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MLIS Non-traditional Latina, Mexicana

LinkI am a 49-year-old Mexican-American woman, a health-care professional, and a mother of four children ranging from middle school to post-graduate. I want to switch careers in mid-life and devote the balance to the study of Information and Library Science. My devotion to this cause has much to do with the experience of being a parent, having been made keenly aware of the importance of access to information and the critical need in today’s world to be able to take full advantage of computer and internet driven resources.

 Now that my children are for the most part taking care of themselves, I find myself free to throw myself entirely into my work and strike out upon a new professional direction as a result of attending your program. The U of W is my first choice for study because of its excellence and the quality of the surrounding community. It is an exciting place to be in our struggle to protect internet freedoms which are now under siege not only in places like China and Iran, but also here at home in the USA. I see the progressive politics of Seattle itself as a bastion against oppression and look forward to the creativity that comes with solidarity as part of your academic community at the U of W.

 Upon reflection of my work as a nurse and histologist over the years, I realize that my most rewarding job so far was the time I home schooled two of my children. We had moved to a remote area in Alaska where I chose not to enroll my children in the public school system for a variety of reasons. In the beginning of the school year we worked on the state curriculum that was provided with the remainder of our home school experience guided by our interests, choosing only those themes that especially interested us for further inquiry. Central to our efforts was our local library and its wonderful resources. Soon, we were near daily visitors and we came to love our librarian, as well as the books, periodicals and internet access. Some of my fondest memories in life are in our library with my children. Later, while living in Anchorage, Alaska, I completed several online courses in Library and Information Science. I see the library as one of my most important sources of creative energy; where storytellers, origami workshops, knitters, and local astronomers mingle, star gazing on the tundra—all of this making my children’s excellence in home schooling possible. I have especially enjoyed volunteering for numerous activities involving children and books.

 My father is from Oaxaca, Mexico and I have visited often over the years, savoring my Mexican identity. Now, entering the most creative phase of my life professionally, I look to Mexico for some of my long term professional plans and career aspirations. Recently divorced, I have new energy for the rediscovery of my roots and my heart beats for Mexico, its music, food, and people. Along with Chiapas further south, the Mexico just north of the border with Guatemala is one of the most impoverished regions of the Americas. I would love to spearhead an organization whose mission was to provide IT education and access to disadvantaged children in Oaxaca, along with the creation of a virtual library especially for Oaxaquenitos (little ones from Oaxaca). I have been very much inspired by the project, which I see as the epiphany to which one might aspire. For my part, I would like to provide laptops to Oaxaca-based organizations that would be willing to help in the creation of libraries and museums for Oaxaca. I think it quite likely that many of the museums that I have visited would like very much to have their collections digitalized: Casa Juarez, Museo de la Filatelia, Rufino Tamayo Museum, and others.

 For me, the preservation and transmission of our cultural records is the most exciting of all possible fields. I love the novelty of each day, building greater expertise in global and historical data bases and information. I am a cosmopolitan woman who has traveled, in addition to Mexico, to a half dozen European countries along with China and most of South America. I am especially engaged with Colombia and hope to return there as well and spend as much time as I can.

The U of X is my first choice for graduate study for a variety of reasons. I adore the fish market, the music scene, and the vast amount of progressive resources in Seattle. I also appreciate the interdisciplinary emphasis of your program and the way that your curriculum continues to evolve through new course offerings. I crave the diversity that both the U of X and the Seattle area have to offer.

 As a non-traditional Hispanic woman, I hope to have much to offer to the celebration of diversity in your program at Madison and I look forward to sharing perspectives with my peers from all over the world. Leadership qualities come naturally to me when my own values sync with the vision and purpose of an organization. Whether a wilderness outdoor program expedition or testing surgical specimens for cancer, I give my all and this is why I have confidence that I will be able to excel in your program.

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