Spring2012 Eng255 Blogs & Responses
A qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog
40) Cover Letter
Posted on May 24th, 2012 at 2:40 am by sally and

In the beginning of the semester, I did not know what to expect of Eng255. I expected to read about all different types of “Global Literature” since the course was titled “Global Literature”. However, after the first day, I soon saw the class focuses on mainly Latin Literature. I never took any course that focused on the Latin community and quickly grew interested in the topic. I also learned that there will be a lot of writing during the semester and at first, I had some fear about the writing part because I felt my writing was not very strong.But I learned to get used to writing the blogs and the responses. Throughout the course, we posted up sets of blogs after sets of blogs while learning how to improve our writing skills. Though the blogs and the responses came after one another, I found it incredibly helpful because I know I am practicing my writing skills. I have learned a lot throughout the course on how to write better and make my writing sound more “sophisticated”. I can see the difference in my writing from when I started taking this course up until now.

The readings that we had to do for homework interested me a lot because the readings did not surround just one type of writing but encompassed many types of writings. There were biographies, short stories, and articles. This kept me interested because I did not need to read only one type of writing.

I feel the whole course itself was a huge learning experience for me and I cannot point out only one helpful tip that I took away from this class. I have never took a course that mainly focused on the Latin community so doing the readings and being in the class discussions about the topics taught me a lot about the Latin community already. Adding on, learning to replace “to be” verbs with other verbs definitely helped me and I will forever hold onto that writing technique for future writing assignments, especially since I am an English major. From my first response to just my third response, I can already see a major change in my writing and I feel that is a big accomplishment for myself.

I cannot think of a big issue that needs improvement on because I feel this course helped me in a big way and I learned so much from it. Perhaps if I had to pick something that needs improvement, it would probably be to discuss a bit more of the readings we had for homework and not spend so much time reviewing classmates’ blogs.



39) From “Latin Moon in Manhattan: 1. Little Colombia, Jackson Heights” by Jaime Manrique
Posted on May 24th, 2012 at 2:14 am by sally and

…I thought of our immigration to the United States eighteen years ago. But “immigration” is too big a word to describe what happened. Let’s just say we moved fromBogota, Colombia, to Jackson Heights, Queens–from one cocaine capital to another, the main difference being that the former sits ten thousand feet up in the Andes, while the latter is a mere twenty-minute train ride from Manhattan.

I finished high school and college in Queens and it wasn’t until years later, when I settled in Times Square, that I finally felt I was living in a foreign country. What I had observed through the years was that while Queens resembled a third world capital; there was a wide–and ever widening–gap between rich and poor, and the streets teemed with crazies, junkies, homeless people, street urchins, hustlers, hookers, and pickpockets, just like in Bogota.

Jaime Manrique describes what he sees in Queens, New York compared to his home country. He does not feel his move to New York from his country can be considered an “immigration” because he sees both places as being similar. He felt both places were pretty much the same even though he expected something else when moving to New York. He called Bogota a “cocaine capital” and coined Queens, New York the same title. This shows he expected Queens, New York to be different when moving here but he was hit with a different reality. He only actually felt as if he moved to a different country when he “settled in Times Square”. He reflected back on Queens and Bogota and sees there is a “gap between rich and poor” in both places. It seems as if he did not expect to see this gap in New York, only in Bogota.

38) “The American Invasion of Macun” by Esmeralda Santiago
Posted on May 24th, 2012 at 12:55 am by sally and

“I don’t understand why they didn’t just give us a sack of rice and a bag of beans. It would keep this family fed for a month.”

She took out a five-pound tin of peanut butter, two boxes of cornflakes, cans of fruit cocktail, peaches in heavy syrup, beets, and tuna fish, jars of grape jelly and pickles and put everything on a high shelf.

“We’ll save this,” she said, “so that we can eat like Americanos cuando el hambre apriete.” She kept them there for a long time but took them down one by one so that, as she promised, we ate like Americans when hunger cramped our bellies.

This shows that the mother speaking would have been satisfied if the American experts handed out “a sack of rice and a bag of beans”. She has not seen what the peanut butter, cornflakes, cans of fruits, peaches, beets, tuna fish, jelly and pickles can do to her family. She is only accustomed to rice and beans because those foods have been the only things that her family has eaten. She said she will save the foods the American experts have given her for “when hunger cramped our bellies”. This shows that she chooses to save the “good foods” for when they feel they really need them. Readers can see that life for the mother in Puerto Rico is difficult because she would have happily settled for a bag of rice and a bag of beans which she feels can feed her family for a month.

