The same year my son began kindergarten was the same year I started teaching high school. After completing a Ph.D. in Education in 2015, instead of working in higher education as I anticipated, I was called to teach Ethnic Studies in high school classrooms to be in schools that sometimes feel like the “Mexican Schools” I teach about from the 1940s. As Teaching Tolerance has documented in these Mexican Schools, “Many Anglo educators did not expect, or encourage, Chicano students to advance beyond the eighth grade. Instead, the curriculum at the Mexican schools was designed, as one district superintendent put it, “to help these children take their place in society.”
The Myth of Meritocracy By Irene Sanchez The scandal Operation Varsity Blues has many talking about corruption in higher education recently, but it exposes something many of us already knew was there. The unchecked privilege reserved for the wealthy of this country is nothing new. There are front doors many of them walk through such … Continue reading The Myth of Meritocracy
Why we still need Chicanx/Latinx Studies By Irene Sanchez A student last year in my Latinx Studies class wrote, "If I am not myself, who will I be?" I asked myself when I read it: Who would I be? Would I be bowed head, eyes lowered, and ashamed? Would I be neither here nor there? … Continue reading Why We Still Need Chicano/Latino Studies
3 P's of Graduate School Applications By: Xicana Ph.D. I know I have a lot of my critiques of the academy and elitists and will continue to have them and write about them, but that is precisely why I wanted to go to graduate school to begin with. I wanted to subvert the system. I … Continue reading 3 P’s of Graduate School Applications
Stop reinforcing the status quo inside or outside academia By Xicana Ph.D. The ivory tower as a whole doesn’t uplift anything, but those who reinforce it. It reinforces existing power. The status quo. A lot of folks within it do too. A lot of people who preach social justice do it every single day. Let’s … Continue reading Stop reinforcing the status quo inside or outside academia
Exceptionalism Can Never Be Radical: On use of sCHOLAr, and other things people think is ok. By Irene Sanchez (Xicana Ph.D.) Resistance is more than our existence. It is the constant challenging of the idea that somehow we got to where we are because we are the good ones, the ones who followed the rules, … Continue reading Exceptionalism Can Never Be Radical: On use of sCHOLAr, and other things people think is ok.
"You can't sit with us" There is a long list of reasons some people in academia will make up for justification as to why they won’t let you “sit” (interact) with them. For example, You can’t sit with them unless: You went to this elite school like they are all alums from (oh you didn’t … Continue reading Creating Places to Stand: On Dismantling Oppressive Behaviors in Academia
Dear Academic Mama, I am here. I am still here. I said this today after thinking about how hard life has been after finishing the Ph.D. I emailed you to ask you for a letter of recommendation again today and remembered how many times for many years, I would come to your office for a … Continue reading A Letter to my “Academic Mama”