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Letter to Ms Doyle

Dear Ms. Doyle,

When I decided to sign up for American Mosaic, I did not know what to expect. I knew that, as a class, we were to talk about America’s melting pot, how this quilt of cultures is what defines us, binds us; I also knew that these distinctions, our differences, is also what keeps us apart. After your lecture, I knew we would address issues deeper than what can be seen from the surface.
I realized that, as educated individuals, we can deracinate our own prejudices and challenge these assertions. Your discussion on unconscious bias made me aware that such a task was possible. Even though we may live a life never completely expulsing prejudice (as we are forever imperfect), I am comforted to say that I have learned more about tolerance.
But only time could answer my questions regarding my own culture. I am an American; my ethnicity is Filipino. And to this day I have never felt like I could be both. The Filipino culture is rich in its family life, which is something I take pride in and is a gift I am blessed with. I love Filipino food; I love many little aspects of its way of life. But sometimes, I do not feel like I completely belong. It’s not something I can talk about more insightfully because I don’t even know how to describe it. It leaves me feeling as if I have to ignore both sides of me in order to feel like I am not… split.

I know it takes time to consider these feelings and thoughts. But most importantly, I am thankful that you encouraged me to begin this journey of ‘asking’ and ‘answering’ in my own little way.

Larissa Gamalinda

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