Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Unicorn

At a teaching demonstration for a tenure-track faculty recruitment, students sat in a jammed classroom, a good number enrolled in sections of Chicana/o Studies. The visage of the candidate reflected a Mayan Mexican ancestry. Awestruck, one collegian who matched
the indigeneity of the presenter (as did many others in the audience) hung on every word pronounced by the presenter. The student spied a unicorn—or the reappearance of the foremost American of this continent with a Ph.D. This person’s riveted countenance, nearly tearful, revealed the deliverance of the possible self. I know this. How? Because since my early years in academe—first at Moorpark College, through my matriculation at CSU Fresno, the Claremont Graduate School and my first gig at Cypress College and now here—I’ve experienced this wonder that we progeny of the Maya, Purepecha, and Tarahumara (not the all too prolific Cherokee from “great-grandma”) can also, and must, impart our epistemology and stories in meaningful numbers, not just as unicorns.