My saving grace: Non-English music

Cutting Room Floor

Wanting to sing along to your favorite songs sounds like a strange and somewhat shallow reason to learn a new language, but I found value in properly understanding songs that resonate with me.
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Talking back

Off the Beat

I didn’t see choosing to study French as an affront to my heritage or as leaving my culture behind. But my mother disagreed.
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Retraction: The anatomy of a name

Mixed Feelings

And while my dad couldn’t control the balance of my facial features, he did give me the one concrete thing he could — his mother’s name, Hafsa, and his family name, Tatah. He gave them to me so I was always aware of the family I was a part of and had something to show for it.
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