Interview Transcript II


Date: May 9, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: LALACS House, Dartmouth College
Transcript: Transcript 2

Paola: Okay, so just going back a little bit to what we talked about last time…So when you came here, you didn’t speak any English, correct?

JH:  Yes, that’s correct.

Paola: So you said you had taken a little bit of English in school?

JH:  Yeah, I took like 2 years of English back in my country. But it was like 2 hours a day, but then you just learn about verbs…like I didn’t really understand what was going on. Here, after years I’m like “Oh that makes sense now!” But it’s also the way you learn, like if you don’t listen to it, you don’t learn. When I got here, I got to this part of town that was mostly African American. So when they taught me English it was “Hi, how are you?” and that’s pretty standard but then when I was here it was “Hey, how you doin’? What’s up? And I’m like translating these things into… and I’m like that doesn’t make any sense. What are they asking me? So it was shocking. Because it was like… I knew how to say my name is, but it wasn’t really helpful. So yeah, I didn’t take anything until like 5 years later. I didn’t need English, but then I started going to school and I’m paying for it. That actually made me realize that I had to learn, because I was paying for it.

Paola: You were investing in it

JH:  Yeah. It took me 5 or 6 years to finally do it.

Paola: I mean you speak it very well, so I wouldn’t have guessed.

JH:  That money was worth it. Hahahaha

Paola: I guess so. Haahhaha And last time you mentioned that after 5 years you just decided that you wanted to learn English

JH:  Yeah. It was just because I was working in this job…where I didn’t need English, but also I was making $5 an hour. It was always things like “You’re stupid because you don’t speak English, so I’ll pay you whatever I want”. Things like that. Then I started playing soccer and I was the only Latina. I really liked my friends, but I didn’t know how to communicate with them. Like I told you, I would just smile, because sometimes I would understand. But then when you get older you get very aware of your accent. So I would just use the same three words to say these things because I didn’t want to make any grammatical mistakes. In my head I was like “If he is with is and…” I was going through all this process. And that’s why it was easier like they said “Give her alcohol and she’ll talk”. Hahaha You know they say that drunk people and kids they tell the truth and you just don’t have those filters anymore so you just go for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s right, if it’s wrong. So yeah, that’s when I stopped watching TV in Spanish and no Latino friends. Yeah, I just cut everything from the root. I said I’m going to learn. And that’s what I am doing now with my French.

Paola: Oh wow, you’re taking French?

JH:  I took year of French and I’m really into it. So, I’m into watching TV and singing. It’s a little scary; it’s sketchy. But it’s the same process I used to when it was only….for the transition from Spanish to English. And I hope I can accomplish something else. Hahaha

Paola: I think so, I think so!

JH:  Let’s wait and see because that’s what I want to do after I graduate. That’s part of the linguistic part of it is very important for what I want to do. So we’ll see. One step at a time.

Paola: So first English, now French.

JH:  Yes, yes.

Paola: If you need a break, we can take one.

JH:  No

Paola: So when you first came to the U.S. you kind of mentioned it, but kinds of jobs did you have.

JH:  When I first arrived I worked in a clothing store. And I worked there actually for the 5 years that I didn’t speak English.

Paola: The whole time was there?

JH:  The whole time, working 12 hours a day. Working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Years. It didn’t matter. I could have a day off, and they would call me “Oh, you have to come” And I would have to go because I needed the money. And since they were paying $5 an hour…

Paola: You needed the hours?

