February 21, 2018

All of my friend groups consist of relatively similar looking physical or external appearance, but I have felt tokenized in quite a few of them. My weight and my skin color plays a large role in my feelings of being an ?outcast”; I often feel like the “token fat friend” of a group. All of my friends are very thin and in the past I used to be too, it wasn’t until recently that IO gained a lot of weight and that took an emotional toll on me, as well as an obvious physical one. I stand out in all of my friend groups for being a lot heavier than everyone else and that’s lead me to have low self esteem. My skin color also makes me feel tokenized, I am Latino but look like a white guy. My friends are a grand majority of POC, mainly African American and Latinos. Being the only person that is so fair skinned makes me the butt end of almost every joke, and even though I know my friends love and care for me the way I do for them, it still hurts to feel like I will never truly fit in.


People often draw the conclusion that I’m just some fat white kid, which I in no way am. I may be a little thicker than I used to be and that’s okay because I can change it, but I am never going to be caucasian. My skin color often leads me to have a more privileged life due to colorism in this country, and my weight raises more sympathy than necessary. Overall my physical appearance allows me to have a good life, but not one I asked for.


February 16, 2018

APA References


  1. Gebhard, J. G. (2010). What do international students think and feel? Adapting to U.S. college life and culture (pg. 23.). Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  2. N/A
  3. Mack, T. (1997, May.). Culture Shock. Forbes, 188-190.
  4. Simpson, J.C. (2006, May 8.). Chronicler of Culture Shock. Time. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier (2007, February 9.).
  5. Wright R. (2005). Going to teach in prisons: Culture shock Journal of Correctional Education, 56(1), 19-38.

February 12, 2018

Audio Essay Pitch In


I’ll be writing about my experience being a white looking Latino and how isolating it was for me to be rejected from my own community, and also the community others claimed I looked like (Latino and White). The essay will start off by going into depth about how deep my Latino roots go and then transition into my experience being isolated, and then completely shutting out one side of me and only embracing the other.

The tensions and conflicts are both internal and external. I will be dealing with a lot of cognitive dissonance, that being me thinking and believing in one way but acting in another. This will mainly end up revolving around my pride of being Mexican, but acting like I’m not in order to be accepted. My progression of conflicts often times end up being more internal because I was ashamed of who I was, for how I looked, and how I let people treat me even till this day.

I have a lot of Latino cultural understanding to offers and some focus on colorism. Colorism is being prejudice of someone based on how dark or light their skin tone was, it is a byproduct of racism but is in no way anything less. My experience with racism in regards to caucasian culture and Latino culture are very different, but the hate I got with colorism was generally the same; I was pushed away from those I wanted to find common ground with and excluded with those who I identified as. Overcoming both shows perseverance and the learning experience of  emotional strength.



  • All seemed generally good

February 9, 2018

Free writing Essay 1


From a young age, around 4 and 5, I experienced discrimination within my own community. As a Latino, the stereotypical image one would think if is a dark or brown skinned individual, wavy or curly hair, and speaks perfect Spanish. I am bilingual and biliterate, meaning I can speak, read and write in Spanish; I have short wavy hair, but I have fair/lily white skin. Growing up, none of my friends believed me when I would say I was Mexican (I’m half Mexican and half puertorican); them being paisas and very dark complected, they would joke that I’m just some white kid. Logically they knew I was Latino but for some reason they never truly accepted me, I was always ostracized and isolated. Never seeming to fit in amongst those who I had a true connection with. It wasn’t until I started to embrace my Puertorican heritage whole heartedly, and introducing myself as such that people began to believe me. Not many people know exactly what a Puertorican looks like, so when they hear that you claim to be one, it’s common for people to just believe you. I found a sudden change amongst my friend group as they learned I was Puertorican. All of them were either amazed or told each other, “I knew it, that makes sense!”. Still, it always bugged me that know one accepted me as a Mexican and only liked me as a Puertorican. As time went on and I grew up and went to middle school and high school, I started to become depressed. I realized that the entire Latino community’s first reaction to me was rejection until I claimed to be Puertorican, everyone still saw me as “that white kid”; this pushed me to always have to prove my worth, I had to be more extra Latino so that my community could accept me and not mistake me as someone I wasn’t. High school was tough for me and made finding friends difficult; the asians at my school only hung out with each other, the white people rejected me because they knew I was Latino, and the Latinos rejected me because they thought I was white. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn to.


Regarding the topic of Literacy Narratives, I think they tend to be very introspective.


  • Ostracized amongst Latinos
  • Puertorican heritage
    • Acceptance
    • Preference
  • Paisa
    • Describe what one is
  • depression began at a young age
  • Separation from Mexicans lead to slowly losing my bilingualism
    • Friend group became mainly African Americans
  • Introspection
    • What did I learn about myself?
    • Who am I?
    • How did this make me feel?



