The normal me is a basketball loving, laid-back, shy individual. I am very anti-social and I am not very comfortable meeting new people who have different interests and hobbies than mine. When I do associate with those that are completely not my type of people, I tend to create an awkward situation with people who are different than me.
For this activity, I would still be meeting a lot of new people who are totally different than I am, however, I would actually be pretending to be just like them. I wanted to create a test or experiment, to see if I would be able to be more comfortable than I usually would be, step out of my comfort zone, and not create awkward situations.
I decided to take my experiment to a different area, that was not Long Beach. I ended up going to the city of Irvine, a new environment, new people, and a perfect place to be different, especially near the UCI campus.
My first “Counterfactual Identity” would be to dress up as a surfer/beach-guy. I do not usually wear Hawaiian Quicksilver shirts, board-shorts, and Rainbow Sandals, and it was absolutely embarrassing with my sock-tan showing. I was actually in a Surf shop looking around at wetsuits and surfboards, when I met a UCI sophomore named Krzel. She too, was looking at the surfboards, and I asked if she surfed often. She then assumed I was a very good surfer, since I was taking a look at “short boards” which apparently are much more difficult to ride. Krzel also immediately assumed I was a Business major and she guessed my name was Aaron… I guess Filipino surfers at UCI are typically named Aaron and are business majors. It was pretty funny when she started to talk all about surfing, I was completely lost. I had no clue how tall good waves should be, or which beach is good to surf at, what a barrel is, etc etc. She definitely responded to me as if I was a surfer and I did my best to pretend I was.
I actually tried another experiment. This time i tried to dress as a dancer. And i got the same results as the surfer experiment. A group of very cool dancers saw my RIF LA shirt, and very nicely welcomed me into their dance workshop. They asked how long i have been dancing, what crew I was in, and if I was from around here. I told them I hurt my ankle, so that I wouldn’t have to dance, because I am a horrible dancer. The group was absolutely funny, and I met two guys named Carlos and Gabe who are both amazingly cool dancers. They guessed my name to Jeremy, which is actually really close to my actual name. It was real fun to meet them. But again, I got lost when they talked about popping, and ball-changes, and whatever else dance lingo
From this activity, I had a lot of fun meeting new people outside the basketball and Long Beach world. I most definitely received a different response than I usually do and I also acted a different way than normal. Overall, this was a very fun and great activity. I met several cool new people at UCI who thought I was just like them. When I revealed my interest was actually basketball and not surfing or dancing, they still accepted me and laughed at my experiment. This was a great activity.