Nov 7, 2017 Santa Barbara –An Immersion memoir

Today was the big day! Last night, after a long day that included a talk in Ellie Hernandez’s class, lunch at Cody’s, a visit to Santa Barbara Mission, a great dinner at Toma a fine restaurant on Shoreline, I crashed…. sad about the mission–the cemetery, the many who toiled there, the sad stories. The lonely artifacts no longer needed or used, displayed as reminders that we are no longer there, no longer need to grind the corn en el metate. No longer sleep on camas de cuero, no longer! Sad. But, relishing Don Luis stories over dinner, marveling at the perfect red rose in mission garden, and the gorgeous moonlit sky, I had the sense that  was with us. I felt glad. . His great jokes! I went to bed tired and anxious about today. Today. A big day. The  Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. What an honor! I am humbled.

Yesterday’s very rewarding reading in Ellie’s class culminated in today’s event in Mario’s class with 556 students. He has 9 TAs.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude and felt the love from the students. Warm. Effusive. Full of hope and wonder.

UCSB is the same school it was almost 20 years ago. And it’s not.  So much has changed! so much has not!




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