February 7, 2018

The first essay emphasizes the importance of oral presentation, a bit more than the writing composition. You must be able to compose both a written assignment and include audio, whether its environmental acoustics or a musical piece. I know some strengths I have are in writing in general, I consider myself to be a fairly good writer, so the composition of the essay will come along easier than expected. The part I will have trouble with is combining the audio; I know I’m not a huge tech person so I don’t know how to record the song over me reading my essay. The easiest way to learn is through youtube, there are probably resources to help me figure out how to combine the tech part.


I think this is a very good introspective assignment, I will be learning a lot more about myself as I recount and address the racial struggles and identity crisis’ I’ve faced throughout my life.


February 5, 2018

Summary response to Rocio Flores:


The racial discrimination of black people in both the U.S. and Jamaica is vastly different. A person of color would not be taunted in Jamaica the way they would in the U.S.; specifying on police brutally, black people are more likely to get killed than any other race. Social classes also play a part in informing others of the struggles everyone faces in their day to day lives. Any comedic relief applied to social classes or racial discrimination can sensitize the issues in order to make them relatable to a broader audience.


February 2, 2018

Group name: Brandon, Vanessa and Aaron


  • Hillbilly gave a personal perspective
  • Living environments involves self reflections
    • Who are you assimilating to be?
  • Where we choose to live is often based on an unconscious decision
  • Realization that we are truly divided amongst ourselves
    • Diversity isn’t as dominant as we originally thought
  • Hillbilly
    • Everyone can view both sides of the political spectrum
    • You inevitably choose to be biased towards a side that benefits you
  • Emotional connection matters
    • Both your environment and economic setting are crucial as to how you spread your empathy
  • Lack of educational diversity
  • Comfortable being isolated and retreating to those who “look like you”

January 29, 2018

Group: Aaron, Vanessa, and Yiang

Transgender people are those whose identity differs from the one they were assigned at birth. It is very common for transgender people to go through a process called transitioning. This is not seen in every transgender person, but it is almost always the case. Transitioning may include changing your name, pronouns and style of dress. Physiological changes include starting hormones, whether it’s testosterone for an FTM (female to male) or estrogen for an MTF (male to female). Some transgender people are also transsexual, meaning they go through a surgical process to change their genitals to the gender they identify as.

People don’t accept and respect transgender persons several years ago, and transgender people always feel stressed and nervous when telling people they are transgender people. However, as the time goes by, transgender and gender nonconforming people are becoming more accepted in mainstream society, so more and more people will not feel afraid to get a transgender surgery anymore. Also, there are multiple ways to help transgender people to thrive in the community, it is easy to find different websites to help transgender people, or some authors write books about transgender people. Compare to ten years ago, all kinds of these things can let they thrive in the community.

Transgender people have had to go through great lengths throughout the years to fight for health care, legal rights, and protection against harassment. As stated on the Human Rights Campaign website transgender people still face the dilemma that there here is still no specific non-discrimination law that includes gender identity. Furthermore, they point on how “only 18 states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment and housing discrimination based on gender identity; only 17 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations; and only 15 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in education” (Human Rights Campaign). Transgender people not only have to face social barriers but are faces with legal ones as well. A very common situation that transgender people face is the issue of changing their name to match their gender, or even more challenging is the matter of identification not matching. Trivial things like traveling and registering for school are made up to impossible without accurate identification. Transgender people also face many problems when it comes to the topic of healthcare, not only is it because some of the medical procedures are new but there is still a negative biased against transgender people because many people feel that these are unnecessary cosmetic procedures. As the Human Rights Campaign states, “beyond facing barriers to obtaining medically-necessary health services and encountering medical professionals who lacked transgender health care competency, the NTDS found that almost 20 percent of respondents had been refused medical care outright because of bias” (Human Rights Campaign). While this may seem alarming most doctors are allowed to turn down these procedures as they chose which unfortunate too many transgender people have to face. While they have to go through emotional turmoil of being rejected by people in society there has also been a great jump in violence against the transgender community.


Sources: http://www.belongto.org/group.aspx?contentid=2918, https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/transgender-what-it-means#1, https://transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people


January 26, 2018

Meaning of Name Assignment:

Aaron comes the Hebrew name Aharon, meaning “high mountain” or “exalted”. Aaron is also typically seen in Biblical Latin and Biblical Greek. According to Urban Dictionary though, Aaron means “a God amongst men”, which is pretty hard to live up to. I’m not completely sure why my name was given, but I can’t imagine being referred as anything else. Collazo comes from Rome, Italy. Collazo’s migrated to Puerto Rico, which is where my family is from, and soon began to prosper on the island. There’s not many Collazo’s in Italy anymore and if there are, they spell the name differently and pronounced it distinctly as well. Regarding it’s meaning, I found some interesting responses; Collazo can either mean “servant” or it means “cheerful” and “friendly”.


I was never embarrassed by my name growing up, I’m proud of my name’s roots and culture it represents, and I have the same name as that funny video “A-A-Ron”. The only time I ever experienced some teasing on my name was when I was in elementary school, some kids would call me “Collazo Payaso”, which means Clown Collazo. Aside From that I’ve never had any embarrassing moments with my name.


I’ve never changed my name or adopted a new name, I plan on keeping it the way it is.



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