Lily Melendez

Section Assignment Unit #9: Bridging Multiple Worlds

Completing the Bridging Multiple Worlds Survey, I found it interesting how certain worlds, people, and spaces have contributed to my voice and identity. The survey asked me to define what spaces I belong to and their expectations of me. With this section, I realized a large portion of my expectations to work hard, manage my time, and be considerate of others stems from my family and school community. Growing up, my mom had to work three or more jobs to keep the family afloat, so I had to take on more responsibilities at home: driving my siblings to and from school, running errands, cooking, and doing homework with them. At the same time, I carried high expectations for my academic life, juggling three to four AP classes a year. Considering this, I think both worlds shared similar expectations of self-sufficiency, patience, and independence. In my work world, as a tutor, I transferred these skills in order to convey voice of reason, comfort, and support to my students. Thus, I believe most of my worlds and expectations associated with them are largely interconnected.

However, in taking the survey, I also found in spaces with peers, whether that be engaging in pop-culture like music or movie-watching or partaking in soccer or environmental clubs, my voice alters to fit a liberating atmosphere. I notice I am more playful and unafraid to enthusiastically express my thoughts and feelings. In addition, I am more inclined to speak loudly and rapidly with sporadic pitch changes as emblematic of my emotions. Yet, I don’t think my identity is solely confined to this more freeing space, rather I believe the concept of being a focused and dedicated student and family member is not separate from how I interact with peers or colleagues. In other words, I don’t necessarily think I change who I am within each different world, instead I showcase certain parts of my voice depending on the mood of the situation. There is strength in this duality of character and being able to adapt one’s voice and expectations in various situations. But, at the same time, there is no denying the innate socio-cultural aspect of this adaptation in needing to conform one’s voice to ‘fit’ a specific space or world. I think the most challenging part of this survey was trying to specify the exact expectations associated with each world in a way that did not reveal cultural tensions. I found there were gender biases within a couple of my worlds as I noticed I was not as supported in the realm of math or sports in school by my male peers. Ultimately, I think it is important to gather more of a ‘growth mindset,’ as we talked about in lecture, to confront these tensions and accept the challenge of destabilizing conformity.

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