Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Response to Family Loyalty

In response to some of the comments about family loyalty, I wanted to bring this up here, and see what you all think, even though this is posted under comments as well: It's interesting how everyone would do the same as Enrique in a similar situation. I for one would not- if my mother was away, I would somehow try to accept that- she made a conscious decision to leave. Though it may be against her will, she acted in a way she thought was best. I'm not saying it would be easy, but I am saying that being loyal CAN mean letting someone go, if that is their decision.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Enrique's motivation

As I continue to read through this book (about more and more of the hardships and triumphs enrique encounters) I thought to myself- 'is this journey the same as it was in the beginning?' What I mean is, Enrique started out wanting to get to his mother, and I don't doubt this is his main objective. However, I wonder, after all the experiences he's had, how PERSONAL this journey has become. Is he moving on out of a sense of personal determination? I know if I'd endured as much as he has, I'd want to make it to the United States, just to prove I could! Of course, I'm sure his mother is the main reason he continues, but I wonder if anyone else would feel like this? I'd also welcome comments on how much one would be willing to risk just to see antoher person?What comes first, you or someone else? Who are we more concerned with? Do we NEED someone so much that we're willing to risk everything?
P.S. I tried this before but was unsuccessful. Hope this link works now...

Monday, April 2, 2007

Interesting Statistics on Honduras (Enrique's home)

Hey everyone,
I had a little trouble making the website listed on the blog page a link, so

Friday, March 30, 2007

Learning by Doing

I think that it's remarkable that Nazario, the author of our text of focus, put herself in the shoes of Enrique (and boys like Enrique) who made the perilous journey to America. Though the reliability of her journey seems to be of debate (how could she possibly have gone through the same experiences and come out in one piece?), the fact that she gained knowledge behind the story by attempting to take a first hand look at the truth of Enrique's journey is quite astounding. Here is a link to an online article ("The Train of Death"), including an interview with the author, that provides more insight into her research as a writer. By learning through doing, in this case, Nazario was better able to capture the emotions and hardships commonly faced during such feats.


An obvious theme that is presented in this text is that of immigration, primarily of the illegal nature. Enrique is certainly not alone in his journey. Below is a link that provides real-life statistics and facts on the issue of illegal immigration, some of which are really astounding. Take a look!

Learning through Questioning

While reading this text, keep these overarching questions in mind as you encounter various scenes or topics that strike you. Further, think about how YOU would answer these questions. By doing so, you can place yourself in a mind-frame similar to that of Enrique. Sometimes, simply reading about the actions, deeds taken on by the characters in the works that we read is not enough. As a reader, I personally like to think about what it is like to be in their shoes. I feel that in a way, it brings one closer to the characters by broadening one's understanding and appreciation of certan actions, invokes empathy and compassion for our characters who encounter hardship, and finally, it allows one to go beyond reading the text-- it involves application of one's set of beliefs and values into the reading. So, as you read, keep some of these questions in mind. Feel free, also, to formulate your own lists of questions. What would you like to ask the author, or any of the characters in the reading? What have you learned about this journey, or immigration in general? etc.

Here are some overarching questions to guide you:

1. How important is family loyalty?
2. How far would you go to reconnect to a distant loved one?
3. What causes a seemingly ordinary person to do heroic/extraordinary things?
4. How easy is it to overcome fears, or other obstacles, in order to reach your goals?
5. Thinking of the characteristics of an "odyssey", how does Enrique's Journey fit into this category?
6. What does it mean to be courageous?
7. How much of who we are is shaped by forces outside our control?
8. How does where we come from decide what we do with our lives?

Some Cool Poems...

Upon reading the riveting tale of Enrique and his quest to be reunited with his mother, I recalled several poems in Unsettling America, an anthology of multicultural poetry, that touch upon similar themes, emotions, concepts, etc that can be found in Nazario's text. An obvious theme in particular is that of immigration and the (at times) dangerous voyages to America. Below are a few of the poems that really supplement the themes found in this story. Feel free to explore some or all of the following poems, and think of ways that the topics in the poems relate to Enrique's Journey.

1. "We Never Stopped Crossing Borders", by Luis J. Rodriquez
2. "Where is My Country", by Nellie Wong
3. "What Do I Know of Journey", by David Meltzer
4. "Dream Poem", by Mary Jo Bona
5. "Today We Will Not Invisible Nor Silent", by Victoria Lena Manyarrows
6. "La Migra", by Pat Mora
7. "An Anthem", by Sonia Sanchez