The Difference Between Hispanic and Spanish

The Difference Between Hispanic And Spanish

The attached video features Laura and Miranda, both Auburn University students, who are Spanish and Hispanic, respectively.

I picked this story because I’ve had a lot of experience with hispanic and spanish friends expressing their frustrations at the jokes that have been thrown (did you jump the border? do you have your green card?) and the assumption that everyone who speaks Spanish is from Mexico.

I thought it was important to show that just as not everyone who speaks English is from the same culture, the same goes for not everyone who speaks Spanish shares the same cultural background.

The difference is vast, from food to dialect to clothes to the countries typical weather.

Some complications I had were finding the time before finals for my sources to be video taped and getting any B roll at all. Some challenges include video editing, which was admittedly frustrating, simply getting used to using adobe premiere.

Also, one of my problems was finding B roll, as my sources had no time to film other than the initial interview, so I went with a wide shot of the university.

If I had time to do this over I would make time for more shots and possibly rearrange the sequences. Overall I liked the information that they had to say and thought it was a very insightful look into the differences between the two ethnicities.

The above video details what its like being latino in America and how parents are trying to pass down latino traditions to their children who are progressively getting more Americanized.

This video details some of the differences in the language and other cultural aspects of different spanish speaking ethnicities.


Landmarks and Memorials from the Civil Rights Movement

Map of Civil Rights Movement Landmarks and Memorials

In the link above is a map I created detailing five of the Civil Rights Movement monuments that can be found in Montgomery, Alabama. In each of the pinpoints on the map there is the location, the name of the place, why I recommend visiting and a quick tidbit of the place’s history or the artifacts it possesses.

I created this map because, from my past experiences, two of which can be found in previous blog posts, it is evident that while we have come drastically forward from Jim Crowe laws, we still have a ways to go until ignorance on racism is extinguished.

Montgomery is the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, so naturally there are quite a few monuments to be found.

The Rosa Parks Museum and Memorial includes a number of artifacts, including six distinct areas. The museum features a restored “Rolling Church,” a life size figure of Rosa Parks and her infamous bus seat and a children’s wing that aims to get kids involved in learning about the Civil Rights Era. More information can be found in the link below.

The Alabama State Capitol is not only Alabama’s current state headquarters, but a monument of history. A key place in fighting for Civil Rights, the Capitol was a place of controversy. In 1961 the governor raised a Confederate flag over the building, marking a Civil War era. The flag remained there even after an episode in 1988 where African American legislators and NAACP members tried to remove it and were arrested. In 1993, by court mandate, the flag was taken down and replaced by the American flag. More information can be found below.

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church was presided over by Vernon Johns and the world famous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was also a meeting place for the organization of the Montgomery Bus boycotts. More information is in the link below.

The Alabama Department of Archives and History features exhibits dedicated to the Selma to Montgomery March. It has archives containing more Civil Rights Movement information. Unrelated, it has an exhibit dedicated to Alabama Native Americans throughout the state’s history. Information is below.

The Civil Rights Memorial, sponsored by Southern Poverty Law, is dedicated to 40 individuals who gave their lives to the Civil Rights cause. The monument details significant dates during the Civil Rights era from 1954 to 1968, coinciding with the supreme court case of Brown v. Board decision and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The link is below.

A “Whole Bunch of Whites” Confront Alvin Holmes

I recently stumbled across this article, Families Protest Alabama Lawmaker’s Racist Comments, on Yahoo by Beth Greenfield.

I had never heard of Representative Alvin Holmes and now I wish I hadn’t ever heard of him. Unfortunately, he represents my current home state of Alabama.

In case you don’t feel like clicking on the link, Holmes contended that white lawmakers wouldn’t let their daughters give birth to a black child. In fact he said that an overwhelming majority of white lawmakers would force their daughters to get an abortion if the child’s father was a black man. 

