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Making Familiar Strange

In: Other Topics

Submitted By bdem27
Words 1094
Pages 5
Beau Demmler
ANTH 1200
September 12, 2012
Making the Familiar Strange Scott Carpenter Skate Park, a place I’ve visited many times since attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. Early in my childhood, I developed an interest for extreme sports, especially skateboarding. I quickly became fascinated with the skating scene and started experiencing the sport and its sub-culture. Even before learning anything about anthropology, I instinctively observed a lot of skateboarders and their unique styles. Having that in mind, I felt that the perfect place to conduct my fieldwork would be at a skate park, a location where I feel at home. As I approached the park, I instantly began to notice certain things, which I had never noticed before. I could here the sound of ceramic ball bearings vibrating though the air as the skateboarders’ wheels rotated along the hard cement. The cement was not any ordinary cement, but rather smooth, dense, and abstract to the eye. It went from flat and level, to an ascending curvature ultimately forming the walls, which the skateboarders rode effortlessly. Each skateboarder had a skateboard, which consisted of a black grip material stuck atop a concave plank of wood with each end of the wood curved upward. Underneath this plank, miniature axles were locked into place by bolts and screws, which allowed for four rubber wheels to be attached. The wheels were able to spin freely because of the ceramic ball bearings inside the wheels. All this technology put into a small plank of wood, ultimately transformed it into a tool in which humans are able utilize and manipulate. As I continuously observed the skaters, I began to develop a new appreciation for the sport. Not only do I see it as a sport anymore, but also an art form. Humans are capable of learning and perfecting almost anything they practice. It was extremely easy to...

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