Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Tomas Rivera Mood ...

Time ... Tomas Rivera grew up in a migrant family. Most of his writings tell of the difficult lives of these workers, but they also celebrate the strength and resilience of our comunidads.

Rivera received a bachelor's degree in education, then went on to earn a master's in education and a Ph.D. in Spanish literature. During this time, he published extensively and wrote his classic novel. ...y no se lo tragó la tierra (...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him), for which he received the Quinto Sol Award in 1971. He is also the author of numerous short stories and poetry. When he died in 1984, Rivera was the Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside.

Here's a snapshot of etcetera writings on tortilla life with a chaser poem ... wacha ...

Tomas Rivera on
writing ... " I started writing when I was about twelve, and motivation came from the people in my environment and from reading mainly. I was fascinated by the whole world of imagination and wanted to create. The short story came first. My mood at a given time determines what I want to write - poetry, fiction, nonfiction - but I always enjoy the short story. All reading is an attempt to capture or structure the world of ideas, whether it is expressed in a short story, poetry, or a carefully written essay. The world of ideas and inventiveness all speaks of people, and I enjoy meeting them, talking with them, observing them."

Rivera on
administration ... "Administration encompasses anticipation and learning. But that is true, not only before you get into the job, but while you are in the job.

When you cannot anticipate, when you cannot continue to learn once you get into a system, then you are not going to have much of an input into the system.

I plan to become as totally familiar as I can with not only the present organization, the system, et cetera, but also the whole history of the development of the university. That is really important that will give me a spiritual history of the university. From there you can gain the feeling and attitude of a university toward many things - toward research, the quality of education.

It will be a very deliberate way to get at the running of the system itself. From that I will create matrixes of organizational aspects. I will talk to the people, both in groups and individually and get perceptions of the university and then learn the technical processes that the university has in course. Then you set down timelines, goal and so forth.

I think the major challenges that you have at UCR are the challenges of higher education across the United States. That is, we as a profession in higher education have to come to believe that we are a very strong profession.

Although we may be in financial straits in certain decades, we have in the past- the higher education faculty, administration, university systems- have been perfecting a society that has brought a great amount of economic stability to the country. It has also bettered the human condition worldwide.

I think when we get into financial straits it is easy to hit the vulnerable institutions. Higher education is a vulnerable institution. I feel that one of the great challenges we have to take the offensive and put forth ourselves as a very important element of society.

The universities are training the managers of the future. The challenge is being able to understand that we are not superficial. We will be here as a profession in the year 2100. We are to sense the great, positive contribution of higher education to society in this country and to societies across the world."

A poem con limon y salt peanuts ...

The Rooster Crows en Iowa y en Texas
by Tomas Rivera

The rooster crows.
The alarm rings.
They eat and go to work.

"Aladín y su lámpara maravillosa"

The snow falls.
The truck runs full of people.
And we return . . . home.

"Once upon a time there were three little pigs"

To spend money.
And to walk in the holes
full of street
of my town.

The street calls and
extends itself
to the house of the door
and the fence of the gate
and . . .

I look . . .
It looks at me . . .
yawns and shakes its dust.

And I yawn and sleep
until the rooster crows.


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