Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Walking in Papi's Shoes

I've shared another bilingual book review over at Latin Baby Book Club. Go there to read about The Woman Who Outshone the Sun/La mujer que brillaba aún más que el sol by Alejandro Cruz Martinez.

My father was gracious enough to be a guest reader at my school last week, along with my mom. He read this book to my students. Retired for several years now, Papi taught high school Spanish. I'm sure that reading to a group of 4th graders had to have felt quite different after spending so many years with hormonal teenagers. Papi was the perfect maestro though; he read at the perfect pace, pausing here and there to ask a question or show the illustrations.

My dad, a former teacher, read to my students, in his dress shirt, cardigan sweater, and pressed pants. As I watched and listened, it occurred to me that I too, wear that same outfit to school every day. Papi would carry a book and paper-filled briefcase to and from work; I lug home an about-to-explode book bag. Along with that, I use and reuse the same plastic Barnes & Noble bag to carry extra papers and such; Papi did the same I remember, using a shopping bag until it almost cried for mercy. When he was teaching, he carried so much stress around, and now, I do the same. At the same time, Papi was proud to teach the Spanish language and its rich literature. That is perhaps the most special gift he has given me.

My father took me to school. He led me to teaching. And when he read to my students, I had the pleasure of bringing him back.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Auuwwwaaahhh what a lovely inspiring story! Thanks for sharing! Papi sounds like a real treasure!