It’s been 19 years since my parents decided to settle down in Houston, Texas to raise me. I was born in El Salvador and was barely two years old when my parents decided to board a plane to the United States and never looked back. About three years after that, my little brother decided to join the family. I have lived in Houston all my life, but people are still surprised when I tell them I wasn’t born here. I think most people expect me to have an accent or speak a choppy version of English. I was lucky enough to be raised by a diligent mother who made sure I learned English. Growing up, I basically learned Spanish and English at the same time. While my parents and family spoke Spanish to me, television, movies, and my aunt, who was the …show more content…
It may not be the best but it’s her best. I should remember she didn’t have the advantage of growing up learning the language like I did, since it’s harder for adults to learn things, especially a whole other language. But sometimes I forget that and I let myself get embarrassed.
It was freshman year of high school and all I wanted was to make friends and look and be "cool". It was a couple months in and I already had made several new friends and I couldn 't be any happier. As freshmen, we were all fourteen of fifteen and all we could talk about was going out, how much our parents got on our nerves, Quinceñeras, clothes, shoes, and whatever was in and trending at that time. Like any other teenager, I wanted and cared about what others thought of me. School was heading towards the middle of the year so it was time for that dreadful open-house night where students had to drag their parents to each of their classrooms and meet the teachers and the other aspects of the school. Of course, this was not mandatory, but teachers knew that if they gave us a good reason, like a free homework grade, students would be more enticed to drag their parents and themselves and endure the school’s open-house night. So of course, I brought my mom since I thought that I still had time to catch up on my grades and that free homework grades would save me and my cringe worthy grades.
We walked into the school and I introduced my mom to some of my friends. The first three that we met knew
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I am no immigrant. I have been living in this country ever since I was born. My brother, sister, and I are all first generation citizens. Both of my parents were born in Mexico, and at an early age came to the United States. They are now living happily in the U.S as citizens. Growing up I only spoke one language, Spanish. Being Mexican this was the only way I could communicate up until kindergarten. Although it was such a long time ago, I remember how hard it was for me to adjust. I know I had a strong accent, and I was sometimes ashamed of it. On occasion I remember accidentally speaking Spanish to my classmates. “Did you finish your homework?" “Si, todo esta-”. “I mean, yeah, all done.” I often got these confused looks on their face whenever this happened. The next year in first grade I became accustomed to English. I no longer spoke spanish to my parents. When the realization that I could no longer speak Spanish hit my parents, they were shocked. Personally I was also disappointed. Especially today, in a school with a general population of Hispanics I would love to be able to converse with them. I often get people asking if I speak Spanish and I tell them why I can’t, but can understand what the words mean. All because I did not want to look different in a school where people were primarily white back then. I don’t recall many people of my race at this school at all.
Growing up in a Latino household is hard. My parents only spoke Spanish therefore my first language was Spanish. For the first few years of my life this was not really a problem, I enjoyed life as any normal little girl would. I got to talk to all of my cousins and all of the neighbor’s children. It wasn’t until I got to school that it became real that I was going to learn English. Don’t get me wrong I always knew I had to learn English my parents always talked to me about school and helped me as much as they could. It was also around this same time where I started to understand that it was not only hard for me it was hard for them as well. My parents had to live in this country not knowing the main language spoken.
My entire family was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. After three and a half years of living there my family decided to seek a better future in The United States. My father would go to the United States back and forth to work and earn money to send to us in Mexico. Eventually my mother was able to get a visa and my brother along with my little sister had an alternate way into the United States. We lived in Dallas Texas and Atlanta Georgia before settling in Howard county Maryland in a very small apartment. Luckily we were doing pretty well with my dad being the only one knowing English at the time. My father was working two jobs and I was getting ready to start kindergarten. I was very excited because the education we would have received in Mexico was nothing compared to the education in Howard County. I was excited for what was to come, but there were disadvantages of knowing only Spanish. Being bullied because of my poor English had an impact on me. I was in completely separate classes learning things that were simple compared to the regular course. I was excluded from certain activities, field trips and assemblies. I was clueless at first though as I slowly learned the language I understood things a lot more.
Spanish is my native language, however, my mother advised my siblings and I to speak only English. This was because she was afraid that we would be rejected from professional careers if our English wasn 't unaccented, fluent, and similar in refinement to the working class whites. With time, I became a fluent English speaker with a developed Central American accent but like, any other young girl, I thought nothing of it. That is until one event, in particular, occurred that would cast a shadow of embarrassment onto my Spanish language. This event not only led me to desert my entire native language but a sense of my cultural identity, as well.
Before I turned four years old, my mother and I moved to join my father in Berwyn, Illinois. My sister ended having to stay back a couple of months so that she could finish her school year. We arrived to a nice apartment in the suburbs, it was a complete scenery change than what I was use to. Everyone seemed to have giant yards, bright green grass, large fences, and freshly painted houses. Back in Fresnillo, we had our large home, but it was rare for houses to have such large yards, so close to the heart of the town. From the time of the move until my first year in kindergarten, I had a bit of time to adjust, watching cartoons in English, I am not quite sure how I picked it up but I did. At that time my mother only spoke Spanish, my father is bilingual, but he would speak to us in Spanish.
