tattoo

Post Online Interview: E-mail

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

My expectations going into this interview were to find out more about tattoos and about the way people with tattoos get treated. The interview with Carol was similar to my expectations in that she answered each question that I had asked with a thorough response. When comparing online interviewing with in-person interviewing, I noticed that e-mail interviewing lends itself to getting clear-cut answers. Since the questions are directly in front of the person, it is convenient for them to shape their answer around the inquiries. Without me contributing anything to the discussion, which is what I did in the in-person interviews as suggested in Postmodern Interviewing, Carol was able to keep the focus entirely on her background with tattoos without pausing or being influenced in any way by my contributions to the conversation. What was different from what I expected about the interview was that Carol told me something very personal when discussing the tattoos that she had. I felt honored that she shared that information with me. I am not sure if I would be comfortable telling a stranger something about my personal life, and I appreciated the fact that she did that with me.

From the interview (which included a follow-up e-mail), I learned that Carol is a pediatric nurse who does not have tattoos in visible areas. While she wants more tattoos (she currently has two), she would not get them in visible areas. When she indicated she had to refrain from getting the tattoos in visible areas, I asked a follow-up question about whether or not it was written in their policy for tattoos to remain hidden. She indicated that her work does prohibit visible tattoos and that failure to recognize this policy could result in a loss of her job.

While I do not have any more follow-up questions for Carol, I have spoken with several proponents of tattoos in the workplace (Carol being one of them.) I would like to speak with someone who disagrees with tattoos in the workplace and have a discussion about why. Therefore, I hope that next I will speak with an employer or business owner and dig deep about their policies and the reasoning behind them.

What was successful about the interview was the depth of information with which Carol provided me. She answered my questions succinctly and generously tuned me into the meaning behind her tattoos and ideas for future tattoos. In regards to strategies discussed in Postmodern Interviewing, “From the Individual Interview to the Interview Society” discusses a type of asymmetrical encounter in which “participants have different functions: One side asks questions and records information, and the other side provides answers to the questions asked” (37). In this case, an e-mail interview can certainly be considered “asymmetrical” since both sides, or “participants” are not engaging on a multi-level conversation. Instead, there is a set list of questions to which the respondent offers information. I do feel that this worked out well, as Carol enlightened me with many things about her life as a nurse with tattoos and the significance of each tattoo.

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

Drilling Down the…Drills?

Taking a different spin on tattoos, I delved into scholarly articles that were, well, scholarly. In the following blog post, I analyze three different articles that begin by discussing tattoo kits used in Maori culture and ultimately end up with cutting instruments of Maori culture. They each cite one another, and I will comment on their similarities and differences.

The first article, “Tattoo in Transition: A Post-European Maori Tattooing Kit” by J.B. Palmer is found in The Journal of the Polynesian Society and was published in 1958. Outdated? It would appear so. Until I turned the cover page and read the material. The article focuses on the “period of change in post-European Maori culture” (387) and discusses how the European invasion influenced the culture of the Maori in relation to their “technologies,” or tools, at that time. The article gives an in-depth look to the tattooing kit of the Maori (and presents a diagram of this) and how the tattoo kit changed due to European influence, noting that the invasion “resulted in the disappearance of men’s tattoos” (389). While the article provided definitions for each tool, it also delved into the significance of each tool.

To spin off of this article, Palmer then cites the second article I read, “Terminology for the Ground Stone Cutting-Implements in Polynesia” by Peter H. Buck, Kenneth P. Emory, H.D. Skinner, and John F.G. Stokes. It was published, too, by The Journal of the Polynesian Society and appeared in 1930. Again, seemingly outdated, but since the time period they are studying is in the past, the information they disseminate is relevant today. The first article cites this article by indicating what the definition of a chisel is, as defined by Buck et al. When reading the second article, I noted that it provides definitions of certain cutting implements in the Polynesian culture, such as “edge,” “bevel,” “gouge,” etc. These two articles are in conversation with one another because the first article uses the second as a means to define the significance of the chisel as it proves their topic of post-European Maori culture, and the chisel is a direct example of how the European influence changed their cutting methods. Both of these articles provide a diagram of the different cutting utensils. While seemingly insignificant, using the second article’s definition was critical to the first article’s analysis of the European influence as the definition validated the point they were making.

