Juan Ricon: Juan Ricon.
Interviewer: OK, good. Um, tell me what you do well at school here.
Juan Ricon: I do well in—in English. I like English. I like with Miss Sellers. Uh, and I like geography. I like art too, yeah. Especially art. I like art. I like to draw on stuff. I have my own sketchbook and draw things and it’s like what I do for fun for—just draw. I like it.
Interviewer: What were you good at in school back home in Columbia.
Juan Ricon: In Columbia? Hmm. I was in Columbia good at uh, uh like social studies, um geography, and math, and everything. I’m good at—here at that—at that like in math and everything. But in Columbia they put you more to study more things. They put you a lot of homework and it’s like harder. It’s better here. I like better to study here.
Interviewer: Because it’s easier.
Juan Ricon: Yeah. Because…
Interviewer: So tell me how—tell me about how school is harder in Columbia or easier here. Tell me about that.
Juan Ricon: It’s harder in Columbia. Yeah, because you have to like—there’s like—do the homework. Like you stay up at 1:00 in the morning doing the homework and you have to go in the school at 6:30. You have to wake up at 5:00 and then go at 6:30 and you get out at 1:00. And sometimes the--the P.E., you have it at the finishing the school. Um, and here uh it’s—it’s just easier because you work better and…
Interviewer: Tell me what’s easier about school here.
Juan Ricon: Here is the math and—and the—the—everything. It’s like—you can understand better. It’s—it’s better here. I understand better here. (interruption)
Interviewer: When you came in October, can you remember how it felt the first few days you were at school—the first few weeks and how is it different now then in the beginning.
Juan Ricon: Um, it’s—it’s—it’s no different. Well—well, it’s very different about the language but the feeling that you are—feeling like new here and like you are—some things different but the same—we—we look the same but we have different cultures and everything, uh that’s—you—you feel something that you miss sometimes from your country. Your family—I have some family there and you miss—you miss them. But uh I don’t know, I just think that when I finish college and everything I’m going to be happy about me when I finish everything in school. Um, it’s not like no different in Columbia.
Interviewer: What do you miss most about home?
Juan Ricon: Home? The food. It—I like better then the food here, the food in Columbia. But I don’t miss—I—I miss my family, yeah, a lot but nothing like—like for dying about it, no. I’m feeling right here.
Interviewer: What do you like about American culture so far? What’s been the most shocking thing and what’s been the—like the good surprise.
Juan Ricon: Um, uh about the—about—I don’t know. I like better when—when you are like in the—in the school and you don’t have to like—you don’t—you don’t have to stay in the—in Columbia you stay—you stay in the room, the classroom, and the teachers walk over the rooms. And here like I get lost all the time and it was hard. And that was hard to me too. But the thing that I like here is the teachers because they help you to and everything. In Columbia they just—they give you the homework and you have to work it out and—at—at home and—but I like—I like here better—the—the work uh studying and everything.
Interviewer: Tell me about your friends here. Do you have Spanish-speaking friends, American friends, both groups? What do you have?
Juan Ricon: I have more Spanish-speakers. But there isn’t like anyone from Columbia and I just speak like with Mexicans or from South—South America. But not from—there is like no one from Columbia and that’s sometimes feels weird. Because even that we speak the same language, they have the different culture and everything. So—even the language is different and like you have to like speak to them and just start to comprehend the—the language and everything.
Interviewer: Well, sometimes people think everybody who speaks Spanish is just the same, right? They forget that there’s all sorts of different countries and different dialects.
Juan Ricon: Yeah.
Interviewer: Tell me how you—what you’ve noticed that’s different between Columbian culture and Mexican culture.
Juan Ricon: Uh, the—the—the speaking. It’s very different. The speaking is—is—is—like they have for—for calling a person is different, for telling a like all the—the kind of stuff is different. The culture different about the—in the food uh, how dance—how they dance and everything. It’s different. Yeah. It’s a lot—but we have the same things too sometimes like for speaking the language, um our looks are sometimes the same. Yeah. But we’re not the same. We’re not the same.
Interviewer: Tell me about your families plans. Are you planning to stay in the United States the rest of your life? Are you planning to go back to Columbia? How long will you be here?
Juan Ricon: We don’t really know, but—but I want to stay. I want to stay, uh go to college, and—and go to a mission too and everything.
Interviewer: What do you want to study at college?
Juan Ricon: I don’t really know. I want to study electricity or something like that or printing like that. I don’t know. I’m really thinking about something like with electricity and um—but I do think of art but I don’t know. I don’t know if I would be good if—if I like—for like pictures or drawing a movie. I don’t know anything about—I just know to draw but I don’t know what—what like—like technically what is it about, the art. Yeah.
Interviewer: Haven’t learned that yet.
Juan Ricon: Yeah.
Interviewer: When you think about your reading skills, do you like to read and do you think you’re a good reader? And tell me how much you read.
Juan Ricon: Uh, I read a lot. Yeah. I like to read a lot. At first I started reading in Spanish and—here, when I came here. I just started reading in—in Spanish and everything but when—when I started in an English—it’s a—it’s a little different because the—the—like the subject of the book sometimes it starts like—it starts going like in the first part and then it finishes with the—the thing in—in the Spanish books like this, they start like—it starts like with—first like asking questions, what’s happening, first—you don’t know anything about the person first. And then you start knowing—you start knowing about the person and then you start knowing what happened. At last you know what happened in the whole story. You don’t—you don’t really understand the first part in the book in Spanish. I like to read in the both. I don’t feel—I like to—I’m starting to read um better in English but the first part, I wasn’t like that good. I was like getting stuck with some words and—and forget like—forget some words like talking. I couldn’t even pronounce them. It was pretty hard.
