Guadalupe's Gab

A qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

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Cover Letter

May 9th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Ah, so alas Latino@ Literature has come to a halt. I can honestly say this was one of the most rewarding and interesting English courses I have ever embarked on. Many elements of the course worked, in particular, the posts. Many times, I am not able to convey all my thoughts in class so the blog provides me with a space to expand and express my ideas. This was the most helpful aspect of the class in my opinion. Also, the lack of “to be” verbs was a very rewarding task to acquire. Although it was quite difficult, I realize that my writing flowed that much better without those verbs and this is a skill I will use in my future courses and writings as well. Perhaps what was even  more helpful was the emphasis on the structure of MLA. In the past, this is something I did not pay that much attention to but now have become almost a professional. I will miss Latin@ Literature 255 !

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Corazon en la palma

May 9th, 2012 · Uncategorized

The poem “Corazon en la palma” is a riveting piece that explains or attempts to explain the complexities and intricacies that is life. The speaker uses the first person, by using “I”, as a way to speak about the days in which he was young. The tone in the first stanza is optimistic but there is soon a shift in the second and third stanza where there is a lamenting for a time that is no longer: “how far, far in time” (11), expresses the speakers mourning over his youth. There was a time where he was filled with vigor and energy but is not decreased to an old being. He feels that wen he was young,m everything was vibrant and colorful because he was able to see the beauty in all things, such as “leaves” (4), however, now that he is older, life seems more dull. He ends the poem with a quote is Spanish from his grandma, which depicts an older knowledge, that one will never be able to know what is to come in the future so the reader must learn to embrace the time passing.

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Crimson the Color

May 2nd, 2012 · Uncategorized

“Crimson the Color” by Evangelina Vigil-Pinon is quite a moving poem. I love the way the color crimson is used a symbol to represent that of a dream. Why the color crimson? I believe because it is a fiery and loud color, it is only fit that dreams, perhaps of the fire of the soul, have  a color to match. The repetition of the term “pierce” is very powerful because it implies something sharp and long lasting. The dreams of Pinon, like the “fierce ball of fire”, are something that burns and cut through. She is clear to make a distinction and further emphasize the lack of tenderness or softness by clearly defining tender as “the touch of a child.” Pinon makes the distinction, that although may be quite obvious, in an attempt to express the stark contrast and for the differences to be anything but subtle. She wants us to question our life,rather our dreams, because she is encouraging a questioning. It is as if she wants us to take initiative because if “you won’t”, she breaks the narrative to directly speak to the reader, then how can the dreams ever come alive? They must not be kept underground because they need to have room to “bloom.” The dreams are delicate yet they should be spoiled and even though they may at time “flicker”, one must not lose sight of the distance which perhaps contributes to its beauty.

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Sixteen

April 25th, 2012 · Uncategorized

         Sixteen by Jimmy Santiago Baca is a moving poem that exposes the other side of the American Dream. Many people abandon their families, leave behind everything they ever had, are injured, or even killed in hopes of coming to the promised land that is America. The immigrants in the poem die because they want a better life and hopes of finding work. Key terms such as “smuggle” and “crashed” imply there is some sort of illegal activity. They are intentionally hiding from authority but in essence, they will always be somehow hidden because they are deemed as inferior. Human beings are being traded and moved back and forth which is not the way humans are usually treated. However, due to the fact they are immigrants, the implication is they are servants and do all the dirty jobs higher class people would never dream of. It is heart breaking and that much more real when the author uses “you” because it is more personal and a direct statement to the reader in hopes of relating or addressing the US as a whole or the citizens within. America allows for an impersonal money economy because everything can be achieved if one has money but those same people that are washing dishes have the same hands as those who have dreams as well but just lack the opportunity. This alternative view of the America Dream exposes the idea that people are “greeted when needed”. I believe his message is to acknowledge the injustices!

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The Chameleon

April 24th, 2012 · Uncategorized

It is always as if people are waiting for change. Whether it be in a relationship, politics, or life itself. In Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “The Chameleon” she uses the symbol of a chameleon to hint at change people expect of her. She, like this colorful animal, is forced to take on different identities or colors. However, she “tries to break away from restrictive cultural and social conventions” (1896) and uses the example of a chameleon to state that she does not have to change her colors. She is perfectly capable and fine being who she is, not having to be a part of a double identity or hyphenated identity, but solely one person who has a strong sense of self. She tries to get ride of stereotypes associated with Latina women who do not have to change. “But I stayed the same” (10) suggests that the chameleon, like the rest of society, is waiting for her to change and take on this American attribute and become part of a hyphen but she refuses. The colors “brown” and “yellow” may allude to blacks and whites because there are all different colors in this world, as seen by the chameleon adapting to such environments, and these colors all maintain their own integrity. The chameleon may be seen as a foil for her character because although it changes to fit its surrounding environment, she will always stay the same and never change no matter the situation.

