Monday, March 9, 2009

The Only One with Tan Skin

I grew up in a small city known as the Crown Town (Corona, CA).  The city was majority Caucasian, so when I began elementary school, I never thought twice about how I was the only one with "tan" skin in my class.  Children usually never think about these things to begin with.  Kids do not pay attention to what nationality you are compared to themselves so I never felt different or out of place growing up.  However, now looking back on my childhood, I do remember wondering why I was the only hispanic in my classes year after year. The only time I remember being treated differently by a teacher was when I was in the 5th grade.  My teacher saw me talking when she was talking.  The teacher immediately disciplined me by having me pull a red card, and said that I rolled my eyes at her as I got out of my seat to do so.  I was so humiliated that day in front of everyone in my class, I felt like crying.  I strongly held back the tears as I waited for everyone to stop looking in my direction.  After school that day I asked my teacher if I could explain how I was sorry for disrupting her when she was trying to speak, I wanted her to know that I was not trying to disobey her.  In reality if she allowed me to explain myself, I would have been able to tell her that I was trying to make the person next to me be quiet. However, the teacher did not want to hear what I had to say, she was convinced she saw what she saw, and that was the end of it. This was only one incident that occurred that year in which I had felt as though I was not treated fairly with this particular teacher. 
Overall, it's not a matter of being treated indifferently, it is a matter of loving others despite our differences.  
This is a situation in which impacted my life to treat others in this manner at all times.  It is my mission in life to have a love for others as God has chosen to love us, despite our imperfections. 


K.Bergh said...

Rochelle: I had similar experiences that I remember from junior high school. I look back on those experiences now with a different lens, of course. My theory now is that there were teachers who sometimes resented or squelched the brightest children!

In any event, I can relate to that sense of injustice that you felt. It is completely demoralizing when that happens as a child (and even worse when you get dismissed like that by another adult!).

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