JH:  Yeah. I worked there and then I worked at a bar. It was like a nightclub more then anything. I was never involved with the actual part of the bar. I was just the coat-keeper. Yeah, so I worked there. So some days it would be from 10 until 8 and at 8:45 I would get to my other job and I would work until 3 in the morning. Then, it came the point…until then; I never had coffee in my life. Then I started drinking coffee, then it wasn’t working. It was so…yeah. So what I did was black coffee, with Coca Cola and I would combine them. And that would do the trick. But that would mean that I would get home and was so aware. I could sleep. So I would go to bed like at 6 just to go back to work at 10. So I worked like that for 2 years. Those are the two jobs I had back in California. I never did anything else. I never really…yeah. I tried working in a… I was so brave I said “Oh, I’m going to work in a McDonald’s”. But I never actually did it. I had some friends who worked there…and their stories. And I’m like “Maybe not…” hahaha Yeah, maybe…you know. Also, I though “If you work there, you’re going to eat that kind of food, the I’m going to get…” I just…Plus, the neighborhoods where I used to live…those places like Burger King and McDonald’s they were like the places where bad people hung out. But those were the only two jobs I actually had when I was back there.

Paola: And when you came here, what were your hopes. For yourself, for your family….financially?

JH:  I don’t know if I had any hopes, because I didn’t plan to stay. But when you come to this country, it’s about money. Like wherever you come from, you just want to…you know. Because it’s the American Dream and you come find dollars all over and you’re going to make money. I had this dream that I was going to be here working for a year and in a year I would just be rich and I would be speaking English. Which…it’s this thing that most people who come to this country don’t realize. That it’s a lot of work. You don’t have a life, you are nobody. You just come and you start from the bottom; cleaning dishes, cleaning toilets and doing jobs that you never in your life though you had to do. So, it’s like this dream that it’s kind of scary. It’s because I have family here that I kind of went through it. I didn’t pay rent for the first 2 years, I would say. But, I can get why people go back or get depressed. It’s just a lot of work and you don’t have a life and you’re mistreated. And people look at you different, just because… whatever reason…just because you don’t look like them. Because, you know, it’s so many different cultures that you’re like…you just associate certain parts of the country with something else. It’s stereotyping, it’s discrimination, it’s prejudice. But, hopes? I didn’t have hopes. Just money and I would go back to my country and just have fun with the money I saved. Which that doesn’t even mean anything since what you make is what you have to spend. So you know, it’s not what I expected. But yeah, hopes? I didn’t have anything. I didn’t expect anything. Maybe the English, yeah. I thought it would be so cool to just go back and speak English.

Paola: Uhh…and do you visit your country often? Or do you call, write, Skype? Those kinds of things?

JH:  I have my times. Like I have times that I just want to call all the time or want to Skype all the time. Whatever the reason is. But it’s just this life in the states is so….it absorbs all your time. You just don’t have time to…sometime I just forget about calling my mom fro three weeks and then I get the call “How come you haven’t called? I fed you when you were a baby and now you don’t call me?! Are you okay”. Yeah, it’s like there is no time. You just go through your week and the weekend gets busier and then when you least expect it it’s Monday again. There is no time to enjoy or do anything, just between school and kids and you know. It gets so hectic. But sometimes, especially during the Holidays like Christmas, I get a little sensitive and I call. But sometimes I forget birthdays. hahaha all over the place. And I’m like “Oh my god!” And I put it on my calendar. Let me tell you. But I just…it’s just hard to have time to do everything, just because the rhythm of life is so different here and there. Maybe that’s why they miss me so much, because everything is so slow motion. Here it’s just [fast]. You just have to eat and walk at the same time wherever you’re going and…yeah, so no. Sometimes we Skype once in a while, but not really. Yeah, not really.

Paola: So you said it just depends on…

JH:  It depends on my mood, it depends on…but it’s usually during the holidays that I get so “Okay, let’s talk” or whatever. But there’s not a lot to talk about. They don’t…they ask me “How are you doing?” and I will talk about school and then they will say “Why are you studying so much?” So it’s not really like a…like when you stop living with your parents you somehow just lose a connection with…We know that we’re family still, but sometime you don’t have anything to talk about really. Because they don’t understand and then they think that it’s so easy. They still have the same dream that I had when I came here. So they still think it is that way, even though I’ve tried to explain and you work a lot, everything is too expensive. I make $2,000 and $1,100 go To [my daughter]’s daycare. So, they don’t understand so just telling them “I’m sick” or “It’s because I haven’t been sleeping because of school” The answer will be “So don’t study so much” and I’m like “Okay…” So sometimes, when they do that, when they say that…when they say “How are you doing?” I just say I’m okay. It’s not really like…they don’t understand that I changed since I came here and now I’m really…Because I told you before, I was really spoiled when I was there. and it’s like the complete opposite. I’m responsible, I have to do my laundry, I have to pay my bills. And that makes you mature…and they still think that I’m the little girl that I was when I was there.So I think that that makes communication a little…yeah I don’t really…I just call to see that everything’s fine, everybody’s alive, healthy and that’s about it. Just to call and ask that very often doesn’t make sense.