He also said that white families rarely adopt black children and went on to offer $100,000 cash to anyone “who could show a whole bunch of whites” brought black children into their families. (More information can be seen at

Let me just pick my jaw up off the floor real quick.

This wasn’t a side comment to a back alley reporter that seems a little iffy as to whether or not he really said it either.


Thankfully many people, such as myself, were completely put off by his remarks. Many of those people took to facebook to protest, the page is called Faces of Families in Alabama and features dozens of photos of biracial families, adoptive families, foster families and hundreds of encouraging supportive posts. Groups of families showed up in person at the Alabama State House to show that a “whole bunch of whites” weren’t concerned with having a child of a different race.

After seeing this, instead of paying up or even apologizing, Holmes was adamant that a majority of white people would never adopt or have black children.

Personally, I think someone with this amount of hatred and assumption shouldn’t be representing me or my state. I for one, could care less what the race of my (way, waaayyyy in the) future children’s father is. He could be from even be from Mars (which would be an incredibly interesting ice breaker). Similarly, I’ve thought about adoption and would be open to it and would most likely adopt a child from a third world country. The race wouldn’t matter, as long as I was getting at least one child out of a possibly bad growing up situation.

But, I open this up to comment. Do you think a majority of white people in the state of Alabama, or even in the United States, would never have a biracial child? Do you think that a majority of white families would never consider adopting a child not of the same race?

“Talking Black”

I’d like to recount an experience I had at Auburn University my freshman year. The people and organizations will remain nameless, for the sake of their privacy. (Hopefully they’ve grown a bit during the last couple years.)

It was early in the Fall semester, when most fraternities are having parties to attract new members and new girls. A guy from my math class invited me to a party at the frat house he was rushing. I agreed to come, as long as I could bring a few friends.

The friends I had at that point were almost entirely from my high school, which is very diverse. I graduated in a class with a large group of Indians, Koreans, African Americans and a few random ethnicities that were fewer in number. In high school race wasn’t a big deal, although whoever scored the highest on the physics test and broke the curve for everyone else was.

So a few of my friends from high school and I went to the party. Three of those friends were black. We all knew just from walking up the block that this was going to get a bit awkward.

Confederate flags could be found in all corners. On the walls, draped from the balcony, tattooed on more than a few arms and slapped across a dozen hats. Country music was blaring and everyone, except my three friends, was white.

Although uneasy, we decided to roll with it. One of my friends asked two guys nearby for a light (who were, in their defense, highly inebriated). They responded by saying, and I’ll never forget this, “Hey dude, you’re black. Can we, like, talk black to you?”

Okay now pause. When I first heard him I was convinced he had drunkenly meant to say something else. I was horrified and embarrassed because I was the one who suggested we go to this frat party. But I thought that maybe, just maybe, he’d somehow swim through the natty light his brain was currently drowning in and reach his senses and apologize.

No such luck.

“Excuse me?” my friend said.

“Yeah, like yo man. Homie?” he replied, completely missing the looks of disgust across our faces.

It was at that point we decided to leave. I told the man who had invited me what had happened the next class day. I asked if that was typical. His response? “Oh yeah, we don’t really have those people at our parties.”

I think that was the point in my life when I realized how unfortunately ignorant someone in college could be. How a group of people could continue ignorant stereotypes and racism is completely beyond my comprehension and totally appalling.

I wish I had said something to that guy. Something along the lines of “Those people, excuse you? What the hell do you mean, you ignorant-”

But I digress.

I hope my generation and the next generation will work more towards eliminating encounters like that. And I hope people will realize (if they have not already) that there is no such thing as “talking black.” Someone’s race does not determine how they talk and what slang they would use and it’s incredibly inappropriate to assume such. Similarly, there’s no such thing as “talking like a white person.” Speaking in ebonics or speaking “proper english” depends entirely on an individual.

