April 23, 2024

Loquendo nos ostendimus

Author: Wesley Fryer
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I have updated my Twitter header image to include a statement in Latin which I’ve been thinking about now for several years:

Loquendo nos ostendimus

Latin phrase translated by Brianna Titus

Our wonderful 7th grade Latin teacher, Briana Titus, translated this idea for me into Latin. In concise and elegant language, this means:

by means of speaking we reveal / show / demonstrate ourselves / our qualities / who we are

Twitter header image byline of @wfryer

Of course I am familiar with and largely in agreement with the proverb, “Actions speak louder than words.” I have learned, however, that words can be both insightful and instructive in the quest to learn who someone is, what someone’s values are, and what lies in their heart. If we seek to understand others better, we must pay attention to both actions and words.

I’ve observed that particularly in stressful situations, when “the chips are down,” we can learn more clearly what is inside someone’s mind and in their heart by listening to their words. In those moments, when adrenaline is flowing and cortisol levels are elevated, the “masks” and “filters” through which some people routinely operate can be lowered. In those moments, we can gain much deeper insight into the character of another person.

As a digital literacy teacher, one of my primary goals for students is to help them become more fluent, effective and responsible media communicators. “Literacy is the sharing of meaning via symbols.” Using this definition, I understand the Latin phrase, “Loquendo nos ostendimus” to mean as we express our ideas through text, images, videos, and other forms of media, we share and reveal who we are to others and the world.

Here are some questions related to literacy, identity and media to ponder and perhaps pose to your students:

  1. What do the images, videos, text messages, and other media symbols you share with others convey about your beliefs, character and identity?
  2. How do you aspirationally project your identity to others?
  3. How have the symbols of your identity which you share with others changed over the past few years?
  4. Share about a time when someone has said or shared something in a stressful time which gave you new insight into their character and/or identity.

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