When asked of my ethnicity, I always boldly fill in the bubble next to Hispanic. I’m Cuban. Half Cuban. I’m a first-generation half Cuban-American. I fiercely cling to that, railing against my exterior appearance of generic, white brunette girl with curly hair and glasses. I have been drinking coffee and moving my hips to Afro-Cuban beats ever since I can remember.
Look at all the things around you: your classroom tables, your phone case, even your clothing. How much of it is made of plastic? Really. Look. At the beginning of the 20th century, the answer would have been “none,” because the first synthetic plastic didn’t come on the scene until 1907. Humankind seemed to be doing quite all right without this now ubiquitous material, but its invention actually saved the lives of many elephants due to the self-interest of pool ball manufacturers.