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Self-Assessment Essay

Diana Caballero 

FIQWS 10108

Professor Svay

December 6, 2023

Writing is Everchanging

            Throughout this course I was able to understand how different language expectations can empower a person yet it can also oppress language users. It has been seen that in places such as America every person is expected to speak English fluently, even though it is not the country’s official language. It is an expectation that greatly affects an immigrant’s life considering their first language is not English and therefore have an accent over their pronunciation of English words. Furthermore, this causes immigrants to become prejudiced and discriminated against for having “broken” English. Without a fluent English there are very limited opportunities, if any at all, for immigrants who speak an accented language. Not only do they have to settle in a different country and adapt to the new culture, they also have the pressure of possibly being discriminated by citizens of the country because of language standards. Language barriers also act as an oppressive force against many immigrants since it can completely deprive an immigrant from receiving help or getting services for certain things. As in Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”, she describes how her mother often times experienced discrimination in the United States because of her accent. She described that there was one time a service person declined to attend her due to her “broken” English, however when Amy intervened in the conversation to resolve the issue the person ended up giving her the services she needed just because Amy Tan spoke fluent English. This experience of Amy Tan’s mother is a prime example of discrimination against a non English speaker. She was neglected due to the prejudice against her English.

  Though language standards can also uplift language users since it gives them a sense of uniqueness as well as acceptance over one’s self. Speaking with an accent over a certain language can also be empowering since it demonstrates that the speaker is proud of their roots and are not ashamed about it. Furthermore, embracing their tru person and developing a new kind of confidence where a person can feel good about themselves and are not worried about what others have to say. Doing so breaks language standards and enhances acceptance of different forms of language which also eliminates any sort of discrimination or prejudice that comes with language standards. As in the case of Saleem Safwat, he mentions how he used to be made of fun for his heavily accented English when he created videos which later on made him alter his voice to fit with the standard English. As he continuously developed more content with voice alterations he realized that he was not being true to himself and it was also a tiring process. Hence, he decided to continue producing content using his normal voice because that is who he is and there is no reason for him to change his voice because at the end of the day it is still English. Clearly, Safwat went against the language standards and decided to continue being himself in order to develop that self confidence that he always struggled to have. 

            There have also been multiple rhetorical situations in which I have analyzed in order to gain a better understanding of them. I realized that multiple rhetorical strategies were used such as the use in ethos, pathos and logos which can include appealing to the audience’s emotions, stating logistical facts and mentioning ethics or cultural aspects. There have also been a series of genres that I had not known of such as a novel or a narrative. I was able to use narrative in one of my pieces of writing in which I also included the use of rhetorical strategies such as pathos. In order to complete readings I developed the strategy to annotate while I am reading since it helps summarize short paragraphs as well as to organize my thoughts and the information to see what fits best to my use. For drafting I decided to check the prompt first and then see how I could possibly layout my essay depending on the prompt but generally, I go with the traditional setup; introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. In certain writing situations I was able to recognize the rhetorical strategies used in the text whether it be appealing to the audience’s emotions or when there’s persuasion going on. 

