Cultural Autobiography

Cultural Autobiography - Cultural Autobiography 2 Born into...

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Cultural Autobiography 2 Born into a typical white Christian American family, I was raised as part of the US ethnic majority. My parents were both of German and Irish decent like a good portion of the population. Being that my family was Catholic, tradition was a main part of life. My parents had four children, all born two years apart. Planning and living the American dream became the main values and goals that I could only hope to achieve by following in my parents footsteps. My childhood education began in Catholic school where religious discussions of morals and guilt became a part of life. As a child I took everything to heart. Being the oldest child, I strived to set a good example for my siblings and always stay in line with the expectations set for me. Every morning I would wake up early to help my mother get my siblings ready for school and once we got to school, each grade lined up and recited the Hail Mary and the Pledge of Allegiance. Structure and conformity was engrained in everything. Each grade consisted of no more than 20 students so that teachers could focus on teaching each student how to live the righteous Catholic lifestyle. Through religious classes I learned the rules set in place by God for us. If we all abided by these guidelines we would be freed of our sins and spend eternity in heaven. All of the traditional subjects were also taught by the teachers but the material was purely factual whereas religion class provided a way of life. Following the examples set for me, I did as I was told and truly believed that by listening to those older and wiser than me I would lead a happy fulfilled life. One day my class watched a video about poor children in Africa, seeing how little the children had in other countries made me not want to have everything I had. The guilt I felt as a child for being so privileged caused me to reject all gifts given to me for years. Eventually I realized that it was alright to accept gifts but I should be aware of how lucky I was and I should try to contribute to the lives of others less fortunate in any way possible. Catholic school made me feel guilty about everything and overcoming the guilt I felt over my slightest faults became one of my biggest struggles throughout grade school. As I got older and passed through each grade with my classmates, we underwent the usual changes associated with growing up. One day in second grade, one of my friends decided that she wanted to kiss a boy in our class while we were at recess. As she ran towards him and attempted to tackle him, he yelped for help so I stepped between them and was appalled by her persistence as she tried to get around me to do what I thought was purely repulsive. I could only think that boys had cooties and wonder if she didn’t know that. As we got older each of my
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Cultural Autobiography - Cultural Autobiography 2 Born into...

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