as a growing teen, Manuel didn’t know what to make of himself. Growing up in a small town in Virginia, It was very hard to find someone that could relate to Manuel and his identity. Going to a local school, saying that the demographic of his neighborhood is mostly white, and if not, then the rest are Asian, it was really confusing for Manuel to understand what it is to be like him. Dealing with racially biased treatment that his friends would never deal with because they look like everyone else in the town. Blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, all of these features being the norm in Manuel’s town, none of which he had. Once Manuel‘s old neighbors moved out, he realized a family had just moved in after them, a family that looked just like him. Manuel builds up the courage to go and meet them and is overwhelmed by a big surge of culture shock from a culture that belongs to him as well, but he was never taught, he was able to experience so many things like, taking care of his curly hair correctly, understanding the challenges he’s going to face in life because of the fact that he doesn’t look like everyone else in town, being able to bond with people who knew exactly what he was going through. An experience like this was so surreal to Manuel, he could not believe that in his small little town in Virginia, he would be able to understand who he truly is, that’s what made him feel worthy, feel valued, and feel like he was finally heard.
Professor: Jessica Penner
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM – 1 PM. I’ll be available through Zoom and will send an invitation via email that you should keep all semester. Try to join my meeting at the start of the hour, not at the end—since I may be talking to other students or have another appointment after the hour is up. If those times don’t work with your schedule, we can schedule a different time. This means you’ll have to schedule an appointment in advance via email. I suggest you have multiple times in mind, since your schedule may not mesh with mine!
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