Jessica Mondillo’s Blog

Political Correctness: Indian vs. Native America

28 August 2008

Political correctness is always an issue and the question is where the line of too much is.  Some people think that has been crossed a long time ago.  Now my question involves the word “INDIAN.”

I never realized that the word “Indian” has finally crossed deep into the realm of being politically incorrect.  In an attempt to list an item on eBay (a site that tends to be notoriously strict on being politically correct), the listing was termed “illegal” according to their policies because it said “Indian” describing a native American on a motorcycle.

My question for everyone is: Is it wrong to use the term “Indian” to refer to Native Americans or is eBay being excessive?  Do people of Native American decent find the term “Indian” offensive and which term do they prefer to use to describe their heritage?

The reason I ask is for two reasons.  First of all I know many people of Native American decent and many of them refer to themselves as “Indians” or use the term interchangeably with “native Americans.” 

The second reason I ask this is my curriculum.  I only graduated from high school last year (2007) and during my public school education, and also my current college education at Boston University, I can remember several of my text books referring to Native Americans either interchangeably or in some cases exclusively as “Indians.”

I am wondering if my background was somehow severely limited or if I am not the only person who does not see the term “Indian” as offensive but as a term that was used (and still is) to describe Native Americans because Columbus had an incorrect belief, that he was in India and not a “new world,” when he reached the Americas.


Make the Most of College Visits: Talk to REAL Students!

27 February 2008

FACT: High school students go on college visits.

FACT: They usually have a tour guide to tell them all the great qualities of the school.

FACT: Most students on college visits never talk to the current students of the college.

FACT: I went on one college visit, it didn’t effect my decision now was it extremely helpful.

I walk down Commonwealth Ave everyday and at least once a week I see a group of parents and high school students with a tour guide. As important as it is to listen to your guide, I have yet to see even one of those students talk to the college students.

Honestly, the most important thing you can do on a college visit is talk to the students. No college is going to introduce you to a student who hates the school or the curriculum. That would be detrimental on the sale of their product—4 years at their fine institution.

Although not every college student is friendly, a lot of us would love to talk to you. There are two reasons for this: either we love the school so much that we think everyone should come here or (the more likely reason) we think you should know the truth about our school. Just because a college student does not approach you, does not mean they do not want to talk to you.

I did talk to students when I came to visit BU. They loved the school. Unfortunately I did not find someone from my school (COM) to give me their opinion until afterwards.

Now the tour guides and students will tell you how much they love the school. For BU, specifically they tell you about the great dorms they have. I promise you if the dorm they show you is a pretty brownstone on Bay State Road, you are seeing one of the best dorms in the school, not the “typical” dorm like they claim.

They will tell you how many concerts the school has for free through BU Central and how many people go there. Honestly very few people go there, nor are the band names always as big as they claim. I have yet to see a poster for one “mainstream” band. Granted Agganis Arena has tons of concerts, all of which you have to pay for.

My advice for high school students visiting colleges: Don’t trust the tour guides and the people they want you to meet. Walk up to a few students on the street and ask their opinion. Try to find someone majoring in the same thing you are and find out more about your specific major instead of a general student so you can find out about the classes you will be taking.

Please visit this post on my other blog to help me earn a scholarship.