The third article, “Stone Implements of Pitcairn Island” by Kenneth P. Emory, published by The Journal of the Polynesian Society in 1928,while written first, uses two strategies the aforementioned articles use: terminology and analysis. Emory’s article defines key cutting implements (while, also, including diagrams of each utensil), but then takes that terminology and builds on it to indicate what the tools hint at about the Polynesian culture. For example, after describing and defining “adze,” a cutting tool, Emory elaborates the definition by including an analysis of what the tool indicates: “the apparent prototype of the adze with a tang at an angle to the blade, gives grounds for the assumption that the development of the angled adze took place outside of Hawaii” (126). Here, Emory defines the tool but gives grounds for the greater meaning behind the tool.

All three articles seem to be in conversation with one another because they pool the definitions of the stone cutting tools, yet they deviate in their assumptions of the tools and the greater meaning. Where Buck et al. provide only definitions of stone cutting tools, Palmer and Emory dive deeper and discuss what the tools can show us about history. Palmer takes advantage of the post-European invasion and discusses what the cutting tools suggest about the shift in Maori culture, and Emory analyzes the specific dimensions of each cutting tool and looks towards what it indicates about history. Thus, they all rely on one another for the definitions, but each takes its own unique spin.

I noticed that all three articles refer to sources found in The Journal of the Polynesian Society and did not seem to deviate from different publications. I noted, too, that some of the same authors were reference throughout all three articles, and Kenneth P. Emory contributed to two of the articles mentioned. Despite the fact that Emory serves on two articles, each article is noticeably different in their purpose and implications, and I did not feel that he was saying the same thing in both articles.

 

Online Preparation Post

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

For my online interview, I will be sending Carol a list of questions via e-mail by Wednesday, March 26. I am interviewing Carol because she has tattoos and is not an educator. Since my two in-person interviews are both of people in the education field (a teacher and an administrator), interviewing someone in a different career will provide a new perspective on the issue.

Carol has tattoos of her own, and her son is a tattoo artist. I posted the following Facebook status: “Tattoo lovers! If anyone knows someone with tattoos who would be willing to answer a few questions for my research on tattoos for grad school, please let me know  Thanks!” A colleague of mine saw the status and referred me to a friend of hers, Carol, and Carol’s son, a tattoo artist. My colleague provided me with Carol’s e-mail address, and I e-mailed Carol explaining the circumstance. Carol was all too happy to help and recommended I interview her since her son is extremely busy.

I chose to use e-mail because it works well with both of our busy schedules. After I posted my Facebook status, I had four people (who I knew) respond that they would be interested. Even though I knew them already and could not use them for the online interview, I thanked them and sent them questions via Facebook messaging. I included my e-mail address and gave them the option to send me the answers either through Facebook messenger or through e-mail. Three of them e-mailed me back (I have yet to hear from one person), and I was impressed with how freely they spoke to me about their tattoos. I, therefore, felt very confident in e-mail as the medium for divulging information. As such, in an e-mail, Carol will be able to tell me as much as she wants, and e-mail gives her time to construct her answers as well as the freedom to have some control over her responses.

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

When thinking of the interview in terms of Postmodern Interviewing, the chapter “From the Individual Interview to the Interview Society” points out an interesting concept: the interviewer needs to have a “caring and concerned attitude, expressed within a well-planned and encouraging format.” Much of the research I have done thus far has not necessarily had a “format.” I knew a focus, but there was not an outline. E-mail will lend itself to crafted questions that clearly display a well-planned format. There will still be room for “going where the wind takes me,” in regard to follow up questions.

The following are the questions that I will be sending to Carol. (Depending on her responses, I will also send follow up questions via e-mail.)

