ENC 1101 Bikinis and Tiaras In this passage the author talks about the famous ritual of the quinces celebration. This celebration is something that was invented way back in time in Mexico I believe, this celebration is every Latin girls dream because when they turn fifth teen their supposed to have a big party, is kind of a Cinderella party. Here in Miami the famous quinces parties are very popular due to the high population, of Cubans, Colombians, Mexicans, and many more Hispanic people. This parties have become so popular that families are spending thousands of dollars in this events because their kids go to other quinces and they all want to top their friends parties, some families can’t even afford this expensive parties so what some families who don’t have the financial funds are doing is just paying for their kids to take the quinces pictures, which at the end is the only thing that matters because pictures are memories you can keep forever. me being a Hispanic male most t of my girlfriends are of Hispanic heritage, so I’ve attended many of these quinces sometimes a just as one of the guest and the other times as part of the group of couples that dance in the party along with the birthday girls. I also went threw the whole process of helping my family organize my sisters fifth teens in Colombia, so I know what some of these parents go threw trying to spoil their kids. If you ask me I personally think this celebration is a waste of time and money, because to me turning 15 and turning 16 or even 25years old is exactly the same thing. Hair In this passage Malcolm X starts by telling us that his friend Shorty is going to give him a recipe and teach him how to get it done, then he begins to tell us all of the supplies he has to purchase and were he is purchasing them, after seeing all of the things he was buying I immediately find out he’s definitely not cooking. What Shorty is teaching his is how to conk his hair to avoid wasting money at a barbershop. Malcolm X also starts to explain the process that Shorty is following and he begins to tell us that he is going threw so much pain because his scalp is burning to the point were he wants to stop. When I first read this passage it was a little funny, because Malcolm tell us that he is going threw with the horrible pain and burning of his head because he knows that at the end his hair will look like a white mans hair, this is funny to me because today society is exactly the same, many African American, Hispanic, and white American kids go threw many things just to look like someone else. For example; many kids go threw the pain of braiding their hair or even getting tattoos to look like their favorite rap artist, or just any celebrity in general, young girls also do this things they get many piercings, they bleach their hair and do many other things just so that they can look and act like the many people they see on television. But in many cases kids don’t do all these things too look like stars many kids do it because of the peer pressure they receive from their friends, for example many kids always have to do extra things too look cool because they are afraid their friends would make fun of them and bully them. The Myth of a Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria In this passage the author Judith Cofertells us the story of her childhood growing up in the United States, she explains to us that Latin woman are seen as different in many ways, for example; she explains to us that growing up she would dress different from the American girls, she would dress more provocative because that’s the way she saw her mother dress and her sister, she also starts to explain that one time she was walking down the streets of New York and a man started to sing a song about her assuming her name was Maria, just because he was ignorant and wanted to insult her by telling her that all Hispanic girls are named Maria and that their all alike. I this case I totally relate to this story because I grew up in a house full of girls and, I would always see my sister and mom dress different than all the other girls, they wouldn’t dress inappropriate but they would just dress the way us Colombian and just Latin women in general do, with the tight jeans, and the high heels, but now days everything is very different now all the American women are starting to dress more hip I guess we can say, because now being more provocative is not considered a crime or something to be ashamed of girls actually consider it better to show more their legs and stomachs that’s why you always see girls killing themselves at a gym. I think girls dressing the way they do has to do a lot with peer pressure and self-esteem because I am sure girls go threw similar things guys go threw because me being a guy I’m always trying to look my best everywhere I go just to feel good . The Jacket After reading this text, I understood that growing up Mr. Gary Soto and his family was very poor, and his family went threw many struggles, like almost every family of immigrants that came to the United States for a better life. In this passage Gary describes his dream jacket to his mom, he explains to her that he wants a leather jacket similar to those bikers wear, but instead Gary’s mom goes and buys him this ugly avocado green jacket. Reading this passage helped me appreciate all the good things I have in my life, because in this story the author explains to us that he hated the jacket with all his passion, and even though he hated it and he went threw with all the insults from his classmates about the ugly jacket, he never complaint to his mother about it, because he understood that the horrible looking jacket was the only thing his mother could afford at the time. I understand everything Gary is feeling for having to wear that ugly green jacket to school cause like his mother, my mom too is a single parent and she’s always worked extra hard to support her four kids, and just like Gary’s mom my mom wasn’t always able to afford the