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Rather, I hated Mother Teresa’s intention, but I knew that the quote’s veracity was inarguable.I felt that it was better to judge people so as not to have to love them, because some people don’t deserve a chance. Laura was my dad’s first girlfriend after my parents’ divorce.I have remained the naïve American who saw Castro as some distant enemy of my country, accepting this as fact because this seemed to be the accepted wisdom.
I learned more about these truths in my sophomore year of high school, when I was among a group of students selected to visit Cuba.
My grandmother was born in Cuba, yet I had never thought to research my own heritage.
I judged her to be a heartless, soulless, two-dimensional figure: she was a representation of my loneliness and pain.
I left whenever she entered a room, I slammed car doors in her face.
She understood my anger and my confusion, and Laura put her faith in me, although she had every reason not to. Instead, over the next two years, the one-dimensional image of her in my mind began to take the shape of a person. She became a woman who, like me, loves and drinks a lot of coffee; who, unlike me, buys things advertised on infomercials.
To her, I was essentially a good person, just confused and scared; trying to do her best, but just not able to get a hold of herself. Three weeks ago, I saw that same Mother Teresa quote again, but this time I smiled.I believed that what was missing was a lack of understanding between our two cultures, and that acceptance of our differences would come only with knowledge.My first impression of Cuba was the absence of commercialism.Logical: No, this meeting is an opportunity to evaluate where we are in life, like a State of the Union Address. Once we earn a degree, it might be harder to pursue our true passions—comedy, music, art . In fact, if anything, college will facilitate our involvement in activities like drawing, improvisational comedy, piano, psychological experiments, Japanese, ping-pong . Independent: I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Finding Truths In my life, I have taken many journeys without which I would not have experienced important truths.Existentialist: Speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to ask all of you: college? I-Know-Everything-And-It-All-Means-Nothing, but mightn’t we as well calm down Stressed? Let’s just get back to work, and the problem will heal itself. Lighthearted: We were searching through the late 80s for Captain Planet’s mysterious disapp . My father started us off early, taking us on many journeys to help us understand that true knowledge comes only from experience.Some are emotional, some are cerebral, and some are a combination of the two.Others are funny, serious, philosophical, and creative.These were all tourist experiences that I, at first, found spellbinding.My truths were the truths of the tourist brochures: beautiful hotels, beaches, and cities. I did not appreciate how being held hostage by the beauty of the surface—the beaches and cities—blinded me to the absence of Puerto Rican natives on the streets of San Juan; I did not understand how the prevalence and familiarity of English conspired to veil the beauty of the Spanish language beneath volumes of English translations.Existential: If you consider that your top priority right now. We took trips every winter break to Madrid, Mexico, Costa Rica, and to Jamaica and Trinidad, my parents’ homeland for Christmas.Silly things I remember from those trips include the mango chili sauce on the pork in Maui, the names of the women who gave out the towels by the pools in Selva Verde, Costa Rica, eating dinner at 10 in Spain.