Senior Picture Day

1. The short story “Senior Picture Day” (page 51) begins with the sentence: “Sometimes I put two different earrings in the same ear.”  In the context of the story, what might “two different earrings” symbolize?  On page 53, Terri and the narrator discuss the difference between being Mexican and Californian.  In what ways is the narrator both? 

2. What standard of beauty is the narrator of “Senior Picture Day” trying to achieve by pinching her nose?  Can you think of any attempts on the part of women in our society to conform to a standard of beauty that is not natural for them? In what ways does Terri’s life also fail to conform to standards of perfection?  What does that prove?

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3. In “It’s Hard Enough Being Me” the narrator states: “Trying to understand who and why I am, while understanding Plato or Homer, is a lot to ask of myself”(136),  What does she mean?  How does her comment support Claude Steele’s research (see video on Stereotype Threat) on the connection between stereotype threat and intellectual achievment?

(Video link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2bAlUKtvMk)

4. Mention two ways in which Anzaludua in “To Live in the Borderlands Means You” page 1175 expresses a dilemma similar to both “Senior Picture Day” and “It’s Hard Enough Being Me.”  Mention and explain at least one example you know of a person or group living on “the borderlands.”

5. Mention one way in which the play Los Vendidos might reinforce stereotypes, and one way in which it satirizes the whole idea of stereotypes.  Give one example of a stereotype found in popular media today.

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