expensive clothes and shoes we wanted, so at one point in my elementary school years I also had to wear shoes or clothes that weren’t as stylish as the stuff that all of my other classmates were wearing, and yea I got made fun of and I had to deal with bullies and rude kids. The People in Me When I read this passage immediately understood were the author was coming from with this piece. Robin D.G Kelly talks about why people are always asking him “what are you?” people ask him if he’s from all these countries that he’s never even visited, he says his from Jamaica and his father is African American, but people often confuse him for other things because the way he looks. In this passage I can definitely relate to Robin because I always get confused for things I am not, for example; people when they first meet me they automatically think I am American or like some people would call it “Gringo” because of the color of my skin and my blue eyes, others confuse me for being European, and the one I hate the most is when people tell me I look like I’m from Cuba, and not because I don’t like Cubans but because I don’t act anything like a Cuban I don’t talk loud or fast. Another thing that comes with being from were I’m from is getting discriminated because many people think that because I am from Colombia they think I’m a drug dealer. For example; I was one time traveled to Colombia and when I was returning and I arrived here at Miami International Airport and the U.S Costumes agent saw my Colombian passport they immediately put me aside and they took me to a room to check all my bags and all my shoes assuming that because I was coming from Colombia I had to have had some type of illegal drugs in my belongings, so I understand why it can get annoying when people ask u where your from and the worst part is not people who ask is people who act surprise and judge you just because of your nationality. Two Ways to Belong in America This passage talks about the story of two girls that come to India to attend school, the two sisters talk about how America has changed them in many ways, when the girls first arrived here in the United States there plan was to come study and return home were their father would choose a male for them to marry. This story is different from the other ones I’ve read on this book because in this passage it explains that the girls come from a very wealthy family. This passage is very interesting because it shows what moving to the United states can do to a person, because here Bharati talks about how her sister is upset because she’s changed a lot she lost her Indian culture, like she doesn’t pray and she married into another culture, she married an American/ Canadian man, while Mira married a man with the same believes and culture. This passage is also very interesting because the Mira talks about a conflict they encountered and that’s the one about the working permit, when they graduated from the university the law of the green card hadn’t passed, but with time and with more and more immigrants coming to America the laws changed, and due to this Mira could’ve lost her job cause now she was considered an illegal alien, and that meant she couldn’t work. Bharation the other hand didn’t have this problem because she married and American so that made her a citizen of the United States, so therefore she had no problems when it came to being legal here. I think this passage is very touching because it explains how difficult it is for the immigrant people. Indian Education This story talks about the life of an Indian boy growing up in the united states, the author Sherman Alexie stars off by narrating his story one grade at a time, he stars off by telling us how he used to live in an Indian reservation and all the kids would bully him, and one day he got feed up and retaliated against the kid, he than gets taken to the principles office and stars to yell it’s a good day to die, it’s a good day to die. After his first grade experience he also narrates all his other school years one by one, I like this passage because in this story he doesn’t leave anything out, he tells us how the poor Indian kids have such a poor education due to the lack of knowledge of the teachers, he also tells us how his parents were alcoholics, and how he ended up having to leave the tribe because he kissed an American girls. After reading this story I also found interesting how he tells us the way people looked at Indians back in those days, he says that people looked at Indians as bad people, and that people judged him because he was a minority in his new school, he say that he started playing basketball when he reached the high school level and unfortunately for him he missed the winning free-throws against the best team in the stated and because of that his fellow classmates and teachers were going to judge him even more, and for his luck it dint help that the school mascot was an Indian. To me this passage was very inspiring because even thought he went threw very though times in his childhood he became a successful person graduating valedictorian and getting scholarships, but at the end is sad because he expresses how his old school mates in the reservation cant read, and most just received attendance diplomas. The Meaning of the word In this passage I realized that the meaning of a word is just what we make it, because in this passage forexample the they talk about the N word, and how different groups of African Americans use it, some think the word is very offensive because of its passed and the whole slave movement, but some others just use the word freely without any remorse, like the story says the N word can be used to describe a boyfriend, or just a friend of some sort, now a days the N word is being used more often by our youth new generations, and not only by the African American community, but also by Hispanics, and whites. If you ask me personally I don’t think the word is offensive if you use it talking in a friendly manner like to your friends