RE: Butterflies and life

From: David Preiss (davidpreiss@puc.cl)
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 06:47:01 PDT


It is, indeed, a complicated issue, I think. It also matters what
Spanish the teacher is talking and to whom, and there are lots of
cultural variations that remain unheard for a untrained ear. The
standard Spanish talked by somebody that learned it as a second language
might not accomplish its intended goal as well. And, finally, it may
well be the case that as Rodriguez mentioned, the Spanish the kids bring
to the school is not canonical or "grammatical" either. Lots of
complexities that sum up to a very interesting phenomenon.

David Preiss
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile: www.puc.cl
PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
Phone: 56-2-3544605
Fax: 56-2-354-4844
E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl

-----Original Message-----
From: Marie Judson [mailto:mjudson@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 10:41 PM
To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
Subject: RE: Butterflies and life

David,

This brings to my mind students at San Diego High
School (where 70% of students are from Spanish
speaking homes) not wanting their teacher to speak
Spanish to them in class. My sense was that the
students saw the teacher's attempts with Spanish as an
invasion of the identity they preferred to keep
sacrosanct from school control. In this case, perhaps
rather than reflecting Yrjo's horizontal boundary
crossing, the students' breaking away was from the
disciplinary technologies of a standardized school
culture that eliminates all but one 'culture' - i.e. subtractive
schooling - a breaking away that preserved identity on their own terms.
Perhaps it could be seen as protecting boundaries. But then again, the
act of preserving a boundary may be an act of boundary crossing on some
other level. In an education system that does not test in Spanish,
seldom rewards the speaking of Spanish and in fact often disciplines
against it, asking a teacher not to speak Spanish may have been a
transformative act.

Just thoughts...

Marie
 

--- David Preiss <davidpreiss@puc.cl> wrote:

>
> Thanks Dorie, for the info. As relates to the issue
> of loss between
> hispanics, I must say that it always impressed me,
> as a Chilean, the way
> hispanic identity was framed in the USA. Indeed, I
> think that the
> metaphor of breaking away works nicely there.
> Octavio Paz, the Mexican
> Nobel Prize, makes an interesting description of the
> identity of the
> hispanics in his "Laberinto de la Soledad". More or
> less, he says that
> what strikes him of mexican immigrants in the US is
> the fact that they
> radicalize their identity through different symbols
> such as their
> clothing to a point where its reference either to
> mexican or north
> american identity becomes diffuse, to stay in some
> sort of nowhere
> place, that is, it breaks away with both the mexican
> roots and the north
> american context. I was not an immigran myself, but
> I found that Paz's
> interpretation still holds, from my very na´ve
> perspective as a
> transitory and perplexed student. Spanglish can be
> seen in the same way.
> It is not Spanish at all, but it is not English
> either. Interestingly,
> one of the moves of the spanglish is to use English
> words employing the
> grammar of Spanish such as in vacunar la carpeta,
> where vacuum is
> actualized as a verb and carpet is treated as a
> substantive, but very
> far away from the "right" translation, "aspirar la
> alfombra". When you
> use a language grammar to perform the other, which
> language is the one
> that wins? More generally, when you break away and
> put the rules of your
> cultural subjectivity to treat with the content of a
> strange one, what
> kind of complex cognitive act do you perform? Would
> be your cultural
> life as brief as the one of the butterflies?
>
> David Preiss
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -
> Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile: www.puc.cl
> PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
> Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
> Phone: 56-2-3544605
> Fax: 56-2-354-4844
> E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dorie Evensen [mailto:dhd2@psu.edu]
> Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 5:20 PM
> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: RE: Butterflies and life
>
>
> David - The book is about the author's experience as
> a child of Mexican
> immigrants educated in quite traditional Catholic
> schools in California
> (1960s). It's the story of his "losing" his family
> and ethnicity as he
> came to embrace the discourse of traditional (and
> mostly classic)
> education. The book has undergone criticisms
> because of Rodriguez'
> position against affirmative action - he was
> admitted to (now here is
> where
> my memory fades), I think, Yale (I also think it was
> a graduate program)
>
> under affirmative action protocols - his argument is
> that af. ac. should
>
> not be for people like him. He winds up refusing
> the position.
> Rodriguez
> works now for the Pacific News Service and does
> occasional essays on the
>
> The News Hours (PBS). What remains with me about
> the book is his vivid
> sense of loss coupled with a strong desire for the
> new development he is
> so
> aware of having experienced.
> Dorie
>
>
> At 05:02 PM 4/4/2005, you wrote:
>
> >Dorie,
> >Sorry for not knowing the person, but could you
> please say more about
> >this book? David
> >
> >David Preiss
>
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >-
> >-
> >Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile:
> www.puc.cl
> >PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
> >Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
> >Phone: 56-2-3544605
> >Fax: 56-2-354-4844
> >E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Dorie Evensen [mailto:dhd2@psu.edu]
> >Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 1:38 PM
> >To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >Subject: Re: Butterflies and life
> >
> >
> >
> >I wonder if people think that Richard Rodriguez'
> autobiography, Hunger
> >of Memory, provides some insights into losses
> associated with
> >development? Dorie
> >
> >
> >
> >At 01:28 PM 4/4/2005, you wrote:
> > >Well, those butterflies and some notion of an
> elsewhere or other that
>
> > >is unfettered... Would that it were so. I am
> especially fond of the
> > >Monarchs -- an endangered species precisely as
> they travel across
> > >space. Actually, the butterflies - we could think
> of them as actants
> > >in
> >
> > >some species of ANT - part of the system and with
> no autonomous
> > >agency
> > >-- feed along the way on milkweed, treated with
> pesticides as a
> > >"noxious weed", as well as genetically-modified
> corn that produces a
> > >protein toxic to the larvae of monarchs, and
> their habitat in their
> > >wintering grounds in Mexico is being lost to
> devastating logging,
> > >resulting in a huge drop in the population of
> Monarchs.
> > >
> > >And so here we have a kind of cautionary tale
> about the impacts of
> > >"development" <science, construction, the
> economy> on forms of life
> > >and
> >
> > >living. The kinds of loss produced by
> "development" produces an
> > >interesting line of inquiry.
> > >
> > >Mary
> > >
> > >On 4/3/05 7:48 PM, "Marie Judson"
> <mjudson@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > > > It does relate to the topic, Kris, in the
> sense that
> > > > the butterflies come across the border freely,
> unlike
> > > > the humans.
> > > >
> > > > Marie
> > > >
> > > > --- Kris Gutierrez <gutierrez@gseis.ucla.edu>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> THIS IS OFF TOPIC BUT IT CAN'T GO
> > > >> UNNOTICED--SOMETHING CLOSE TO HOME
> > > >> FOR THOSE OF US IN THE SOUTHWEST and
> hopefully
> > > >> something else to
> > > >> ponder: KRIS
> > > >>
> > > >> Soldados Mexicanos Muertos en Irak"
> (Xenophobes of
> > > >> the Minutemen
> > > >> Project want to play soldiers on the
> > > >> Arizona-Mexico border, hunting
>
=== message truncated ===

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marie Judson
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Communication
UCSD, Mailcode 0503
858.643.9090
mjudson@ucsd.edu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun May 01 2005 - 01:00:06 PDT