So, I got to thinking when I read this article yesterday. One of the issues is that if you have a heavy accent, the Arizona Department of Education doesn’t want you to teach English.
Whatever a heavy accent means.
I’m from New York, youknowwhatImean? Fughedaboutit – we’ve got accents like nobodies’ business!
However, the Arizona Department of Education got me thinking about my mother.
In the late 70’s, my family and I moved from Jackson Heights Queens, to the North Shore of Long Island.
Yep kids, the North Shore sounds like everything it represents.
So it’s the late 70’s in the North Shore of Long Island. My Mexican mom most definitely stood out, for a whole bunch of reasons.
One day, the phone rang. A telemarketer from a local jewelry company asked to speak with “Mrs. —–.”
My Mom’s married name was a decidedly Jewish one.
My mother answered, “Jess? Spicking?”
The telemarketer cooed, “No dear, I’m not looking for the maid. I’m looking for Mrs. ——, your boss. Can you do me a favor and put her on the phone?”
But yes, that damn telemarketer did. And she got more than she ever bargained for from my mom.
In the years following that phone call, my mom went back to school, and completed her undergrad studies in the US. Then got her Masters in Social Work.
She graduated with a whole bunch of academic honors. All of this in English, her second language.
But you know what?
If a telemarker calls to speak with her, she’ll still say, “Jess? Spicking?”
So Arizona Department of Education, can you be dear and do me a favor?
Back the hell off.