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Cultural Interview 2
For this assignment, I reviewed an interview video of Professor Juanita Limas, of St. Petersburg College in Pinellas Florida who teaches a variety of science related courses from biology to human anatomy. Yet, even though I don’t specifically know Professor Limas’ age, I
do know Juanita Limas is originally from and born in the state of Iowa within the United States. And even though she was born in America, her first language was Spanish when living with Parents of Mexican decent within a small Spanish community.
When talking about her Spanish decent, one of the first aspects which Juanita mentioned was even though she was born within the United States, she was still raised with Spanish values and practices. Because even though he was raised in Iowa, her first language was Spanish when bring raised by both of her Spanish speaking parents within a small Spanish community. According to Juanita, even though her mother knew English, both of her parents taught her in Spanish, and cooked native Mexican foods in order to give Juanita more of a cultural identity, and fully believed by teaching Juanita these traditions would give her an advantage within her community.
In addition, when talking about Juanita’s heritage, she spoke that both of her parents were
of Spanish decent. Even though her mother was from a Spanish culture, she was also born as an American citizen in Iowa and was bilingual when being able to speak both English and Spanish. Her father on the other hand, was a Mexican immigrant which moved to America at a very young age, and worked from Texas to Iowa were agricultural work could be found.
When talking about if she noticed her own cultural differences compared to other Americans, she mentioned the difficulties she had in public education. Juanita stated that this
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ndwas in fact one of the hardest obstacles which she had to overcome when in 2 grade she was
not allowed to attend a regular second class setting because of not knowing English. It was during this point in her life in which she stated to know how different she was when having to be placed in special ED to further her education just because of a language barrier. However, it wasn’t until two years later on she started becoming fluent in English, and was able to join a gifted fourth grade class within the public school setting.
In addition, Juanita also talked about how her own cultural norms where at times misunderstood by others. Because, besides being called crude names in public school to being bullied by others because of her Spanish heritage, she remarked even in college when she was juggling her education along with working a part time job to support her mother and brothers and sisters, most of her friends would always question why she supported her family; when normally American families don’t rely on sons and daughters to support parents, where in Juanita’s family
this was just the norm within her family culture. Another aspect which she also talked about was how other American’s at times would make incorrect assumptions of her being an Mexican
immigrant strictly due to her nationality when first introducing herself to someone new either within the workplace to professional interviews.
The one aspect which I found the most surprising was that when Juanita would interview or meet someone for the first time, even after being fully literate in English, there were those few individuals who would make quick assumptions on her being a immigrant from Mexico just because she would tell them she had a Spanish heritage, to even telling them she was a Mexican American, despite including she was born and raised in Iowa. From this realization, I have found that making assumptions based on cultures can easily occur; and because of this I will
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make it my personal priority as an educator to create a conferrable class environment which discourages biased assumptions of other individuals solely based on skin color and other cultural factors.