cstravato's Pre-k World

The life of a Teacher / Student / Mother

My Family Culture: Reflection Exercise


A major catastrophe has hit the U.S. and my immediate family and I are among the survivors. We are being relocated to a new country to take refuge, and I am not able to make any decisions about the evacuation plan or the final destination. All I know is that the final destination is completely different from my home country and I may need to stay permanently. I can only bring one change of cloths and three small personal items.

I will pack my one change of cloths, a digital copy of my family photographs, one of my fathers drawings, and my file of important documentation from the safe (birth certificates, marriage license, professional certifications, college diplomas). The family photographs will allow my family and I to recall our homeland and have a visual to refer to when we are home sick. The painting from my father is a way to take him with us, he passed several years before. The file of important documents will be a hard copy base to start our new lives with.

As we arrive at our refuge country, we are told we may only keep one of the three precious items we brought with us. I am devastated; it was difficult to choose most important three items to take on this incredibly scary journey. How could I possible choose to leave our family’s history, my father, or our new start behind?

This was an interesting exercise to go through. I began by thinking, if my family is coming with me then that is really all I need to take. Then I thought about my father who had passed and I could not take him with us, I felt I needed a personal item of his to take, so I choose a drawing of his. I knew we would all have our memories of our home country but memories can fade over time and I would never want my family or myself to forget where we came from, so I choose the photographs. Knowing we would have to start over I wanted to bring birth certificates to establish new residence and our college diplomas, my teaching certificates, and my husbands IT certificates to better insure we are able to find jobs and financially support our family and our new lives.

Reflecting on what I choose to bring in some ways made me sad I did not have anything so special that I could not live without beside my family. On the other hand, I was pleased that I was able to quickly make sentimental and practical choices that would preserve our family history and give us the best start to our new lives. I am not sure what this reveals about me as a person but it defiantly made me evaluate what is important in my life.



Author: cstravato

I am a wife of 14 years and have two boys, one is 10 and an the other is 8. They are busy and keep us hopping. I have been a pre-school teacher for 9 years with a break in the middle to teach kindergarten in FL for three years, and I had the luxury of staying home with my two boys for a few years. I enjoy teaching pre-school age children it gives me great pride to help set a generation up to succeed in their school careers and life. I am currently going back to school to complete my masters degree in early childhood education at Walden University.

6 thoughts on “My Family Culture: Reflection Exercise

  1. I agree with you, this exercise was difficult. As I was pondering over what 3 items to take it really made me think about what I hold near and dear to my heart. Then as I got to the portion of only keeping one of the items it made me even think deeper about how materialist we can be–wanting to keep everything. You and I had close to the same items and as you I came to the realization that if I had God and my family I could handle anything. Great post. Thanks for sharing!


  2. This certainly is an interesting exercise which helps us put things into perspective. I cannot imagine giving up my life as I know it now for the life of a refugee, but like you, as much as I would want to take sentimental items along, I also chose to be very practical. Bringing whatever I could to keep my family together would be my utmost priority.


  3. Fantastic post! I can’t believe I absolutely forgot about bringing ANY sort of documentation! This would prove to be very beneficial – and this terrifies me. Throughout history, power hungry men and women have used the concept of “show me your papers” to divide those deemed worthy of reassembly, as well as used to trick populations into provided information that could strip them of any culture.
    I think your quick and personal, yet practical thinking, illustrates your commitment and deep love for your family; past, present and future. You. Are. A. Rockstar!


  4. The drawing reminded me of my grandfather who used to carve families and animals out of wood. When he passed we kept his work and have it on display. A family photo as my number one choice. I certainly want to remember my family over time and pass it down to my children if I could. Birth certificates were a great idea. I guess I took it for granted I am American and didn’t have to think in those terms. Great job!


  5. Christina,

    This assignment took a small toll on me emotionally, as I tried to actually decide the items I could use to carry my family’s culture on. I had to first evaluate the factors that made up my family’s culture. Once I achieved that goal, the next step was to determine items within reach that would easily represent those factors. It was not easy at all. I got a little teary eyed as I thought back on what makes up our culture, justification behind the factors of my culture, and in many cases the memories derived from our family culture. Among many things, this exercise allowed me to reflect on our traditions and how our day to day norms have come to be.


  6. I agree that this blog post was a bit difficult to write. I had to think about what really matters and the value those items hold in my perspective. When it comes down to it, the material things we bring will never replace the memory or story behind the chosen items. Thank you for sharing!


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