            To address a range of audiences there are multiple ways such as including a diverse list of sources in order to have the audience understand. Not all audiences might be able to read scholarly articles properly and have an easy understanding of what is going on. There might also be expel in the audiences that might learn better through a quote or a visual. Therefore, it is important to include a variety of sources in order to get a point across multiple audiences. In my writings, I decided to use simple language to connect with the audience in a better way that would sound friendlier rather than a tone of scholar which might be intimidating or even uninteresting. In order to achieve a wide variety of sources, I had to learn to navigate databases and online libraries to obtain relevant information about the topics I desired. To do this, I used the database from my school and added key words as well as sorted out articles that are open access. I did this multiple times for my research paper since it was mostly based on scholarly articles. Therefore, I had to find articles that had keywords such as “Latino”, “Men”, “Culture”, or “Anxiety” which were all part of my research topic. The relevancy of an article had to be found by the date it was published depending on the topic, however the more recent the more relevant, then figure out the credibility of the author and the source itself. If there was any bias detected in the article then the article would be considered reliable since it is opinion-based not fact-based. Furthermore, I was able to formulate texts with the aid of appropriate sources by paraphrasing a quote then synthesizing it with my claim. Through synthesis I was able to connect my quote with the claim I was making. In my research paper, I remember that I used multiple sources to create my claim that Latino culture often diminishes men for showing signs of mental illness. There were multiple sources I gathered that demonstrated that claim. Then at the end of every writing piece, all of the sources used were cautiously organized and formatted in the appropriate MLA format to credit the articles I have used and to avoid plagiarism. Also, throughout a paper I would cite the source I’m using since it is another author’s ideas and not mine. 

Works Cited

Tan , Amy. “Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan – University of Missouri–St. Louis.” UMSL, 1990, www.umsl.edu/~alexanderjm/Mother%20Tongue%20by%20Tan.pdf. 

Saleem, Safwat, director. Why I Keep Speaking up, Even When People Mock My Accent . TED, 16 Aug. 2016, https://youtu.be/B4a0NvLTebw?si=Zk-IpDIPOCxCxTcG. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023. 

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Research Essay

Diana Caballero

Professor Hayley Hancock

FIQWS 10008

18 November 2023

¿Ansiedad? Mejor Ponte las Pilas: The Effects of Latino Culture on Men with Anxiety Disorders

            Anxiety is defined as a persistent feeling of constant fear or worry about a future concern which may impair people from doing their daily routines. There are multiple types of anxiety disorders and different ways that this disorder presents in people. Some of the symptoms for this disorder may consist of feelings of panic/danger, restlessness, tense muscles, inability to concentrate, among other symptoms. There must be a certain amount of time in order to make a diagnoses of any kind of anxiety disorder. There are multiple factors that can affect the making or not of a diagnoses such as culture and immigration experiences. Furthermore, there may not be accessible treatments or there is no treatment received by the unaware patient. Hispanic men are abundantly underreported in the diagnoses of an anxiety disorder primarily due to cultural beliefs as well as concerns with documentation. 

            Across the United States, it has been visible that men are less likely to seek out for help when it comes to a mental disorder essentially due to the social standards placed on men. In addition, men half of the time are not sure of what receiving treatment for a mental health disorder entails, which leads them to avoid even trying it. According to psychiatrist Kevin Simon he asserts that men do not seek services because they are not well aware of what emotions they are going through (Laine, 2023). Furthermore, evidencing that men are not so in touch with their own emotions due to the lack of knowledge regarding mental health and it’s treatments. Hispanic men are a population that greatly suffer from mental health disorders. According to the Mental Health America, their graph displays that an estimated 18.3% of the population in the U.S. are Latinx or Hispanic and that 16% of that portion have reported to have a mental illness in the past year (MHA, 2019). This evidence showcases how prevalent mental illnesses tend to be in Hispanic communities moreover putting Hispanic men at higher risk of developing an undiagnosed mental illness. Men already are not treated enough for their mental health problems and on top of that being a minority group tends to come with multiple other issues that may contribute to mental health disorders. Discrimination, low-income, among other issues may contribute to the development of a mental health issue. Sometimes other factors such as culture or religion can be an influencing factor for the development of a disorder. 