Paola: Because you don’t have much to talk about.

JH:  Yeah, and you know most of the time I talk to them and they want to talk about people that I don’t even remember.

Paola: hahahah Yeah, like the neighbors. Haha

JH:  Yeah! And the neighbor’s niece that married….and even though I say I don’t know them they say “But remember, you used to play with her!” So, yeah. So, no I don’t. I have my times. I have my times. Could be better. I should be better.

Paola: I think we can all say that. I can say that definitely with my momhahaha

JH:  Yeah, we have that point when we’re like maybe…But then, I just have this goal and I’m like “Okay, I’m going to do it once a week”. For the first week I’ll do it and then I forget about it. Then I have to promise myself that I’m going to do it. And again, it’s the way that you live here. You don’t have much time to do anything. So…

Paola: So kind of related to that, so you…What cultural practices do you practice at home? If any? Like I know you don’t watch TV in Spanish, but…

JH:  Like now, it’s different. It’s not like we have a lot of options, but…

Paola: In Hanover, NH! Hahaha

JH:  No. I just don’t think there are options. But, it’s hard to tell because religion…I don’t know. No. The only thing I try to do is speak Spanish in the house and try to just make it available for [my daughter] even though it’s not working.

Paola: Really? Does she speak more in English?

JH:  She doesn’t speak Spanish. She understands, but not all of it. Yeah, but it’s also because it’s the reverse of what I was doing in my country. Because now she only spends a few hours at home. And not all the time I remember to speak in Spanish. Sometimes it’s just Spanglish that comes out, so I don’t even know what I’m speaking. It just comes out. Yeah. But it’s the reverse, because she is pretty much all day speaking English until she comes home. And she…it takes energy for her to…when she really wants something she will say it in Spanish. It’s the reverse because it’s not a lot of exposure, especially here. Who is she going to speak Spanish with?

Paola: True.

JH:  Nobody. But, I would say that…and some of the food. You know, I like my beans, I like my rice. Yeah. So I think that food is the one that I do the most. Because the rest, I just got detached from everything…You know, because I changed many ways of thinking that I thought were normal. Like education, for example, that’s a big one. I want [my daughter]to be able to get an education and that’s one of my priorities like …you go to school and it’s boring or whatever it is, but you have to just go through it because you need it. I just think that I’m the one that broke that cycle in my family. And I think that after, after it’s broken, I hope that [my daughter]when she has kids…that it goes a different cycle. A new cycle. So, you know, because culture…religion, I don’t really…Even though my mom still thinks that I should baptize…she has all of these things about gender roles and how she is supposed to be dressed and what toys she is supposed to have. I think those things, I don’t…

