Village Life

Oliver Bachman gets into the spirit of name tag week. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Name Tag Week is here!

Yellow Springs is both larger and smaller than it seems. It’s hard to walk downtown without seeing a familiar face, and at the same time there are hundreds – probably thousands – of people here I’ve never met.

The idea for name tag week came from a simple desire to make more strangers acquaintances, and more acquaintances friends. It’s a modest attempt to build community by making our daily interactions in the village a more personal and fun.

Whether we crave more anonymity in a village that sometimes seems too small, or strive to someday be a local icon, one thing is universal – everyone likes a be greeted with a smile and a “hello.” Already Yellow Springs is among the few places this can still happen. The only difference is that during and perhaps after name tag week, we can be greeted with our name too.

It was suggested by anthropologist Robin Dunbar that we can maintain social relationships with no more than about 150 people at any given time. In Yellow Springs I believe we defy that statistic. At least we can give it a try!

So pick up a copy of this week’s News containing a sheet of stickers, get out your sharpies and join in the fun. A new friend is just a name tag away.

Other fun things to do during name tag week:

  • Make name tags for people who aren’t wearing them to test your knowledge of people’s names and interests. See how well you know the village!
  • Say “hello so-and-so” every time you meet someone wearing a name tag. Keep track of how many people you talk to and brag to your friends.
  • Make name tags for your babies, pets, bicycles, laptops… anything!
  • Write something in the “ask me about” section that you’ve never told anyone before.
  • Take pictures of you and your family wearing your name tags.
  • Throw a mixer in the 1950s style of the name tags. Invite random people you meet on the street.

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