October 15, 2008

Greetings all,

Welcome to a special issue of “What’s On My Mind?” Today marks the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. Wikipedia provides a concise discussion of the origins of this celebration http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic_Heritage_Month – check it out.

As with most things in life, we find individual meaning through personal discovery and reflection. So rather than providing you a list of “famous Hispanics” or “Hispanic firsts,” I thought I would share with you several books that have provided me greater understanding and insight into the Hispanic culture. Enjoy these books – they are all “good reads.”

Two of my all time favorite books are authored by Victor Villasenor – Rain of Gold and Thirteen Senses: A Memoir. Beginning with Rain of Gold, Villasenor chronicles his family’s migration from Mexico and settling in the United States.

If you want to understand undocumented migration into this county from multiple perspectives read Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea. This book chronicles the lives of immigrants from Mexico crossing the border into Arizona from the viewpoints of all involved – immigrants, smugglers, politicians, and the Border Patrol. Your understanding of this very complex issue will be changed.

Finally, read Ask A Mexican by Gustavo Arellano. You will be challenged to think about bigotry and stereotypes head on. Although I have only read excerpts from this book, I found it to be very cutting similar to Dick Gregory’s compelling comedy with a message during the late 1960’s.

Have a great week.

Regards,

Paul Dale, Ed.D.
Interim President