Time For a Family Meeting

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To be frank, finding someone willing to share their life was rather hard; if anything, strangers in the past seemed to open up to me more than my own family members. A cousin of mine, Aracely Ruiz agreed and shared the not the bright moments of growing up. This cousin, in particular, has always carried herself in a run and positive manner. Aracely is always the one to make jokes throughout an entire family reunion – this interview showcased what was behind her drollery.

I found that interviewing someone with such an emotional story is one of the hardest things to do (I can only imagine being on the other side as well, allowing myself to be vulnerable). I believe that during an interview it is important to maintain a level of composure while still being considerate of the interviewee. Keeping this in mind, I had to remind myself to be attentive in order ask appropriate follow-up questions. This assignment only made me realize how important follow-up questions are; without them, there wouldn’t be a story to write and/or share with the rest of the world.

Of course, not every interview will always revolve around ones hardships – for not every story has a bad ending. This experience, however, has allowed me to grow as an interviewer in the sense that I can adapt myself to multifarious situations.

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Driving Solo

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Where one might grow up admiring their father from between their arms, Aracely Ruiz saw her father through bars on Easter between 11am to 3pm; the visitation hours of the prison nearby.

Upon being released from his strenuous sentence, Ruiz was under the impression of starting a strong relationship with her father. As time passed, however, Ruiz came to the realization that this would not be the case.

“October 18, 2014 was the day I thought things would change. It was the first time in ten years that I had seem [my dad] in something other than grey sweats and a tank top. He got a job and everything was looking up for me,” Ruiz said. “Until he found himself a girlfriend – a new family. It was as if he forgot he had kids of his own; she became the only priority in his life.”

Ruiz found that, as time passed, her father only became more distant and less of a dad.

“He would flip out if I even asked for five dollars to buy a Coaster ticket,” Ruiz said. “It was like I still didn’t have a dad in my life… again.”

At this time, Ruiz began to resent her father for the endless neglection she felt.

“He didn’t care about me so I wantes nothing to do with him,” Ruiz said. “I still don’t and that’s really sad to realize.”

Ruiz knew that to help herself cope, being doleful was not the answer. This conclusion allowed Ruiz to push herself to do something that would better her confidence.

“I always said I wanted my own car; but it’s really so much more that,” Ruiz said. “I wanted to do something for myself, to show that I didn’t need a father to do things for me.”

Where most find themselves alongside their parents once entering the world of adulthood, Ruiz found herself proud of the life she has laid out for herself.

“I’m only 18 years old and I provide myself with what I need all on my own,” Ruiz said. “I have my own job now and am enrolled in college; both of which I drive myself to in my own lil’ PT Cruiser… purchased without my father’s paycheck.”

Ruiz explains that one should not be dependant on someone else for their own success.

“No one but yourself should determine how far you go in life. If you want to make something out of yourself, you need to be the one to do it. You. You are strong enough to rely on yourself,” Ruiz said. “God knows I am.”

Mexican in ‘Merica

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How did we let this happen? How? I just can’t wrap my head around how we let this man, Donald Trump (although I’m more than positive that you know his name for not so positive reasons), win the 2016 election. How did we let this happen?

If you’re a Trump supporter, congradulations; it’s best to point out that this blog – more so rant – will most definitely not add to your party. I would suggest you move along, and I don’t feel bad about it since this is my blog. Therefore, I should be allowed to post what I want; by all means, you have the same right as well, so put your fingers to use — except, the last time you did that, we ended up with Trump as our president-in-line.

This election, in its entirety, that put the people around us into perspective. Taking that into consideration, I’m not mad at America; I’m sad for us. I’m sad that, at this day and age, people like Trump can be praised for setting us back as a society. I’m sad that throughout his entire campaign, Trump’s wrong-doings still had to be explained as to why they were wrong. I’m sad that, despite disregarding everything this country is striving for, the people still chose him.

Now, I understand that, ultimately, I’m not a politician. While my pertinacity hate to admit it, I don’t know everything; I’m 15 years old. The fact that I’m 15 years old and found it necessary to write this tangent out at 4 in the morning, however, should say a lot about this man. I’m not white. I’m mexican. Yes, I know that this shouldn’t mean anything in terms of an election, but it does.

If you were to know anything about Donald Trump, it would be of his inexorable slander. The man, despite trying to go back on his words, does not represent ‘minorities’. Aside from how sad it is that I should have any reason to think of myself as a ‘minority’, that is the way Trump views anyone who is not white; there is no denying it. I am 15 years old. I am still growing up, and I should not have to grow up listening to Donald Trump tell me that my people are “not sending over [our] best.” That my people are “bringing drugs,” “bringing crime,” and are “rapists”.

I am aware of my worth. I know my value, and I know that I am not any of those things – nor will I ever. There are other people my age, unfortunately, that do not. I have seen too many people – of a variety of races – be influenced by what prejudice media feeds to them. If someone grows up being told that they will only ever support a stereotype, it will be the most difficult thing to do the opposite; being a stereotype is all they’ve ever known so how can we, as a society, expect them to do anything different? There will never be evolvement in our country if we do not let it happen — Donald Trump will not let it happen.

I believe that I have lived in more than enough areas to be aware of this race division; yes, it still exists and, big surprise: if you are not white, you’re not the main priority. In no way, shape, or form, should this be the truth and it weighs on my heart to know that our president is only deepening this division.

I mean, to each their own but that does not mean I need to respect your opinion. To be frank, I don’t respect a chauvinistic man’s opinion, and I find it rather difficult to respect those who do (and no, that doesn’t mean I attack Trump supporters; despite what he says, I, a mexican, have morals). If you are representing a country, you should represent everyone that resides in it. Trump, take notes.

Adding Up The Future

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While venturing alongside me in web, Freshman Colby Roberts finds numbers and algorithms on his mind and in his future. Aside from the obvious liking of writing – by enrolling in journalism for his first year of high school, Roberts expresses his enjoy for the simplicity behind mathematics.

“Most of the time,” Roberts said, “there is only one answer.”

Roberts believes that because the subject is reasonably straighfoward, it is also the one answer for his future.

“It’s more reliable. You wouldn’t lose your job just because you’re not as good as someone else,” Roberts said.

When asked about said job, Roberts found himself distant from teaching others in comparison to providing for others.

“I don’t see myself as a teacher,” Roberts said, “but an accountant.

It is clear to see that, despite being a freshman, thinking about the path that lies ahead is nothing new for Roberts.

“Really, I’m going to be a lawyer in the future. I might do a profession that uses both math and law because I enjoy each of them,” Roberts said. “If I minored in math but majored in law, that would be great.”

By setting a clear path to his interets, Roberts is able to focus on what will benefit him as he grows with little doubt; it is never too late to take a glance into your future.