Through extensive traveling in central and south America, I have often experienced the feeling of being the minority. I'm considered a blond in Chile and stick out like a sore thumb, I've had vendors insist on communicating with me in their very poor broken English because they couldn't fathom my ability to speak Spanish, and I have felt the attention of a pale skinned young woman in a Latino community.
However the time in my life that has stuck with me the most as being treated differently or with less respect occurred on my beloved UNI campus. I am a resident assistant on campus, and hold this title with pride. Part of our job includes being health aids, so I am and have been certified in health aid and CPR for 3 years. I am trained to respond to medical emergencies in a variety of settings.
One day I was studying in the tables upstairs in Maucker Union when I noticed strange behavior from a woman in the CME. She did not appear responsive, and as someone tapped on her shoulder I knew medical help was needed. I tried to come to the aid of this worker, who clearly did not have training and did not know what to do. Quickly a group of adults appeared, called 911 and began to try to figure out what to do with this woman. I tried repeatedly to tell them the appropriate steps to care for her and place her to get blood pumping but everyone was in a panic and ushered me out saying that "the adults have it under control" and "we don't need to create a spectacle".
I was infuriated that they would not listen to me due to their conception that as a youth I could not possibly know how to help, even though I had repeatedly told them I was certified. I was kept at bay outside of the office space until paramedics arrived and immediately wrapped her in a blanket, and had her lay down on the couch, just as I had been trying to direct the adults to do.
Luckily the situation was not dangerously serious, and the medics were able to help her. However that day I felt completely undervalued as a young person and felt a great deal of indignation and anger that they had incorrectly judged me. This was discrimination based on age, and has not been ongoing in my life, nor is it the harshest example I have heard of, but it provoked the upset emotions of discrimination that are vivid to me to this day.