I Quite Enjoy the Surprise by Mariah Panely

     I have learned that I am 26% British and 20% Jewish and 19% Italian and 15% Irish and 10% Spanish I also found out in the low confidence regions although I am 1% Scandinavian and 2% caucasian and 3% Middle Eastern. I am less than 1% South Asian, Finish and east and west European.

I determined that the caucasian and Middle Eastern heritage in me is from my Jewish heritage. South Asia is close to the Middle East so there could be from my Jewish side as well. I figured that my Spanish ancestry was from my Italian ancestry because my uncle took this test too, and he had the same bit of Spanish to but he thought that he was 50% Italian and was surprised to find that he was Spanish. But it is all Mediterranean which kind of proves that genetic heritage can persist but cultural heritage is what we think of first.

I learned i was mostly British, which comes as a surprise to be because I thought I was mostly Irish, Italian and Jewish. The ones I thought I was were in my heritage in great amounts but it was surprising to me that Great Britain was the most. I could have seen it as a smaller percentage of the Irish heritage but it was my dominant one. I quite enjoy the surprise because I am a huge fan of British TV shows. I have always like foreign films and TV shows but have always been drawn to the British ones. I always thought it was because I liked the sense of humor as well as the idea of immersing myself in a completely different culture without having a language barrier. I never had a problem with subtitles but sometimes they would go to fast. I have a learning disability and couldn’t get to read everything they said. and also if you are focused on the text you don’t always get to enjoy the cinematography which is why it took me so many time to watch Amelie. I have always wanted to move to England and this has reaffirmed my motivations to do so. Maybe my subconscious heritage was drawn towards it.

It is also great to confirm how Jewish I am. My Italian and Irish heritage were confirmed but not surprised because of my freckles and nice tan all at once. And my cravings for spaghetti and pizza are now biologically mandated. Spain was a surprise, but does make sense. The places I was less of a percentage of were cool to see. I was very excited to see I had some non-European in me and then to have a little bit of Indian in me is very cool.

I did some research on Ancestry, and because I knew so little on my dad’s side I started there. I found out that some of his family is Irish but mostly Italian, which i did know. There was a joke on one of the forms that asked where they lived before and somebody wrote “king of Italy” which is just the type of bad joke my dad would think is funny. I also found out something super weird, which is that my dad’s grandpa’s parents were named Anthony and Margaret which is a super big coincidence because those are the names of my mom’s parents.

I also found out that ADHD is genetic when I did my own research on genetics and my personality. There are certain conditions in the brain that need to be present for it to occur. All relatives have the conditions but only a few people have the right combination to make it present. Because my father and mother both have some form of ADHD, and I have it very prevalent, it was interesting to learn the genetic factors that cause it.

This will help me as a journalist because I have genetic heritage that is different from my cultural heritage. This will let me explore my new found heritage with the curiosity of an outsider but the embracement of one of them. When people are babies the culture of their lives are all around them and it becomes the fabric of reality and other cultures are the new information. Now that I’m older and figuring it out from a more learned perspective I can see all the nuances that would go into something as I experience it for the first time as some sort of an insider. It will be unfair of me to embrace communities I have not been a part of and to proclaim I am one of them because of some spit and an app. But I do believe having this information is helpful for creating less of a barrier between me and them. It helps with access that I might previously not been privy too.

Because we are such a big class with a large diversity of people it is great for the news media to see not only all the different perspective before the test but their responses after. It is unusual to be asked to identify yourself in the way we did it in class. There are so many ways that perspectives can changed based on the test results. Even if two people got the same report, their responses could be completely different based on their personalities, the personalities of the people who raised them and the types of things they focused on could. This experience will be great for future journalist to use as an example for other articles. This was a great experience for our class and journalism as an institution.

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