The Difference Between Tex-Mex and Mexican Food

Making Enchiladas

I found the process of making a five-step video relatively simple. The challenges, at least for me, was staying quiet during filming and keeping the camera steady during the odd angled shots. Also, converting to an acceptable file from PremierPro. I’m still not sure I did that right.

I chose making enchiladas for my video because, as a Texas native, I thought it might be a good time to explain the difference between Mexican food and Tex-Mex food. Tex-Mex is what many Americans think of when they think of stereotypical Mexican food.

Here are a few differences:

Tex-Mex uses more meat and more cumin. (I love me some cumin, I add it to almost everything.)

Mexican dishes depend heavily on the areas they’re found in. Cities near the ocean have more seafood while inland cities have chicken and beef. Goat is also common.

Fajitas started in Texas, not Mexico.

Tex-Mex dishes have significantly more cheese in them than Mexican dishes. (The style of enchiladas I made are Tex-Mex versions, I put a lot of cheese in them.)

Queso is a Tex-Mex side creation.

Either way, they’re both delicious.


Some information about the differences between each dish was found at

To help with the use of PremierPro, I used my Briggs textbook as well as a Media College Tutorial website, listed below.

Flying Through Obstacles

*I apologize that only one of my links is showing up, the rest I just had to embed the URL. WordPress was being difficult and not inserting the link and in the process was deleting a few of my paragraphs during my attempts.

Rolling On

This documentary style video by David Frank, of the New York Times, depicts the life of an athlete training for the olympics. It shows footage of him working out, of his eating habits (which could be minorly improved) and how hectic his training schedule makes his time at home.

So what’s the catch? Joshua George has spent most of his life in a wheelchair. Currently, he is one of the top wheelchair athletes in the world. A childhood accident left him without his ability to walk, but he is quick to discuss his hatred for the word disabled. He doesn’t consider himself handicapped because he can do just about anything anyone else can do.

The intro hooks the watcher with visuals of George’s wheelchair as he works out. You can see nothing but the wheelchair and you hear nothing but natural sound and panting. It was effective because it was intriguing. The wheelchair, although stabilized, was obviously going fast. It made me curious as to what exactly was going on in the video.

Frank did a very nice job getting the watcher to to care about George, not from a pity circumstance, but more through admiration. This man in a wheelchair is in better shape than most people who have full body function and feels no visible depression about the cards he has been dealt in life.

The story arc depicts a quest, left without ending. George was seeking to be in the Beijing Paralympics and there is an open ended question of “Did he make it?”

The ending I believe, would make the average watcher stop and think about one’s treatment towards people in wheelchairs or with other so-called handicaps. Too often I feel those people are treated as if they have learning disabilities and need to be handheld through life. George shows you can be perfectly independent, and successful, without legs.

The video did a good job of catching George in motion in a variety of settings, I hope to be able to do the same with my own video in the near future.

Wheels Up

This video, also by David Frank, is about a group of paraplegic veterans and their experience at a camp specifically designed for them to experience paragliding. The veterans, in specially designed wheelchairs with an array of volunteers and instructors, were able to experience flight again through the program. Each of the veterans tells a little bit of their story about how they overcame readjusting to life in a wheelchair.

The intro is of one of the men during a take off, possibly one of the first, because the team seems nervous about the attempt. Within a few seconds, however, he is flying through the air. The intro hooks the reader because it is something I’ve never really seen before.

This story has multiple heros and each one gives a small piece of their story. I think variety of reactions allows watchers to more fully understand the different emotions people experience when they no longer have the ability to walk as well as the trials they face trying to convince the outside world that there’s nothing wrong with them.

The story depicts a quest, from the soldiers learning to live their lives in a wheelchair, to the engineers trying to design a wheelchair that could face up to the challenge of a flight and landing.

The ending gives a well-rounded conclusion to the story. You feel respect for these men, not sorry. I was also impressed that they were able to design a chair that could stand up to the forces of a ground impact.

