Travel Log 13 “Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Storytelling” by Nicholas Daniele. Split, Croatia

Community based rituals are not something that I have previously thought of before. In the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice reading that we were instructed to read, I highlighted several parts that stood out to me. The authors talk about the importance of community based rituals, and their importance in adolescent development in regards to rights of passage. Blumenkrantz and Goldestein state that “adolescent development is connected to a community development process rather than being seen solely as an intra-psychic phenomenon” (Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice). This “adolescent development” necessary in order to make seamless transition into adulthood – a right of passage. What the authors talk about in the journal is not the passage itself, but the lack of assistance in the transition in American society.

First, it is important to note how the authors describe their view as to what a right of passage is. The author’s definition is: A modern day rite of passage is achieved when parents and the community create and participate in experiences which are perceived to be transformative by youth and, in fact, offer them increased status within the community and facilitate their healthy transition through adolescence (Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice). This is important to note because this is where they say the problem lies in American society. This is where I found the journal to be very interesting. In the United States the rite of passage to adult hood is not clearly established, and the journal talks about it. They say that when a child becomes an adult is not clearly defined, which removes the significance of the rite of passage. An important quote that I found said that “the ages at which youth receive certain adult privileges…are rather arbitrary and are not related to any actual competencies or maturity on the part of the individuals who gain those privilege” (Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice). I agreed with everything this quote and journal had to say. It makes no sense that I can join the military at age eighteen, but cannon have a beer until I am twenty-one? When am I an adult? Technically speaking you are an adult when you are of eighteen years, but it doesn’t feel like that. The transcendence from boyhood to adulthood is unclear – the passage is unclear, and I don’t like that. Reaching adulthood does not feel as rewarding as it should because it is so divided.

It is now time to talk about the digital story. The one that I connected most with, surprisingly, was the girl in Paris. Initially I was not too interested in it, and found it quite slow. I still do find it slow, and my digital story most likely will not be similar, but that’s not the point. I connected with this one because it highlights the little things that happen every day that we take for granted. It made me think about what tiny conversations I wont be able to have anymore when I return to the states. For example, she talks about an old lady she lives near. They periodically talk about the trees and the flowers… how they are changing throughout the weeks. Eventually she comes to the conclusion that she will no longer be able to have those small talks. That is similar to me in Barcelona. More than I like to admit, I get a croissant for breakfast from this cafe next to the metro stop. I help an local named Buddy who works behind the counter with his English. He helps me with Spanish and he helps me with Spanish. I won’t be able to continue that relationship when I return home. This digital story made me realize that. I think I am going to include rituals, change of appearance, and celebration of status in my digital story. These are the ones where I can visually show through my experiences while abroad. I think they are going to make my digital story a lot more engaging than if I would have use most of the other ones.

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