            Culture is set to have multiple beliefs, behaviors and morals that could have an influence in the development of a mental health disorder. Some practices from “conservative” cultures may seem very immoral to “modern” cultures, however the practitioners and the people within the culture see nothing wrong with it. Though if that conservative cultural practice were to be done in a modern country then people would not be okay with it. An example of similar ideology is seen in a study where Mexican-American families and European-American families were examined by controlling a parent’s warmth towards their children; it was found that the Mexican children had felt more anxious when their parents showed more warmth which was the opposite case for European children (Varela, 2009). Varying cultures signify for different reactions towards certain behaviors due to cultural beliefs that make it okay to accept certain behaviors. There was a contrast between the two different ethnic families and their children’s reaction towards their more controlling attitudes. Latino culture tends to lean more on the stricter side which might have been a cultural influence towards the children’s feeling of anxiety when their parents were being warmer towards them. In addition to having stricter standards, in Latino culture it is also very common for men to have an image to live up to. That is to have masculinity and always show manliness in order to fulfill their role as man because if not they are then degenerated, this concept is often referred to as machismo. The National Institutes of Health affirms that machismo negatively influences the desire for Hispanic men to seek help for their issues and only evokes unrealistic expectations of men to not show emotions and vulnerability (Espí Forcén, 2023). Evidently, such exaggerate expectations placed on men only push them to shut their emotions away instead of receiving the help they truly need. Culture makes a huge impact in how men present themselves or in how they view themselves which closes them off from receiving help for any disorder.

          Immigration also plays a significant role when it comes to cultural influences since Hispanics are well known for constantly migrating to the United States in search for better life opportunities. However, it is also a process to become accustomed to a new language and a new culture while preserving the native language and culture. As stated in an article by Emily L. Escovar, may lead to a concept called acculturative stress which is the stress of settling in a new environment and adapting to a new society and discrimination perceptions which oftentimes leads to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other disorders (Escovar, 2018). Clearly the experience of an immigrant also contributes to the effect on stress and anxiety due to new cultural adaptions and settling into a new society. It is a drastic change in one’s life which may contribute to the development of more anxiety symptoms especially as an immigrant who has limited access to resources. Some immigrants may not even have knowledge about the resources available to help them with their issues. In the article Latino Immigrant Stressors, Emotional Exhaustion, Coping Resources and Work-Related Outcomes it mentions that acquiring educational and job opportunities is very difficult for immigrants since it takes a great deal of effort which may induce stress and even health problems (Rohde, 2018). Adapting to a new society with certain limitations to resources due to legal status can become very stressful which may cause an increment in health problems. Too much stress can lead to an anxiety disorder to develop and worsen overtime with the lack of resources to treat such health problems. 

            Overall, there needs to be more studies done on Hispanic men and anxiety disorders being influenced by cultural values as well as occupational status. Latino immigrants in the United States often have a difficult time gaining access to helpful resources therefore it would be useful if people understood the struggles that may Latino men have. They struggle with fitting in to unrealistic standards and managing their own emotions, more has to be done to alleviate all of the Hispanic men suffering in silence.

Works Cited

“Latinx/Hispanic Communities and Mental Health.” Mental Health America, 2019, www.mhanational.org/issues/latinxhispanic-communities-and-mental-health. 

Laine Perfas, Samantha. “Why Men Are Less Likely to Seek Mental Health Care.” Harvard Gazette, 9 Nov. 2023, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2023/08/stigma-mental-health-care-men/. 

Varela, R. Enrique, and Lauren Hensley-Maloney. “The Influence of Culture on Anxiety in Latino Youth: A Review – Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review.” SpringerLink, Springer US, 11 Mar. 2009, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10567-009-0044-5. 

Forcén, Fernando Espí, et al. “Deconstructing Cultural Aspects of Mental Health Care in Hispanic/Latinx People.” Psychiatric Annals, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Mar. 2023, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10540642/#:~:text=Machismo%20is%20another%20sociocultural%20aspect,to%20seek%20mental%20health%20care. 

Escovar, Emily L, et al. “Cultural Influences on Mental Health Symptoms in a Primary Care Sample of Latinx Patients.” Journal of Anxiety Disorders, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5918638/. 