Frank did a good job on getting multiple point of views in the story. From the veterans to the instructors to the engineers, it was well rounded.

A Heavy Load

This video, by David Frank and Greg Bishop, of the New York Times, depicts a mother of three on her quest to become an Olympic weightlifter.

The opening depicted a weight being dropped and the natural sound that comes with it. It is startling and the woman’s voice that joins after it intrigues the watcher. (I’ll be honest, at times I stereotype weightlifting and automatically think of men. Or steroids. Neither of which is the case here.)

The story’s hero is Melanie Roach. She leads a very busy life, running a business, being the wife to a Representative and raising three children, one of which (the youngest) has autism. While the story did show some aspects of her training for the Olympics, a majority of it was focused on her autistic child and her challenges as a mother and dealing with autism.

While the video showed her personal view on autism, I simply don’t agree with it. I’ve had personal experience with autistic people, and while she seems to note that there is something wrong with her son, I don’t think there is anything wrong with autistic people. While a cure for autism would be welcome, to help individuals fit into social standards if they so chose, I don’t believe she is right in detailing giving up on her dreams of what her child can accomplish. He can still accomplish so much, but only if she helps him strive towards it.

The story details more of a conflict, in her dealing with temper tantrums and heavy weights in her struggle to get to the Olympics. She notes that in a previous Olympic run she herniated a disk that forced her out of competition.

The ending leaves open the questions of “Did she make it?” and “How is life with her son now?” It leaves the watcher curious.

This video did a good job of contrasting her home life with her weight lifting. I think I may have shown a little bit more about her training regime and diet (in one shot the family was eating fast food, is that what she eats consistently?) But overall the video seemed to depict an average day in her life with adequate background information.



I’ll admit, I’m as bad as the next grandchild at calling my grandparents as often as I should. I make excuses, I get busy with friends or work, and sometimes go weeks without talking to them. But when I do actually get into conversation with them, not simple how’s the weather small talk, but actual deep conversation, I’m always amazed by what they say. From the stories they tell, it’s like they lived in an entirely different country growing up.

I was fortunate to spend Thanksgiving with my grandmother in Texas. She’s spent most of her life there and she’s big into genealogy. She’s somehow managed to trace my hodgepodge of relatives back about 18 generations. (It might be more than that, I can’t remember, if it is, sorry grandma!)

She knows most of the history, but I find the things she tells me about her life the most interesting. Over break I was looking through her photo albums (of which she has many). Most of the pictures have faded slightly over time, in sepia and black and white tones. Some at the beach, some at various houses. There were many pictures of my great grandma and later my grandma holding chubby babies in bone thin arms.

“Y’all were all so skinny back then,” I told her.

“Well we didn’t have anything to eat,” she replied.


My great grandfather, great grandmother, grandmother, great uncle and great aunt

The idea of not having much to eat is so foreign to me. Even now as I type, I’m eating an apple. I complain that I’m starving to friends when I have to wait to eat dinner past 8 and if I’m really hungry I can just go to the Wendy’s that is about half a mile from my house.

“Growing up,” she said. “We didn’t ask for seconds. There was rarely any food left over and if there was any, it went to Daddy. Because he worked.”

The man got the most food because he needed energy to work, she went on to say. The kids ate the second most because they were growing and needed strength. Mother ate whatever was left.

moe and jake

My great grandfather and great grandmother, all snazzed up for a picture.

My grandfather, who has since passed away, would sometimes tell me stories of his youth while I stayed with them in Texas too. He didn’t speak as often about his childhood. He was a twin and they were the youngest of 14 children. Their parents (Irish immigrants, I believe) were poor farmers. He began working around the farm to help out at a very young age. There were many nights when he went to bed still hungry.

