PinayInDaCity breaks down her high school teaching experience in NYC

Thats SO high school!

So for my first blog I thought I should take things back WAY back. . . to the days when being a nerd was so not cool, and anyone would give their right arm to be a part of the popular crowd.

High School.

I work in a high school in new york city in a neighborhood that is predominately African American. The school's demographic is roughly 80% African American 20% Dominican students. This week a group of students and I were discussing multicultural issues in the school. One girl who is Dominican said to me and the other girls in the discussion that she often feels very uncomfortable being a part of the minority group at the school and sometimes feels like a target.

Then she looked at me and asked "Miss, Don't lie to me . . . Don't you feel weird being the only Chinese person in this building?"

The discussion, which was supposed to be for the students . . . .was now turned to me. Her question transported me back to when I was in high school and middle school and elementary school, when I was one of the very few Filipinos at the schools I went to. When I was asked if  I ate dog, why all Filipinas are nurses, or Where are you from . . . no where are you really from? it made me think about when I thought my skin was too dark, my nose to flat, my height too short. I asked myself "Do i feel weird being the only one?"

Then I transported back from that place, smiled, and said "No. . . not anymore . . . to be honest, yes, I used to feel weird but you get to know people, you get to know yourself and then you get to appreciate them for who they are, and you appreciate yourself for who you are and then you don't feel so weirded out any more  . . . oh and by the way . . . . I'm not Chinese, I'm Filipina . . . I'm Pinay"

Until Next Time!