Miguel's Journal



Entry #6: We're all outsiders...

Even though Dee isn't back yet we had a meeting with our English group anyway. Becca says that she has started writing the play and she needed some more ideas for things the characters could say so we started talking about this Insider /Outsider thing... I mean, being a person of color in this country is not an easy thing. White people look at you and automatically you are an Outsider to them. And it makes you feel like either they hate you or they feel sorry for you but in either case, they really don't even see you as a person at all. Just brown skin. I have felt that every since I came here. But while we were talking a funny thing happened. I began to feel like I'm not the only one who has felt that way. There was Chaz. This white kid with blond hair and blue eyes and he was saying that he knew just how I felt because he had been there too. Sure, maybe not because of the color of his skin, or his last name or the way he speaks, but for other reasons. Because of the way he thinks and acts and dresses. And the books he reads and whole way he looks at society. He says because of those differences he has always felt like a stranger. I never thought a white person could feel that way (except, of course, a gay white person). I liked him more when he talked about it.

And Becca talked about herself too. Which is kinda strange because although she always raises her hand in class to answer a teacher's question she is one of the most private and secretive people I have ever known. Maybe that is a part of being Chinese, I don't know... and maybe by saying that I am being a racist. I hope not! The truth is I don't know much about Chinese people. In my old school there weren't any so it's hard for me to understand. But then, maybe that's a totally lame excuse for being ignorant. It sounds like something I would get mad at if I heard someone say that about Latinos - that we are all ... whatever. I mean how can every member of a certain group all think or act the same in any way? They can't! So probably the way Becca is, kinda quiet and shy, has nothing to do with the fact that she is Chinese... and everything to do with the fact that she is Becca. Anyway, Becca has a careful way of talking about things. It's like she believes the language is something special and that if you're going to bother to open your mouth and talk, especially about personal things that are important to you, you might as well choose words that are going to communicate exactly what you mean.

She said that she has felt like an Outsider too, a lot of the time. Here at Sandale there are other Asian students but most of them are guys who are into computers and that is not something that really interests her so much. She likes to write stories and poetry and when she writes, she likes to watch the words flow out from her brain, through the pen and onto the paper not on to a screen. So she told us that just because she is Asian doesn't automatically mean that she only wants to hang out with other Asian kids. Because everyone different, you know?

And I do know. There are some Latino kids in this school who do this macho thing I feel like I've outgrown. It is a tough guy act they do, especially around the white kids... and the black kids too. I have seen too much of that and where it leads to, to want to be around it anymore.

So there were the three of us, Chaz, Becca and me and we all felt like Outsiders. So we started wondering if everybody, no matter what group they're in, feel, at some time, that they don't really belong. I bet they do! And because that's the way it is, this idea for a play that Becca is writing, will be something that everyone can relate to. And maybe when people see this play there will be something inside of each of them that says: "If everyone feels that way, maybe we could all do something to make each other feel more like Insiders." Yeah... you know I'm thinking that this play could be the beginning of something very important at this school. Something that really helps to tear down the walls between people. If it could do that, it would be mucho bueno. 




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