This has been on my mind recently for a number of reasons. One is that I asked the students in one of my classes to write on the theme of "Identity and Language". I haven't finished reading their compositions, but from those I have read it's easy to see there are many different ways to interpret the connections between how or what we speak and our sense of self. Also, the other day I received a request to fill out a survey about identity and ethnicity. Our obsession with ethnicity is a curious phenomenon. On the one hand, I believe few of us want to be defined by our ethnicity. Who wants to think that their self can be reduced to some kind of predetermined category? On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that our genes, some of which determine how we look, don't have some role in who we are. It's the grand question, and Cervantes had great fun with it at the beginning of his masterpiece when he has Don Quijote respond to Sancho's doubts about their adventure in playing at chivalry with a definitive: "I know who I am!" Hmm, do you think? When I was much younger I think my sense of self had more emphasis on a strong sense of independence. I was quite fond of the Emerson quote "nothing can bring you peace but yourself." I think today I see it a little differently. I'm quite happy to feel more connected to and more dependent on others. (Most everyone around me makes me "look better" than would otherwise be the case!) Funny thing: this morning I found myself wondering about this question and I was thinking "well, normally I think in English", but at that particular moment I was thinking (ok, maybe thinking is a stretch...) en español: normalmente pienso en inglés. Ironic. "Identity theft." Yes, I know what they mean when they talk about that and no doubt it can be a real headache. Yet, it doesn't fail to make me laugh: the thought of being robbed of something we ourselves cannot "fix" with any certainty. Maybe what we mean is theft of identity representation. How well does my name and photo represent me?