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Journal 7: Mini Ethnography Project

Before reading the research paper to my aunt she told me was was happy and I asked her to be a part of this project because no-one else had asked for her to share her story, or seemed interested. She hadn’t dedicated time to think back and appreciate her efforts and this interview brought back memories that were bittersweet. After reading the paper, she felt proud to hear me express myself in a positive light about her and that her experience served as an important focus point. She never thought much of what she achieved and how, she just kept moving forward, but hearing this after her retirement she felt accomplishment and a relief that she really achieved what she desired.

This project helped me learn more about my aunt’s immigration story, obstacles, and achievements. I had briefly heard about her journey, but never a first hand account. I’m happy this interview moment brought us very close for a moment and helped me see her as more than just my aunt, but as a dedicated, perseverant, humble woman. This project was quite difficult for me because I couldn’t find a way to better flow my paper. I’m glad I got through some obstacles and handed in a paper I thought best reflected my ability and thoughts. Overall, this project helped me enlighten the fact that being bilingual is a magnificent attribute to have. I never actually focused on what it means to be bilingual and what/who determines who is bilingual and listening to my aunt helped me see that no matter how “perfect” our acquired language is we are deserving of our bilingual title. My aunt felt underserving of calling herself bilingual because society often deemed her accented English not standard/worthy, but I’m super proud she was able to realize her potential, as should anyone that has felt the same way.

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1 Comment

  1. I can’t describe how I’m feeling reading your paper, Yalitza. What you have written here is everything I had hoped you would take away from the project, and I’m so happy to see that this project gave you that opportunity to understand, see, and listen to your aunt and her story in a different way. I was reminded me of myself as well as my mother’s struggle while adjusting to the life here in the U.S., and how even I myself wouldn’t call me as bilingual. Exactly like you said, only after I realized it is our society–more specifically, the monolingual ideology–that makes us feel that way, have I started changing the way I understand myself. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn about your aunt, her story, and your own as well. I’m privileged to know you and her story.

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