I am a U.S. born citizen. My parents moved to the United States in 1984 without knowing anything about this country. Looking for a fresh start and new opportunities, my parents settled in Houston. With hardly knowing any English, my parents knew this was the place to make dreams become a reality. Luckily, I had older siblings to look up to whenever I needed help. Like Lahiri, I was trapped in between two different cultures while I was growing up. At home, I only spoke Spanish, but in school it was English. My habits and customs were different than others. Life as an immigrant’s offspring can be very difficult. As I grew older, I allowed myself to open my eyes and see the beauty of being an American from Hispanic descent.
I was born on February 14, 1993 in the city of La Vega, Dominican Republic. I came to New York at the age of 10. The fact that my first language is Spanish placed me at a disadvantage from the minute I stepped a foot in the United States since even at the airport I was not able to communicate with the agent. My biggest struggle was school since the class was taught in English only and most of my classmates only spoke English. Despite my efforts to give it my all to learn the language and adapt to the customs of this unfamiliar place, it seemed to be a challenge I would never overcome. Since my parents and close family members mostly spoke Spanish as well, they could not help me, they only encouraged me to study and read a lot so that I would learn the language faster. I wanted to fit in with kids of my age and to understand when
Being a Mexican-American, who was raised in the small town of Encarnación de Díaz – located at Los Altos de Jalisco, MX, – and then moved at the age of seventeen to Corpus Christi, TX, was not a smooth transition. The most difficult things I have encountered in my life must have been speaking a new language and adapting to a new type of living. I was fortunate enough to have amazing teachers who taught me to read, write and speak in English back in Mexico, but I was still not confident enough to speak the language when I arrived here. Although, many have told me that my English doesn’t sound as if I just moved here five years ago, I still believe I have so much more to learn.
The next day, I went straight home after school like my mother had said, she made me sit at the bench perched up on those hideous stools and do my homework until dinner time. She keeps telling me to respect our culture, and how if I were in Vietnam, I'd still be at school at this hour. Hearing about Asia frustrates me, it just reminds me that I don't belong anywhere. But I didn’t have a choice, I sat there alone in front of my open books. I was almost the queen of procrastination, so I found myself questioning why I let her dictate how I spent my afternoon and why those nasty girls at school
My parents were down the street at my aunt’s house and said that I could have some people over, so that’s exactly what I did. Around eleven girls had came over and we spent the night dancing and singing loudly every word to songs that were overplayed on the radio but still so catchy. When other houses started to shut off their lights, the street lamps went on and our feet were too sore to be used anymore, we lowered the music, all sat around and gossiped—of course because that’s what girls do best. When the night had ended and almost everyone was gone, me and a couple others were so hungry that we were listening to our stomachs grumble, it was as if they were talking to each other about how they needed food. My parents offered to drive us to the Rainbow Diner where I got my favorite dish, french toast and chocolate
Initially, I was an Ecuadorian girl that had a Christian family, I grew up surrounded by my family and loved ones. My cognitive development was in progress, and I had created fundamental bonds in Ecuador. Provided that my dad is an American citizen and due to his work in America, he could not spend too much time with us in Ecuador, so, my mom, my little brother, and I immigrated to America. After three years of my life, our family reunited, and I became an Ecuadorian-American. Since I was very young, assimilating the changes came to be unnoticed, if it weren’t for the fact that during the next years I spoke Spanish at home and English at school. As a result, my translations of these languages affected my communication, creating slow comprehensive
For two years I begrudgingly walked into Fuller Middle School, sometimes staying home because I had a ‘headache,’ my home, as well as other places I was always resentful, pissed off, quick tempered, and just downright rude. I was a typical middle schooler going through family changes. I wore band tees and ripped skinny jeans to every event my mother would let me--including to school, I constantly violated dress coded until I found my way around authority and the policy, listened to heavy metal, colored my eyeliner on until I looked like a panda, and generally tried to make myself appear unapproachable. That’s when my mom began dating the man who I would eventually call my first lifeline.
When I entered school my parents refused to place me in the Spanish-speaking classroom. They feared the discrimination I would face as an immigrant segregated from Americans, a complexity that they combated everyday in their lives. No matter what my parents tried, they could not shake the feeling that they did not belong here. So much so that I was forced into an English speaking class with barely any knowledge of the language. Although I was scared at first, I was an obedient student and thus able to blend in like any American child, just like my parents wanted. After a couple years, I even began to give my father basic lessons in the English language during dinnertime, explaining to him the difference between hot dog and perro caliente. Somewhere between my effortful pronunciation and accidental commentary in English, I lost him. He exclaimed that he didn't need to know English, that I knew it well enough for the entire family. As the reality hit me, my
One day after school, one of my friends asked if I was free and wanted to hang out. I was and I did, but noted with despair that my parents had never allowed me to be out without supervision. However, I thought it was time to stand up to authority and give my mom a piece of my mind. I stormed confidently out of the school to the car (where of course she was waiting to pick me up), determination
Saturday and Sunday went by fast. Vowing that God had cut off at least twelve hours off my weekend, Monday morning arrived. I had to be at the coliseum at nine a.m. I woke up at eight thirty on the dot. With no essential worries and not a care in the world what I looked like, I merely jumped out of bed and put my graduation dress, cap, and gown on. In six minutes flat I was ready to go. I made it out my room and past the mirror wall right before I was about to leave. Looking at myself I knew I looked unacceptable, but my mind could not lead me to care. Right before I could make it out the door my mom vented her words of refutation. “Where do you think you are going? You did not bother to brush your hair, wash your face nor take a shower.” Thinking quickly, I managed to use time as my excuse and scampered out the door to avoid any more questions.