Third culture children are those who grow up in a country other than their parents’.
I have traveled since I was a year and a half between continents and boarded airplanes throughout my life like buses and heard many times a given assumption that traveling is supposed to open your mind.
True or false?
FACT 1: While traveling may sometimes broaden your horizons about different countries, cultures, and peoples, it may have the opposite effect and reinforce your prejudices and racism toward others.
FACT 2: While traveling opens your mind to the world, your peers may not like your “open” views. It is a classic situation that may lead to bullying. Your difference becomes a source of scorn.
The situation led to bullying, even by the teachers.
One of these teachers was Vincent Orlando, who taught history. I must have been 13 or 14 years old at the time.
Orlando told the class what a great country the United States was and how evil the former Soviet Union was.
“If you open up the gates of that country, everyone would leave,” he claimed.
I double-checked my answer in my head twice to make sure I understood what he said and what my answer would be.
“If the Russians have never left their country,” I said, “wouldn’t they think their country is the best?”
My comment got a swift and violent reaction from Orlando.
“Are you some kind of a communist?!” he snapped. “If you don’t like America go live in Russia!”
Orlando kicked me out of the class. As I was outside the classroom door, he threw my attache case behind me, breaking it.
Orlando never apologized for the incident, and some students started labeling me a communist.
Blessed Sacrament School was no heaven for me but a daily living hell.