Thursday, July 19, 2007

Things that have made me go hmm... in class

Well, I don't really have any more to rant about than before, except that I didn't expect at my relatively tender age to have to consider a chronic, pain in in the ass illness which really cuts down on my mobility. Let me just say that I have not yet racked up enough SSA credits to retire in any form, regardless of the fact I've worked on and off (mostly on) since I was about 13. Yes, it is true. I was a child laborer. And my mom worked there too!

Heh. It's true, my family is cursed with Hard Worker Syndrome, which affects virtually every brown person I know. Yes, we work long and hard, and sometimes before we legally can, even when we're born Amurrcan! Why? Well, we like to be able to survive, you know. What's interesting is that even in my generally easy (on the muscles) job now, I give 115 percent. I know I can get by giving about 70 percent, which given the state of some things in this area, would be super great.

I have to admit I was much gratified when a student in a former school said he wasn't sure why people thought Mexicans were lazy: "I see them every morning at 7am riding their bikes to work!" Well, so did I. We're not that lazy. We just get busy so early y'all lazy folk don't notice us! *grin* Or maybe they just stereotype.

In teaching Valdez' Los Vendidos, what I'm interested to see is how quickly everyone is huffy about the exaggerated stereotypes he uses. Naturally, I know satire and parody are the most difficult things I've taught (barring comma usage, ugh), but I wonder if perhaps my students and our modern world are beyond being able to critically examine these ideas. Why, for example, do we all recognize them as such (and certinly my brown students are often giggling about them), are certain we don't like them, BUT STILL KNOW THEM AFTER ALL THESE YEARS? Gee, I dunno. Maybe our inability to have a decent conversation about privilege and race in this country?

I think that the day we decide to have a honest assessment of the F&@&*%# up race relations and privilege resulting from it is the day I will declare and believe we will have grown up in the world. Let's see how long that takes.

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