we've been exploring our imaginary garden for a little over a year and half here, creating an imaginary place (the garden)* within an imaginary space (the internet).*
besides traipsing through the central paths of the cactus garden, we've been hanging out in the anthroscope a lot, watching clips and hiding from hot afternoons in the cool, stuccoed observatory.
we've been reading fiction on fridays in a small, shaded, grassy amphitheater.
we've tried out a few of ms. m.f.k. fisher's in an open-air, vine-wrapped sukkah.
we've created an outdoor gourmet gallery, leaning pictures against plants and watching the sun bleach the colors white.
we've watched packs of links roam and graze through the gardens, sometimes stretching out on rocks to sun like lizards.
the imaginary place we've stumbled into today is the undergrad garth.
it looks kind of like the picture above: nicely manicured, classically detailed.
there are small alcoves with benches along the sides.
the heavy greens contrast strangely with the sandy and orange hues of the main cactus garden.
it's a walled garden, but the wrought-iron gate is rusted and creeping vines have lashed it open so anyone can wander in or out.
the undergrad garth, as an imaginary space, is a place to look back and sort through terms, ideas, people, and places. it's a garden to share basic ideas to create a collective understanding.**
we'll only do a little exploration today, weeding out a couple of terms to start our collection, but we'll come back every other monday or so to look around a little more.***
both plants are hardy standards from the anthropology genus.
cultural relativism is the idea that each culture is unique and distinctive, but that no one culture is superior to any other culture. in other words, it's regarding a culture on its own terms. (an alternative link for this definition is here.)
culture shock is the realization that other people do things differently and one's own culture is not "natural." culture shock often marks the initial stages of fieldwork for anthropologists and its successful mediation can determine ongoing ethnographic work.
* that sentence is considerably more aesthetically appealing when you ignore these inserts. just thought i'd point that out there for you.
** in other words, i've been meaning to sort through all of my undergrad notes to see what's worth saving for a long time and am just now finally getting around to this daunting task.
*** you'll notice that a lot of my definitions and such are amalgamations since they're based off of old notes that i haven't read in years. when possible, necessary, or interesting, i'll try to link through to official definitions or sources. in these cases, wikipedia might actually be our friend...