Wish List from 19 years ago


I could possibly write a blog per wish and explain why or why not. I found this as I am in the process of getting rid of a lot of paper I have “archived” throughout the years. No need to keep holding on to things such as receipts for a banana bought in March 2003.  But once in a while, I find some treasures such as this one. I am rethinking my list of wishes but I have plenty from this long lost list to keep me occupied until the end of my days.



Weakness, value, kindness

So I often say that I am like Jonathan the Tortoise. Slow, steady, resilient…


And judgmental. Here I am, I mean, Jonathan, looking at you with skepticism. But really, just thinking slowly about all implications about everything. Slowly digesting. Processing.

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Happy and Grateful

This is an image heavy post! These are the 5 prompts from Jan 5 through 10.  Had to think about it a lot. Here it goes….

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English/Spanish Prompts for TL Creative Challenge! WOOT!!!

The prompts in English and Spanish are below. Use these

#tlcreates y #lunacreativerenewal OR #tlcrea #lunarenovacióncreativa 

ENGLISH PROMPTS Continue reading →

The first five prompts!

  1. In 2018 I am letting go of..worrying about things that I cannot solve. For example, if someone is screaming in my ear about something I did not cause and cannot possibly solve, I will not let my blood pressure crawl up. I have to think about my health a lot more this year.
  2. Word for the Year–A word? Just a word??? DAAAAAMMMN!!! Ok, I am doing the English word first: Dare. The Spanish one: ATREVETE. 
  3. 2017 taught me–something valuable about perception. Whether I like it or not, perception shapes a lot of our reality. I do not want to give up my quirkiness nor tone down my colorfulness. But I will be more aware of when and where and with who…very important. Who.
  4. 2018 Resolutions–OOOOFFFFF. Mine, too many. But, to group them into three categories: Organization, Atrevimientos (how do I even translate that?), and Home Improvements
  5. Top Goal for The Year–To get unstuck. To dare. To get organized. To not fear!

Please join me in the Monthly Creative Challenges with Teatro Luna

January Creative Renewal Challenge Insta (1)

Not too late to join. I really would like to have buddies do this with me. Anyone out there?

Art’s Big Summer Biking Adventure

I met Art at work when I first came to Chicago. Then I lost track of him until we met again at my current parish, Saint Gertrude. We attend the same Mass, the Gym Mass, one of the most spiritual experiences I have had of a mass in my life. Art is a frequent lector and shares reflections after the homily.

Art approached me one day and asked me to help him out with his biking adventure. He wanted to raise funds for the parish so could I organize pledges etc as he was embarking on this awesome adventure of riding from Chicago to New York. I was very excited and grateful he asked me to do this.

I love biking. I am certain Art did not know how much before he asked me. I have been slowly recovering my mobility with the help of an amazing Chiropractic and walking increasing distances. One of the activities I missed the most though was biking. For a while I used my ever trusty terra trike recumbent but I had missed my cruiser two-wheeler. I had both tuned up at Uptown bikes this summer. I was especially encouraged as I remembered with how much passion I dreamt about doing the kind of tour that Art had set himself to do as a goal this summer.

Art biked a total of 904 miles from Chicago to Mainville, PA. There were a few wrinkles along the way: thunderstorms, exhaustion, more rain…and even when cooperative, the elements are hard on the body. The sun and wind can work both for and against you.

Still.  9-0-4.

NINE HUNDRED FOUR.  Did I also mention Art is in his seventies?

Anyway, hats off to Art and thank you for showing that there is no age limit to adventure!



Chandra and the star necklace

I am wearing the star necklace she gave me one night, on an evening over soup and cake, at Taste of Heaven when it was on Paulina Street. There was no particular reason for the gift. She gave it to me because, she said, “You are star, and you should always remember that.” This was about 15 years ago.

I met Chandra at North Park, where she taught for a few years courses on Women and Gender Studies and English Lit. She had also been on the Search committee that hired me in the year 2000. We became fast friends. We spent long evenings secluded in our respective offices in Caroline Hall working on our dissertation. She, revising a chapter in a thesis about womanist eco-feminism and me, finishing edits trying to please a reviewer on changes she was never going to accept. We would call each other at the top of the hour, every hour, to check on each other’s progress and to make sure we were alive and safe. We called on each other often, mostly me worried about how to deal with life as a new faculty of color.

