- 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.
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.