After he retired he grew many of his own vegetables. In most of my childhood memories he is in a ratty old white t-shirt (shirts my grandmother and I would cut up when he wasn’t looking) checking his green bean and tomato plants, debating whether or not to add another layer of fencing to keep the deer out.

papa al and kabby

My grandfather and grandmother

Wasting food would make him upset. I used to not understand why it mattered that I would throw away a half eaten sandwich. But now, realizing what they had grown up with, I do.

Unfortunately there are still many people throughout the world who know hunger. There are many people in the US, many people in your hometown who don’t have enough to eat. Stopping food waste is simple- buy what you know you will use and save your leftovers. (Second day pizza is even better than first day pizza anyways.) You can also donate to local or national hunger charities or volunteer at your local soup kitchen.

For more facts about hunger in America visit Feeding America

For more facts about global hunger visit Bread for the World

Neon Lights and Acceptance


In the supposed most conservative campus in America, pockets of people have found a safe haven. Every Friday, the bar Stir in Auburn becomes a place of greater than average blush amounts, sassy retorts and freedom of expression.

Almost two hours is spent on getting ready for each show. Performers swap eye shadows, dig for the right pink lipstick, and do their eyeliner to perfection. Wigs are brushed and outfits are laid out as a steady stream of light girl power music is played, contrasting with the heavy bass vibrating the walls from downstairs.

Lotus and Imberli, Auburn residents, have heard of other bars targeting possible gay costumers, but say nothing negative towards them. Its right in this case to just be the better woman.

The other bars are missing a huge market however. Handful by handful, curious people have started frequenting Stir. Compliments and hello’s are given freely and judgment upon atypical lifestyles is not passed. The show starts when the ladies are ready, and the audience clambers to the front or to stand on barstools for a better view of the first performer that saunters out.

The queens balance delicately on 4.5 inch heels, strutting, tutting and twerking to the music they have selected for the night.

In between acts they joke with the audience and perform an orientation roll call that never fails to get the audience laughing.

For one night at least, there is no judgment. No one blinks at the gay couple dancing together and if shocked looks are thrown, it’s only to comment on the performers greater dancing abilities.

It is not the place is defining, it is the people. And the people of Stir have made it a place of neon lights and open acceptance.

When “See You Later” Doesn’t Mean See You Later

I recently stumbled across the article Don’t Drink the Water on YahooNews by Christy Karras about what foreign travel guide books say about people in the United States.

Some of the tips I could have guessed, like one from Japan talking about how American food is not subtle. Americans like bold flavors from all around the world, especially if our over-indulgence in salt is any indicator.

Others I found slightly ironic, such as a tip from Latin America telling its travelers to not drink the water and instead buy bottled water.

A few more made me pause and think about the stark differences in some countries. Another Japanese manuel tells of how it is not impolite to laugh with your mouth open, in fact many Americans laugh often with mouths wide open and teeth showing. In Japan, showing one’s teeth is deemed offensive, men typically don’t laugh and women cover their mouths with their hands when they smile. Imagine how shocked someone from Japan would be without those words of advice. Likewise, imagine how many people an American, with no knowledge of this rule, would offend.

Similarly, a few Russian tips advise against gifts that could be seen as bribery (which is shockingly illegal in the US), that American women want to be treated as equals and that Americans are really as cheerful as we are portrayed.

I honestly hadn’t thought about it beforehand, but the idea that bribery wasn’t illegal in the modern world was a bit unexpected.

Similarly, that women wouldn’t be treated as equals in business ventures is offensive to me. In 2014 I figured this would be a nonissue in major countries and that it has to be put as a travelers tip is astounding.

One tip that was reverberated in a few countries tip list is “See you later,” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually see them later. I can see how this would be confusing, sometimes in new friendships the phrase is confusing to myself and I’ve had years of experience using the phrase over the phone and as a good-bye.

So, should you be traveling, it’s definitely a good idea to get a traveler’s guide of social etiquitte and things that might be health issues to avoid being the typical rude and overbearing American in a Hawaiin t-shirt with a fanny pack who demands English be spoken wherever they go.