When she left North Park,  I was worried about reshuffling our lives to keep connecting. She was indeed busy running around CPS headquarters and that shiny building downtown when she began her work with College Summit. I was seeing her star shine brightly for so many, I knew she was just following the call to bigger projects touching even more souls who needed her. But she always made time for us and our “woowoo” talks even when she moved away to the East Coast.

I don’t know if I told her that the necklace she gave me I have worn during interviews, conferences, presentations, tough meetings, moments of doubts. I have rubbed it raw during anxiety episodes and I have worn it proudly during my best moments—remembering that she gave it to me to remind me of something important: I am a woman of value; I am a woman of worth. She believed in me even when I hadn’t met her yet. I could count on her support and encouragement once she brought me to my new life in Chicago. That star hanging over my chest is my personal “detente”: I have so much to give to the world and I should never never let the world tell me otherwise.

That is why I have persisted. I thought of her daily, even when we didn’t speak for months, because she was my role model.  “What would Chandra think? What would Chandra say?”crept into my thoughts many times during my journey to leadership. I just wish I knew that she probably needed me as much as I needed her. I always thought of her as the strong one. What could I offer her that she didn’t already have?

I want to thank her here for her love for me. For her example. For her many conversations encouraging me to be the person I was meant to be. For holding my hand during very difficult times. For channeling the voices of wisdom when grave questions arose. I want to thank her always because she was is my guiding star and even though my heart is broken right now, I know I have her as a star in Heaven lighting the path before me.

In Response to Tiffany Martinez’s “Academia, Love Me Back”

Tiffany Martinez’s post triggers so many memories! This is one of them:

Back in grad school, during my Master’s program, I received a paper back pointing out only “errors” in diction. I had been graded down because the professor did not like the words I chose. I went to his office to ask him what I could have done better, to help me understand how I could choose better words next time (I truly did not understand why the ones I chose were wrong). The words were not incorrect. The words meant exactly what I meant them to mean. The words were in context and usage, perfectly fine words (I had several people read it before turning it in and after he graded it to tell me “if it sounded weird”). When I asked him what I could have done better, he used his words to  wound me so deeply that I still carry those words to this day:

“You have a language barrier and will never speak English like a native speaker” and “You will always need a native speaker to read your work.”

I am a Professor of English and Comparative Literature. I have been Department Chair, Associate Dean, and now University Dean. I am a writer and a theater maker. I have published in English and Spanish. Like Tiffany Martinez, “I name these accomplishments because I understand the vitality of credentials in a society where people like me are not set up to succeed. My last name and appearance immediately instills a set of biases before I have the chance to open my mouth. These stereotypes and generalizations forced on marginalized communities are at times debilitating and painful.
I did not know at the time that I could advocate for myself. I had no one at that moment to help me navigate the racist bias I encountered. But thanks to three professors, I was able to not lose my footing in academia.  These professors helped me push forward in the darkness. I thank them here: Deb Wyrick, Jon Thompson and Mike Reynolds (QEPD/RIP).

Tiffany, echa pa’lante. We are scholars. Words belong to us. And thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


My name is Tiffany Martínez. As a McNair Fellow and student scholar, I’ve presented at national conferences in San Francisco, San Diego, and Miami. I have crafted a critical reflection piece that was published in a peer-reviewed journal managed by the Pell Institute for the Study of Higher Education and Council for Opportunity in Education. I have consistently juggled at least two jobs and maintained the status of a full-time student and Dean’s list recipient since my first year at Suffolk University. I have used this past summer to supervise a teen girls empower program and craft a thirty page intensive research project funded by the federal government. As a first generation college student, first generation U.S. citizen, and aspiring professor I have confronted a number of obstacles in order to earn every accomplishment and award I have accumulated. In the face of struggle, I have persevered and continuously produced…

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My sidekick Jackie

Jackie is my fellow adventurer. We have known each other now for almost two years. We actually met when she was even younger, much shorter, and a lot shyer than she is now. She is still quiet and pensive but a lot taller and becoming more outgoing by the week. I say week because I see her once a week.

We decided we would keep a blog of our ongoing adventures. We hope to get that going soon and post, you got it, weekly. 2016-05-14 14.40.02

Stay tuned. She is pretty fantastic. Even if she wants to attend Moody Bible College.