The story I most want to tell right now is about FIU.
I was born and raised in Miami. My parents are the particular generation of Cuban that came here and made an excellent life for themselves, not teaching their children Spanish for fear that it might socially or intellectually ostracize them. They were the particular generation of Cuban that didn't save the American dream for their kids, they went out and got it all on their own. I don't think they saved any for me.
Florida International University is a good school, don't get me wrong, but my parents are both architects. They met in architecture school, and received fellowships to come to America and study here as architects. Both of them are really high achieving, and set really high standards. It's always been hard, because on one hand they are immigrants, and did come here for a better life, but it was never about creating a better life for their children to compensate for something they never had. They were some of the lucky ones in Cuba, so they had everything except for the fellowship. When they came here, it was for the fellowship, it was never for us. I am the child of immigrants, but I don't fit into that mold.
Especially being from Miami, there are so many immigrants here from all over the world, but mostly from the Caribbean and South America. I feel like immigrants from those areas sometimes try and vicariously live through their children, and I know that I don't have the pressure of parents trying to vicariously live through me, but it's still hard. I don't have any standards to live up to, not because they didn't give me any standards, but because my parents were fulfilled to begin with.
I think my parent viewed me going to FIU as giving up. They would always talk about how getting into architecture school in Cuba was so competitive after the revolution, and about how careful you had to be with the government, but I don't know how much I care. They are my parents, and their past is my past, but they made such a conscious effort to make my brother and I feel so American instead of Cuban, so at this point, I find it hard to care.
Don't get me wrong, I care about my parents, just not about being Cuban. That was their life, and this is mine.