Personal Narrative: My Spanish Language Essay

It’s always on the back of my mind, and resurfaces to my thoughts when I’m in any social setting regarding Spanish—my second language. I am 3/4 Puerto Rican and 1/4 European, though my pigment carried from the European side, as I have the typical blonde hair and blue eyes. My father was born in Puerto Rico and my mother, although being born here, her mother was Czechoslovakian and Polish, my mother’s father was born in Puerto Rico much like my own father. It always boggles me why I don’t look more Spanish due to the more Spanish heritage I contain. When people see me, they only see my pigment—white. They don’t see the Spanish part, supposedly, until I tell them; then they give me a “Right” or “I see it now” as if they’ve known all along….

I learned to avoid this by hiding my Spanish class from those family members going forward. This only got worse much to my dismay when we were asked to present a dialogue in front of the class with the teacher which included responses to the teacher’s questions regarding the dialogue’s context, picked at random of course. About 3 minutes into the conversation with the entire class staring at me, I had run out of general responses to dodge my teacher’s questions which with time had only become more complex. So embarrassed by my mediocre display, I had fainted in front of the class only to regain consciousness a minute later with the whole class staring down at me. I spent the rest of that day in the nurses office until my sister came to bring me home. With my high school reputation diminished, the rest of the semester had gone surprisingly better. I passed my final Spanish exam with a 93% and my aptitude for Spanish had increased with each coming year. Mastering my Spanish regents my junior year of high school with an 87%, and passing the oral examination part with a perfect score much to my…

It’s the feeling I had the day I fainted, it’s the judgmental stares I received from my classmates—the same judgmental stares I get when trying to speak Spanish openly to a fluent Spanish speaking person while the receiving end sees me as “just another gringo destroying our language with his white accent—it isn’t right.” Though I shouldn’t think these things when trying to speak Spanish because it isn’t true, it’s not what the other person is thinking and it is my language too. I have just as much a right as anyone else to speak it because it is a way of connecting with my culture. Although I have always been encouraged by my own father to speak Spanish, I will ensure that my own children have no fear in speaking Spanish to anyone—it will be our language, we will have just as much a right as anyone to speak it. It is a way to connect with our culture and ultimately the rest of the…