Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Legally Brunette II

A well known scholar and I had lunch at a French restaurant in the city: After the business talk was done the informality came out, I meant his.

"What are your parents?" Mexican, I replied. "Where did you grow up?" In the valley. "What part?" between the church and the university.

"How many sibling do you have?" Just one. "Just one? Did they go to college?" Yes.

Eating my salad and quiche non plussed, thinking to myself this is going to be fun...

"Your parents must have done something?" They said I was going to college.

"It seems the stereotype and statistics are that there is a high drop out rate in the Hispanic community, and not much interest in college." Fascinating isn't it? Considering we are the largest growing demographic and for the last 30 years (his entire career) researchers have not been able to reverse the trend.

"The hispanic dropout rate parallels, the African- American, and Native American." Interestingly enough, immigrant students outperform subsequent generations.

"You seem to be the anomaly." I laughed at him, really? I don't think so, my friends are all just like me. Well not all from Mexico, also from Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia and first generation.

"Well you are not like the students I have met." Surely, you know Mexico is a big country with many regional variances. You can't possibly think you have met everyone in the country. Do you?

"I think I have seen many." Oh, yes well that is quite different from knowing. Smile, and simultaneously tilt head to the left. He is the trained psychologist yet visually perplexed.

I take a sip of my water wishing I had ordered the wine: What our parents did, was make us fully bicultural. I am as comfortable sitting here with you in this French restaurant as I am say traveling through Mexico and speaking Spanish. I guess the reason why I have been so successful in school is because I was never allowed to assimilate to U.S. culture or lack there of. I have a country where people like me do every job imaginable. Our hope has not been limited to stereotypes and statistics. Hmm, you know, I am really sorry it took you thirty years to ask this question- smile and sip...pendejo.


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