“I don’t like being around one culture… How else are you going to learn?”
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Transcript for I Am the Melting Pot
My childhood was awesome. I loved it. I was the only girl in a block of seven boys and we were all around the same age. It was really just a mixture of kids, of a bunch of different nationalities. There was black, white, Hispanic. When we were younger we were always out, playing dodge ball, ghost in the graveyard, tag, cops and robbers for two blocks because we’d get kids from farther down the blocks. “We’re going to play cobs and robbers, let’s go.” And every one would be “yes!” Always something going on. There was always something going on.
There were hidden clubhouses in bushes that you’d find someone’s action figure and you’d be like oh my goodness I found his hideout, I’m going to wait here for him. Or, in my case, my Barbie. She held down the fort for me.
I am the culmination of what it means to be an American. I am a melting pot.
To talk about my mom and dad, I’d have to split them up in their nationalities so it would make a little more sense. My mom is Polish, Mexican, Spanish, Austrian mixture. He was Black, Irish, and Cherokee.
I say I’m a mutt. I don’t even say American. Depending on who I’m talking to, I’ll emphasize one more than the other. I’ve been told I look more Hispanic than anything else, but I don’t know if that’s true. I feel like I’m a mixture. I take certain traits from each nationality and mix them up and it creates me.
I’ve had people come up to me and say, “Oh, you’re a light skin,” and I say, “yeah, but I’m more than that, too.” I’ve had people come up to me “Oh, you’re a ‘Rican,” and I say, “No, I’m actually Mexican, but I have other stuff in me, too.” “What nationalities are you?” “Do you want them all, or just the top three? I’m Hispanic, Black and white.”
It really depends on the person and whether they actually are trying to get to know me or just place me in a category.
I decided to go to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Not a lot of diversity there, but it was still fun.
It was weird transferring to somewhere (Valparaiso University) where I knew absolutely nobody. It wasn’t as much diversity as I wanted, but definitely more than Creighton so I was ecstatic with that. It was like, “Yes, this is so much better. Oh–hey! Oh, my goodness, there’s more than two Saudis!” It was great.
I don’t like just being around one culture, I like being around a lot of them. How else are you going to learn? That’s how I learn, being around different people.