Here we go...
My kids have been attending a Spanish immersion school since they were in kindergarten. They're big 8th graders now, about to move into high school, where the "immersion" part of school will change, so that they're essentially only doing a single foreign language AP class. So they're "graduating" from the immersion portion of the program.
For their final project they have to interview a native Mexican, who speaks Spanish. It's a crazy project for so many reasons. A Mexican? Where are we going to find a Mexican. We live in goddamn Seattle. Plus, it's just so ethnically specific. Meanwhile, Seattle is so liberal and progressive people tend to discount ethnic/racial differences, so this is putting ethnicity squarely into focus in ways I haven't really thought about, and that make me feel somewhat uncomfortable. "Hey. You Mexican?"
Why not just task them with interviewing someone who doesn't speak English? They're in a Spanish immersion class, so it's hard to imagine they're going to interview a Russian or a Texan or something.
We tried to coordinate a Skype interview with family friends from Mexico who we haven't seen in years, but the logistics and technical challenges were too great to overcome. We have all sorts of ethnic friends, but no Mexicans. It was very frustrating. Finally, end of semester approaching, they loosened the requirements to any Spanish speaking culture, which opened up the door to my son's in-laws, who are from Cuba and Costa Rica.
Will be interesting to see what the interviews look like. I know my family wasn't the only one that had a hard time. I know of at least one family who went to a Mexican restaurant and interviewed one of the wait staff. The kids were supposed to get pictures of the people they interviewed, and when the cameras came out, the restaurant staff all got a little antsy. Does that just seem -- I don't know -- awkward?
Last edited by TimElhajj; 01-13-2012 at 09:44 AM. Reason: spelling
Here we go...
I hear Carlos Mencia isn't doing anything.
Carlos Mencia (born October 22, 1967), born Ned Arnel Mencia, is a Honduran-born American comedian, writer, and actor.
Tim, could you use a less offensive term?
(That and "Motel art..." are the only quotes I know from the American version of The Office.)
Did you ever try looking at language partners? There are any number of websites where you can say I want to speak with a native speaker who speaks this language, and are willing to trade experience with your native language. Then you get matched up and Robert is your father's brother. Not sure if saying "only Mexican native speakers" is an option, but it wouldn't surprise me.
BS the interview and photoshop the picture.
7902 foreign-born in Seattle originally from Mexico.
The really easy way is to note that Seattle has a Mexican embassy. Really.
Holy shit are you in such a bubble that you believe there are just white people in Seattle?
Wow, just wow.
The problem is he's holding himself to rigid requirements of the project. Seriously, I doubt they would know or care if your kids spoke to native speaker of a spanish speaking country. Unless they had to ask questions that might only be specific to Mexicans.
Actually my wife, who used to live in Seattle, says Mount Vernon or Monroe.
Here's Seattle by race:
Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, each dot = 25 people. Just follow the orange dots.
Or wait. Are you suggesting calling the Mexican embassy to setup an interview? Man, that's actually a pretty good idea.
Just head over to Home Depot, dude. Day workers would probably love to talk with your kids.
Myabe that's why I don't have any kids. But seriously, is there a reason why it can't be somebody from Cuba, Panama or some other Spanish speaking country? It sounds like the point of this is to prove the students can go and speak and hold a conservation with a native speaker. It would be somebody taking English classes and being told to find an English speaker from only England.
I am sure there is a reason, probably having something to do with the curriculum, but I'm not 100% clear on what the reason is. Your example is 100% correct. Fortunately they did relax the requirements and we got a Costa Rican.* Thank God!
*for robsam: Kids got a Costa Rican for their class project!
I love that Seattle is color blind and doesn't even notice race, man.
An easy way to find out where people are from is to talk to them. I know it's weird, but give it a try. At a bar, or at a restaurant, or in line at the grocery store, etc. I don't do it because I don't like talking to people, but my wife does it so I get roped into conversations. I know this is less easy if you're on a deadline, but still. People generally like talking about themselves and where they're from if you just talk to them like they're people. You don't say "HEY YOU MEXICAN?" you say "So where are you from?"
And then they say "Seattle" and you say "no I mean, originally" and they stare at you and you nervously laugh.
Dude, if you had posted this on Craigslist you'd be done with it already.