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View Diary: You Can't Read That! (18 comments)

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  •  I taught in a suburban school near (5+ / 0-)

    Chicago that was over 90% Hispanic.
    "Bless Me, Ultima" was often required reading in the Freshman English classes. I taught remedial reading(Title 1) classes to Freshmen so I read it to see what some of the teachers were talking about when they said it was good and the "students loved it!" It wasn't much as you say. Not really that much action or drama or even character development and the plot was so, so.

    I enjoyed "Mango Street" much more. It was more like poetry and the passages were so multidimensional that it practically begged to be taught.

    I had an experience discussing teaching of the book with one Hispanic Teacher who just "loved" the book.  So I asked her if she brought the aria from Madame Butterfly in so students could hear the song that the mother sang....she didn't know that it existed. I also asked her about bringing in Tarot Cards to show the students what they looked like and what they meant....since the cards figure pretty heavily in one of the early passages.She didn't do that either; said she didn't know what Tarot Cards, it all depends on the interests of the teacher and the time one wants to spend talking about symbolism in a book.

    For some reason "Bless Me" was taught more than "Mango Street" (which takes place in Chicago in a neighborhood much like the one I lived in for several years). I am retired and still like "Mango Street" and cannot figure out why "Bless Me" is used more often.
    I guess it might have something more to do with the "generation gap" since Cisneros and I are almost the same age even if we are not the same ethnicity while "Bless Me" seems to stress ethnicity more.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:26:26 PM PDT

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