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February 26, 2018

Food and Social Class

Since my country’s main source of income is the primary goods market, food in my culture is mostly based on things that grow in the country. The most common meals are Gallopinto, which is mixing rice and beans, tajadas con queso, which are fried plantains and cheese, Tortillas made with corn, and Nacatamal, which is pork with rice, potatoes, flour mixture and other components. As you can see, all of these foods are made with things that grow in tropical countries. I think they represent the fact that in Nicaragua due to the large percentage of poverty, meals are not too luxurious or intricate. Rather, they are just meals that are easily made in a low income household by planting all of the components. Nacatamal is a perfect example of how food is representative of the old culture. Nacatamal originated in pre columbine times when the homeowners didn’t know what food to feed their hired help so they would mix the leftovers of their food and give it to them. Now, Nicaraguans forget that origin and eating Nacatamal has become something reserved for Sunday mornings eaten together with fresh bread and coffee with milk while enjoying the company of your family.  In my family, however, since we are more “americanized” we balance those meals with meat, chicken, hamburgers, or pretty much what you eat anywhere else. In my family eating healthy is very endorsed, so mostly in my house we eat things such as salmon, steak, vegetables, and salads.

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February 21st, 2018

I have had different experiences when it comes to being judged by other people for what they think I am like based on my physical appearance. In Nicaragua and in the United States, I am judged differently by different groups of people. Personally, I believe it has to do with the culture in both places. Often times, people share what their perception of me was like, and I have come to realize that they are so wrong.

In the United States, I have been characterized as Mexican due to my tan skin and accent. Many people just assume I am a Latina that either came illegally through the border or I am a member of DACA. In reality, I am neither. I am a Nicaraguan, born and raised, who came legally to study to the US thanks to my father who is from San Francisco, CA. I have been told by other Americans that they stand in solidarity with DACA, and things like that. I understand that its their way of showing sympathy. Nevertheless, these issues do not apply to me.

In Nicaragua, it is quite the opposite. Since I graduated from an American School over there, students that came from Local Nicaraguan schools thought that I was a “shallow trust fund girl.” It happened to me many times back home that I would befriend other people and I would later be told that “they were skeptical of becoming my friend because they thought I was going to be a brat that bragged about the things she owns.”

These two are the perceptions that I know some people have had on me in the past. I dislike both of them, because they do not reflect who I really am. I have always taken pride of being accepting of everyone, and being approachable. Social classes are a big thing in Nicaragua, and that is something that I dislike about my small society, and I like about the USA.

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February 16 2018

APA references:

Gebhard, J. (2010). What Do International Students Think and Feel? Adapting to U.S College Life and Culture. Ann Arbor, MI

Mack, T. (1997, May). Culture Shock. Forbes Magazine, . 188-90

Simpson, J. (2006, May 8). Chronicles of Culture Shock. Time magazine, 156

Wright, R.  (2005). Going to teach in prisons: Culture shock. Journal of Correctional Education 19-38

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February 12, 2018

Draft of Audio Essay

compare nicaragua through differents points of view: ignorant foreigners and foreigners who know a little bit more, the perspective of those who come as tourists, and the local capital society’s perspective.

 

Outline for Audio Essay

Nicaragua: A nation so simple, yet so complex. A country that changes in the eyes of different people. A country that for some means so little, but to others means so much. To me, it means the world. When I tell foreigners that I come from Nicaragua, I get a large variety of different reactions. Sometimes, I get questions like “Nicaragua? Where is that again? What is there to do in Nicaragua?” “What music do you guys listen to over there?” or simply looks of sorrow accompanied by a “Ohh, I’m sorry. It must be rough over there.” These questions are often hard to answer, given that I always try to not seem insulted. More often than not, these people are surprised with my answers. It’s like they have a perception of Nicaragua that is completely erroneous. But in case you were wondering these questions too, I will gladly answer them.

