Sonrisa de Colgate

May 2000, sophomore year in college

MEChA meetings never started at 6 and this Wednesday late in the spring quarter was no exception. My friends milled around talking about classes and preparations for the upcoming youth conference and long weekend. Some stepped out to get something from the coffee house. I took a seat near the window away from anybody else. Soon the room filled up and my crush ended up on my right.

I liked when the crush sat close to me, whether it be in class, study hall or at a meeting. We’d keep each other entertained by passing notes and drawing pictures.

The meeting started 10 minutes later. G, a visitor from USC, picked the introduction topic: say something nice about the person sitting to your left (we always went to our left since that’s where the heart lies).

I have no clue what anyone else said nor what I said. I didn’t write those things down in my butterfly-shaped journal. But I did write what the crush said: “Well, the thing about Cindy is that she has a really good heart. And she has this huge smile, when she smiles it brightens up the whole room.”

The others around the circle awwed. I blushed. Then smiled. I had to smile.

That was the first time I recall someone complimenting my smile.


September Project, Part 2

Summer is officially over. I’m still in denial.

September 11: Oscar — a longtime friend and writer with The Scenestar — hooked it up and got me into Jenny Lewis’ sold out show at Spaceland. I was excited to get a pink heart-shaped balloon with Acid Tongue (the new album) printed on it. Jenny played new and old songs. After the show, Oscar showed me where to get good tacos in Eagle Rock.
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Access for AB 540 Students Challenged Once Again

Late Monday night, my friend Matías IMed me with some bad news.

Basically, AB 540 — the law that grants undocumented students in-state tuition at California’s public colleges and universities — may be in jeopardy. See, in 2005 some out-of-state students challenged the legality of AB 540. The students who filed the lawsuit contend that it it is illegal for undocumented immigrants to have the right to in-state tuition, while as US citizens from another state, they have to pay more. In 2006, the lawsuit was dismissed by Yolo County Superior Court. As one would expect, the plaintiffs appealed. On Monday, the state appellate court issued an opinion that AB 540 is in conflict with federal law.

And that’s where we’re at now.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center issued a press release saying we shouldn’t begin panicking just yet. The lawsuit against AB 540 will go back to the lower court. If the decision is made to overturn AB 540, it will likely be tied up in appeals for a number of years. AB 540 is still in tact, and will remain that way for some years.

The struggle for access to higher education for undocumented students doesn’t end there. While AB 540 does grant them in-state tuition, that’s still about $9,000 most students do not have. AB 540 students are ineligible for financial aid. Although the Federal DREAM Act has been introduced in each session of Congress since 2001, it has still not been approved. Last year, Congress tried to make it more attractive by hyping the military aspect of the DREAM Act. However, the bill failed in the Senate when they did not get enough votes to move out of debate. Last year, the California Dream Act, which would have given undocumented students access to some forms of financial aid was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

A new version of the California Dream Act (SB 1301) is currently on the Governor’s desk waiting to signed. To find out more and sign the petition supporting SB 1301, check out El Random Hero’s post at LA Eastside.

I’ve written about this issue several times. For past posts, check here.


Wednesday Five

One. Adrian turns 23 today. He’s the baby of the family, but not much of a baby anymore. I’m really proud of the card I made him. I hope he tapes it on his bedroom door like he did with the card I made last year (it featured a few Get Fuzzy comic strips).

Two. I’m really loving Raphael Saadiq’s new album The Way I See It. I can’t wait for Jenny Lewis’ Acid Tongue, which will be released on September 23rd.

Three. I got a Wii for my birthday. I’ve been playing old games lately (I kinda suck at Wii Sports, especially at boxing). I think it’s strange how I still remember all the secrets and tricks in Super Mario Brothers 1 and 3.

Four. A short conversation last week:
He: How old are you?
Me: 28.
He: Oh… you’re not that young.

Five. The Dodgers are currently in first place in the NL West. They have a nice 4.5 game lead ahead of the Diamondbacks. I hope they keep that lead and go on to the playoffs.