  •          Tell me about your tattoos (how many, location, what they are, the meaning behind them, etc.)
  •          Tell me about your experience while getting tattooed (painful, were the tattoo artists friendly, etc.)
  •          At what shops have you gotten your tattoos? How did you find your artist?
  •          What is your career? Has having tattoos affected your professional career? How so?
  •          How do people typically react when they see your tattoo(s)?
  •          Do you ever feel the need to hide your tattoo(s), and if so, in what type of circumstance?
  •          Please tell me anything else you would like that were not included in the questions.

I am asking these questions to gain insight into many different things. First, the question I have asked throughout all of the interviews (online, in person, or during conversations during outings) is how tattoos have affected their professional careers. Using this as an anchor question helps me to see a spatial relationship of tattoos in the workforce. As tattoos in education is a focus for my feature, it will be beneficial to get a plethora of answers on the issue. All of these questions will provide an insight into a topic where there is still much to learn.

Post Interview Reflection: In-Person

As a teacher, I know that I can plan the best lesson possible. I can plan a lesson with all the bells and whistles. I can plan a lesson with frills and thrills and anything in-between. And the lesson can fall flat on its face.

I expected the interview to flow freely. I thought that once we started the conversation, ideas would come spewing out and thoughts would zoom around the room. Looking back, I had grandeurs plans about the amount of information I would acquire.

It was not that the interview was bad, or even disappointing. When I walked in the room, my colleague was in the middle of grading homework. This grading continued throughout the entire interview, so right away I felt that I was intruding on her time. Right off the bat, I felt somewhat uncomfortable. Even though we have had thousands of conversations in the past while she was grading homework, this time it felt different. I expected us to sit down together and have a conversation, a sharing of thoughts and ideas.

I respected that fact that we both have numerous assignments to grade, so I did not take it personally. After all, contrary to what the youth of America thinks, teachers do not, in fact, live in their classrooms and actually do have lives of their own. So, when I saw her grading, I did not take it in the least bit personal. I did not want to ask her to stop grading and come and sit with me because, after all, she was doing me a favor by allowing me to interview her. I attributed her grading during the interview to how busy teachers’ lives are and how much we need every ounce of free time to push through the heavy workload that, contrary to what several adults of America think, is not that much.

Despite the grading, I learned several things from the interview. First, I learned the significance of Krista’s double sleeves: one arm represents a nature inspired theme, and the other arm represents a contemporary Asian theme. When Krista did not further articulate this description, I did not press her, thinking that perhaps it would come up later in the interview. Thinking back to Postmodern Interviewing, I thought that once she felt more comfortable talking about her tattoos, she might share that information with me later on.

During the interview, I found that it was not turning out to be a back and forth conversation like I had planned. Rather, I opened with a question (“Tell me about your tattoos”) and got a very short answer and a long pause. A few students walked noisily by in the hallway, and this reminded me of an incident that had happened earlier in the day that I had wanted to tell her about. As I was approaching this interview with the reflexive dyadic interview in mind, I went ahead and shared my personal feelings (even though it was not on the topic of tattoos, it was still sharing nonetheless). After we exchanged thoughts on the issue, I went back to the topic of tattoos. (In order to maintain professionalism, I am not writing about the conversation we had.)

From knowing Krista as a colleague, I knew that when she first stated teaching, she kept her tattoos covered, the complete opposite of what she does now. I, therefore, asked her what prompted her to keep them covered then but not now? She responded, It was a personal thing. I liked to keep my personal and professional life separate, and keeping them covered was a way to do it. She continued to inform me that, at the time of keeping them covered, she did not yet have a full sleeve, and therefore the tattoos were more “manageable” to conceal since her sleeve was not as progressed as it is now. As her sleeve grew, she found it more difficult to hide. (I noted that today she was wearing a zip-up sweatshirt as opposed to her usual short-sleeve shirts. I was still able to see the bottom part of both sleeves by her wrist.)