37) “Borderlands/La Frontera, Chapter 1” by Gloria Anzaldua
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 4:21 pm by sally and

It is illegal for Mexicans to work without green cards…farm bosses and smugglers who bring them in make money off the “wetbacks’ ” labor–they don’t have to pay federal minimum wages, or ensure adequate housing or sanitary conditions. The Mexican woman is especially at risk. Often the coyote (smuggler) doesn’t feed her for days or let her go to the bathroom. Often he rapes her or sells her into prostitution. She cannot call on county or state health or economic resources because she doesn’t know English and she fears deportation. American employers are quick to take advantage of her helplessness.

Gloria Anzaldua paints a clear image of what illegal immigrants go through to work in the United States. Since “farm bosses and smugglers” know their illegal statuses, they take advantage of the illegal immigrants. They strip the illegal immigrants of their needs and pay them below the minimum wage required. The illegal immigrants suffer the inadequate”housing or sanitary conditions”. The Mexican women suffer the most because of her denied use of the restroom and denied meals at times. Also, they often get raped by the bosses or smugglers or even get sold to prostitution. Under these conditions, the illegal immigrants cannot call for help from the police or health centers because the illegal immigrants and the women know the consequences of getting deported back to their country. Adding on, the illegal immigrants cannot speak English so they have a language barrier between themselves and the help centers. Seeing how helpless the immigrants can be, the bosses take every advantage they can from the illegal immigrants.

36) “Sixteen” by Jimmy Santiago Baca
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 4:02 pm by sally and

Thirteen Mexicans,

each having paid from two fifty to five hundred

to the coyote to smuggle them in the United States to work,

crashed into the back end of a sixteen-wheeler

and died last night–

the youngest thirteen.

They died wanting to work,

would have done anything for you–

washed your dirty clothes, dishes, scrubbed toilets–

yet this morning no one thinks about them,


Jimmy Santiago Baca calls attention on the fact that Mexican immigrants pay their way to come to America illegally to work. They put their lives on the line to find work in America so they can bring money back to their families. In order to feed their families, they paid “the coyote to smuggle them” into America and by doing so, they “crashed…and died last night”. They even had young children who tried to get smuggled into America. Baca says they “would have done anything” for work. Even washing “dirty clothes, dishes, scrubbed toilets”. This shows how much the Mexicans wanted to work and bring home money and food for their families. It also shows the dire living conditions they are going through if they willingly would take on jobs that people in America would not want to do. Furthermore, their lives ended just because they wanted to work, which shows they knew the risks they were taking when looking for work.

35) Jesus Colon’s “Grandma, Please Don’t Come!” 2nd I/E paragraphs
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 3:50 pm by sally and

Grandma, you are there on that beautiful isle. You were born there. You have been there all your life. You now have what most people here can only dream about. Don’t let sentimental letters and life-colored photographs lure you from your island, from your nation, from yourself. Grandma, please, please! DO NOT COME! (501)

Jesus Colon writes to his grandma to let her know not to come to New York because he believes his grandma has “what most people here can only dream about”. So, this shows that instead of America being the dream for people, the life that his grandma is currently living in Puerto Rico became the dream that Americans dream about. He tells her the “sentimental letters and life-colored photographs” should not bait her into wanting to come to America. He knows that the letters and photographs give off the wrong images of what America portrays to be. He uses the word “lure” to show that what the letters and photographs hold only bait people into coming to America. In actuality, the letters and photographs will only deceive people on America’s image. She should not leave her “island…nation..” or herself. Colon implies that if she comes to America, she will lose herself and culture.

34) Jesus Colon’s “Grandma, Please Don’t Come!” I/E paragraphs
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 3:49 pm by sally and

Nobody will shout at you: “Why don’t you talk United States?” Or even threaten you with a beating because you are speaking Spanish. It has been done, you know. People have been killed because they are heard speaking Spanish. So, grandma, please, don’t come! (500)

Jesus Colon believes his grandma will be put at risk of danger if she were to come to America because of the racist remarks from people. He feels his grandma will get “threatened…with a beating” because of her Spanish language. This implies that America will not welcome the culture or language if people will “threaten” her “with a beating”. Moreover, Colon says there has been people who “have been killed” due to them “speaking Spanish” and he feels his grandma definitely should not come or she will be in danger because of the hate crimes. These feelings of hatred and unwelcoming attitudes do not get captured in the photos that other countries see of America. Therefore, it leads them to a misconception that America happens to be a beautiful place full of promises and dreams when in reality, the country holds negative aspects as well.

