In the city where I have most of my memories before college, I only spoke Spanish with family and English with anyone else. Now I speak Spanish in any opportunity I have, which has led to an increase in my Spanglish. As I walk to campus, I hear workers interact and that is the closest I am to home. The white pick up trucks, the black mustache, the ponytail, the brown skin, and the working hands. I am not very good at interacting with anyone: not my peers, not my professors, not even my own roommates. And I’ve come to realize it is because I have felt like a labor worker most of my life. My parents. Just going to high school, doing what I have to do to achieve that next level to take my whole family with me. I didn’t do much talking, I didn’t do much thinking. High school was so numbing and tried to erase the only thing I’ve always had: my broken Spanish, my culture. Maybe that’s why I always stuttered, and got nerves in class, and never pronounced things correctly. A part of me knew they were trying to erase me, but I wouldn’t let them. I didn’t let them. I stuttered. I stutter.

More than anything, college has given me space to appreciate the things I did not see or appreciate before. It has allowed me to see what was once invisible. My Spanglish, my family, education, my elders, my privilege, myself. I am still that part day labor worker brown boy, trying to survive in this whiteass institution.