I then asked her how parents tend to react to her double sleeves. She indicated that several parents give her compliments on them. She expressed that she has never received a “derogatory” comment about her tattoos and that the parents who are clearly alarmed by them tend to sit and stare but never say anything about them.

I then asked her how students react to them, and she said that typically one of two things happen: either the students are scared stiff about them and do not say anything, or her tattoos make her more accessible and relatable to students, as several of their parents have tattoos, as well. Krista indicated that administrators in the district have never given her a hard time about tattoos. We agreed that there was nothing in our contract under the dress code policy about hiding tattoos, and therefore it would be inappropriate to raise the issue.

At this time, the conversation hit a standstill, and I found myself, again, expressing teaching stories of the day to both break the silence and get the conversation going again.

We spoke briefly about how Disney workers are not allowed to cover their tattoos with a band-aid but must, instead, cover them with make-up. This reminded me of an article I had skimmed through the night before about a new military tattoo rule, and I asked her how she felt about it. She indicated that tattoos are “such a part of our culture” these days that she was surprised that the mindset (of both tattoos in the military and in the workforce) has not become more flexible with it. This prompted me to ask her what she would do if she ever had to interview for a job now that she has double sleeves. She responded that she would keep them covered and wait until she had the opportunity to ask questions and would inquire about what the company’s policy was about tattoos.

We chatted briefly about the age restriction of tattoos. While the legal age to go alone is 18, I told her that I had a student two years ago (he was around fourteen) with tattoos on his wrists, and she indicated that some students will go with their parents, who approve the tattoo.

I then asked her about her husband.  I knew that he had tattoos, but I was not sure how many or of what kind. She informed me that he has one full sleeve and a half sleeve (in the making). I then asked her how she got started with tattoos since she did not have any when they met. She took me though the order of her tattoo artists (three total, including one scary first tattoo artist) and how she found them. I learned that most people find tattoo artist through a friend recommendation or from asking a person they see with a tattoo that they admire.

Despite the fact that each question got a quick response, I am left with one question: Krista had indicated on an earlier day from a conversation that she enjoyed the process of getting a tattoo, pain and all. I want to know more about this idea of pain/pleasure during a tattoo. I am also left with questions for teachers who work in districts where tattoo revealing is forbidden. How do they feel about that? What preparations must they take in order to adhere to the regulations? For a teacher without a tattoo, would he or she consider getting a tattoo knowing that he/she would have to keep it covered for the majority of the day? Speaking with a parent of a student who had a teacher with tattoos would also help gain a different perspective on the issue.

Next, I am hoping to interview a teacher in a different district to get a fresh perspective on what they have to go through. Even if they are allowed to show their tattoos, they are still dealing with a different student/parent population, and it will be interesting to learn about how their tattoos are perceived.

In regard to what I might have done differently, the timing of the interview falls at the top of my list. Perhaps taking a period from the day was not the way to go. Instead, it may have been better if one day we had stayed after school. As we only have one common prep period (third period), there were no other periods during the day to do this. Plus, I did not want to take extra time away from her day, so I thought third period would be a good alternative. I think, perhaps, a period after the grading was done would have changed things. Or, perhaps, a day other than Friday, when most homework assignments are turned in, may have been a better choice. I think, too, that Krista’s personality is not one that jumps out with information. Though she has double sleeves, she can be shy and I think this contributed to the lack of flow, as well. While I tried to keep things flowing with my personal stories, perhaps I could have done things differently. Overall, I learned a lot about her thoughts on tattoos and am incredibly grateful for the time that she dedicated to me to conduct this interview.

 

Made in the Flesh: What I’m Learning

I am a tattoo virgin.

There is still much that I have to learn about tattoos, but I’m gathering information and learning new things each day.

nfl-refs-meme1-600x369I’m a Philadelphia sports fan. Nothing gets under my skin (get it?) more than someone who barely knows anything about football who asks me how many Super Bowls the Eagles have won. Ha, yes, that’s funny. Tell me, what’s a pick six? Didn’t think so.