Paola: You don’t want to…

JH:  No, You know. I just think that you just have to cut the bad, I’ll call it. And just get the good. Even though I don’t want to be involved…because some people when they come here they just detach completely from what they believe in. And I just don’t believe…Something positive that I saw from my mom is the way you talk to other people and the way you related to other people. Like you have to be respectful and you have to look them in the eye. And if they are older than you are…even though sometimes they are not right, sometimes you just have to put your head down and… this is one of the things that I don’t agree with in this country. And I think that’s why this country has so many issues with following the laws and listening to your parents. I don’t think…I think that a kid…I don’t believe in mistreating kids, but I just think that when you have to spank them and say “That’s enough”, you have to do it. With [my daughter], I’m being very patient, but she knows when I’m serious. I think that some kids in this country they lose that even though they are very little. And because I’m going to sue you and I’m going to tell my…it makes it easier for them to work their way around so many things. But, just raising children. I think that I keep that from my mom; I think it’s healthy for them. To just follow rules, you have a responsibility, if you want a reward you have to be responsible for something. Other than that, food is very important and I…even though it’s very difficult just to keep it. Especially since she goes to school and it’s like finger food and now you really just have to work on going back to … but that is about reinforcement. And the language. The language is a big thing. When I have the change I’m going to put her in a bilingual school because I think that that’s one of the things that she has to keep. Especially, since my family is in a different country and I want her to able to communicate with them. I have family members here that don’t speak Spanish so they go there and…so they don’t have any contact with the families and I think that’s very sad. So, language, food and the way you raise your children, I think that I’m going to keep that forever. And education is the one that I put on the side and said “this is enough of this. I’m going to work to pay my bills”. That kind of attitude…it’s not enough.

Paola: That’s powerful. To break that cycle, I think is very powerful.

JH:  Yeah! And it’s horrible because…it’s not that I enjoy school! I’m too old for school. Especially when you’re just done with school in your country and you come here and you just have to…it’s not even just studying a different career. It’s knowing what you want, it’s a different language. That makes everything, every reading, every presentation, everything…it gets messy. Sometimes you get discouraged because that happened most of the time. Especially when you’re trying to do a presentation and you have an accent and you feel that people are not understanding what you’re saying. Or you’re not actually explaining what you want to say because you don’t have the words to do it. So you know, it’s hard. And I’m telling you, it is…it’s not a choice. And at this point to break that cycle is not a choice, you just must do it if you want…especially since you want your kids to just see…because [my daughter]won’t see it now, but she will. Especially when she is older and mami can spend more time in the house. Because she has a more flexible schedule, so then it will be worth it.

Paola: Wow, that’s very true. I’m just like thinking about my parents and how they see education and all that. But, different story. Hahaha I guess, last, last question. So what are you doing now? You said you’re in school?

JH:  Yeah, I graduated last June

Paola: Congrats!

JH:  Yeah, I graduated from my Associate’s and now I’m almost done with my Bachelor’s. So my Associate’s was in Liberal Arts and now my BA is in Psychology. So what I’m going to do, is I’m going to start taking….you know what I want to do is speech therapy. So, I’m going to mix it up with some French so it will be, mostly, it will be with Spanish speakers. You know, if I get there, it will be with French speakers and kids with disability; because I’m going to take some Sign Language classes. So it’s going to be emphasized on linguistics.

Paola: Wow! That’s so interesting

JH:  Yeah, it is. And you know, it goes back to when I came here and the experiences I had here, just because my coworkers had a baby while we were working in the stores. This kid was struggling and they didn’t know what was wrong with him. When he was like four…after everybody thought that he had problems, whatever, they discovered that he had some speech problems. So he needed therapy. But it was…it was a struggle for his mom to just find the right help just because, unfortunately, pretty much everybody that is qualified to do that speaks only English. So what they had to do is make this kid learn English first, and when he understood…you know he’s four…so they had to speak to him in English, which creates more issues because you have a problem with speech and now you have to learn a new language in order to get the help you need. So it was like a year that it was wasted somehow, just because you have to know what they are talking about. And then, just become and treat the problem. So after I saw that…you know it’s hard to just acquire a new language, it’s hard to learn. So I just don’t think there are many people qualified to help families like mine, let’s say, that you go to a new country…because there is a lot of immigration in this country. And usually they come with small kids. And first of all…adjusting to a new everything. And it’s a lot of issues, its not just learning. It’s about making the whole process easier for them. My whole would be to work in a public school with Spanish speakers and then I will open my own office. I think that…public schools are very important to me; they are where all the kids that really need help, and cannot afford…that’s where they go. And especially because, as my own experience, making $5 an hour, how many parents are there that they are making $5 an hour and they are sending their kids to school. It’s either you eat or you send them to look for help. And that means time for them to find them, if they are lucky enough to find somebody who speaks Spanish.

