12.0011 visions at eleven

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 10 May 1998 22:28:14 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 11.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 12:45:13 -0500
From: Mary Dee Harris <mdharris@acm.org>
Subject: Re: 12.0001 one more than ten

I must respectfully disagree with Willard about the
significance of achieving the age of eleven. While it is an
awkward age in several ways, I remember well my twelfth year
-- when I was age eleven -- as one of serious dreaming and
important decisions! I knew from that year onward that I
would BE somebody, not just somebody's daughter and
somebody's wife and somebody's mother -- all of which I have
been and enjoyed -- but somebody all by myself that people
would know. That Mary Dee Harris, they would say, she's
really something, isn't she? It was the early 50s then so
such dreaming was a bit radical for a girl!

And such dreams I had of riding out with the knights in
shining armor, my own shining too, of course, while the less
adventurous girls (and boys) stayed back at the castle!
Knights had visors so I could hide a bit, the fact that I
was not the usual sort of knight but a GIRL knight!
Another important dream I had was about American Indians and
their initiation rites. I would be brave and smart and live
off the land, as required of all Indian boys, and then for
the ceremony following, I would wear a beautiful soft
beaded leather dress with feathers in my long hair - the
loveliest of all the Indian princesses! You see, when I
was eleven, I wanted it all -- and for the most part have
grown up to get it all!

So let us Humanists not simply notice the tire tracks on our
backs, but continue (or maybe start) dreaming about what we
want to be when we grow up. Maybe we can have it all. At
least we can continue seeing visions of what might be.

Mary Dee Harris

Mary Dee Harris, Ph.D.                  512-477-7213
Language Technology, Inc.               512-477-7351 (fax)
2415 Griswold Lane                      mdharris@acm.org
Austin, TX 78703

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