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Growing Up in a Colorful World

In: Social Issues

Submitted By leaianna
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Growing up in a colorful world.
. My world growing up was different than my neighborhood counterparts, not because of being Jewish, while they were Christian, or having two working parents, while most had a stay at home mom, or even because my family had such large gaps between children, but because I had a chance to glimpse the full color wheel of life; that is the diversity of our planet, that makes it so beautiful to be a part of. My parents and grandparents gave me able opportunities to see the world that I was a part of, visiting museums, Quebec, Hawaii and Mexico and introducing me directly to new cultures, people and ideas through the people they knew. My Rabbi, doing justice to John Dewey’s philosophy of education, encouraged active participation, questioning and free thinking about religion, ideas and history, leading the way for me to put this knowledge to use in high school and work.
My high school, participated heavily in the foreign exchange student program and also was home to many immigrants. From Russia, Japan, Germany, Vietnam and Taiwan, to name a few, I became friends with pretty much all of them. I also participated in the key club, in which I started international day, which was so popular that it became twice a semester. International day had booths and information representing every culture on campus they included food, games, music and dancing. Key club members involved, the language department teachers as well the community and extended are meetings into summer, where we were we met the new foreign exchange students prior to school and had a meet and greet the week before school begun. Looking back, I believe that I was lucky to have gone to this school and experienced and implemented unique ways of seeing the diversity of the world, it was a way that I actively showed how I was part of the global community.
Another global community that I am a part of now is at work; The San Jacinto campus library of Mt San Jacinto community college, has been an incredible place to work, filled with diversity of thought and cultures. The head librarian is from Romania, another is from England, the part time librarians are also from other countries. The circulation supervisor is cancer survivor, with no kids and is ex-military who was stationed in Japan. The cataloger was born and raised in California and raised his wife’s kids. In many ways it is a mini global community, with people of different cultures all trying to work together. It is not always easy, misunderstandings, often due to culture, occur. Yet, our shared goal of sharing our knowledge with others unites us at work. The students themselves are of varied backgrounds, cultures and ideologies; every day I need to be aware of these differences in order to serve my customers, the students to the best of my abilities.
I feel that ultimately my role as a global citizen is through education within a library setting. When my kids were younger and I took them to the library, I was immediately struck with how the children’s librarian took each child in hand and helped them find books. She worked with children of so many different cultural backgrounds, several different languages, and socioeconomic circumstances, yet she embraced their differences and encouraged a love of learning. She worked to get to know, not only the children, but their parents as well. Like this librarian, I want to help enlighten the reader’s mind, through helping them find books that introduces them to the world beyond their portion of the global community. I want them to love learning and understanding of what they have learned; for it is through understanding that we truly learned to appreciate the diversity and beauty of the world, in all its colors.

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