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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Antes de

Before we dive into the immigration material, here are some questions to ponder.  Put yourself in the position of an immigrant, leaving for a new place.  Maybe you want to be reunited with a family member, maybe you are looking for a better place of work to earn some money.  Think about the journey it would take to get where you want to go.  What sacrifices will you need to make - what is most important to you in this world?

These questions are from a Teachers Guide on the Enrique's Journey Educational site.  www.Enriquesjourney.com

  1. Do you know anything about your family’s history?  Where did your ancestors come from?  When did they come to the United States?  Why do you think that they came to this country?
  2. Have you ever been separated from your family?  What were the circumstances causing the separation?  How did you feel about it?
  3. Do you know anyone who is from another country?  Why are they in the United States?
  4. Do you ever hear or see Spanish-speakers working in public places, like stores, restaurants, or office buildings?  Can you imagine why they work there?  Do you think that they like their work?
My answers to the above questions: 

1.  My mother's side is from Sicily, my great grandmother was the first generation to come to the US.  So the history of my family in the US is fairly recent. I have asked my grandma, and I think my great grandma wanted to come here for her children and to seize opportunities that may not have been available in Sicily. 

2. I've only been separated for school and when I lived in Spain for two months.   I am thankful that I have a strong family and being away isn't too hard.  It is comforting to know that my family is safe, healthy and I can go home to see them whenever I need to. I am planning on living further away in the next few years.  I'm excited and thankful that technology is at a level that makes distance smaller.  If I was permanently separated, with no communication at all, it would be devastating.  I'm pretty close to my parents and sister and we have a great relationship.  I go to them a lot for advice and I'm not sure what I'd do if I couldn't call up my dad when I'm walking to class, just to tell him about my day...

3. I have a few friends/have known other students at UW-W who are from other countries.  They are here as International Study Abroad students!  Many that I have asked are studying a realm of international studies/business and will be going to school here and in other countries around the world after.  UW-W has a great connection with some other countries and we have about 200 international students on campus. Many are not sure if they will return to their home country to work, if they will stay in the US, or live in a different country.  

4. Because I am a Spanish major, always looking for opportunities to listen and speak Spanish, I have heard a lot of Spanish conversation in passing while in public areas.  The community of Whitewater has a large population of Hispanics.  At the St. Patrick's Catholic Church, there are frequent bilingual masses and I hear a lot of Spanish at the local Wal-Mart. (I almost want to start in the conversation... but I'm not sure how the person would react haha)
With respect to Hispanic workers - I'd like to look more into this area, but I get the impression that Hispanics are hard working individuals.  I'm not sure if they necessarily enjoy their jobs, it's probably just a job, but they will work hard at it and do what they need to for their family. I took a Cross Cultural Communications course and we learned that Hispanics and African Americans (among other nationalities) are very collectivist - they are family oriented and will do what they can/need to in order to help their families. 

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