Perks and Disadvantages of Being a Me

When I was in elementary and middle school, one of the privileges that I had enjoyed was my being an honors student. From Grade Fifth to Grade Eight, I was a scholar because of my academic merits. Since I studied in a public school, I was placed in honors classes. In my family, finishing my primary education was my only goal. Why is that so? My dad came to America when he was eighteen with nine dollars in his wallet. He is a Civil Engineer in Cal Trans in Los Angeles, the bread and butter that holds my family together, the money maker of the family. My mom used to own her own daycare until she was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2014 and my world turned upside down.

I flunked most of my classes my senior year making me go to community college. I could tell my parents were disappointed since they have been talking about colleges since I was two. Around the time my mom was (and still is) in remission, it made me think about how much privilege I had to many other students. I have an able body while my mother does not. I wash her hair in the sink for her almost every day and help her walk from point to point without her lungs collapsing on her every second. It made me realize, I am lucky to have a working and functioning body because it is my time to take care of her. I tend to look at little things now that make me laugh, for example traffic. Everyone is always in a rush to get to point to point, but at least I can drive because many people can’t, so who cares if you are five minutes late.

I was brought up with my Lebanese heritage, which makes it a privilege but also not. Even though I look “White”, I get the benefits of how society sees me but also I used to be called a terrorist when I was a kid. It’s a privilege and a burden. I identify as a heterosexual, female, middle class, born in the US, first generation, and able-bodied person. Being a women, is hard because no matter how well I know I will be in the future, I will still be making less money than men at the same exact job. Looking back, my mom and I experienced an Institutional Dimension of Oppression (Collins, 2016, p. 37-38). According to Collins (2016, p. 37-38), Sandra Harding contended that gender oppression was structured in three main dimensions. Institutional, symbolic and the individual.

The Institutional Dimension of Oppression is ‘systemic relationships of domination and subordination structured through social institutions such as schools, businesses, hospitals, the workplace and government agencies.’ (Collins, p. 38). My mom was forced to leave from her daycare because of her health status. It was evident that she had no choice but to resign due to unfortunate circumstances in her business. I was compelled to study harder to get to UCLA, and get back to my honors status. What motivated me to develop my study habits further was the shaming I received from my friends from high school and the disappointment I saw on my family’s faces.

My teachers would call me out and ask me if anything was wrong, making me to disappointed to tell them the truth. My classmates then would look at me from my head to my toes and I would endure their whispers. My honors status was a privilege but it was also my crowning jewel as a child because it was my weapon to know I can have a better future for myself and keep fighting to whatever obstacles that came my way. I knew I had the capability to do push myself to the limits.

Embracing English as the Primary Medium of Communication

Spring (2012, p.9) states that ‘deculturalization is the educational process of destroying a people’s culture and replacing it with a new culture.’ The US believes that the Anglo-American culture was the superior culture and was deemed as the only culture that would support republican and democratic institutions. Hence, educators had prohibited the use of non-English languages especially Spanish and Native American tongues and mandated the students to learn the Anglo-American-centered curriculum (Spring, 2012, p.9). One of the disadvantages that I had experienced throughout my schooling was that I was not free to showcase my culture as a mixed race.

English was not my mother tongue. I am an ESL Speaker. English was my second language, Arabic was my first. Because of this, there are certain sounds that I found it difficult to say. The sound /f/ was one of my weaknesses. The letter f was not an endemic sound in our alphabet system. I was forced not to speak in my native tongue. My school implemented a lot of English only policies which threatened me as an ESL speaker. It would be considered as an offense if I would revert on my native language. To adapt to the school policies regarding the mastery of the English Language, the first thing that I did was to study the international phonetic alphabet. I kept on practicing the sound of letter /f/ until such time that my pronunciation became commendable. I practiced the positioning of my lips and tongue in creating the sound. When my ears became familiar with the sounds, slowly, I tried to catch up with the diction.

Women having Careers

According to Rose (2013, p. 73) ‘we all feel sadness and pleasure, try to solve problems and make plans, take stock of what’s in front of us, find refuge in imagination.’ It was one of the messages that kept on bothering me. Resilience. That was the word that I had looked for. I grew up in a very patriarchal family. Nobody breaks his rules or else of they would be accountable to my parents’ range. Dealing with imagination became a form of escapism. I grew up listening to my granny’s lesson that once a child was born, the woman’s priority is to raise the kid and serve her husband. I should not forget about it in her presence. Each moment that I had with her, she was still under the impression that a woman’s main role was to become a homemaker. It is one of the things that I had found detestable. For me, just because a woman marries it doesn’t mean that she had already reached the finish line. Having a career will help her to become more aggressive in life.

It toughened one’s bones. I grew up hearing that women should not be educated because the only thing that they were good at was putting up a lot of make-up being from my grandmothers perspectives. She was fine with my mother having her own daycare because it was in the presence of her own home, which made her still be able to cook and clean. I believe that once a woman works to earn, she is viewed by her husband as his co-equal. She becomes his partner in striving to achieve the financial stability that they aspire for their family. She sees her importance as a contributor to her family’s future. She is not just the homemaker. She becomes an active life giver to her husband because she helps to ease up the huge responsibility that lies on the shoulders of her husband as the head of the household. Women’s versatility and grit are the things that set them apart in the fields that they were working at. They excel because they double their efforts as they imbibed the importance of hard work.

Skin Color: Determinants of one’s stand and treatment

According to the Children’s Defense Fund (2007, p. 14), the US does not give value and protection to all its children. Because of different layers of segregation in the American society – from works to schools, to places of worship, because we don’t know their values and aspirations, the specifics of their today to today meetings and the economic and psychological boundaries that surround those decisions tend to be psychologically one-dimensional. The detachment that surrounds it has a huge impact. With my experience in elementary school, I remember that the White and Blacks were not hanging out with each other when it came to lunch time having mostly White students attending. Back then, I did not understand what it meant when people were being racist or what really racism was. Then I saw how my classmate was treated by her the guy she liked. She was Hispanic-Mexican and her crush was a White boy. Once, when I had gotten the chance to talk to her, I found out that he never liked her because she wasn’t White. She humiliated in front of our class at recess when she confronted him. What kind of child thinks about that about another person and how was this boy was being raised. We still live in a racist society rather than us being united.

School and Eradicating Racial Discrimination with the premises

According to Solorzano and Ornelas, the negative significances of the disparities in access and obtainability of AP classes are apparent in high school (2002, p. 220). Although this study looked at the inadequate admittance and accessibility of AP classes for Chicana/Latina students, it must remember that access to AP classes is one sample of many educational inequalities that affect the enlightening participation of Chicana/Latina students. Changes in AP course enrollment should be an avenue that offers a vision into both general and specific educational differences that occur in schools. At my high school, it was noticeably segregated when to AP classes because it was more white students than another other type of race. Students were even getting put down by counselors saying they should stay on the “normal track” if they were of dominate race. Racial discrimination is still rampant. Times have changed, but at the same time how much has it really changed?

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Perks and Disadvantages of Being a Me. (2023, Jan 15). Retrieved from