Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chicano pensamientos – un poco picante

1. It's six a.m. and the slab bacon's cooking, preparing itself to be laid over cheesy eggs set on raisin toast, sin chile, only because the flavors clash in my mouth. I'll eat it in front of everyone at the teachers' meeting at 7:30, everyone who's too paranoid of their genes, cholesterol, and an early death to enjoy the thought of sin at breakfast time.

2. Tuesday I tried to teach my second grade mexicanitos straight out of the school board's math book; it went over like a sermon done in Swahili extolling the human side of George Dubbya. I noticed several of my bad boys constructing bridges and cars out of the manipulatives and decided to follow their lead. I switched to teaching them about simple machines: "Now take 30 pieces and make a machine that does something." It was like I'd yelled, "Ice cream cones and Christmas candy for everyone!" For the next forty enjoyable minutes they showed me that no matter the shallow vision of any school board or the intermittent ineptitude of their maestro, they could have a chingon time learning, if I just watch for the signs.

3. Some of their moms stay each morning, watching the opening of class, the kids doing their warm-up tasks to get them in the mood to accept my instruction. Usually the moms leave after a bit, but this time I gave them copies of the kids' task and told them I'd be grading them more strictly than I do the kids. Whereas last week the women acted like this graph-plotting was also in Swahili, this time they tackled it like they'd been learning from watching their kids. I didn't grade them; I don't want to disappoint my imagining.

4. My son came over last night because my Internet connection didn't work. After about an hour on the phone with Qwest, he determined the gateway's Airport wasn't working. It fit the stereotype of our progeny knowing more hi-tech than us. What didn't fit was that he finally beat the reluctant Qwest employee, possibly based in New Delhi, who agreed to replace my gateway with a new one, by tomorrow. How'd my son learn such a valuable skill? Made me proud.

5. Wednesday my wife and I spent our 31st anniversary eating overpriced hors d'oeuvres in LoDo, deep in the midst of chingos of gringos piling it onto their credit cards. We finally found Enoteca, one of few bars still allowing smokers, where the jazz was too slow, but the quality of the mixed drinks outshone the uncommonly low price ($5) for the area. (Picture Knob Hill without the culture.) A more delightful surprise was running into Jose Mercado, who'd just returned from taking his North High drama class--mostly Chicano kids--to a Scotland arts fair. Sometimes people have all the luck; that night it was me and the wife.

6. I want to add a bit to Ramos's post about our attending Reyna Grande's Tuesday book signing for Across 100 Mountains. All I can add is that her sharing of her personal history gave me added hope for the better moments I somehow discover when working with my second graders. Who knows?--maybe there's a little bit of her in their future.

6. I gotta get ready for school. This is all I could post for today--not the most literary, nor informative. Just some things that reminded me that every now and then maybe you should just look at the pensamientitos and not worry about the pensamientotes.

Rudy Ch. Garcia

2 comments:

msedano said...

also, it's a good idea to evitar los pensamientontos.

those long suffering customer service agents in Delhi. I have a friend who fiendishly taunts off-shore outsourced C/S agents like your Gateway gatekeeper. My fiend tells them a C/S agent in the EUA pulls down $12-15 bucks an hour, then asks the Delhi voice how much he or she is earning?

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