The Golden Candle
This story comes from a collection of short stories I wrote this past summer as a Brackenridge Fellow with the Pitt Honors College under the mentorship of Pitt linguistics professor Dr. Abdesalam Soudi. My research during the fellowship combined my interests in linguistics and creative writing by tracing the impact of linguistic discrimination in the college-student population within systems of education and healthcare. Throughout the summer, I conducted a series of focus groups and individual interviews to hear college students’ experiences with language discrimination throughout their lives, which I then crafted into three short fiction stories united under the theme of “The Power of Language.” These stories are amalgamations of multiple informant’s experiences bolstered by my own imaginative story details. They highlight the struggles of both non-native speakers of English and speakers of a non-dominant variety of English, as well as the lack of available translation services in many institutions. These stories also touch on many other complex themes of inclusion, identity, and our perceptions of others. “The Golden Candle” is the second story in this collection.
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