Rohde, Derek. “Latino Immigrant Stressors, Emotional Exhaustion, Coping Resources and Work-Related Outcomes.” The Free Library, North American Journal of Psychology , Mar. 2018, www.thefreelibrary.com/Latino+Immigrant+Stressors%2C+Emotional+Exhaustion%2C+Coping+Resources…-a0529864264. 

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Rhetorical Analysis

Diana Caballero

Professor Svay

FIQWS 10108

October 17, 2023

Dear John Smith,

Good evening Dr., my name is Diana Caballero and I am a professional psychologist specialized in the behavioral department. I hope everyone in your family is well. I have crucial information to share with you regarding your wife’s mental health condition. I must inform you that your wife has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. According to concurrent information and our newest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5), written by The American Psychiatrist Association (APA), your wife has fallen under the symptomatic criteria for a schizophrenic illness. In your wife’s diary we were able to determine certain things she wrote that fell under the schizophrenic criteria. 

She often described feeling upset and crying frequently when you were out of sight she also wrote that overtime she began to shift sleep schedules by sleeping in daytime and staying up at night. There has also been signs of psychotic behavior due to the fact that she described a woman to appear from the wallpaper. She would also make certain strange remarks about the wallpaper such as mentioning different color tones, seeing lines moving as well as mentioning a smell coming from it. All of these are signs of derealization given that her senses are picking up on things that are not truly there.  All of her mood episodes were initial signs of her illness. In the DSM-5, giving birth in certain seasons of the year have been connected as an environmental risk factor for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Specifically, during late winter or early spring as well as summer depending on the location. According to your statements, you have stated that your wife recently gave birth in spring earlier this year which might have been a contributing factor to your wife’s diagnosis. 

For clarification your wife in fact did not suffer from “hysteria” she was suffering from depressive symptoms that would later on convert into hallucinations which constantly torment your wife. These hallucinations have caused your wife to display signs of social cognition deficit such as not being able to identify other people’s intentions and interpret unimportant events as meaningful which is the cause of delusions (APA, 2013). Your wife has mentioned you and Jennie having a particular interest towards the yellow wallpaper even though you might say you just glanced at it. In her mind she is thinking that you are plotting to “discover” what is behind the wallpaper even though there really isn’t anything. She truly believes that you and Jennie know that there is something going on with the wallpaper since she “sees” a person behind it as well as identifying a terrible smell to it. That’s the basis of schizophrenia you cannot convince her that there’s nothing in the wallpaper because she genuinely believes that there is a person behind the wallpaper. Furthermore, the DSM-5 states that women in their late 20s are prone to experience their first psychosis episode which closely lines up with your wife’s age as well as the first time she had an out-of-reality experience. However, it has also been found that your wife has family members that also suffer from schizophrenia. It has been imperative to our knowledge considering schizophrenia could also be passed on to other generations through genetics. Increasing the likelihood of suffering from schizophrenia, especially with what she had been experiencing since she gave birth. All of these factors are what unfortunately led to the development of schizophrenia. 

I understand that the antique diagnosis and remedies were different than what they are now but the best solution to this problem is to take her to receive therapy and prescribe her medications. Therefore I recommend you to go to a psychiatrist who will give you the drugs your wife may or will need according to the diagnosis I gave her. She will most likely receive second-generation antipsychotics such as Clozapine or Clozaril, which should help reduce a relapse and to reduce the side effects on her motor abilities. There are many options available, you just have to identify whichever suits her best. There are also newer medications that could improve cognitive function such as Olanzapine and Risperidone. In addition to medications, your wife may also need to have therapeutic treatment in her recovery such as psychosocial intervention or family therapy. These are methods to improve the patient’s behaviors as well as to acquire certain social skills in order to be able to normally reintegrate into society. There can also be cognitive behavioral therapy in order to instill awareness of her delusions. In her writing it was visible how her symptoms became worse the more time she spent locked in her room. It began with depressive symptoms which then became into hallucinations due to her being untreated. The medications will improve your wife’s symptoms as well as reduce any relapses and the therapy she will receive will help her become more mentally stable. People will help her recognize her beliefs and help her get through them. She will not go through this alone anymore and she doesn’t have to hide how she feels anymore. You have forced her to fit your expectations of a “healing” process which has led her to have more mental problems. Locking her into a room was perhaps the last thing you should have done. Considering she hated the wallpaper in the room she was locked in, her delusions or hallucinations began to revolve around this matter. She was not allowed to visit anyone or to do any activity at all which is what led her to be more into her mind and continuously develop more symptoms and abnormal behaviors. Your method made her feel lonely. 