Paola: If.

JH:  If! And they are willing to help. It’s like this whole…and again…that’s why some kids, even if they know what they want to say, they cannot find a way to say it. And I was there! So, even though I didn’t have the…I had the language barrier, but I didn’t have any other issues going on. So hopefully, I will be able to help the Latino community in whatever I am. And hopefully it will be soon, because after I finish, we’ll see what happens.

Paola: That’s really amazing!

JH:  Yeah, so that’s what I will be doing; hopefully soon.

Paola: Well, good luck with that! But I’m sure it will go very well.

JH:  I hope so.

Paola: So, I lied. That was not the last question. Hahaha One last question; just like a more general one. How do you think gender and gender roles influenced your coming here, your decision to leave, adjusting to the U.S.?

JH:  I mean, gender roles. When we talk about gender roles, which is the way were supposed to…the role you are supposed to play in society. I think I broke all the gender roles. EVER! Even since I was a kid. I just never fit in the…I’m like in the middle. I never did anything that was “girly” per se. I never remember doing anything like that. I was different, let’s say. Gender roles…like I compare myself with my brother. My brother, he broke…actually he didn’t break any roles. He is married, he has kids, he works and he takes care of the family.

Paola: So that’s what’s expected?

JH:  That’s what is expected from him. And also, part of the culture of…in my country, you stay in your house until you get married. Then you live on your own; sometimes. But then, it’s this other part that is…if your family has a factory or whatever it is…everybody works in the same place. So you see what I mean? That cycle is still there. You know, my brother he is fitting everything: his family, he works, takes care of them, but he still is like behind. He lives like 3 doors from my house.

Paola: Oh, wow! Really? From like your parent’s house?

JH:  Yeah, so it’s perfect. It’s a perfect life for a male in his 30s. Everything is perfect. With me on the other side, I started working really early in life: when I was 16. I was like “I need money” So I would just get the car and go and put signs and I would take people from one university to another one and I would pick them up. Especially when it was morning classes or late. I always had this… and then my dad would be very upset. He’s like “You’re working, people are going to think I’m not giving you what you need”. So since I was 16 I was breaking any law that was about gender. My answer was like “I just want money and I don’t want anybody to ask me ‘what did you do with the money?’”

Paola: I see. You didn’t want to give explanations

JH:  No! I hate giving explanations, so I’m not going to do it. First of all, it was an age thing, that’s not expected. Second of all, I was transporting people and usually when you drive people around you have to be male. Because it’s like being a taxi driver. And it’s also like…my dad’s pride was like…he wasn’t happy about what people would think about me doing this type of job. But then, I started going to school and getting these good jobs like a swimming instructor and I used to make good money. Then it’s another thing that my brother always blames me, because used to make a lot more money than he did. So a female, making more money than male…that doesn’t make sense. That’s a second one. Gender roles, I can talk about the way I dress, just name it. I never did the whole dress thing. No. Because some people do it, just because they have to do it just because it is a girl thing. And I suffered from like…since I was 6 until I was like 12, I can remember my mom putting those pink dresses on me. Just because that’s the way a girl is supposed to look. So I never fit any of those, but then when I came here, it was the same thing. You know, a girl would never get out of the house, like that. Just being independent. It’s not “appropriate”, it not “lady like”. Comportate como una señorita. That kind of things that would come to a conversation…

