Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. Every March, the Slice of Life Challenge is a month-long experience where Slicers post every single day for the entire month. I'm joining in on the monthly challenge this year! For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
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In college, I worked at the front desk of the university library. When you entered the mammoth building, you walked up a half-flight of steps and there before you was the Information Desk. There I would sit, behind the desk at a computer where people could ask me questions. Sometimes I shelved books in the Reference Department or worked on special projects but for the most part, I could be found sitting at the Information Desk.
People asked questions about how to use the databases or how to find a certain part of the library. I would refer them to departments, floors, people. Sometimes, people just wanted to chat. Or they would ask their question, and then start to chat.
I love meeting new people but I was shocked by how many people asked me,
"What are you?"
"Where are you from?"
This was not a question I was used to people asking me.
This was not a question I ever asked people.
It's a hard question for me to answer. Honestly, I'm from a northern suburb of Chicago. That's where I was born, that's where I grew up. My mom is from Guatemala but to this day, I've never been. My dad's side of the family is Irish and Welsh, but I've never been there either.
I still get asked this question a lot.
Just last week, a fifth grader turned to me,
and asked, "Where are you from?"
I smiled at her and explained,
"My mom is from Guatemala and my dad is Irish and Welsh."
She nodded at me and went back to her work.
At first, I was taken aback by these questions but I think I understand why people ask them.
People want to connect.
People want to fit in,
they want to see what similarities they might have to me.
People want to understand,
they want to learn about me and hear my story.
I'm glad people ask.
I would rather people ask in a curious way so I can explain
who I am,
what I am,
where I come from,
rather than be judged.
How much better could the world be if we all tried to understand each other more?
To read my previous Slice of Life posts, click on any link below: