Natalie Alton Deep Culture explorTion

  • My family's ethnic identity differs: my mom's side is Italian and Catholic and my dad's has been in America for a long time.
  • I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City.
  • My mother's grandparents immigrated to America and some say my dad's side goes back to the Revolutionary War era.
  • My family's status has been upper middle class since I was old enough to know.
  • Both my parents attended college with my mother attending medical school as well. She is an ER doctor.
  • I heard a lot about my Italian Grandpa Coduto. How he would use the phrase "you don't know nothing" frequently. My family uses this phrase playfully now! I am very close to my grandparents on my dad's side and they tell me lots of stories about growing up in small town Iowa. My grandmas dad was a pharmacist so lots happened in her family's drugstore.
  • My dad's side always gets together Christmas Eve, ever since I was a baby. We spend all day at my grandparent's house then attend Christmas Eve service together. We carry on the Italian tradition each year by making traditional Italian cookies called pizelles¬†with the pizelle¬†maker passed down to my mom.
  • My family values our Christian faith and the heroes I grew up with were Biblical figures like Esther, King David, Mary, and Paul along with Christian historical figures like Corrie Ten Boom and William Wilberforce.
  • My family references the Bible quite a bit whether facetiously ("honor your father and mother" my mom said a lot) or seriously.
  • I have lots of stories with my family that are mostly related to trips we took. My grandparents and my sisters talk about our trip to South Dakota, my mom and my sisters talk about our mission trips to Haiti, and my sister and I about church camp through our childhood. We spend a lot of time together and we value our time together.
  • My childhood was rooted in respect for elders, family, and adults in general. My Sunday school teachers, school teachers, and parents/grandparents had authority and "deliberately disobeying" was punished. I remember my parents friends and people at church always commented on how "well-behaved" my sisters and I were.
  • I am not and have never hardly been an emotional person. There were very few times I have cried in front of my family when I was old enough to not cry at everything (I can remember all of them). My extended family isn't big into hugs save a few aunts and I always love cuddling my little cousins! I can speak freely about my thoughts and ideas with my parents and grandparents and I tell my twin sister everything.
  • I suppose my community valued a well groomed and fashionable look. Johnson County is a wealthier area where "everyone" excelled academically and were involved with extra curriculars.
  • Adults were always Mr., Mrs., or Pastor and sometimes Miss first name.
  • Nothing would excommunicate someone from my family. Even when we became upset about something which hardly happens nobody stays mad long.
  • If I did what I was told then I was praised. This led to me basing my decisions well into even college based off what I thought my parents would like. If it was a decision they didn't like or like as much then it wasn't praised. Excellence was also a praiseworthy quality.
  • No talking back. Ever. Questioning was ok but my parents usually responded with a "because we said so" which always puzzled me as I was simply a curious child (still am).
  • Time is valuable and you respect other people's time. They often don't respect yours and we would complain about this profusely together.

Since I grew up going to a school where student's parents were heavily involved in their life as well as supportive in extra curricular activity and homework, it's easy for me to ask much of students. In my mind I grew up with children of all different learning styles and affinity towards school but they all succeeded. I believe this is because of how I went to school.

In my mind minorities have every ability to succeed as Caucasian, but again this is most likely due to the success I've seen in students of Indian and Asian descent. There was a large Hispanic population in Olathe and those students never did as well as the other ethnicities. So I would venture so far as to say somewhere deep down I associate students of Mexican descent as not as likely to succeed.

It took me a long time to realize that not everybody is naturally intelligent. Many have problems reading and comprehending what is reqd. Many don't know how to take a test. Many see writing essays or research papers as laborious and difficult. All of these come naturally to me and I excel in these areas, but I project my success onto others. I do not understand how they cannot succeed like I do. Perhaps this is because I was in the advanced classes in elementary and middle school and when I got to high school I was exclusively in the AP track and participated in extra curricular such as band, NHS, and debate and forensics. My culture surrounded me with people like me and made me believe everyone was either like me or failing.

Intelligence was something you had or you didn't have. School and classes were a reflection of intelligence, but it seemed as if my district only believed in two types of intelligence: advanced and below average.

Often it seemed as if the wealthier students were more intelligent. It was clear that this was because they could afford extra help, more trim after school to do homework instead of working, and parents who were home. This was more a reflection of the work put into something rather than actual intelligence.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.