Nicaragua is located right in the center of central America. It is in between Honduras and Costa Rica, and its the biggest country in the region. This question is such a common one, but its one that I am tired of answering. Ive had people tell me that they thought Nicaragua was located in Africa. Others, when I said Central America followed up with the question “Is it near Kansas?”

When people ask me what we do back in Nicaragua, I feel like they are expecting to hear something extremely foreign to them. When really, it is pretty much the same as everywhere else. We climb volcanoes, we go to the beach, we go out shopping, we party, we are loud, we are latinos.

We listen to all types of music. When I say I am latina, some picture a big family gathering where everyone is wearing sombreros and listening to things like this (ranchera) I know this, because I have also been asked. In reality, We listen to everything. We have music that represents our country such as (Luis Enrique Mejia), but we also listen to (Despacito), (krippy kush), (New Rules Dua Lipa), or (Beyonce)

The most uncomfortable conversation is when they just tell me that theyre sorry or they just assume that life is tough for me back home. When I say Nicaragua this is what they hear in their heads. When I say it proudly, I just imagine all of the amazing things Nicaragua has to offer.  Yes, we are the second poorest country in America. Yes, we had a war many many years ago. Yes, we are currently under a dictator. Nevertheless, I am thankful that I was lucky enough to not suffer any of that. However, I see the impact those issues have on my country. Because of this, Nicaraguans tend to be very nice and humble people. We see the gap between the rich and poor. We see mansions being built next to houses that are falling apart. I graduated from an American High School that was next to a public school that did not have money to buy desks for the children. We see the reality foreigners think we all live in, and although changing this has been hard, in my opinion it has just made us people with big hearts. People that know what hardship looks like, people that appreciate what they were lucky to be born with.

To me, being Nicaraguan means that I get to speak in english, pero tambien en español. It means that I get to study in the United States, but go back home to my welcoming country over break. It means that I eat hamburgers, but sometimes I rather eat tostones, or fritanga. It means that I make sure that I am well aware of other nation’s issues in case I encounter natives who are tired of feeling like I do when I am asked these questions. It means that I enjoy other cultures, but I would never change my own.

Nicaragua is part of who I am and I will always be proud of it no matter how many times I have to tell people where it is located, no matter how many times I have to say “Yes, I do know what a refrigerator is.” And No matter how many times people look at me with pity. I know that Nicaragua is beautiful, fun, and full of amazing people.

 

I encounter two different types of people: people I would classify as ignorants and those who are aware of at least some issues going on in Nicaragua. Sometimes, I get questions like “That country is in Africa right?” or “Do you listen to music there?” or “Nicaragua is in Central America? Is that near Kansas?” Other times, I encounter people that know slightly more. They ask things like “How is it like living with a dictator?” or they just ask me how the situation is going back home. These questions are often hard to answer, given that I am always trying to hide my condescending tone. No, Nicaragua is not in Africa. Yes, we listen to all types of music here. And no, Kansas is a state belonging to the United States of America, Nicaragua is a country in the middle of North and South America.

 

I will share with you the many different dimensions Nicaragua has, and how it has made me the person I am today. First, I will share with you the perspective of the typical foreigner I have encountered many times in my life. Then, I will share with you what Nicaragua looks like for the majority of tourists that come to the country. Lastly, I will share my perspective as a native Nicaraguan and describe a little of what the society looks like to me, and how does it compare to the new environment I am now in.

 

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February 9, 2018

I was thinking including different types of music maybe like mixing different music that i like en show my personality through the music i listen to.

include music from my country to show some of my background

moments where i’ve felt out of place here in sf in parties or any other environment due to my different culture and the music i listen to.

tell a story of a specific moment where i felt differently because of my culture or identity here.

include trap and reggaeton and compare to what people listen to here. (hip hop)

compare and contrast between culture in nica and in here

examples: ways people dress, types of parties, behavior, music, laws, crowded clubs.

 

show my different personalities through the different music i listen to and the moments in which i do.