I’m venturing into this new territory carefully. Never would I want to be the person who clearly lacks knowledge about tattoos who inadvertently comes across as a snarky headache. There is a wonderful possibility that my findings below are the equivalent of someone saying, “Hey! There are nine innings in baseball!” Even if that is the case, I am happy about what I have learned and look forward to grasping even more knowledge.

Having established that tattoos are a new domain for me (other than looking at one and thinking, Ohhhh, that’s pretty!), there are certain aspects that I have learned. They are:

Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo by Terisa Green

Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo by Terisa Green

According to Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo, by Terisa Green, as soon as the skin gets penetrated with pigment, the body does everything it can to rid itself of that pigment. This, of course, makes sense because it is a foreign item entering the body. That bit of information made me realize how complicated getting a tattoo can be in that your body is trying to fight off the very thing the bearer is trying to keep. Still, it reminds me of how fascinating the body is at self-healing and self-cleansing.

Much in the same, I learned that the actual pigment passes through the epidermis and eventually resides permanently in the dermis. Green offers a “Goldilocks” method for this: “So, like Goldilocks, you don’t want it too shallow and you don’t want it too deep. You want it just right” (84). Being a novice, I appreciated the elementary analogy. The precision required here indicates how nervous I might be

Diagram of Epidermis/Dermis, courtesy https://www.google.com/search?q=dermis&biw=1280&bih=666&tbm=isch&imgil=9hSxWokZktRdgM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcS4k8OnUVC31rwKbeeFHz_sFvdwnxlvwlTozY-HEwX22bOi2QyrzA%253B435%253B504%253Biev0U8gBeQvNsM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.medterms.com%25252Fscript%25252Fmain%25252Fart.asp%25253Farticlekey%2525253D2958&source=iu&usg=__xIT2nmsXmpeFOBvZUlfpTmd0iMg%3D&sa=X&ei=av4gU7ywG-LQ0gGqqIG4Cw&ved=0CDwQ9QEwAw#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=9hSxWokZktRdgM%253A%3Biev0U8gBeQvNsM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fimages.medicinenet.com%252Fimages%252Fillustrations%252Fskin.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.medterms.com%252Fscript%252Fmain%252Fart.asp%253Farticlekey%253D2958%3B435%3B504

Diagram of Epidermis/Dermis, courtesy Google Images https://www.google.com/images

if ever in the chair, seeing as I eye my hairdresser like a hawk when she’s trimming my bangs.

Embarrassing as it is to say, I learned…that a hockey game has three periods. No. I knew that. But, I learned that UV rays are damaging to a tattoo. (Stop laughing!) I had no idea how many precautions those with tattoos must adopt when venturing out to the beach or out for a run when the sun is out. If UV rays are dangerous to skin, why wouldn’t they be dangerous to a tattoo? Trying to keep a tattoo out of the sun as much as possible reveals a new respect I have for people with them. It takes a lot of responsibility for tattoos to remain vibrant and bright.

I also learned that people could become allergic to their tattoo ink and that the most common colors to be allergic to are red and yellow. In certain cases, ointments may be enough, but I was shocked to see that some people (though rarely) have to get their tattoo removed because of an allergy of the ink.

5 Odds and Ends Facts about Tattoos

1. According to 10 Fascinating Facts about Tattoos, the classic star logo of Macy’s was taken from a tattoo of the founder R.H. Macy’s forearm from his earlier days as a sailor.

Macy's Star, courtesy Google Images www.google.com/images

Macy’s Star, courtesy Google Images http://www.google.com/images

2. On April 12-13, 2003, Chris Goodwill tattooed Kevin Budden for a record-breaking 33 hours at the Electric Pencil Tattoo Studio in Plumstead, Greater London, UK. Goodwill tattooed eight designs on Budden. (Green 142).

Chris Goodwill tattoos Kevin Budden, courtesy Google Images

Chris Goodwill tattoos Kevin Budden, courtesy Google Images

3. Wanting to sound like an artist and not a plumber, Sutherland Macdonald, a British tattooist, used the word “tattooist” over “tattooer” (Green 117).

