The value of interacting with people of diff. backgrounds


Meet Vivi, my roommate

Vivi likes saying our apartment is like “United Colors of Benetton,” and even jokes we should place ourselves by order of skin tone when making lines together.  The 366 apartment is luckily painted pastel yellow (the other apartments are either puke pink or Barney purple), and is host to Naima, an Indian Muslim studying to become a special ed teacher; Claudia, a loving Hispanic with a strand of Chinese blood who loves cooking; Jennifer, a tan Hispanic who studies every night until 4AM (she’s actually the neighbor and lives in a Barney purple apartment but practically lives with us); me, a Chinese looking Hispanic mutt; and Vivi, a half Caribbean half African American, who graduated from a degree in math and just completed her second Bachelor degree in Nursing.

Also, she just passed her exam to become an official registered nurse, which is why I am drawing her.  I thought it would be a nice present.

Living in this house has taught me so much about different points of view.  I have celebrated the end of Ramadan with Naima and learning what “Eid Mu Barak” means, discovered about Lisa See’s books on women from Claudia, understood motivation and hard work from Jennifer, and learned from Vivi on racial issues and even about the Chris Rock documentary on hair.

We’re all moving from that house soon, either because of graduation or because of leasing issues. Although from culturally different backgrounds, we always made it work and got along well together.  We’ve all learned so much from one another, become more open minded.

Our brains and hearts are often stimulated from different points of view.

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