The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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Pura Americana [Personal Column]

Pura+Americana+%5BPersonal+Column%5D
Credit to Drew Johnson and Chase Pray

The language around us and how we learn it influences a great deal of who we become.

Those who grew up knowing the language that surrounded them might not have been aware that the school had programs in place for those learning English as their second language.

As a kid a part of the programs, I got lucky. I was lucky enough to have an older brother who learned the language first and, in turn, was able to teach
it to me. I was lucky to have been born in an age where my parents just had to turn on the TV and I would be filled with the information needed. I got lucky that growing up speaking Spanish at home didn’t become a stop sign in my academic future

in America, rather a speed bump that I would eventually get over. And most importantly, because I excelled in English so fast, I lucked out on not giving my peers more of a reason to discriminate against me.

I now struggle with the opposite, forgetting my native language. Not knowing the ins and outs of my culture. Not being able to pronounce every accent perfectly. Not knowing every single word in the spanish dictionary. And, although I had traveled to Mexico by myself, my monolinguistic aunt was able to comment on how I didn’t know the language very well. The second I started school was the second where my family noticed the deterioration of my knowledge in our native language.

This has been a common thread among many Hispanic-Americans or any immigrants in America, from which birthed the term Chicanos. It has also created ‘No Sabo kids,’ which I strongly believe my Spanish is good enough to not be associated with. I’m glad that I can say I never had to struggle  with English for long, nor that it had strained the relationship that I have with my culture, but I do wish it never had to be one or the other.

I’ve never had a point in my life where I am perfectly fluent in both. I ultimately am left with who I am, whether some say I’m only Mexican or some think I lost my roots and have become “pura Americana.” I know the beginning of my story and the struggles that have made me who I am today will not interfere with me using the excuse that English is my second language.

So, for me and the work I’ve done up to this point, I’m not going to stress over little things like using the correct form of “its” or “there” because it doesn’t measure how much I’ve accomplished.

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