the only one in charge of your destiny, the world would be a much more productive place.

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