Ballet Folklorico Lessons
I took Tete to her first dancing lesson. She had been asking to be enrolled in some type of dance. She had seen ballet on t.v., and other family members (grandmas) encouraged her, but I wasn’t happy with the idea of her doing ballet. So we looked around and instead took her to ballet folklorico. In contrast to ballet classes, folklorico classes are free (which means that these are working class folks), are at a community Center, and the instructor is bilingual (which is good cuz Tete is not yet fluent in English).
The teacher is really nice and welcoming of little kids. She said that she started dancing, “and 20 plus years latter, I am still doing it). The group was mostly girls and young women. There was one little girl, 4 years old, and Tete.
I had to stand next to Celeste, since she was shy about forming part of the circle. We went around for a while. The teacher was cool enough to put some Cri-Cri. We had fun.
When I was in High School, I tried joining a folklorico group. To be honest, I was trying to meet girls. I only went to practice twice. In college I joined Danza Mexica, I really liked the group that I was in, but because of other responsibilities and because I moved around a lot, I had to drop out. During college, I looked down upon folklorico. I felt that it displaced the indigenous culture and replaced it with a Spanish one. Today I see that its a beautiful down, I guess I’m not a cultural fundamentalism anymore. Plus I want my daughter to have fun. (I suggested danza azteca to tete, but she wants to wear colorful dresses and wear shoes with high heels.)
This semester I’m teaching at Hartnell Community College and at CSUMB (Monterey State). Most of my students are Latinos, and I’m teaching subjects I really care about, so I’m happy.
After every class, I feel drained. I put a lot of effort into teaching. I’m not trying to prove myself, but is just that I see my teaching as my activism, as my contribution to the progressive movement, so I wanted to be good. I have spent most of the time on vocaburaly and key concepts: race, ethnicity, class, gender, nationality, power, etc. I want students to understand how all these somehow “matter” and are connected to each other. The goal is that they will be able to see how these “social constructions” affect their own lives.
The downside, is that teaching 3 classes takes away a lot of my time, and it doesn’t really reward me with much money. Adjunct faculty get screwed; we just get paid the time we are in the classroom. I earn more money substituting at the high schools. It’s going to be hard finding time to focus in my own academic work and preparing for the qualifying exams. Right now, I feel I need some time away from the program. We’ll see.
One of my great friends, Steph, is pregnant! I was happily suprised this week, when she emaild Alejandra. I called her immediately (which was around 10 pm). I was moved when she said to me “you are going to be an uncle.” I really want to go visit her as soon as I can, and I’ll make sure to be there when she gives birth (well, not in the delivery room, but in the waiting area). I know that she will be a great mother. When we were taking Poetry for the People, she gave a strong lecture on globalization that almost made me cry. Her inner strenght, her love for life, and the faith she has in people is amazing.