Culture and Self Paper

Gabriella Fiscal
Culture and Self
March 10, 2014
Ethnographic Interview Paper

Education Part of the Melting Pot?

Ani DiFranco stated, “I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.” Imagine that one day you are suddenly forced to leave your homeland. There is no time to put your things in order and say good-bye to all your family and friends. You find yourself fleeing to a strange land where people communicate in a language you don't understand or speak. Instead of returning every day to your family and home to eat and sleep, you are now temporarily staying in a transit camp awaiting permission to enter a new country. You know that you may never return permanently to your country.
What might you be thinking and feeling? How would you survive? Who would be there to help you? How long would it take to learn to speak, read and write this new language? Would you be able to go to college if you wanted to? How would you feel if people's values, beliefs, attitudes and nonverbal communication in this new culture were totally different from your own? How long would it take you to adjust? How would you feel if the holidays you know are not celebrated? How would you feel about adapting or assimilating to this new culture? Obviously, people come to the U.S. for a multitude of different reasons. For some the move may be a desirable event, but for almost everyone it will also involve painful, lonely and
difficult moments. Many things that one has taken for granted until now are gone. This is just
as true for children and young people as it is for adults.
The person I interviewed to further my research on education and language within two different cultures is Martyna Kaladyte. She was born and raised in Lithuania. She came to the United States when she was 11 years old, therefore English is her second language. I interviewed her in my comfortable setting-my livingroom that was it didn't feel like I was...