My new school is different. It’s on the opposite side of this “city.”
The students, although relatively the same age, are different. Their recall is much better thanks to different sleep habits and better nutrition at home. The air of entitlement bugs me though. My ethics bother some of them thinking that a phone call from home will make me back down, but I double cross every “t” and double dot every “I”.
Still, there are some who remind me of my “old” kids. One in particular worms his way into my room every chance he gets. He joined my session in the after school program. When I began streaming music as we worked on our projects, he began asking, “Ms, can you play some corridos?”
The other kids looked at him like he was a disease when I did. So, we went back to the other music. Next time, he brought his iPod and listened through earbuds while he worked, stopping once in a while to ask me if I knew a song.
Last week, he came to afterschool tutorials to get caught up on some work. I, as usual, was streaming 90’s rock on Pandora. He took out his iPod and started blarring his corridos. I turned off my music and listened a while. As a typical socializing teenager, he started asking me about this corrido or that corrido. I went old school on him and started asking about “Superman no tiene papeles.” He laughed at me, “Whatever Ms…Really? There’s a song like that?”
“Yeah, it’s about immigration.”
I showed him my history of corridos CD that I keep in my desk. He was taken aback by it. I told him a little about Americo Paredes. After he left, I put the whole thing out of my mind.
But as I packed all my Latino literature and history books today for the upcoming move, I thought back to last week. My student’s interest reminded me of my days when I couldn’t get enough of the history I had denied and ignored most of my life.
I talked to a former colleague and student last week. My colleague said, “We don’t often see the outcome of our work, right Ms. Baeza?”
“Yep,” I replied.
Maybe that talk of corridos was nothing…maybe it will be something.