I am sitting in my musty chair, at my musty desk, in a musty corner of the tiny, musty annex building that sits a small courtyard away from the greater musty Latin American Iberian Institute complex which is comprised of three almost four decade-old, adobe, swamp-cooled buildings at the corner of Yale and Lomas.*
As I ponder what to write in the required monthly journals for the following two years, all I can do is beam about my position as a graduate assistant and think of how accomplished I feel to sit at this desk. My American dream has gradually become to live as an academic. And now I have begun pursuing my Master’s degree, living in a small apartment, feeling like the world is mine. And if that is not academic, then I don’t know what is.
This semester, I was assigned to work with the Universidad Central de Ecuador— one of the oldest universities in the Americas— as a liaison between its applicants to UNM’s PhD or Master’s program and UNM’s faculty. I have not been assigned yet to specific tasks, but as far as my personal goals go, I hope to improve my written Spanish substantially. Another personal goal is to be on time to every event my department organizes in order to demonstrate dependability to professors and my fellow colleagues (lol).
While I have my own assignments, I am also looking outward for different opportunities more related to my interests. A project I have in mind belongs to another graduate assistant working in one of the other two musty buildings. Part of the project is to read children Chicano literature and then create comprehensive and enjoyable multi-cultural lesson plans for teachers and students of nearby public schools. Being that part of my previous and current research involves Chicano literature as well as public education and lesson-planning, I not only find this work fascinating; I also believe that it could be a great source for my future long-term research.
I have tons more to share with those who care, so you can ask me personally. I am mostly going to be doing these little blurbs as a requirement for my job, but it also helps relieve my stress a bit, let out things that have been bothering me, and to organize my thoughts. For now I return to registering for courses.
*A group of potential $$$ donors $$$ will be walking through the complex to determine whether or not we need new buildings.(the bathroom in my building has a rusty, sewer-smelling shower that still works… the main building has a unisex bathroom that opens up to a tiny space which we consider both a meeting room and a classroom). Suffice it to say, they won’t take more than a few seconds to realize that oh god yes the department desperately needs new buildings.