Paola: Everywhere

JH:  Yeah. Sit down like a señorita…

Paola: Cross your legs…

JH:  Cross your legs. A señorita would never do this. Do you want them to tell you that…So, I was always reminded of all of those things. But then I came here. The job at the store, was part of the role I’m supposed to fit. But then when I was working at night-time, that was another thing. You know, “you don’t work like that because the only ones that work at night-time are you know…” Then, again, when I started going to school…usually boys are the ones that get educated. So, my brother is a lost case because he hated school. So I graduated from high school and I’m good. But then just going to school, and making a goal “I’m going to do this, instead of sending my money and saving to go back” that was not something that a girl would do. Especially in some countries it’s not so usually. And the big one for my dad was when I started playing soccer. That wasn’t good. Yeah. He was like “That’s for men. You’re not supposed to be playing that. If my friends find out, what are they going to think? Blah, blah. Blah. So everything…it just doesn’t fit the regular gender roles in anything. The only way they felt that I had a perfect little thing going on was when I was working as a babysitter. But it was in NY. Because that’s normal, you take care of kids and….that’s what you do. And it’s normal. And they would ask me about the little girl, every time. And they would send gifts for her. They don’t even know her. It was just this whole…and they were getting worried about me not having babies because I was getting to 29. And it was like “When are you gonna have babies?” and all this pressure because “You’re the only one in the family that doesn’t and…so that’s part of the expectations that I never fit until I felt like it.

Paola: ahahaha until you wanted to.

JH:  Yeah. Because with me, I’m not about…I don’t think I have ever fit in any of those roles. And I don’t think at this point…I’m almost ready to retire! I’m not going to change so many things. So being independent is not part of the…of this…gender role thing. So, I don’t think…when you talk about female and male “Women are nurturing” and “boys are independent and girls are followers and boys are smart…” I’m like “I can be independent, I can be smart and I can be rich, and I can be whatever I want”. But you see more of that here. However you don’t get the same opportunities that a white male would get. Because when you talk about diversity, there are many layers of it. And I have everything that doesn’t fit in a powerful position: I’m an immigrant, I’m female, I’m Latina. You know, name it. I’m over 30. And all of these things, instead of going up, you just start going down. And some of those things change the kinds of opportunities you get. And the only way that you can get those opportunities; the few opportunities that you can get, is by going to school. Again, it goes back to the same thing. You ‘re never going to get ahead…it’s hard to get ahead with an education…without it! You are working in a McDonald’s forever and counting you pennies just to go to do anything. Gender roles and maybe that’s why I go to school too. Just to break that gender role rule that girls are supposed to be in the house taking care of kids. Because that’s what is expected and it is normal not to be able to see yourself anywhere else. Just that thinking would break any gender roles, just name it. It’s right there. And like I said, I don’t think I would ever be able to be a full-time mom. I think that there are other important things to do. I can raise my child, when she is home. But I can have my own…something that will make me grow, that will make me feel better about myself. I can be a good mom, but I can also be a good therapist. So, and I don’t think there’s…There you go gender roles! There you have it. So you know, it’s harder and you have to work extra; it’s true. I just don’t think those gender roles…Its 2013, we shouldn’t be just looking at gender roles anymore because…it’s too…to open, to the same ideas that. We are living in the past, so we are not moving on and I think if you want more girls out there standing up for themselves, you have to break that other cycle. Yeah, it’s fine you don’t have to wear just jeans and tie. It doesn’t have to do anything with that.  You dress the way you like, and you do what you want. That gender role thing should be gone by now. Unless, for certain things.

Paola: Very true. I agree with all of that.

JH:  There you go! I should be putting myself in a political party…in a political thing. Hahahaha

Paola: You should be! Hahaha Run for mayor.

JH:  I don’t like people that much to just be out there talking to people…But gender roles. If you want to make me talk, we can talk about gender roles. Hahahaha

Paola: Well, thank you so much. I agree with so much of that.

JH:  Okay, there you go.

