Yes, I am Mexican American. Yes, I love my Latina friends. Yes, I proudly identify with my heritage. But really? I did not know the other girls sitting there that night and I felt that I was expected to sit by these girls just because we share the same descent. The weird part of the whole encounter was that it did not stop there. On another night on that same week, the cook called me by my name and excitedly showed me a habanero chili that he had on his hand and said nothing else. A habanero. I was dazed and confused. Was I supposed get excited over seeing the chili? I felt that he was assuming that because I am Mexican American I must rave over chili. I honestly can hardly tolerate spicy foods and spicy is not my preference. I think that the cook was trying to connect with me and help me feel like he was trying to remind of home, but I do not think that it was his place to assume these things. The dining staff at Smith is always friendly and you can tell that they want to build connections with the students they serve everyday because these people oddly become part of your everyday life here. But this white man made some assumptions that put me in a place where I truly realized the fact that I am at a predominately white institution where ignorance is something that I have been taught I will have to deal with. I think I sadly experienced this ignorance for the first time at Smith.
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