 

make distinction between what people think nicaragua is, what it is for me, how my society is different to what other people envision of nicaragua and compare that between how american society is like here particularly in USF.

compare nicaragua through differents points of view: ignorant foreigners and foreigners who know a little bit more, the perspective of those who come as tourists, and the local capital society’s perspective.

 

Outline for Audio Essay

  • Nicaragua: A nation so simple, yet so complex. A country that changes in the eyes of different people. A country that for some means so little, but to others means so much. To me, it means the world.
  • I will share with you the many different dimensions Nicaragua has, and how it has made me the person I am today.
  • First, I will share with you the perspective of the typical ignorant I have encountered many times in my life.
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February 7, 2018

The objective of this essay is to provide a background of my life and my identity through music and my voice. I think that I might find easy the editing part, since I have experience with these kinds of things. Nevertheless, I feel like I will be challenged when deciding what story about me to tell. Also, I dislike my voice on audios, especially in english. Therefore, I feel like I will record time and time again, and will never be comfortable with my speaking voice, my accent or simply the way I sound. Another thing is that choosing the music will be a challenge, but at least I enjoy different types of music, so I will have a lot to choose from. I am pretty clear of what is expected of me. I know that my story has to be one that is entertaining to hear, and has to go well with my choice of music. My essay has to be cohesive and my voice and music should be clear. My only issue is that I simply do not know where to start.

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February 5th, 2018

Summary of Isabel Benito’s response

Isabel begins her response to Black and Blue by stating what she thinks the main point of the narrative is. She then goes on and gives a little recap of what the narrative says: talking about how in one country it was dangerous to walk down the streets because of the violence, while in the other one, the US, he was scared of doing so because he was seen as a threat. Isabel connects this to day to day life and expresses her sadness towards the fact that white people are not harassed in the streets or misjudged, but colored people are.

In her Class Dismissed analysis, Isabel wrote the main idea of the essay. That is, she wrote that social classes are a taboo in our societies. She argues that nothing will ever change because people are afraid to speak about it. Also, she says that in order to make a change “it takes a village” and for wealthy people to not look away.  To make it more personal, Isabel included personal narrative of her life in Mexico. She talks about how it has always stuck to her that her maid, Amparo, would always ask her for her books so that her daughter was able to get the education that she was able to get.

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February 2nd, 2018

Alexa Tapia

Isabel Benito

Nate Centeno

 

  • Brooks boldly starts by stating that we have the label “diversity” within the U.S. but we are not truly because we position ourselves with people of similar tendencies
  • In general our main point was Brooks’ main point as well.
  • Isabel Benito included the specific example, “if you asked a Democratic lawyer to move from her $750,000 house in Bethesda, Maryland to a $750,000 house in Great Falls, Virginia, she’d look at you as if you had just asked her to buy a pickup truck with a gun rack.” This example to her showed the exact mentality many humans have when thinking of switching to integrate to different communities. Isabel also admitted that stepping out of her comfort zone is hard and admits to continuing this cycle of not creating a “real change.”
  • Alexa also said that this human behavior is also seen in movies and in novels. An example she thought of was the novel “A Raisin in the Sun” in which an African American character frowns upon the main character’s decision to move to a white neighborhood. If this is frowned upon in novels and movies, we cannot expect to seem normal in real life even though it should be normal to move around and neighborhoods should not belong to just one group of people.
  • Isabel has been in many situations were she had to move to different countries. These experiences have put her in many situations were she felt insecure or very different while being the “new girl” again and again. Especially being Mexican in new environments like a preppy school in Kentucky, there were moments were she felt out of place because the customs she had growing up with her family were nowhere close to what the people around her have experienced.
  • We all concluded that diversity in our societies will never be achieved if we keep choosing to be in our comfort zone.
  • Alexa included an example of how students make friends in Universities. She claims that oftentimes students befriend other students with similar interests, backgrounds or that come from similar countries.
  • Nate conveyed the example “people want to be around others who are roughly like themselves”
  • Nate has been in many experiences that the author explains within the story especially pertaining to “social groups” within High School for example the basketball players, the cheerleaders, band group, and etc.