Sunday, February 3, 2013

Is Movin' On Up Good or Bad?

I was going to try convincing myself not to write today, because the super bowl is going to be on. I was telling myself, "well you don't have anything to write about anyhow, so what's the point?" But somehow, I've managed to convince myself to stop bullshitting myself.

Me and some friends had gone off to have dinner with a professor and his family. Nice guy, taught in the Spanish department. I believe his background is as a migrant worker, who eventually decided to get an education, and pursue a Spanish BA, MA and PhD. He's a Mexicano, so for us, to in essence see a person like us, but with a PhD, was a good visual aid. He's buena onda. He represented that other level, something that at times for many of us seems unattainable, because we don't see a brown person lecturing in front of us.

However, it wasn't him that we were left wondering about & discussing after the dinner. Maybe I shouldn't say "we." I think more than anything it's "me," I tend to over think things. I've been told I think too much. My thoughts went back to his children. A daughter and a son-the nuclear family. The American Dream accomplished by someone like us. But like any good Mexican family, I believe he either had his mother or his suegra living with them, an elderly woman, which reminds me of what most Mexicans family have done, or at least the ones I grew up around.

Anyhow after having left the professor's house, me and some friends sat around, and I posed my question: "His kids obviously don't come from a background like ours. They aren't growing up in neighborhoods like the ones we grew up in, so they won't experience a lot of the "harsh realities" we did. They'll be sheltered. So is that good or bad?" I know, the answer should be easy. I don't even know why I was thinking this, you'd think that I'd be saying "hey that's great, they didn't grow up with raza assaulting or killing each other over colors or numbers, nor do they have to grow up having to survive day to day because their parents barely make enough to get by in the agriculture or factory work they do." I don't know if that's just the cynic or pessimist in me, where even in a positive situation I find something faulty. I think most, if not all of us want something better for the next generation, the next group of kids. But I guess there's that part of me that values all of my experiences, and those of my peers, because I think they shaped us, and in turn helped us to value our current situations even more. Maybe there's a part of me that thinks, that growing up with the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth, will lead to Mexican kids that in turn won't value the opportunities that are in front of them. And of course this wouldn't be fully the fault of the children, because the parents would have just as much to do with it in that situation. I think most of us strive to get out of the barrio, or whatever negative situations we feel we can rise above, be it economic, mental or emotional. And we feel we can do better than our families or those that came before us. In fact our families encourage us to do better.

It's funny because the Spanish professor sorta threw a monkey wrench into my train of thought, well more like I did after the dinner with my train of thought and inquiry. I have a professor in my grad school program, who was an ardent Xicana. Down for la causa and involved in her fair share of raza related activism. Great sense of humor as well. I remember her telling us that upon receicving her PhD in English, ever the idealist she said "I'm going to live in the barrio! But once I spent some time back in the barrio, I decided I just couldn't live there anymore!" It was funny, because there was truth in her little story, she had gained her degrees and was ready for something different, she continued to fight the good fight, but she did it while living in a nicer neighborhood.

The more I write this blog, the more I come to realize that quite a few things I think, are more so questions, I'm not necessarily seeking answers, but I'm thinking about situations that I pose more to an audience, as I did to my friends above, to which they just kinda shrugged their shoulders. I guess in a round-about way I end up pushing myself further into the realm of question and thought. I guess a better question, would have been, "What do I want for my kids in the future? And is that good or bad?" And maybe, I just should have kept it to myself.


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