33) Puerto Rican Young Lords I/E paragraph
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 3:47 pm by sally and

…began to denounce police brutality, the deplorable and segregated living conditions of Puerto Ricans and other Latinos in Chicago, and the unfair practices and neglect of various city agencies regarding minority communities…they also captured the hearts of and empowered a young generation of Puerto Ricans in their struggles for equality, social justice, and their share of the American dream. (1426-1427)

This shows that other than the living conditions that Latino communities suffer, they also face “police brutality” as well as “the unfair practices and neglect of various city agencies”. With the “unfair practices and neglect” that city agencies have against the Latino community, it shows that the Latino communities do not receive assistance nor help that they need. They get ostracized by society when others “neglect” them. Therefore, the organization developed to call attention to these issues and offer the community a place to feel accepted in and not feel alone and neglected. The Latino community strives “for equality, social justice, and their share of the American dream”. The Latino community wants equal opportunity so they can achieve the “American Dream” that has been portrayed in many images.

32) “TO BE AND NOT TO BE: The Question is: Can Latinos simultaneously integrate into America and preserve their identitiy?” by Isis Artze
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 3:43 pm by sally and

…the English language exposes Latinos to American media, facilitates their interaction with the American people, and thereby influences Latinos’ views on everything from politics and social issues to morality and family. The Washington Post survey shows that, for instance, first generation Latinos have idealistic expectations of the American government. By the third generation, however, Hispanics’ increasingly cynical views reflect those of non-Hispanic whites and blacks. In terms of family dynamics and machismo, Hispanics have likewise moved towards American norms. While nearly half of the first-generation Latinos surveyed believe the husband should have the final say in family matters, only a quarter of third generation Latinos agreed. (Ethnic NewsWatch)

Isis Artze explains that American media plays a role in how Latinos’ beliefs on “politics and social issues to morality and family” change as they become more and more exposed to the media. Even though the first generation of Latinos may not be as assimilated to the American culture, later generations will surely become much more adapted to the American culture because their family (the second generation) has become more accustomed to the American culture than the first generation of family members. By the third generation, Artze says their “family dynamics” have “moved towards American norms”, which shows that as later generations live in America, they will be more and more accepting of the American culture and their native beliefs will have changed, which may cause those beliefs to be lost or forgotten as the American culture and beliefs move into the family.

31) Final Paper’s Abstract
Posted on May 23rd, 2012 at 3:41 pm by sally and

Chasing a Dream While Losing a Part of You: ‘The American Dream’ and Assimilating at  the Same Time in Latino Writers’ Articles

 In this article, I will illustrate that Latino immigrants have a certain expectation of the American Dream but when arriving in America, they live a different reality. They inevitably fall into assimilating to the American culture in order to try to achieve “the American Dream”. I will use research articles “What is ‘the American dream?’” by Nina Duran and “America Dreamed” by Rosa Martha Villareal to define what “the American Dream” means in a general sense. I will also use research articles “Latinos and Lethal Violence: The Impact of Poverty and Inequality” by Ramiro Martinez, Jr. and “TO BE AND NOT TO BE: The Question is: Can Latinos simultaneously integrate into America and preserve their identity?” by Isis Artze to show the reality of Latinos’ lives in America and whether they assimilate to the American culture, respectively. Anthology texts that I will be using to bring attention to the reality of Latino immigrants’ lives in America consist of Piri Thomas’ “Alien Turf”, Jesus Colon’s “Grandma, Please Don’t Come!”, and “Puerto Rican Young Lords”. Anthology texts that I will be using to discuss the assimilation of Latino immigrants to the American culture consist of Nicholasa Mohr’s “A Journey Toward a Common Ground: The Struggle and Identity of Hispanics in the USA”, Edward Rivera’s “From Family Installments 7: In Black Turf”, and Julia Alvarez’s “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents: Daughter of Invention”. These articles tie the ideas of the American Dream and assimilation together and showcase what the American Dream looks like for Latino immigrants but when arriving to the United States, they experience something different and lose a part of their culture at the same time.

« Previous Entries