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The Almighty American Dream

April 24th, 2012 · Uncategorized

The American Dream has not and in my opinion will never allow all people or all ingredients to fully be accepted in the US. This is due to the fact that not all people are accepted with open arms or embraced as immigrants. Visas, green cards and citizenships all exist as a direct way to inhibit the arrival of foreigners or aliens onto American soil. Once they are allowed, there is an analogy of a melting pot. However, I challenge this idea. In another course, I read Janice Mirikitani’s “Firepot” in which she writes in a dramatic form, with slashes, to emphasize the division. The words are separate but she joins them in the center to bring us together symbolically. The center of the poem are the terms “bound by” where she explains that what anchors us or is at our center is ultimately one another. America is associated with a melting pot, as discussed in class, but Mirikitani proposes an opposing view of a firepot in which all the people or ingredients retain their own identities. Does a melting pot allude to assimilation? As discussed in class, I believe it does because it means conformity. However, I like her opinion because a firepot has everything coming together but still there is a retaining of ones identity. We are all from different backgrounds and have slightly different perceptions of the American Dream. However, just because it has the term American does not mean it applies to simply to one country.

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The Taboo That is Assimilation

April 17th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Why is assimilation easily the “A-word” in terms of its negativity? Well, in my opinion, assimilation is a bad thing, to a certain extent. For example, my parents immigrated here about 30 years ago and although they have adapted to the culture, language and practices, they have not lost their identities or culture. We speak Farsi at home, eat Persian food, yet have burgers and fries too which is why I think there is a happy medium. In “Hunger of Memory”, Richard seems to think assimilation is the answer to all his problems. “Our house stood apart” (1576) is something he hated because he does not like to grasp any kind of attention that hints to the fact that he is different of part of a hyphenated identity. To him, being anything but American is cause for embarrassment and humiliation. This results in his excitement to learn as much English as possible in an attempt to shield his parents deficiencies and perhaps even his. He knows his parents are embarrassed by their lack of language acquisition and they speak English quietly and meekly because of this.  But, I am a bit appalled, and I understand he is a kid, by his level of selfishness that he now associates America as his society when in reality he will always be the “other” or hyphenated-identity. Why does he then choose to look down on his parents and heritage? However, there is a juxtaposition because although he wants to identify with America, he uses a derogatory term of “gringo.”  Richard’s parents are not confident and he is emabarassed and tries to conceal his true identity as much as possible. Richard’s father’s  accent and music of his language is slow and almost a broken language and instead of helping his dad, he looks down on him.It is in this moment that he realized he does not want to be like his parents due to the fact that they are not assimilated. Will this really solve all his problems? I definitely think not.

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Richard Rodriguez Commencement Address

April 11th, 2012 · Uncategorized

First of all, as sorry as I am to say this, I do not think Rodriguez is a very good speaker. His eyes dart up and down, he seems nervous and he keeps smacking his lips in a rather annoying motion. However, he is a wonderful writer and quite comical. He notes that commencements have become a celebrity screening when in fact it should be people like Rodriguez who are actual people who write and are well aware with the education system and what it means to be educated. I like his realness because he says he does not write about “love affairs” which I deeply respect. It is highly unfair that series such as the “Hunger Games” or “Twilight” are more recognized than Rodriguez’s “Brown.” He explains that Nixon coined the term “Hispanic” which is surprising. He speaks of borders and Latin American studies which we are quite familiar with in the respect that we know all about border and frontiers. Lastly, I like how he does not sugarcoat life and say after they graduate it will all be peaches and roses because that is not life. Memories are key to his character and have helped shape his life.

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What is the influence?

April 11th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Although it is a given that parents cannot control their children’s actions and there is only a certain amount they can be sheltered because they are not always under supervision. However, it is their responsibility to teach them some aspects of life such as race and skin color as simply physical attributes. There is only so much they learn in the classroom and what their friends influence but it is imperative a mother and father teach life lessons. For example, my parents always taught us there is no difference because what is important is what is in the inside. Although a simple sentence, it holds much meaning. As a parent rightfully says, media certainly shapes their perceptions but it is much more than that. One white mother explains that perhaps it is her fault her son has the same preconceived notions as her son because although she doesn’t realize it, she does preach some sort of racism and ethnocentrism for whites. They also bring up the issue of finance which I did not think of prior but is very important as well because it influences black kids do not have a white leaning bias but the economic may correlate. Something to think about…

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A Mother’s Reaction

April 11th, 2012 · Uncategorized

I believe race bias is learned based on this video because the child is equating white and all its positive attributes with that of herself and her mother. Due to the fact that the black child is darker, that means they are worse than her. The mother seems shocked and blames her daughters prejudice on the fact that she is not exposed, whose fault is that? I believe parents have the responsibility to teach and educate their children that a shade or two or darker does not make someone worse. Although the mother is almost moved to tears, emphasis on almost, she does not blame herself of her child for her racist remarks but rather feels her daughter is smart?! Then she contradicts herself by saying they never spoke about race but then she says they did have a long talk. I am a bit perplexed but I believe the mother is quite ignorant.

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