Sunday, September 29, 2013

Talking Points #2: Aria by Richard Rodriguez


"Aria" by Richard Rodriguez was a really thought provoking article for me. Throughout the text, Rodriguez explains his struggles as a Spanish speaking child. He explains, "What I did not believe was that I could speak a single public language"(34). Spanish appeared to him as a private language that was only welcomed in his home, and even that was taken away from him. Luckily, he began to accept being bilingual and changed his thought process on learning the English language. Because of this, he became a much more confident person and speaker. It automatically made me think of Lisa Delpit's article from last week: because of how inferior Richard Rodriguez felt, his situation led me to think about the rules and codes of power. Those who do not speak the dominant language of their society feel like they do not have power. 

I decided to choose the reflective prompt option because I can relate to Rodriguez in a less severe way. Since starting my new job, I've become much more aware of different cultures and languages; something that is not very diverse in my home town. Before starting, English was basically the only language I ever heard, besides hearing an occasional spanish-speaking person pass by or the couple of beginner Spanish courses I've taken. Now, whenever I'm at work I am the minority. Many of the people that I work with speak Spanish, and most of them speak little to no English. My bosses and a few of the employees speak English, but they also speak Arabic fluently to each other throughout the shifts. I can relate to Rodriguez because I know how it feels to have everyone around you speaking a different language that you don't understand. It's challenging trying to communicate with people when there are language barriers, and I realize this more and more as I work at the restaurant. Like Rodriguez, having such difficulty understanding another language only makes me want to learn it even more. Since starting my job, I've put more effort into learning more Spanish and even more Arabic, because I've learned that each language is just as important as the next, and that they are all forms of communication. Seeing that 90% of the people that I work with are bilingual makes me more motivated to learn a second language too, and I plan on continuing to work on learning Spanish. I'm glad that I read this article, because Rodriguez opened up my eyes when I read on page 34, "...I wrongly imagined that English was intrinsically a public language and Spanish an intrinsically private one". Before, I didn't see Spanish as a public language, because it was never around me. Now I see that it's a very public language, and that being bilingual is an advantageous skill to have in this current day and age. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

About Me

Hey guys! My full name is Cara Francesca Figuerido. I'm 19 years old, and I was born and raised in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. It's a small town and there's not much to do in it, but it's also where I met some of my best friends. I have an older sister named Chelsea, she's 21 and a Music Production major at Northeastern University. I also have two amazing parents named William and Wendy. I have an apartment off campus and I have two roommates, both boys. I spend a lot of my free time with them and other friends, and I spend the most time with my dog Ozzie.
He's an 8 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and he's the most important thing in my life. I adopted Ozzie about two and a half months ago, and he was a rescue Pit. The first three months of his life were spent down in a basement being neglected. At three months old, he was rescued and then moved to a foster home where he stayed until i adopted him. Since I've had him, Ozzie has graduated from obedience training, he's earned his Canine Good Citizen title, and he is also a certified Emotional Service Animal (yes, he has a vest). We've spent a lot of time together since I've had him, and we've really formed an incredible bond. Besides my friends and my dog, I also work every weekend at Big Tony's Pizzeria, which is only a minute down the road from my apartment. I love spending time with my family, I have a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles that live around here so I see them on holidays and other occasions throughout the year. I play the guitar and I sing, and I was highly involved in the chorus program at my high school. I also played soccer, ice hockey, and softball. I played hockey all four years, and my senior year I also played Unified volleyball and basketball with special needs students. I've done a lot of work with the Special Olympics of Rhode Island, and I loved every second of it. All of the volunteer work is what helped my figure out my major, and is why I want to work with elementary special needs students. Well, I think that's enough for now! Time to read everyone else's blogs :)