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Literacy & Immigrants

I am really inspired by stories of immigrants coming to America and succeeding, although this article had an extremely sad reason for having to immigrate. It was fortunate Kabuika had the opportunity to go to DePaul University but once she began having problems connecting with back home was scary. If I came over here by myself and all of a sudden my family was not answering my phone calls or mail, I would be extremely worried. I get uneasy if I don’t hear from my family at least every 2 days, and my situation is completely different because I am surrounded by many people I know and I’ve lived in America before. For Kabuika, continuing her education but trying to contact her family must be very stressful and disheartening, but from the outside most people would not realize all this is going on. That is something critical between literacy and immigrants, we cannot assume that once they come over here it is like a new beginning, they had a life before they came and still do. I thought she handled herself well and donating her money was very admirable and generous of her. Even though she could have given up because she did not have any direction once her funds were cut off and no family, she persevered and did not blame anybody. This is a lesson that should motivate other students who think they have it hard-everybody to some degree whether visible or not has it hard when it comes to going to school, and Kabuika focused on her future instead of staying in the past.
In the other article, I also admire the ESL teacher for her relationship with the two girls, she did not just go to work and teach, she made a difference in their lives. I would not have told Rabia about her husband, it would not accomplish anything.


I really liked the point you made about how we cannot always tell what someone’s life is like without knowing their story. I think often in life we judge people too harshly without knowing what they are going through and taking the time to understand them. Everyone we meet has a story behind their life that is shaped before we met them and that influences their actions and experiences. For Kabuika and the sisters, their life was extremely challenging and for them to struggle through it and make a life for themselves in America is so moving. If we were to examine many people in the Twin Cities and the surrounding areas we would probably find numerous people that are or have dealt with similar experiences in their lifetime. Although we can not directly erase the hardships and tribulations that they have had to go through, by lending an extra hand or touching their hearts in some other way, we can begin to set them on the right track or keep them moving forward. The more we read in the course packet, and talk in discussions the more it makes me excited about the work that we are doing as a class. Urban literacy is not a problem that will just go away nor will we directly be able to wipe it out completely, but to know that I am making a difference in a city that I just moved to about a month ago makes me feel good, and is a great way to kick off my freshman year at the University of Minnesota.