by Christina Lohry, Chantilly Montessori School, Charlotte, NC
Teacher Christina Lohry describes a moment in which she realized how language (and other forms of communication) can profoundly change how we view others, breaking down misconceptions and helping us connect.
When my hero, Sonia Sotomayor, arrived at Princeton in 1972, she was a quietly diligent student, but one whose working-class background, ethnicity, and gender set her apart from most of her classmates. Princeton had only recently begun admitting women and there were very few Latinos (only 20) of either gender among its elite ranks.
During the spring of that first year, she took a class on Contemporary Latin America with historian Peter Winn, who — on grading her first paper — pointed out the idiomatic and grammatical errors she had made…