Cinco de Mayo

As I assume y'all know, today is Cinco de Mayo. My school’s about 60% Hispanic and many of our students are actually from Mexico, so it’s a fairly big deal to our kids. As a school, we don’t do anything for it (I’m considering working on that for next year – any suggestions?), but I wanted to at least acknowledge it.

This year, I wrote Cinco de Mayo 2009 on my board for the date, asked them if they knew what the day is all about, let kids correct those who thought it was Mexican Independence Day, elicited explanations as to the true meaning of the day, and gave everyone a piece of candy, a pencil or a PBS school buck in celebration. Lip service, yes, but better than nothing, I hope.

During 7th period, a student asked me while I was taking the candy around if I celebrated Cinco de Mayo. I reiterated what I’d done for the holiday. He said, “I don’t celebrate it because I’m not Mexican.” He’s clearly Latino, but apparently didn’t want to be assumed to be Mexican.

Now, I’m about as white as you come. Blond hair, green eyes, skin so pale I have trouble finding foundation that’s dark enough…Casper and I have been declared cousins in the past. So after he made his stand, I looked at him and said, “Neither am I. Do you NOT want a piece of candy?”

Homes looked down, took a Jolly Rancher, and muttered thanks. Happy Cinco de Mayo to you, my friend.

Also, a student invited me to a quinceanera today. Is it appropriate for me to go? It's for his cousin and he's performing in it in some way - I'm not totally clear how, but I told him to get me the information and I'd love to be there. That's cool, yeah? I ordered Once Upon a Quinceanera from the library so I can learn more before I go.


TeachEnEspanol said...

It is totally acceptable to go. It is very common for Mexican families to include teachers in major events because they hold a place of honor. I hope that you do go and have fun! :)

teachin' said...

I wasn't sure since my student is part of a performance....and honestly I don't know if he even meant it, it may have just been a spur-of-the-moment regret-it-once-you're-done kinda invitation. Which, if it is, that's totally fine. If not, I will totally go!

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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