Artifact 4: Observing People


Goal: Investigate how physical appearance affects definitions of identity and belonging.

The first person that caught my attention was a young women who was sitting a few tables away from me. She appeared to be studying for some sort of test or something like that. She was wearing a rain jacket with a purple and green scarf. While I was watching her two people who she seemed to know approached her. They seemed to be friends but after a couple of minutes it seemed as though she was a tutor of some sort or perhaps a GTF. The assumption’s that I was able to make of her was that she was probably an upperclassmen. She appeared to be a nice person because she was helping out what appeared to be a foreign exchange student. I would think that she would tend to have more liberal beliefs because he shorter haircut and way that she dressed. Yet she while she was helping this foreign exchange student she seemed to always be positive.

The next person that caught my attention was a man who was eating his lunch. What drew me to him were the long dreads that he had, they went all the way down his back. He appeared to be here just to eat and as soon as he was done with his sandwich he left. The assumptions that I could make of him after observing him were that he was probably an upperclassman. I base this off the fact that he was eating Subway and seemed as though this was a normal routine. I would also make the assumption that he is quite liberal-minded especially when it came to the environment. I can say this because the t-shirt that he was wearing had a recycle logo on it. He looked like he was in good health and probably enjoyed the outdoors.

The final person that caught my attention was a man wearing a white Oregon hat. The hat was what initially drew my attention. He appeared to be eating his lunch, which consisted of yogurt and a pear. He also had one of his textbooks out so I assumed that he was studying for an upcoming test. He was wearing a Nike windbreaks and looked like he could perhaps be an athlete for our sport team. Another assumption that I could make of him is that he is health conscience due to what he was eating and then his athletic apparel. He was here for only until he was done eating which lead me to believe that he had a class or something pressing. He also was one his phone texting a lot which could be because he was talking to a friend or perhaps a girlfriend.


The main thing that I got from this assignment was just how the way you dress can define you or put you into a group of certain people. By this I mean that the way you dress says way more about you then you will ever realize. I spent an hour just sitting watching people go about there lives around me yet during that hour I feel that there where people who just by watching them i could start to understand who and what they where about. One of the major things that lead me to these conclusions where the way that they dress. Your cloths speak volumes about you, when you wake up you choose certain cloths because of how you feel or how you want to appear. This is then translated into how and what you could be all about.

The one thing that I will take away from this unit is how many preconceived notions I have. I knew that I had stereotypes in my mind but it wasn’t until this unit that I realized just how many I had. This unit has taught me that I need to stop judging people by just their looks.



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