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Rebecca Frazier

EDU 280- Summer 2016

8 June 2016

Cultural Autobiography

My last name is Frazier, but that really doesnt say anything about who I am, because that

name does not belong to my biological family. The name that is a better representation of me

and my family is Gemlich, a German name. That is where my family mostly traces back to. My

family and I joke that the German is strong in us, because all of my family members continue to

have fair skin, eyes, and hair. Where I come from and the influence of my family are huge parts

of my cultural identity. Those two aspect have helped shape who I am today.

My immediate family and I do not know much about German culture or language. We

are originally from Chicago, IL. I was raised there until I was nine years old. Then I moved to

three different states, over the course of 13 years. I have lived in Illinois, Florida, Washington,

and Nevada. All four states have a very different culture to them. I think that throughout the

years, I have taken pieces of each states culture, which has helped form who I am today.

Chicago has its own suburban feel to it. Food is a big part of the states culture. A lot of my

food preferences come from there. There is a sense of pride that is exhibited by Chicagoans, for

their state. Florida is a tropical state. The art found in Florida is primarily art inspired by the

beach, shells, palm trees, sea life, and reptiles. There is a lot of sea food there. For a long time,

the art I would favor would be art that reminded me of a tropical atmosphere. The primary race

that made up where I lived was Hispanic and African American. That is where I was first

exposed to a lot of Spanish. Washington is a state that is known for its rain and its art. It was
when I lived in Washington that I learned about many different forms of art, and where I

developed my artistic skills. Overall, where I lived openly accepted and celebrated diversity.

There were clubs at my school for all different types of people. One in particular was the LGBT

community and the Deaf community. The primary races that made up where I lived was White

and Asian. Quality education is of great importance in Washington. It is in this state that I saw

the most acceptance. Nevada has a unique culture because of its climate. With Nevada being a

desert, the structure of the homes are built in a way that work with the heat. Nevada is another

very diverse state. Similar to Florida, I see a larger makeup of Hispanic individuals in this state.

People are able to dress in summer attire for longer, because of the weather. Additionally,

people mostly use a vehicle as their mode of transportation because it is too hot to walk. All four

states that I have lived in are very different from one another. I have been fortunate enough to

meet many unique individuals who come from very different backgrounds. From each place, I

have taken away knowledge or have adopted some of its art, food, clothing, language, education,

or beliefs

My family has played a huge role in the creation of my cultural identity. From my

family, I have developed most of my values, beliefs, and traditions. Traditions are a big part of

my familys culture, because it is what keeps the family close to one another. We find holidays

and birthdays very important, and have established practices that go along with them. For

example, we have certain foods that we eat and certain movies that we watch on specific

holidays. My beliefs of religion are due to my familys influence. I have never been very

religious, but I do consider myself a Christian. While growing up, my family would talk about

having faith, even though we were not a part of a church. At certain times, we would pray

together. Another aspect of my culture is my economic class. I have always fallen under the
lower to middle class. There have been times of financial struggle in my life, and a part of my

familys culture is to remain strong and push through those hard times, together. Honesty, hard

work, compassion, trust, and loyalty are a few values that I have adopted from my family.

Often times, we do not think about our cultural identity, or how it has been formed. I

have never put a lot of thought into my culture. The places that I come from and the influence of

my family has a greater impact on my culture than I would have ever thought. After thinking

about the many different aspect that make up who I am, I have gained a better understanding of

the reasons behind my personality, practices, beliefs, and actions. As a teacher, being aware of

my own culture will help me when I want to bring cultural awareness into my future classroom.