and stuff, but I personally don’t think the word should be used when referring to adults, like your parents, or other individuals. I try not to use the N word very often but, being honest I have used it mostly when I was in high school and all my friends used it including African Americans, there is some things that bother me about some people that use the N word, because some individuals think they have to use the N word when referring to anybody but the minute somebody uses it towards them they react in a very negative way, sometimes even committing acts of violence towards the person, but like I said words are just what you make them cause you can say any word that might be offensive to some but when you are talking to your friends or family members they just look at it as any other word and don’t take it offensive in any way. Mother Tongue In this passage the author Amy Tan talks about the different ways people speak in America, as an example she uses herself and her mother, she tells us that one time she was giving a speech in front of a large group and she was using all this big words, and phrases like she had learned in school, but all of a sudden she remember her mother was in the audience and she started to think her speech was bad and all her words were wrong because it was an English she never spoke with her mom, because she explains to us that the English her moms speaks is very broken and very bad because of her Chinese roots, as an example she gives us a paragraph describing a story her mom told her once about a gangster that wanted to join her family, she also tells us that when she was younger she was very ashamed of her mothers broken English, which I think is very funny because I know a lot of people that go threw that problem, and hate going places were their parents have to speak English, luckily for me I didn’t encounter that problem because my mother grew up in Kansa City and learned English at a very young age, so her English has been very good all threw my childhood, the bad part was that since she knew perfect English she was able to communicate with my teachers all threw my school years. I like this passage because everything she talks about relates to many people specially here in South Florida were we have a very large population of different cultures, also I think in this passage I she doesn’t realize that she was able to learn English a lot easier than her mother because she went to school here in the United States and since her mother was a lot older it was also a lot harder for her to learn the English language. Graduation In this passage Maya Angelou talks abut her life growing up in Stamps, Arkansas, after reading this text I think I agree with everything she writes because she talks about the struggles she had to go threw just to get by and finish her school, she tries to tell us in this story that she thinks graduation is very important ,and that kids should look forward to a better future, I like this passage because I enjoyed her passion for success and her passion on telling her story and letting us know that her life was very hard. This story was inspirational to me because when I look back at all the things African Americans had to go threw back in the segregation days, all those things make me want to work hard because kids now a days have it very easy and school is so much easier due to all the technological advances and all the other sources of help that we can turn too, also I like this passage because she describes very clear, if your African American you either do sports, or pretty much people see no future for you, and she says that when she talks about Jesse Owens and JouLouis who were two great African American athletes, who didn’t have to go threw any high level of education because of their tremendous talent in sports, so I think its very interesting how she says that if you cant play sports your pretty much nobody, and since she was a female her future was pretty much to be a house wife and take care of her husband, but she did not let any of those obstacles stop her and now she is one of the most famous African American writers of all time, her books are sold not only here in the United States but all over the world. And now she is a very influential character in the African American community. Girlhood Among Ghost This passage talks about a tradition that they practice in China, the author Maxine Hong Kingston talks about her story growing up and how her mother once told her she had cut her tongue, so that she would not be tongue tied, meaning that her tongue would be able to move in any language and she would be able to speak in many languages that were different to her. After her mom told her the news about her tongue Maxine was pretty much paranoid she would always look in the mirror to see if she found a scar in her mouth, and she would always compare her tongue to her brothers and school mates, and she would always ask her mom why she did such a thing. During this story Maxine also talks about how she was very shy in kindergarten and she dint speak to anyone. I like this story because her mother refers to them to ghost in America which is very familiar to what many people of different backgrounds feel here in the United States, I don’t think so much here in South Florida because here there is many different types of cultures that people feel as if they were in their country, but for her and her mother they were ghost because they dint speak the English language very well and since they were a minority in such a big state. Also I think is very interesting how she compares the American school and the Chinese school, because she says that in the Chinese school the kids had freedom, they could play how they wanted during recesses and they can even walk out of the school grounds to wonder off in the downtown area, while the teachers sat in their lounge and drank tee, but once the bell rang to return to class the students would have to be back in the school premises on time.