Sutherland Macdonald, courtesy Google Images

Sutherland Macdonald, courtesy Google Images

4. Sailors would commonly get a cross tattooed on their back in order to avoid being flogged (Green 28).

5. According to NBA Tattoos, 56% of NBA players are tattooed.

Andre Iguodala, former Philadelphia Sixers forward

Andre Iguodala, former Philadelphia Sixers forward

Despite the fact that I may have stated the obvious for some, the information is new to me, and I appreciate having learned it. Tattoos continue to intrigue me, and this tattoo virgin is excited to continue learning more about them.

As a final thought, according to Green, the indigenous Yurok of Northern California had a saying that a woman without a tattoo looked like a man when she grew old. So there you have it—I look forward to the aging process.

Green, Terisa. Ink: The Not-just-skin-deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo. New York: New American Library, 2005. Print.

Fresh Canvas, Clean Slate

My body matches my research – clean surface, no markings, a canvas ready to learn. Just as my skin is free of stencils and ink, my mind is like a fresh sketchbook: filled with blank pages that soon will be laced with information, insight, and a continued appreciation.

There are several realms and topics within tattoos that I could investigate. This post will sort through ideas that I have in regard to beginning my research. While I intend to organize my thoughts, I am treating this research blog much like I treat teaching: I state now that I am not in control of where my research takes me. Teaching has proven that any amount of planning can always get erased by an outside force–inclement weather, a last-minute assembly, or a brilliant comment made by a student that switches the gears of the entire lesson. Therefore, I am laying out my ideas, but always in the back of my mind is the thought, “This can always get thrown off, and that is okay.”

Behind Door Number One: On Thursday, February 20, 2014 I attended a local workshop in South Jersey with two other eighth grade teachers. The room was freezing, the folding chairs were like sitting on metal bleachers, and the presenters were as fascinating as watching slugs race. The workshop itself was geared towards middle and high school students and attempted to highlight the economic demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers. Essentially, the workshop attempted to deter teachers from suggesting students enter fields such as psychology, philosophy, or any type of liberal arts field because they will not make money, and the need for workers is not present in those fields.

As an English teacher, I rolled my eyes. And yawned. And held my tongue as my field continued to get bashed. However, one topic the presenters addressed was tattoos in the workplace and, more specifically, during interviews. The presenters surmised that having a visible tattoo will eliminate any chance of getting hired because of the level of competition that those without tattoos bring to the table. One of the areas I am highly considering to research is tattoos in the workplace. In what fields is it acceptable to have a tattoo, and one that is visible? In what field is it frowned upon, and in what type of business is it not allowed? And why? What is it about tattoos that scares employers?

These questions lead me to Door Number Two: What images are socially acceptable? And, as such, in what locations on the body does society deem appropriate, and why? Where would a huge spider tattoo on the back of one’s calf measure up against a flower on the top right of the back? While there will be some who interpret each tattoo differently, it seems as though society has deemed certain people with certain images on certain locations as Untouchables. Why?

Door Number Three deals with athletes. I don’t have to have ESPN on longer than thirty seconds before a picture of an athlete comes up sporting a tattoo. In basketball especially (where more skin is exposed than football, baseball, or hockey), players run around the court with their forearms, necks, and legs coated in tattoos. Check out Chris Andersen, “Birdman,” and I rest my case. Why are there so many athletes with tattoos? And why is it acceptable for basketball players to run up and down the court covered in ink when it is not acceptable for business men and women?

Door Number Four attempts to analyze the motivation behind tattoos. What lies behind the need for something to permanently remain on the body? Why do some people memorialize family members while others hop into parlors giggling and saying, “I don’t really know what I want. Maybe a heart or a flower or something.”

As of now, these are the areas that I will most likely focus. Of course, a new idea could completely shift my attention. Bring on the colors. And the Birdman.

