1 Matching Annotations
- Jul 2021
Sergio: What about school?Rodolfo: School? One of the first memories I have from school, after Phoenix—I wasn't going to school in Phoenix, actually, I think I even skipped kindergarten—we moved to Long Beach, California. And the only thing I remember from school was my mom waking me up probably about four or five in the morning. The sun wasn't even out yet, and she would walk me to this random lady's house. Actually, she wasn't random, but she was just some lady I didn't know. There was two other kids there, and I would be in uniform. That was the first time I actually wore a uniform to go to school. I was there, but I didn't really remember that much. When we moved to Chicago, that's when everything changed.Rodolfo: I was a little bit older. I remember I went to Jordan Elementary. It was in the North side of Chicago. We were there for a very brief moment, because then we moved to Evanston. Evanston was literally right next to Chicago. The school I was attending was called Orrington Elementary. The reason why we moved, once again, is because she wanted a better quality of life for me. Where I was at, it was all English, there was no Spanish. Obviously, there were Hispanic kids who already spoke English, but there wasn't... She, herself didn't know English, so how could she teach me, so how could I be integrated into a school that doesn't even accommodate for individuals or kids who don't know English?Rodolfo: She moved schools, although we were still in Chicago because we needed... what was it? Proof of residency. We lived out of district, and she would get fined or I wouldn't be able to go to school there. The point is I went to school to Orrington Elementary. The program was called the TWI (Two Way Immersion). It was a bilingual program and that's where I learned my English, that school. Friends and everything. I feel as though like, that's why I learned my English so well, because I really, really wanted to learn it. I always heard kids at the park or at the store, at Target, at Jewels, or whatever and everybody spoke English, right? I just felt fascinated, I was intrigued by it.Rodolfo: It was a whole different language that I didn't know, and I wanted to master it. I wanted to be able to talk as they spoke, or talk as they talked. School was a very cool experience. I always had a lot of friends, and I was always the life of the classroom. I wasn't probably the best behaved kid, but I was always integrated in to what was going on with the school.Sergio: Do you remember any teachers or people?Rodolfo: Yeah, absolutely. Ms. Mule, Ms. Mule was my second or third grade teacher, I'm not sure which one it was. She was awesome, she always help me out with the English, always. Even in parent teacher conferences, she would literally always talk to my mom as if she'd be really interested. She would show genuine interest in what was going on with, not just me, but with the Hispanic kids. Kids who had trouble with English or weren't doing the best academically. She always would tell me, "Don't worry, you're gonna get it. You're gonna learn it." She had such a big heart.Rodolfo: Still even, my mother and I still talk about the teacher to this point in time. She tells me, "I remember Ms. Mule and she used to use hand gestures. She would always be like, 'Yeah, for this or for that.'" Even though I knew I wasn't the smartest or the most best behaved kid, she would always have that initiative to get us there. Get us to that point. Yeah, that was one of my favorite teachers. Man, I value that so much actually now. I miss that teacher. Another teacher was in fifth grade, his name was Mr. Stoom. He was Argentinian, he was from Argentina. He was another great teacher. He always told us, "Don't ever forget where you came from. Your roots are who you are, even though you all are coming from different parts of the world, don't ever forget who you are and where you come from." That's one of the biggest things right now, I'm kind of ashamed of.Rodolfo: I'm not, because I was so... What do they say, "Americanized." In Chicago, I was so in America. I never dedicated the time to open a book or even Google something of my home country. Now that I get here, I don't know what is going on. Just barely a couple of months ago, I found out Mexico is a third-world country. I didn't know that. I go to Polanco Fendi, Prado, Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton boutiques. To me, that's not a third world country. Yeah, that teacher was the one who started opening my eyes up more to my surroundings.
Time in the US, School, Kindergarten, Elementary, Learning English/ESL, Teachers, Mentors, Cultural acceptance; Reflections, Identity, American; Time in the US, States, Arizona, California, Illinois