Vinny Mota is from Brazil and is a first year student here at Plymouth State. His father owns a business in Windham, NH and he moved here from Brazil 3 years ago. I was surprised to find out that Vinny had just started to begin to learn english after he arrived here in 2016, and to speak with him you would think he has been here for a lifetime. He said when he first arrived here he dated this girl who spoke Spanish and English and was able to help him get started learning English.
Vinny is 21 and a freshman here at PSU because when he moved to America he was placed two years behind due to his language barrier. Vinny did however obtain his GED certification in America and moved on to college. The rich resources we take for granted in high schools was something that stuck out to Vinny, having a nurse and after school programs was something he hadn’t experienced back home in Brazil. In regards to how Vinny feels about the level of stress and anxiety American’s, we are definitely more stressed out according to him. In relation to American society, Vinny said something during the podcast that was extremely profound in my eyes, he said “You have more things but we do not have time to enjoy them”. I think this is an overwhelmingly true statement, and hearing it from a person who knew a completely different world for most of their life and came here to see that plain as day is very interesting to me. The consumerism culture in America today has a lot to do with the mental health of our young adult and younger generations, in my opinion. Never being satisfied with what you have and wishing for more new things and more new things is not a way to build a wholesome and authentically grown lifestyle. The deviation American’s place between their actual selves and the selves they want others to see have mutated together to create one large mass of people never gaining satisfaction about their lives.
Another thing that Vinny brought up that seems to be a reoccurring theme here as I continue to interview people is that his schooling and life before he went to college was what prepared him for college. I think the high school or secondary school system that is in place in the US is the complete opposite from beneficial. Kid’s from other countries are handed everything at the drop of a hat when they’re inconvenienced much less than American’s. Youth drinking and drug culture is less popular in Brazil than it is here, Vinny said that there’s a special word for those who smoke marijuana and that word holds various greatly negative connotations with it. Vinny says that America is far more liberal about marijuana than Brazil, and that can be attributed mostly to traditional culture and religion ingrained deeply into Brazilian culture.
Vinny says something that he noticed was how wasteful American’s are and students in particular after coming to Plymouth State. It goes to show how wasteful you can be when you are ignorant to other places in the world where shortages and other things don’t come as easily as they do to us in America. Finishing a plate of food was the example that Vinny gave, saying that his friend always throws out at least half the food he had gotten, where as Vinny always remembers to eat everything. I think that students in America are so wound up in our own little world on this side of the globe we often don’t know what we don’t even know. Which kind of translates to meaning, how can you blame someone for not knowing how to swim when they’ve never touched water before.
I think Vinny’s episode really taught me so much and there were so many interesting things he pointed out in reference to how things went for him in Brazil, and transitioning to a whole new world in America. Please give it a listen and leave a comment of your thoughts!