Is that spelled E-A-G-E-R or E-A-G-R-E? A look into the world of tattoos.

The classic risqué mermaid that ribbons when the muscle is flexed. The unique Chinese symbol etched on the forearm. The “Mom” surrounded by angel’s wings. Tattoos are no secret. They are a performance. A gripping story that the bearer endures and shares.

Tattoos have always intrigued me. On other people, they are awesome. The intricate detail that speaks volumes. The colors and outlines that mesh into a background transpiring time. They tell a story. A history. On me? There’s more of a chance of the Boston Red Sox offering their star player to the New York Yankees free of charge.

TLC has adopted shows such as LA Ink and Miami Ink. Spike sports Ink Master. A&E’s Inked and Tattoo Highway have blared out among television screens across the country. There is a pressing need and desire of the American public to experience, if only from a distance, the volume of what it means to secure a tattoo. Therefore, there is obviously more to tattoos than the embarrassing “Amber” ex-girlfriend tattoo strategically placed on the forearm that mocks regretful ex-boyfriends.

While I have seen quite a few of the many tattoo shows on television, I have never researched this topic. Like Oz, there is a man hiding behind the curtain of tattoos about whom I want to learn. His tricks, his flashy shows, and his subsequent humbling appearance.

I intend to write a feature article about tattoos. Once I begin researching, I will narrow down the topic. As of now, some of my ideas include the motivation behind tattoos or tattoos in the educational field. As a teacher, I am eager to interview teachers who don tattoos and to ask them about their experiences as such. In my district, teachers are able to flaunt their tattoos; in others, tattoos must remain hidden under layers of clothing. I intend to interview teachers from different districts in both the public and private sector to gain their insight and experiences in the professional field.

A feature article, unlike a work of fiction, will allow for wit, sarcasm, and the boiled down truth about tattoos to take place that may otherwise be lost in a short story or work of poetry. I intend to keep the same voice in which I have written this entry. However, once I begin the researching process, I may find that I need to revamp my genre, and I am open to change and reformation. Tattoos are universal, as there are several tattoo magazines and television shows, and this topic will have an appeal for a larger readership.

This research topic lends itself to several different archives. I plan on interviewing people with tattoos, especially teachers and administrators. As such, there is a teacher in my district who shows off her double sleeves every day. A friend of hers, however, in another district, is not allowed to show any ink. I would love to interview both of them to gain their perspective on this issue as well as other educations in the field.

I also plan on going into a tattoo parlor or tattoo parlors to interview the shopkeeper and tattoo artists. With any luck, while I am there, I can speak with someone getting a tattoo. It is my hope that these interviews will propel me into other realms of discovery about tattoos. In addition, several tattoo magazines exist, and I plan on leafing through them to gather more knowledge about the world of tattoos. This is an open topic that will allow for me to engage in several types of research archives, and these magazines will offer several angles to pursue.

Researching tattoos will be no easy task. Never have I set foot into a tattoo parlor, and I imagine the experience might be something like that of a western—the out-of-towner walks through the saloon doors to find the bar music immediately stopping with heads turning to inspect the unfamiliar face. It will require me to speak to people with deep stories and heartache for each tattoo. While I will attempt to maintain the I-belong-here-face, I will respect the environment and continue to gain insight into an extraordinary atmosphere.

The following are publications that would consider such a work. To begin, Rethinking Schools is a magazine that circulates in all 50 states as well as Canada and internationally. The magazine promotes social justice in the educational field. While several articles are committed to issues of race, tattoos are an intricate part of the social field that would attract readers to the sense of belonging. In addition, Ink Fashion is a magazine that sports the latest trends in tattoos. Huffington Post is a publication that values articles on entertainment. What better place to establish an article about tattoos? The Huffington Post has published several articles highlighting tattoos in entertainment (such as an RIP Brian Griffin tattoo),  and my article would be a good fit with a new twist.

I am eager to come away with a new understanding from this experience. Researching about tattoos will challenge my thinking and allow me to enter a domain quite unfamiliar to myself.