Therefore it is for the better that she receive medications and therapy. This is the best way to help your wife for now. I understand it is not easy to take in but this isn’t your fault, this is the time for you to show her your support if you truly love her. If there are any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Best wishes, Diana Caballero 

Citations

Clarke, Diana E, editor. “Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association, 2017, pp. 99–105. 

Rhetorical Analysis

            Based on the story of The “Yellow Wallpaper” my argument was that the woman narrating the story suffered from schizophrenia due to her abnormal behavior throughout the story. From delusions to abnormal sleep schedules to irrational emotions, all indicators that there is something very wrong. This woman had qualified for many symptoms that are present in people that have schizophrenia. The genre is a letter which is intended for the woman’s husband and to my professors as well. I chose the letter because it is a simpler method to express the diagnosis and it is a way to analyze deeper the behaviors of the woman to classify it as a mental illness. Through the letter I am able to place myself in a psychologist’s point of view which includes the emotion of breaking the news to her husband and the analysis itself of this woman’s behaviors. The husband primarily is the intended audience since he is the husband of the woman. He wrongfully diagnosed and treated his wife’s mental illness which led to her illness to progressively worsen. Therefore, it was necessary to provide a concurrent diagnosis of his wife to help her. In order to support my argument I used information from the DSM-5 book since it describes every mental illness known as well as the symptoms that correspond to each illness. The book is current and relevant to 21st century advances in psychopathology which ensured the proper diagnosis of the woman in the story. Logos being the rhetorical strategy used in this case since there were relevant facts included to support my diagnosis as well as to provide credibility to my statements. I also attempted reasoning by mentioning how the “treatment” the husband was giving to her wife was never going to help her. Isolating her from the world in a room with a wallpaper she initially despised was not a very logical strategy to use in his situation. No one wants to go multiple days locked up in a room without any activity. Especially in a room that one is not comfortable in. I attempted to use a stern but at the same time delicate tone as another rhetorical strategy. The stern tone is to evoke a sense of authority and seriousness towards my points and my argument. This way I put emphasis in serious matter when mentioning the topic relating to the diagnosis as well as having a delicate tone. With the delicate tone I am able to empathize with the husband considering how devastating it can be to know that a loved one is mentally ill. Mental illness can disable people that suffer from it which is not always the easiest thing to handle. I have also attempted to use ethos as a way to emphasize my point trough the use of the DSM-5 since it creates a much more credible argument and it is not just someone spatting out unknown terms with any evidence. With the use of the DSM-5 I am able to corroborate my diagnosis and my points in order to help the husband out, considering he was also a psychologist from a past time period. Theoretically, we both have the same interest of health therefore I would be a credible person as a psychologist to diagnose his wife and it creates more persuasion with my argument. Overall the purpose of the letter was to inform the husband of a concurrent diagnosis of his wife’s illness and propose a proper treatment for her recuperation. 

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Language and Literacy Narrative

Diana Caballero

Professor Svay

Composition Individual & Society 10108

November 3, 2023

Cultural Identification Blooming From Language 

            I had not been aware that language comes in many forms and tones which can change depending on context or region. In one country alone, there could be multiple variations of a single language. I only became aware of this during the time I temporarily moved to Mexico. It was a shocking reality that had not occurred to me in my younger years. I had always romanticized trilingual people or people that know more than 3 languages fluently. I believed that it was a luxury for one to confidently say they are trilingual. Yet being able to speak in different dialects from a certain language is also luxurious. Being a part of something more. The feeling of being entitled to one’s culture, or country of origin, is much more valuable than being able to speak all the languages without being a part of a culture.