Interviewer: Tell me some books you’ve read at home.
Juan Ricon: At home I have read um—a first part will start with me—because in Dixon will start reading with—with some books like—is stories—like little stories. Like I don’t remember the names but there was one about the—about a waitress or something. It was weird. It was the first weird because I didn’t get the book really well, then I have to read like three times and then I could get it. Because in English some words can stop you from understanding the book.
Interviewer: You don’t have—have you read any books at home? You talked about school.
Juan Ricon: At home, yeah. That’s where I read—sometimes when you—when here in Provo High they just start—they do some books that Miss Sellers gives us because she has this little box and she puts some—some books and she put—she puts us to read like 100 pages and then another 100, another 150. And then you have to do like 500 pages and you just read at home. And sometimes she put out reading the, you know, in the room or something.
Interviewer: K. Do you think—when you think about your speaking skills, and your writing skills, which do you think your better at? Reading—writing—speaking or writing.
Juan Ricon: Um, they’re both are right. I don’t know about it. I think they both are the same. I feel like the same because I—the first thing that I started to do is the speaking and then—and then I started writing and everything. But when I started writing the journals and everything that Miss Sellers put us and we—we start like finishing—like we—we’d start writing and writing and writing and writing. Then you like getting better at writing at the time—uh, the time you speak English.
Interviewer: Do a summary. We’re going to practice a summary. Tell me about your writing skill and your oral skill, how you said you feel they’re about the same.
Juan Ricon: Yeah. It’s pretty the same because when you—I started write—reading, um writing—the first thing I started was speaking the language, and then I just started writing and everything because Miss Sellers sometimes put us to write but in—back in Dixon, they put us—Mrs. Brew, she was the teacher over there, she put us to write a lot and I started speaking in—in English and she didn’t let us speak any Spanish. But sometimes we did uh speak Spanish but we speak mostly in English because the teachers didn’t know any Spanish sometimes and then you have to like speak in English or not speak in anything, even in Spanish sometimes. And then we would come—I went—I put back—I speak better when I come—I speak like good in—I speak—but writing I was not really that good but when Miss Sellers started reading—writing, like put us writing then we got better. We started—I started being better in writing and then Miss O’Connell sometimes to put us writing all the time and then like when I finished this year it was better and sometimes the writing helps you to—to read because you understand more words and vocabulary and that’s—that’s why.
Interviewer: When you think about yourself and somebody says, “Who are you?” Are you Columbian, are you American, if you stay here are you going to become American and give up Columbian culture? What do you thinks going to happen.
Juan Ricon: I don’t know. I don’t—I—I really like a lot Columbia. I really miss it and everything but—but I—I like here too and everything but I really—I really don’t feel to give up Columbia and not to give up America. I just feel that they’re both are the same to me. Leaving Columbia’s not better, living here is not better, I just feel the same. They’re equally to me.
Interviewer: Any story that you have in mind that was particularly hard about school this last year?
Juan Ricon: This year, no. It was just—it was the same as the last year. It’s just like I put more for the work like writing and everything. I just—I learn more in—in English but there—I—I don’t feel like that about the class this year. It’s nice. It was nicer. Then the other one—because the other one I didn’t understand sometimes but when I under—when I understand—start to understanding English and everything, it was good. And then I started being good in school and I under—now I know that I speak two languages and whoa, that’s weird because I didn’t know anything about—about any English. Because in Columbia I didn’t like that class and—and I didn’t even want to take it. Now I see that English isn’t like that but—I just like knowing English and I can communicate with it and with Spanish too and everything.
Interviewer: Do you ever have to help your dad with English or is his English good enough that he doesn’t need you help?
Juan Ricon: Yeah, he needs sometimes some help. Yeah. But he’s already—he—the first time he was—it was hard for him to because he didn’t want to leave Columbia. He—he just—he’s here for us because he doesn’t want to stay here. He like Columbia now a lot but he says that we have to finish first uh—finish first college and he’s going to give us everything and then when we already pull—take our life by ourselves—by ourselves, then we could start like working and putting—getting money and everything. But that the first part we have to start with him.
Interviewer: When did your father make the decision to come to the United States? Why was that important to him?
Juan Ricon: Because he wanted to us to learn more like English and—and come to college because the college in Columbia is like hard to get in. Because even that you’ve got good grades and everything, you have to do a lot of tests and even—like here is this—like not like the same, but it’s not like that hard because you start like studying in high school in math—first math like—and then like—uh like algebra and like that. No, they start like just giving you—they—they start just giving you like—like math at the first year and then they—they start doing algebra. But, yeah. It’s better.
Interviewer: Thank you very much. Anything else you want to tell me that I didn’t ask you about?
Juan Ricon: No.
Interviewer: That’s it?
Juan Ricon: Yeah.
Interviewer: OK. Thank you. Is your dad going to be home this summer? Are you guys going to Columbia for the summer?
Juan Ricon: No, we’re just going to stay at home. My dad says he wants to go to California.
Interviewer: For a trip.
Juan Ricon: Yeah, for a trip.
Interviewer: Well, we—we were going to try and interview your dad as well uh but I’ll have Mrs. Sellers contact you in—in the summer in June or so. OK?
Juan Ricon: All right.