Paola: Well, that’s it. I mean the last question is just: is there anything else you would like to tell me? Or anything else you would like me to know? Or people reading this…

JH:  No, I think that covered pretty much it. Like, you know, once again like when you meet somebody, just don’t judge them for the way…because one thing that I’ve learned in this country is that sometime people because they are what we call “American”…they are white…they hear an accent and they think…they immediately think that you are stupid. And I just love it. I just love it because sometimes I just play dumb. I just want to see what they really think. But then it comes to a point, let’s…you want to talk about the immune system or you want to talk about the economy? We can talk about it! Because I know. I’m a professional, just because I’m not a professional here…all those years of school, they are there. They are there and I know things that you don’t know. I have experienced things that you haven’t. And it’s all of this knowledge that they just dismiss it just because they think that because you speak a different language that you don’t know what you are talking about. And these assumptions that I’m like… you are supposed to smarter than me because you are white…or you are supposed to be more educated than me….where is it? What about education? What about the way you treat others? So one of the things…I just love it. And one of the things I have learned here is that you just have to…maybe because of what I’ve studied…maybe because it’s all psychology…maybe that’s why I picked that major…because I just love to see how people react to me, especially when they meet me. It’s just awesome just to think like…because you can feel, you can sense, when they look at you and you look different than them.Or…it’s just this immediate…it takes them 2 minutes just to hear them say…

“My name is…” and they note the accent and immediately they start using simple words. And I’m like “Okay”. Then you will see them talking to somebody else and they are talking about these interesting things, but they don’t talk to you about them because they think that you wouldn’t understand. I’m like.. don’t under…I just like it when they underestimate me and then they look at me and they’re like “Oh my gosh! She knew what I was talking about!” You know what I mean?

Paola: Their face when they hear you

JH:  Yeah, and for me…because you know…maybe because I’m older now, I don’t take it personal. But I like the idea of them thinking that I’m stupid enough that I don’t get it until I can rub it in their faces.

Paola: hahaha and prove them wrong?

JH:  Yeah. Because it’s not even about proving them wrong…it’s about… I just made them realize how stupid they are just thinking that about somebody they don’t know. Because it’s this whole stereotyping thing. And they generalize. Like everybody…not everybody who comes from a developing country is…they never went to high school…I mean to school. And they went to 3rd grade. They are generalizing all of these things. When I look at some people here, even though they graduated from high school, I can write better than them. At least….I feel proud that I went through this whole educational system in my country, but they didn’t ever pass one person from one grade to another just because they needed to keep moving. If you had to repeat a year, three years, you would do it. Yeah! Yeah! My brother repeated like 3 of them. And I repeated like…when I was in 2nd grade and 3rd grade…I was really lazy and I repeated 2 grades and they made me go back to it.

Paola: So they actually keep you?

JH:  Yeah! Oh, they keep you. They don’t care. It’s not like all of these things….when I took my GED here it was…there were people that they were trying for a year to pass it. So you know, were not playing. So at least I can say, what I learned it cost me. So it was…it was what it was. We’re not playing around. And what were talking about just education itself…just because my accent is different doesn’t mean that I don’t know more than you do. So you know, this comes into the dynamic of this country. And its…that’s why I love being in this environment…like Dartmouth right now…because you see more of that obnoxious behavior here…and people are like “Okay, I’m not taking my major is not government, but understand some policies and I know about environmental rules…its more…it’s a knowledge that is more rounded. And it doesn’t have to be so specific and deep into it. Because I don’t care. That’s why I’m not studying it. You know it’s so not limited to this thing. Because I know that if I talk to somebody with this specific mayor, like talk about someday else that is just a little bit different, they will be like “What?”

Paola: True, true.

JH:  So, you know what I mean. Its not about I’m going to Dartmouth, but this is a great experience for me and it had been very, very, very interesting like place to live. And especially because of that obnoxiousness of “I go to an Ivy League school and I’m better than everybody else”. And yeah, you have to be smart to get in, but that’s not the whole thing. And that’s what they don’t realize, you just look into this “I’m Dartmouth, you’re not Dartmouth. You’re not an..” but let me tell you , sometimes…looks can be deceiving. And that would be my last comment. Looks can be deceiving. Amen.

Paola: That’s a great last comment.

JH:  No, but yeah. So yeah, but other than that, I think that that’s my whole point.

Paola: Thank you so much!

JH:  You’re welcome, just show me when you’re finished

Paola: Yeah, for sure…