Chris, this is a very interesting topic. I’m your mom’s 7th and 8th grade teacher, I taught at OLPH for three years. I’ve been living in Spain for the past 5 years. The issue of where you belong is touchingly laid out in your Ugly Duckling stories, and I’ve experienced it here, too, in terms of being American and moving in Spanish circles. It’s more subtle, and less tainted with the horrific story of blacks in the U.S., but nevertheless, as I try to fit in with my accented Spanish, I think of my students in southeast DC and the trick of becoming bicultural. Moving between two worlds, and knowing how to fit into two (and sometimes more!) worlds. Keep writing! Your stories are honest and fresh.