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3pp My Story

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Princess Jefferson

Emily Balch Seminar

Professor Anne Dalke

1st 3pp Paper

1 September 2016

Shaping Your Identity

Report from the Bahamas, 1982 is the equivalent representation of racial de ja vu. After reading this passage from the 1980’s I realized that times have not adjusted that significantly when it comes to the relationships among minorities to one another. From observation I can infer that no matter what culture you belong to, the commonality seems to be one’s own culture can judge, look down upon, or say something to devalue, but if an “outsider”, were to do the exact same thing, there would be a problem.  Time continues to fade into eternity, but the power of change seems to be halted.

“A graduate student came to discuss her grade. She told me that, for her part she’d completed her reading of my political essays. “You are so lucky!” she exclaimed. “You have a cause. You have a purpose to your life. Poverty. Police violence. Discrimination in general.” (Jordan p43). The key word in that text was Cause. What is Jordan’s cause? Better yet, what is my cause?

This part of the passage made me reflect back to my junior year in high school, in Houston, Texas. I along with a few other girls were asked to take part and speak in a news segment entitled “Cultural Diversity in the Classroom.”  The link to view can be shown here A segment that was initially intended to be focused on the diversity of students, turned out to be an emotionally raw video. That day I was able to see the effects the school, the people, and even the state of Texas had/ and currently has on its diverse population.

It is odd to say that even though the world says society sets people within their own groups, people are raised into this mindset and start living in that lifestyle. Schools segregate their populations and have been doing it since the beginning of time. You have the athletes, the people of arts, band members, debate, and the list continues, the sad part is people have applied this acquired taste to their lifestyles.

During the segment I noticed that there were two people of every race and background that were present in the school; two blacks, two Latinas, two Africans, two Nepali girls, two whites, two Arabs, and two whites. This was not done by mistake, but done to see how well each individual had been affected as a person after attending high school.

This meeting gave me the opportunity to see that there are so many people who feel like outsiders because that’s the way other cultures present it. The students began to tell their stories and testimonies of how they had been impacted; some were very emotional and some were nonchalant saying that it’s just life. They told stories of not wanting to come to school, being bullied because of the way they dressed or spoke, and some wanted to take their lives because of it.

They felt that it was becoming less necessary for them to come to school, because they were not receiving the proper education. The instructors were teaching at a pace that was too fast for the student to retain any of the information, and as a result, the students were not learning. Ironically it was not just the International students saying these things, but even people who have been born here domestically suffered from these travesties.

In that moment I realized that even though I was not aware of each student’s personal afflictions, I had witnessed and/or heard things. Instead of stopping it and being more than just a bystander I flee the situation. I move on not because I am weak, but because I like to have a plan before taking action and I would like to believe this makes me wise. A dream without a plan to be achieved is just a thought.  That day my vision changed to be more than just a dreamer, and more than just a bystander. I paved the course of my life after that news segment. I knew that I wanted to go into the field of Education because I wanted to implement change.

I wanted to make education better not just for my school, not just for Houston, Texas, but nationwide. There is no way for me to hear each of the 321 Million people’s story on education, but I can learn from the handful of individual that were in that room with me that day. I want everyone to be given the opportunity to grow without restraints just because they share a different culture or back ground. So I learned my cause and it has shaped my identity, Jordan in Report from The Bahamas, what’s yours?