Are You Underestimating Your Kid’s Talents?

     This past weekend, I was at my daughter’s 6th grade orientation. It was exciting for her because she’s entering a new phase of her life and she’s been on cloud nine about being the bigger kid and moving onto bigger, better things.

The purpose of the event was to get kids and parents excited about networking and getting involved at school during their middle school years. They were drilled with the idea that their end goal was to go to college so that they could get a great job doing what they love.

The Principal urged the kids to aspire to do something meaningful and productive to society instead of becoming a YouTuber! She kind of mocked YouTubers and it annoyed me.

I was annoyed about that statement because it shows how closed minded schools can be about stepping outside the box and doing something different that contributes to the world.

She mocked YouTubers and judged them as if they were just playing a game. She made it seem like it’s a joke of a job that doesn’t use intellect, technical or very intricate skills. Continue reading “Are You Underestimating Your Kid’s Talents?”

Travel: The School of Culture

When I was a kid, I’d watch shows that depicted families taking long trips during their spring breaks or summer vacations. They’d travel to different parts of the country or to foreign lands. Most of the families were middle class white people who’d get into their minivan or RV and explore amazing places.

The first time I traveled was when I was 12. I went to Florida because my parents were calling it quits and my mother and us kids were supposed to make Miami our new permanent home. After I was there for about a month, they reconciled.

But having flown on a plane was an amazing experience for me because for the first time EVER, I saw people that looked like me and that was eye-opening.

I used to think that people who could afford to get on a plane were super
rich. When I took that flight, I didn’t fly first class, but I was upgraded because the flight attendants knew I was flying alone and they took caring for an unaccompanied minor very seriously.

I remember they kept a close eye on me and I got to eat a HUGE piece of chocolate cake with a glass of milk (1st class perks!). I was stoked!

You see, traveling to nearby places from my home was a challenge for my family of eight (six kids, mom and dad). My parents worked a lot and we didn’t have much money. We couldn’t afford to stay at hotels and we couldn’t afford an RV.

Camping was not something Nicaraguans did. I don’t even know if my parents knew what that was when I was a kid.

Our vehicles were also not reliable, so the summer we traveled from Chino to Silverwood Lake was the highlight of our year…. actually, it was the highlight of our decade.

Then, right after high school, I joined the Army. I ended up at Fort Jackson, S.C. with people with all sorts of dialects, shades and backgrounds.

A few months after I had graduated from training, I was put on an enormous three aisle airplane bound for South Korea (my first duty station) never giving it a second thought about what a big deal it was for an 18 year old who had hardly traveled to go so far from home. Continue reading “Travel: The School of Culture”