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

Monday, December 19, 2005

Get On The Bus

Madre Santisima. Today, I took the bus from Dallas to Austin. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my family would take the bus to visit my grandparents in Mexico. Fond memories; not necessarily good.

I got on the bus after spending several days in Dallas hanging out with some good friends and really doing nothing. My friends are doing well for themselves. The reason I mention this is because I suspect, at least in terms of privileges, my weekend was much different than that of most of the folks on the bus.

My bus took off at 10am. I paid for my ticket and ran to get in line. I made my way to the back as the long line snaked around a vending machine. The people looked tired. A couple of black folks, but mostly mexicanos. It turns out some were coming from Tennesse, Michigan, Oklahoma. There were soldiers on the bus headed to Killeen; Ft. Hood, I imagine.

The thing is, none of us really knew if we were lined up in the right place. Nobody at the bus station came to tell us. The employees weren't rude, but weren't helpful either. After a 30 minute delay, we started making our way on the bus. A guy in front of me listened to NorteƱo music on his headphones. A guy behind me talked to his friends about a subasta he missed. He buys cars, takes them to Mexico, then sells them. The guy next to me slept. We were crammed in like Sardines. Nobody smiled as we got on the bus. People kept a keen eye on their bags. A kid ran around with a snotty nose and a bag of Cheetos. A stranger helped him find his seat, called him mijo, and patted him on the head. I didn't get peanuts or a free drink.

I turned on my laptop as the bus took off and felt a bit weird. The guy sitting next to me and asked me how much it cost. I gave him an estimate. I started watching a movie and he watched too. Too bad I had my headphones on.

I took the bus because I wanted to save $70. The reality is that I could have easily bought a plane ticket. It would have been much easier and a helluva lot more comfortable. I was glad I took the bus. It wasn't very comfortable, but it was good to be back in a place with a group of folks a couple of years ago I couldn't NOT be a part of.

I thought of my sister's little kid. Will she ever have to take the bus? Probably not. Should she have to? Yup. I'm glad I took the bus. Do I want to do it again? Not if I don't have to.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Principal Punishes Spanish Speaking Student

My little brother sent me this story about a principal punishing a Mexican kid who spoke Spanish at school.

Here's the email my brother wrote:

December 9, 2005

Mrs. Watts,

I am dismayed by your decision to suspend Zach Rubio from Endeavor
Alternative for speaking Spanish in school. Mr. Rubio's bilingualism
ought to be regarded as a benefit to all of us in this increasingly
interconnected world. Language skills ought to be encouraged not

I am sure that you are aware of the precarious legal grounds upon which
you have placed yourself, your school, and the school district. I hope
that your irrational and xenophobic decision is brought to full view in a
court of law. That said, legal issues are not the most important guiding
principles that you ignored. As an educator, your responsibility is to
prepare Mr. Rubio and other students for a productive, intellectually
invigorating adulthood. Your decision shuns the economic and social
benefits of multilingualism. Moreover, your actions threaten to quash
intellectual creativity. Your attitude, as reflected by your decision to
suspend Zach, suggests a maniacal need for control.

As a former teacher and current law student, a Chicano, and the son of
immigrants, I am profoundly proud of and benefited by my bilingualism.
Your actions are shameful and unprofessional. I hope that you begin to
amend for your actions by apologizing to Mr. Rubio and his family and
proceed to institute a far reaching language instruction program at your
school that will encourage and teach the myriad advantages of



jennifer watts (principal)

cheryl waters (secretary)

Monday, December 05, 2005

They Begin

Tomorrow is my first exam of the fall semester. Torts. It's interesting to see people stressing, staying up till all hours of the night, and walking around like zombies. The library was packed today with folks trying to cram before exams begin tomorrow. I'm pretty calm. I tend not to stress out over things like this. I mean, c'mon. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd like to do as well as the next guy, and I've been working my ass off all year, but if it doesn't happen, it just don't happen.

I'm going into a study group right now and one of the guys is freaking out. He's a nice guy and usually I wouldn't put up with people like that, but he's been very helpful all year. It's just interesting to see. I asked him if his parents put pressure on him to do well, and he said they did. I guess I'm lucky. My parents want us to succeed, but there's never been any pressure. Maybe it's because they never went to school, but I think it's because they realize there are more important things in life. The only pressure to do well is the pressure I put on myself, and at times that's overwhelming; that's when i sit back and eat a bowl of chips and hot sauce and remember that it's just school.

Bueno. Here we go.