Being part of an immigrant population, and it’s funny you ask this ‘cause I was just talking to somebody else about this, there were not any of the bells and whistles you have today to help kids. You walked into a classroom, you were labeled “immigrant.” You were put at the back of the room. And I was telling someone the other day that I was sitting in the back of the room and as immigrants came in, they kinda put us together, just in the back. And the girl they partnered me with, she came in and she was actually, literally off the boat from Greece. And they put her with me and they’re like “You can help her” and I’m like “Oh my god, it’s all Greek to me” no pun intended. [Laughter] You know, I – and I’m thinking to myself, “How do I help -you know I speak Finnish, they’re not even close in language at all.
Linda Forte is currently a fifth grade teacher at Worcester Arts Magnet School. Although teaching wasn’t her initial career goal, Linda finds it rewarding and worthwhile to be able to make a difference in a child’s life. She was the first of her family to be born in the United States, as her family emigrated from Finland. Although she faced no gender discrimination, she was discriminated against as the child of two immigrants. Linda was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1960. She was brought up in a culturally diverse neighborhood with her five siblings. She describes the importance of family, religion, and community throughout her entire life. Linda stresses community as a great aspect of her life beginning with her childhood, carrying through her days as a student at Assumption College and into her adult life today. In this interview, Linda discusses her various relationships throughout life. She elaborates on her relationships with her three daughters, with whom she is close, as well as other familial relationships and close friendships. Linda elaborates on the changes that she has seen within Assumption College over the years. She also shares her opinions on the differences in today’s society compared to when she was growing up.