Starting a blog for the purpose of...well, I'm not sure the grander purpose, but I do know that telling stories is what I'm most passionate about, presently.
I started writing these short novels as a response to a need I found in my classroom four years ago, but the stories is what keep me writing. Though rife with stereotypes (purposeful), they highlight themes that I think are necessary for Spanish instruction: cultural, social, economic and political. Culture drove my instruction when I was in the classroom and with that, themes that were just-this-side of envelope-pushing. I figured that if the students weren't fluent (yes, this is meant to be funny) by the end of my course, they would at least be more aware. And I think awareness is always a good thing.
So, in La chica nueva and La niñera I dove into a bit of racism. El viaje difícil brought up undocumented immigration; Los tres amigos has gay characters, and El jersey highlights the economic challenges (as well as the beauty and richness) of Guatemala.
Soon to be released will be La lucha de la vida, which is a story about a teenager who has recently reconnected with his father after spending some years in foster care. The kid, happy to have some predictability in his life, focuses on wrestling and getting his driver's license. His father is challenged with having a teenager in the house that he's not had the opportunity to raise for a long time. The two connect through storytelling (shocker!) as Juan, the father, tells his son of his younger days as a luchador mexicano. What the son doesn't know is that there's an issue with more than just getting his license. Hopefully his father will be able to figure it out soon enough.
Life is as great as it is messy and I hope my stories will provide a platform for discussion, as anything can be solved - to some degree - with a conversation (or many).
Stay tuned for more. More stories. More materials to use in class/workshops/wherever you want a conversation to happen.