Lenguaje que Ofende

Jamie Fisher
Jamie Fisher

Por Jamie Fisher

Trata de pensar en alguna vez que conociste a alguien quien hablaba un idioma diferente que el tuyo. ¿Cuál fue la primera cosa que querías saber cómo decir? A lo mejor, preguntaste a dicha persona como maldecir en su lenguaje.
Especialmente, para los que están tratando de aprender un idioma nuevo es casi un prerrequisito saber manejar vocablos vulgares. No sólo porque ese vocabulario nuevo abre las puertas a un mundo inmenso de expresión, sino porque también le da al hablante novicio un sentido de poder, sabiendo que es capaz de cruzar fronteras lingüísticas para escandalizar, insultar y emocionar. read more

99 Words, Almost

School Mural

photos by Denise Minor

Editor’s note —

ChicoSol Adviser Denise Minor writes the second story in our Highway 99 series on Knights Landing, a northern outpost of Yolo County, on the Sacramento River. Knights Landing was an ancient gathering place for Native Americans and later a steamboat landing. Minor describes the town, about 10 miles from Highway 99 as the crow flies, on a morning in 2009.

by Denise Minor

School’s Out

The playground equipment is covered with a fine coat of dust at Grafton Elementary School in Knights Landing. A few plastic grocery bags are caught in the shrubbery. In front of the mural of white and Hispanic farmers shaking hands are empty parking places reserved for “Principal” and “Secretary.” At picnic tables, two older men wearing cowboy hats sit in the shade of large trees and chat in Spanish. read more

Vibrant School District Starved by State

By Leslie Layton

Some California school districts have gone broke because of gross mismanagement. Some have gone broke on fraud and corruption. The Chico Unified School District has gone broke on good intentions and a crashing state economy.

You could argue that it went broke by providing what parents in this college town wanted, even when the district could no longer afford those amenities. It offered small primary school classes and high school electives like French IV and ran tiny schools in the nearby communities of Cohasset and Forest Ranch.

You could argue that it went broke giving raises to teachers after the union fought bitterly for what it considered a fair collective bargaining agreement in 2006. Or that it went broke because a former superintendent foolishly gambled on an effort to boost the attendance rate and overestimated income by $1.1 million for a two-year period. read more

Dedication to Mercedes Sosa

by Leslie Layton
“All I Ask of God”

Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa died Oct. 4 at age 74. The news saddened a Sunday for millions of people who knew her voice that was deep and rich and her songs that were deep with meaning. Sosa became an icon because of both her native talent and her acquired courage to stand up to repressive regimes. She was once detained right along with her audience, which happened to be 200 students studying veterinary medicine.

In a way, Sosa symbolized what I came to love about Latin America during the decade of the 1980s, when I lived in Mexico City. Whether it was earthquakes that flattened cities or rigged presidential elections, people remained convinced that the struggle to improve their lives and achieve social justice was worthwhile. That was reflected and encouraged in the music of Sosa and her fellow Latin American folk artists who belonged to the musical movement nueva canción. read more

Dance of Passion Demands Patience, Control

Flamenco_Show_400_284

photo by Erik Aguilar

by Tania Flores

I was introduced to flamenco by a blood-letting, like a tailored and sharply-cut red dress whipping out from the back of my head. I was introduced by a woman who had my name, who called herself La Tania, who marked the end of the time when the purity of ballet was enough to contain my six years of age. I watched her dance in Chico State’s Laxson Auditorium, my head wrapped in a turban of white bandages. Wearing my ballet tights and leotard, I had cracked my head open earlier that afternoon on a cold, metallic bathtub rim. La Tania’s resounding footwork helped stem the flow of the hysteria and screams, and transform them into echoing syllables. read more

see slideshow Flamenco

slideshow by Erik Aguilar