“I moved here from Jamaica when I was six, and my accent was so bad that I had to spend two years in ESL classes before anyone could understand me. I remember feeling very frustrated. I was surrounded by people with really thick accents who were trying to tell me that I needed to get rid of my accent.”
I worked pretty hard to gain a USA midwest accent — consciously at first, then constantly. It’s amazing what a 12-year-old’s brain can do when confronted with the threat of outgroup status.
“What we saw in the 20th century was an anomalous blip when music had a physical form. That was very unusual in the course of human history and it will soon be very unusual again. Music has this intrinsic pull towards the dematerial, towards the unbuyable. It’s a slippery, ghostly thing.”
danah boyd* on her book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
I’m fascinated by danah boyd, not only because her research pertains directly to me, but also because it’s refreshing to listen to an adult discuss teenage interaction with social media in an informed way that doesn’t come across as, “WHAT ARE THESE YOUTHS UP TO AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW DO WE STOP THEM?”
If you don’t have time to watch the whole video—it’s an hour, so, understandable if you don’t—at least try to watch the portion on the relationship between underprivileged kids and social media. It’s pretty interesting and sadly not surprising that teenagers who are already systematically discriminated against face the same problem online (starts at 33:19 in the video).
*My reason for not capitalizing danah boyd’s name is not out of laziness (which is usually my reason for that kind of thing, TBH). She’s chosen to not capitalize her name, along with the pronoun “I,” and instead of having me poorly describe her reasoning for this, she wrote a blog post about it, which you can read here.
"Sometimes I’m not sure how to ask for help, without making them think they made the wrong decision in hiring me."
I’ve been at my current job at a large software company for three years. This is my first job out of college.
I started this blog as an escape from feeling like I wasn’t smart enough for this job.
If you’ve been working at a job (or even in the same industry) for at least two years, one of your responsibilities has to be to help new hires. Mentors are absolutely important. Please be welcoming and inclusive to recently-hired employees. They need your help, support, and encouragement more than you think.