My story begins to discuss my background as a child and the languages I was taught at a young age. I was taught Spanish by my Spanish-speaking caretaker, and English by my parents, while I also attended Armenian school. While my mom is from the US, my dad is not, which also allowed me to have different, alternating perspectives. I will talk about how this formed who I am and how it allowed me to grow accustomed to different cultures.
I will also talk about my love for public speaking at a young age, as I participated in speech contests in elementary, and went on to join my school’s Speech and Debate team in high school. I believe this offered me particular learning experiences where I was able to discover my passions. With this, I knew I wanted to major in Communications as it combines writing and speaking, and I have never been fond of the math and science end. I enjoyed writing speeches and forming debates as it allowed me to fully express my thoughts and opinions. I will discuss how this further made me want to become a speech pathologist in the future, as I believe speaking to be such a powerful tool.
While my story is about how my experiences have influenced what I want to do as a career, my story is really about me exploring different cultures, finding my true passions, and overall what I find important in life.`
I learned Spanish at a young age by being around my Spanish speaking caretaker, Celida. My parents would claim I was pretty confident with the language, however, not being around it as much as I grew up, I lost it. I started taking Spanish again during my High school days, however, learning a language as you get older gets harder. You can’t pick it up as easily. This is why my parents decided to send me to Armenian school as a kid. I didn’t like going, and as the only blonde kid, some teachers would give me a look like “why you are here.” I guess this could be a time I felt illiterate, only because I did feel somewhat inferior. However, in the end, it helped me learned the language of my culture, and I am grateful for it.
Moving on to the question of did I ever lose or win a public debate, I began speech and debate in High school, and loved it. I had participated in the speech competitions my school held in elementary, and that initially sparked my interest. I actually enjoyed public speaking, even though it is known to be one of the greatest fears in America. I mostly debated in High school, however, I did participate in a speech tournament, where I came in 24th out of about 200+ kids. Since I had previously focused on debate, I didn’t care much about this speech or put much thought into it, but after seeing my ranking, I realized this was a passion of mine. Most people dropped the team after freshman year because it was, after all, a big time commitment. Most of the tournaments were held on weekends, and it is understandable that a young teenager would not want to spend their weekend that way. However, winning felt good and I stuck with it. I felt rewarded by writing insightfully, doing research, and having complete control over what I was planning to say. It made me felt empowered.
After putting so much time into speech and debate, forming these presentations made me feel like a good writer. I realized I was never into math or science, but I actually enjoyed writing. I came up with a major that had to do with writing and speaking, which is Communication Studies. With that, I realized I wanted to be a Speech therapist, which may seem boring to some, but for me, it combines some of my greatest passions and things I am good at. In my future, I can help people with their speaking, as I have realized what a powerful tool this is.
I cannot recall anyone in my family to be a “writer”, but my mom would always read to my twin brother and I before bedtime, and I can remember how much I would enjoy this time. As for my dad, he grew up speaking Armenian in Sudan, Africa. Therefore, he came to America with a thick accent and not knowing much English. He still asks me today how to spell simple words when constructing an email, and his texts are sometimes hard to decipher what he’s saying.
- Grew up around different languages: English, Spanish, Armenian
- My parents are from different places, speak different 1st languages
- Went to Armenian school as a kid, learned Spanish from a caretaker/in school
- I enjoyed public speaking from a young age, would participate in speech contests in elementary school
- Started Speech & Debate in High school, learned a lot
- Realized my passions for it, I enjoyed writing and speaking and continued with Communication Studies in college
- Learned I wanted to be a speech therapist, as it combines my passions and things I am good at
- In my future, I can help people with their speaking, as I have realized what a powerful tool this is
- Write, record, edit a non-fiction essay
- Compose an audio literacy
- Explore cultural encounters in our own lives
Some challenges may be:
- Efficiently using Adobe Spark
- Familiarizing myself with this new way of presenting
I plan to:
- Thoroughly watch the tutorial
- Familiarize myself as much as possible to produce the best possible outcome
I am excited to use this new platform, as I never have before. I feel as if it is beneficial for getting creative, however, it will take some time for me to explore and familiarize myself with it. I will need to get used to it to produce the best possible outcome
Coming from a predominately white family, I cannot say I’ve encountered anything similar to the experiences in Cadogan’s “Black and Blue”. The only thing that’s come close were the weird looks I’d receive as I’d walk in to my Armenian school as a kid, and even though I am Armenian, my blonde hair made some teachers believe I couldn’t speak the language as well. Last semester, I constructed a speech about police misconduct and the racial profiling that comes with it. I gathered data such as the percentage of blacks stopped while driving compared to whites, as well as the numbers of those imprisoned, and even killed by cops. Hispanics were also targeted because of their “un-cooperation” towards the police, opposed to whites who were “cooperative”. This demonstrates the various ways in which different racial backgrounds are viewed in society. Cadogan attempts to display that these are simply stereotypes, for example, as he was a black man from Jamaica, people had a certain view of him. He explained the way white women clutched their bags, men nervously greeted him, and some would speed past. He worked to convince people he was not in fact a thief, and that he did attend college, and even dressed “Ivy-League style”, all in his attempt to rewrite these social scripts.
Mia mentioned how there are in fact places that embrace diversity. I agree with this, and San Francisco is a perfect example. People may have similar views in a designated area, but let’s not forget most are from completely different backgrounds, we perform different actions, and have contrasting beliefs. We may think differently as she points out we are entitled to our own free thoughts.
Mia also stated that she came from a town that was primarily alike and unified. I resonate with this and can say the same, however, I have seen places more heterogenous than where I grew up. For example, I think LA on a larger scale is a melting pot of cultures, and these people hold different political views and have different beliefs, no two completely alike. San Francisco is another prime example, and we can see this from the array of food and restaurants offered, and by the people of various cultures who all come together to live here.
In my culture, when Armenian people greet each other, they kiss on both cheeks. Common norms may be to shake hands when you meet someone, for Armericans, we keep a distance and do not invade someone’s personal space, especially if we just met them. We sing “Happy Birthday”, do not curse in polite conversations, hold open the door for the person behind us, say “I’m sorry” if you were to bump someone, saying “Bless you” after sneezing, saying “Please” and “Thank you”, “Hello” and “Goodbye”. It is a norm to tip your server after a meal, chew with your mouth closed, and stand facing the front in an elevator.
My name is Kaitlyn Kazazian and I am from Los Angeles, CA. My major is Communication Studies as I am striving to become a speech therapist. I love animals and enjoy traveling and spending time with friends. I enjoy writing and am excited to improve and expand my knowledge throughout this course by analyzing and discussing new material. A fun fact about me is that I have a twin brother, and 5 siblings overall.
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