The Last Word: To my Latino Languages and Communities Class

Estimados estudiantes,

Ya terminada la última clase, les escribo para expresar mis mejores deseos para un exitoso fin de semestre para todos Uds. Espero que you can do a good job on your course work, and finish the semester well, but remember lo que les dije en la primera clase: you are not defined by a grade in a class. You have value as a person, and you have dimensions that go beyond lo que se mide in a gradebook. Keep it in perspective.

Ahora que ya pasamos el trabajo de establecer a new academic standard of code-mixing, atrévense a usarlo en sus otras clases. Push the envelope, experiment, and desarróllense una voz propia. Think about what it means to be a speaker and a writer of standard languages, y lo que implica políticamente to recognize and push back against these naturalized practices. Para citar a Anzaldúa, How have your wild tongues been tamed?

More broadly, I hope you will move forward with your life in ways that reflect the qualities that I have seen in our class: academic acuity, critical thinking, empathy, deep engagement with structural inequalities and an appreciation for the private joys and struggles in our world. Recuerda la responsabilidad que tenemos cada uno de dedicarnos no sólo a la lingüística, sino a anthropolitical linguistics – respect for, advocacy on behalf of, and cooperation with the people who speak our languages and live in our communities.

And finalmente, please remember to fill out your SEIs. Gracias por su colaboración, and I’ve enjoyed having you all in class this semester.

Anna/Profe B