Friday, October 24, 2008

Controversia: Ask a Mexican

Is There a Latino Pedagogy That Works in the Public Form?

Strangely enough, one of the first people I decided to contact was Gustavo Arrellano, syndicated columnist for the OCWeekly and most well-known for his "Ask a Mexican" column, in which he dispels, de-mystifies and often-time simply educates non-Latinos about Mexican/Mexican-American (Chicano) culture. Below is a picture of the both of us from a book signing (note: He's the gentleman doing a great promotional job of his book.)
I think I oddly enough started with Gustavo because he was the first person to turn me onto William "Memo" Nericcio's book Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America.

In e-mail correspondence, Gustavo advocated that I check out Tex[t]-Mex, by William Nericcio, in addition to his blog:

One more time in hyperlink, here's the blog for "Memo," but after you see it, you may never want to return to my humble blog:

When I got back to Gustavo, asking him for his perspective on education, given his role as educator of Mexican-American culture in a public form, his response reflected his un-biased position as someone in the field of journalism.

He said that much of what happens in the field of education is special to education, and that he doesn't consider "Ask a Mexican" to reflect 'a Mexican sensibility' despite his graduate degree in Latin American Studies.

His most helpful advice was to consider my audience, because each one is different, and my teaching should reflect that.

This advice reminded me of his reading at Martinez bookstore when he asked the large crowd the parts of Mexico where our families were from, and made a joke about how you can easily end up with a small town with five names.

It makes sense that even within the five different names that the sensibilities would change.

Update 11/03: I found this great interview with Stephen Colbert

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