August 9, 2011

Free To Be Just Me...

Since I'm from the USA, I am sure I often use terms that bloggy friends in other countries may not recognize.   The term "brown noser" was one that was used frequently in my youth.  It was usually in sentences like:

Can you guess what it means?
She's always doing things for the teacher; she's such a brown noser!

Mr. Roberts just gave Karl an extra treat; it must be because Karl's got a brown nose.

You stayed after school to help Mrs. Dubante with an extra credit project?  Geez, you're such a brown noser.

"Teacher's Pet" is a mild term that can compare, but truly it doesn't have to be only with teachers.  It can be with anyone to whom you are perceived as "kissing ass".  The more disgusting explanation of the term is ... you're kissing so much ass you've got a brown nose.  Yeah... gross... but as kids we say things like that and don't really think deeply into the meaning.  It's just a term.

Except, this particular term followed me around for far too long.  So, in exploration of Scrapbooking from the Inside Out's topic of Independence last month, I did a layout following this challenge:

Uniqueness and individuality: What makes you unique? Are you proud of what makes you different, or is it a source of shame for you? Were you ever teased or mocked because of something that makes you 'different'? Did those experiences make you more stronger and more independent or proud of your uniqueness? Is there such a thing as weird?

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence. Ambrose Bierce

The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. Emma Goldman

Please create a LO about what makes you different, and whether you've embraced it. Does it make you stronger to be 'weird' in some way?

For the design twist, use a childish, teasing title...'loser', 'COW-fman', 'bird legs...'; whatever made you cringe! 

Well, I was often called a Brown Nose or Brown Noser (among many other "names"), mostly because I was intelligent and placed in elevated courses. Thus, many of my classmates believed I was weird... a teacher's pet, or a butt kisser.  Well, I'm freeing myself from that... becoming independent of that ... here's my layout:

Journaling: "All I wanted was to fit in and be like everyone else but early on I was labeled "GIFTED" which made me "WEIRD". Just a brown-noser misfit to everyone else." 

There is also lengthy hidden journaling, which I won't share all of here... but I will share this excerpt:  "It took me a long time to accept that I was intelligent, and that being intelligent was not something to be ashamed of. Well into my Thirties, in fact.[...] I dumbed myself down on purpose to try and be more accepted. I really regret that and often wonder what would have happened if I had really fulfilled my potential."

One of my sisters gave me the plaque pictured at the top of the layout and it hangs in my kitchen to this day.  I am not weird.  I am gifted.  So, to all of you out there who ever called me a brown noser... suck it up!  :)

What names have you been called that you have broken free from in your lifetime?

Layout created using Inside Out's July 2011 Independence Kit.


  1. Is it any wonder that we have such a difficult time keeping up in world arena, when American youth essentially punish the gifted for being such and instead want everyone to suppress their talents in order to "fit in" or be popular. Its kinda sad. How do you suppose we get to a place where we celebrate uniqueness and talent and help our youth encourage their peers to strive to be the best...I think the trend of mediocrity has started to turn...but how do we get past this? I love the layout. I for one am glad you have figured out and appreciate your giftedness.

  2. Well, it's not only "American youth" who punish(ed) those who are different. It happens all over the world. The "differentness" varies, depending on culture, but certainly, within the UK we have/had issues with children who are gifted, just as in USA. Children have less inhibitions than the adult world and this extends into how they deal with those who don't conform to their "society rules". Adults do punish those who don't fit it, but in general, they will be polite enough; kids don't worry about politeness - if you dont' fit, they tell you so - bluntly and baldly, often by physical means.
    There is, of course, no shame in being intelligent, creative and intuitive, thoughtful and artistic, altruistic and sensitive... but if the majority don't appreciate your special qualities, you will feel, at best - a bit different, at worst - ostracised. That's not a nice feeling.
    But you know what? "weird"/"different"/"odd" etc is fine with me. And I know it's fine with most of our blog friends too - because we're all "different", but mostly in the same way. For once, we have found our niche and at last, we "Fit"!
    Kai, you're only weird in "the other world". Right here, you fit perfectly and we like you!
    I love your scrap page and you challenge - well done to you!

  3. I was also accused of being a teacher's pet and once a boy I had a secret crush on called me "albino" (very blonde hair, eyebrows, eyelashes). Kids can just be mean. I liked learning and I guess that made me "weird". Now I'm happy to be weird and laugh at the teens who want to "express themselves" by dressing just like everyone else!


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