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Guelph Icons: Visualizing Together

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 4, 2001
Latest update: September 4, 2005
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These icons were meant to give you some color and shape, and to lend authenticity to feelings in academic work. I've tried to give you both the original and the finished drawings. Enjoy. And feel free to play with them until they become your own. jeanne January 9, 2001.

Sunday, September 4, 2005:

We've used them for years at odd moments, in odd places, and then, last Thursday as we spoke of our confusion over how to respond in catastrophe, when we know that there are bad people, mean people, who take advantage of the catastrophe to their own advantage, like the oil companies gouging the whole country as oil refineries tumbled, and people who raped and terrorized victims who couldn't escape their fiendish behavior. But we also know there are good people, caring people, who want desperately to DO SOMETHING, to make it better for those we see suffering.

It is unseemly at a time like this to worry about whose fault it is. There will be time for that later, even though you've heard me seething. It's my home town. But as we struggle to put away our anger, as Mayor Nagin just reminded us on CNN, there is so much yet to be done. I know he's trying to find some refuge for his police and firemen. I know he was trying to find space for them in Las Vegas. I guess that's still not done. Maybe we can somehow help with that.

But for now, we need to visualize together a way to make our world lovable again. And that made me remember our guelphs and propose to the Love 1A class that we create a guelph world this semester. I've pulled together lots of the guelphs from our site, and now I need to explain how a guelph world works.

  • We find teeny little frogs, or tiny cards with guelphs, or a flower, or a card, or even a plastic flower. It doesn't matter so much what it is, as just something.

  • We give that little something to another person, a friend, a loved one, a stranger, and with it we tell them that this is a tiny guelph from the guelph world, a lovable world designed to make them feel happy and loved.

  • We ask them to keep it, or to pass it on to another to invest in the love for each other in this world.

  • We make as many little guelphs as possible, in whatever shape we can make or find them, and give them to us many friends and strangers as we can.

  • And then by mid-semester, we'll do a survey and see how many people we can find on our campus who know about our guelph world.

Lear would explain this, I think, by saying that we invest in the parts of the real world that we see as good. We invest our love energy, for loving is part of sexuality is part of reproducing is part of bearing and protecting those of the future. Our selves are created in interaction with the world context in which we live, so that as we invest love, our selves become more loving. And as more of us invest love in the communal world in which we live the more lovable the world altogether.

Some guelphs from 2001:

    This one started from a need to jump for joy and excess energy. Must have been thinking of Michael Planck, cause I definitely started with his hair. But it ended up on his feet! I think it relates to identity because I was trying to find one, bouncing back and forth between the site and an enticing professorial discussion of Habermas and Freud. I didn't know which to play with! So I guelphed!

    My first guelph. guelphbw01.gif.
    That's a profile, Michael looking up! Quickly I colored him:

    and added another:

    And then there were three:

    Identity Crisis: Happy, peace loving, intense, and a toussle
    of spiky hair that slipped to his ankles like Mercury's hmm . . . ankle wings???

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