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.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lent

I have always kept Lent. It was how I first justified being a vegetarian. I was born into the lifestyle, and as an adult something that I haven't moved away from.

It makes sense, the two months of celebration from Christmas to Fat Tuesday, falls perfectly in the history of Mardi Gras. When I received an email seeking solidarity through Lent, from my favorite Chicana author, I did feel somehow reaffirmed. Although I do not hide nor impose my religion, I very rarely share my experiences of it outside my family. If someone asks about my virgencita votives througout the house- I tell them.

My good friend with her first born admitted she always knew she would return to the church when she had a child. A very famous documentarian recently said the same in an interview- if she did not give her child faith, then he would have nothing to fight off the arguments of 'other' more extreme religions. She is Catholic and through her documentary got inside the Christian right. She did not want her child to be defenseless in their presence.

So that is what parents do, arm their children with a center and true north that only they can choose to continue. I decided to invite a friend to mass, not sure how cool that would seem, but better than going alone. She accepted, and we giggled a bit as the singing sort of bordered on a musical. When they spoke of love, as being all there is- we nodded in agreement. Then the Sade song came to mind, and I whispered it to my friend and we laughed again.

Words stood out to me in those 45 minutes: Love, social justice, alms giving, and I realized maybe for the first time, that some very revolutionary thoughts were professed here. Actually I had the same thought at my Padrino's funeral, as stern as the priest appeared, the message was beautifully clear.

Catholicism is a tradition in my family, like all good traditions not perfect but meaningful for those that hold them. Growing up If I was in Tijuana during lent my Tia Engracia would make the best little egg battered and deep fried tortas de nopal y camaron on Fridays. I remember we ate them topped with the fresh tomato cilantro salsa and the white butter and milk rice just perfectly adorned with julienned green chiles and carrots that only our Nina can make.

My memories and traditions always lead me, back to mi familia.

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