            My journey to Mexico initiated during the very beginning of 4th grade, where I was still practicing reading and writing skills. Teachers were also incorporating computational skills by beginning with creating small codes. Due to my family and I’s parting to Mexico, I never got to follow through with that training. It is still a sour thought I keep in mind. To me that was the only con about the entire situation and yes, I will always be salty about it. My mother had made the abrupt decision of moving to Mexico in order to be with my father and become a family once again. Honestly I was extremely excited to live in a different region, my ethnic home country, somewhere that was completely new. I had no clue what to expect from our time in Mexico. I certainly did not expect another brother. However, I was certain that it would be a magnificent experience. From the moment we arrived, it was starting to feel very surreal. In the airport, I was able to see my father and ran up to him with my brother. All three of us tightly squeezed together after a long time of being apart. Since then we have been greatly embraced with the warmth of my father and his family. Back in New York, none of family members were as affectionate or warm. It was a magical feeling that I couldn’t grow tired of and that I still crave today. Though I had not realized that my relatives we were living with spoke in a completely different lingo than what I would speak with my parents at home. My parents and I mostly spoke in a formal way which is something I assumed every Latin American culture and country spoke since that is how we all understand each other. I realized that was false when I started hanging around with my cousins and uncles. They spoke differently. To me it sounded very rude and informal which is something that I was not used to at the time and I saw it as an awful thing. Since my brother and I were still growing up, my parents made sure (or at least tried to make sure) we never heard curses or any kind of informal language. Then my family in Mexico began saying things like “Que onda chamaca” (what’s up kid) or “No mames eso está chingon” (no freaking way that’s so cool). I had never heard anyone say things like that but it really stuck to me for a while because at some point I had no clue what they were saying. I just knew that the way they were speaking sounded so cool and so much better than formal language that it has become a part of my language. I was loving the new lingo and the culture I was being introduced to. Slowly but surely I began to understand the lingo and speak it as well. Although there were sometimes where I had troubles. I vividly remember that one time I was hanging out with one of my cousins in the backyard of our house. Most of my family lives together in one of my grandfather’s territories, therefore hanging out with my cousins occurred quite often. While I was hanging out with my cousin and my brother, I remember he said “ábrete” to one of us. I was sort of stunned but mostly bewildered. Ábrete in Spanish means to open something but in this context it seemed absolutely illogical to me. So then I remember asking him what he meant with what he said. That’s when he told me that it meant to move out of the way. That was a moment that I never forgot because it really hit me that not everyone speaks the same kind of Spanish and that there are multiple lingos or dialects to a specific language. 

            The journey to Mexico helped me acquire all the amazing experiences I now have with my culture and my native language. I feel a much deeper connection to my roots which has enhanced my confidence being considered as a Mexican American girl. I feel in touch with the two cultures that make my identity. Going to Mexico and learning the lingo has made me feel much more confident to say that I am Mexican, no one gets to make fun of me or judge me for the language I speak. No one can tell me that I have been “Americanized” because I am in touch with my roots and I know my culture. I love my culture and I love Mexico. My experience living in Mexico has enhanced my identity by a huge margin which is something I am eternally grateful for to my mother. If she had never made that life changing decision my life would have continued to be boring and empty. Even if I was never able to practice making codes in 4th grade. The knowledge and the experiences I have obtained from Mexico are much more than I could have ever imagined, much more than what sitting in class and making codes would have ever taught me. These experiences are a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing that has completely changed my life, I feel proud of who I am and I am still trying to incorporate those dialects into my daily life because that is who I am. 

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