Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Gringa from a Small Utah Town with a Latino Culture Influence

For my multicultural education class, we have to create a diorama explaining ourselves culturally using 3 artifacts.  I just thought I would share these with you and let you know a little more about my life.
 My first artifact is a BYU Football Pez dispenser.  Some might think this is a slightly odd choice for something to represent me, but I feel that is can describe much of who I am.  BYU football has been a big part of my life.  I have lived in Utah County since I was born, and I grew up attending BYU football games.  I remember counting down until football season started each year and just being so excited to see my boys out on the playing field.  It truly is a thrilling experience to see your team play to the best of their abilities.
BYU football is also something that makes me think of family.  My grandparents are huge BYU fans as well, passing their love of BYU down to their children, and their children passing that love to me, my siblings, and my cousins.  My grandparents always bought season tickets to the games.  About a year and a half ago, my grandpa passed away.  His instructions to my grandma were to always buy season tickets as long as there was money available.  BYU football, for me, is a family experience.
Of course, BYU represents more than just football to me now.  After working hard in high school, I was accepted to BYU, the university where I had wanted to attend since elementary school.  This university has changed and shaped my life to make me who I am today.  Without BYU, I know I would be a totally different person.

 My second artifact is my name tag from my mission.  I was privileged to be able to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As such, I spent 18 months serving in northern Perú, in the Chiclayo mission.  This experience changed my life.  It shaped my life by showing me how amazing people really are.  I learned more about myself as a person and as a member of the Church.  I got to meet wonderful people and some not-so wonderful people.  I learned from all of them about the beauty that life has to offer as well as the heartache and frustration that comes along when wrong choices are made.  I discovered a love for the Latino culture as a whole which is something that I treasure today.  Because of my mission, I know it will influence who I am as a teacher.  I have become much more aware of multicultural education.  I have a strong desire to help these kids who have to learn English as a second language succeed.  Learning another language is not easy.  It takes time, patience, and effort.  I understand to some effect what these children are going through.

My last artifact is my hymnbook from my mission.  This captures many different aspects of my own personal culture.  I love music.  I have been playing the piano since I was 5 years old.  When I was a young girl I pleaded with my mom to teach me how to play the piano.  Finally, when we were able to buy a piano, she began to give me lessons.  I loved playing the piano.  I did not always love to practice.  But eventually I was able to practice enough to the point where I could sit down and sight read almost any piece placed in front of me.  My love for music grew.  It was something very prominent in the lives of both of my parents.  I have been able to feel of the power that music can bring.  While I was on my mission, I had the chance to play the piano during Sacrament meeting in all of my areas where they would have otherwise had no one to play.  The Spirit can be brought in so strongly when a righteous song is played and heard.  I even helped to teach a little bit to some of the younger children there so that they could one day play the piano in their own wards. 
I also love this artifact because it is my Spanish hymnbook.  Spanish has become a part of my life.  I love the hymns in Spanish.  My favorite song is one that we actually don’t have in English.  It’s called Placentero Nos Es Trabajar, which, translated means “It is a Pleasure for us to work.”  It captures the joy that is felt when one truly is dedicated to the work of the Lord.  My hymnbook, if you notice, is also very worn out.  I used it so much in lessons and during church. It truly represents a part of who I am today.

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