Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Saturday, August 20, 2005

In The Jungle

I sat at my usual study area at the SU Law Library today to read the hundreds of pages required for my first day of class on Monday. Nearing the 7th hour my back started aching, my head started hurting, and I was getting a bit hungry even though I took a lunch break earlier in the day and also took many water and restroom breaks. Hijueso I was exhausted. Me estaba llevando a la chingada mi espalda.

Last week I was home in McAllen and every morning when I woke up my parents were both gone to work. My father now has an office job working in my older brother's office, but my mom still works in a factory. "Es una bodega," she says. You'd think with five college educated kids there'd be enough cash to go around so she wouldn't have to work, but because of my parent's pride and because even with decent jobs it's still not as easy as one would think, my mom has to work in a bodega. And for some reason I'm reminded of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. It might be a stretch, but nonetheless, it reminded me.

She comes home after 8 or 10 hours of work sweating because there is no air-conditioning in this "bodega" and the temperatures are reaching 100 degrees. I hear the car when she arrives porque anda fallando. Es que las llantas ya no sirven.
She begins to tell me about her work as if it's the first time she's told me. "Ahora me dieron 250 papelitos y se los tuve que poner a los 250 abrigos que mandaron por la linia." She was attaching labels on 250 coats that flew through the line. At 57 my mom still works harder than the other workers. I've seen her work, she doesn't stop. But not, she comes home and talks about how tired she is before she begins doing house work. Yup, she getting older.

I stretched my back and kept reading. I drank some water and kept taking notes. I studied some more, just as I did this summer, and just as I've done for the last several days since I've been back in Seattle. People ask why I'm so serious about school. Well. I'm not sure if my focus will do me any good, but I want to feel like I did my all to ensure that I didn't cheat myself or anyone else of a receiving the education I am here to get. People ask why I'm so serious about school.

7 Comments:

Blogger la maestra said...

ha, what's with all the wacky comments? good to see you last week, keep kicking ass trabajador!

5:43 PM

 
Blogger cindylu said...

You must have inherited the hard worker gene from tu mamá. Ha... and people think Mexicans are lazy. Right.

8:42 PM

 
Blogger Mayra said...

You have a good attitude and I am sure your parents are very proud of you. Keep it up and I hope you have a great fall semester!

8:52 PM

 
Blogger Alma said...

You've heard the expression "Trabaje como negro" when someone is expressing a hard day's work. I use, instead, "trabaje como Mexicano." Mexicans are a hardworking people.

10:03 AM

 
Blogger mariposatomica said...

Hopefully, your mom won't have to work for to much longer. I'm sure she is very proud that you are in law school. It's always difficult to see parents aging and having to work long hours.

7:48 PM

 
Blogger oso said...

That was a cool post. I hope the first day of classes went well.

12:59 AM

 
Blogger AnalisaGuzman said...

I hope your first week went well!

12:47 AM

 

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