[…] Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
so i noticed you were in my mambo class. how the hell are you going to prepare for the hour tests? it's interesting but i feel like i'm not learning anything!
hahaaaa this is funny. I actually have no idea. My friends and I have been trying to figure it out, as well. If my memory is good, I remember someone telling me the review session he (or most likely one of the grad students) holds will be enough for us to be prepared for the exam. Shit that also reminded me that the test in less than two weeks…ugh
“Despite the common assumption that unpaid interns are privileged college kids, a 2012 study showed that they are mostly middle- or working-class, and often hold down second jobs to pay the bills. They’re also 77 percent more likely to be female.”—
Trees talk to each other at night.
All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.
Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.
Tiny bears live in drain pipes.
If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.
The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.
Everyone knows at least one secret language.
When nobody is looking, I can fly.
We are all held together by invisible threads.
Books get lonely too.
Sadness can be eaten.
I will always be there.”—Raul Gutierrez, “Lives I’ve Told My 3 Year Old Recently” (via creatingaquietmind)
The topic of reverse-racism came up (don’t exactly know how that came up haha), and I laughed on how’s that’s not real. That escalated quickly and I’m became labeled a racist lol. It’s okay though because we drank some more and I didn’t hold onto it
Alynda Lee Segarra is only 25, but she’s already sang her way across the U.S. and Europe, with her feminine Johnny Cash-sounding folk band, Hurray for the Riff Raff. The Puerto Rican singer and songwriter ran away from her home in the Bronx, NY in order to find herself. She eventually did find her true home in musically-soulful New Orleans, where she’s been living for the past five years –when she’s not touring.
As I carried my suitcase out of the house I was staying out, the wind immediately shut the door behind me locking me out. If that doesn’t perfectly represent my summer living here with this family, I don’t know what else can.