Vantage Points

Day 6

Advice Your Parents Gave You That Stuck

“Always give back,” said my mother. I couldn’t understand for the longest time how my mother could give to others without a second thought when we ourselves (as a household) were struggling to scramble for change during those early days when we lived in a one bedroom apartment on West Grey St.

Our apartment itself resembled more like a rustic slave quarter for it was clustered in geometric position with other tenants as well elevated on a clay platform. The area itself was also shaded heavily with Pecan Trees extending 130 ft in height. If that doesn’t scream Colonial-era housing — try looking for streets paved with bricks.

More importantly we lived right on the edge of the federal poverty line. Mom and dads both worked as laborers for companies that seldom left them time to relax. It was difficult for them to leave my sister and I at home. Therefore my older sister was placed in a ‘I Have A Dream’ Program after school while I was in the care of numerous friends, relatives who lived in our little barrio as it came to be known later in years.

I’d like to think I was a well behaved child, but often people will come up to me today and say what a nightmare I was. I was too curious for my own good. I often pretended to be a chemist and would go through various storage spaces looking for toothpaste, shampoo and bath oils to stir together in a sink or toilet bowl. I would also get my little hands on women cosmetics and look for lipstick to paint the walls. I also on a instant chicken ramen diet. Go figure.

I also wonder how many times my mother or father had to make apologies for my misbehaving. However they were glad to do it as well. My father would bring bags of ice from work and give them to anyone who didn’t have fresh water. Mother would often buy baby formula or diapers for my babysitter then who was expecting twins. These exchanges continued for years amongst my parents and babysitters until finally in 2000 we’re able to buy a house in the suburbs.

And still I think about those days when we locked ourselves in the living room for it was the only one that had air condition. I think about the many times we were at the neighborhood clinic because the apartment was making us sick or how my aunt would take us on vacation when our parents were too busy.

Finally, I realize how lucky I am to be living in comfort when many are still having a difficult time supporting their families in the most basic sense. For this reason it’s important for me to practice compassion and help anyone in anyway possible. Thanks mom, dad and friends along the way for keeping me humble.

 

 

 

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  1. Born and raised in Houston, TX. 
  2. Graduated from Loyola Maryland in Baltimore.
  3. Favorite drink is LaCroix water.
  4. Favorite food is Asparagus. 
  5. Feminist is my favorite F word.
  6. Never fails to watch The Life Aquatic by Wes Anderson.
  7. Seeking new job opportunities in Advertising/PR and Marketing. 
  8. Listens to music by  Marina + Diamonds, The Killers, Beethoven and Miguel Bose.
  9. Black cats are my spirit animal.
  10. Seriously in love with Tina Fey, and all her TV/Film projects.
  11. Does a lot of volunteer work in promoting health, science and medicine.
  12. Wants to decorate personal space  with everything Kawaii.
  13. Roommates with a 1 year old chihuahua.
  14. Likes everything British except the whole colonization thing.
  15. Has a lot of crushes on guys who’ve been dead for over 200 years.
  16. Ran into actor Kevin Spacey once while filming House of Cards.
  17. Favorite thing to do is go horseback riding. 
  18. Has had artwork displayed at galleries, and on the streets of Houston.
  19. Currently reading dystopian novels by women of color. Check out Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.
  20. Trying to write a successful blog! 

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This is a tough question to answer because there’s no definite answer. 

  1. I wanted to incorporate my name Lorena into what was going to be my creative writing portfolio.
  2. I enjoy being greeted by people.
  3. I love hearing the sound of my name (call me narcissus).
  4. #whateverthisis is literal.
  5. I write to figure out what my passions are.
  6. There is no meaning.
  7. It’s just a simple greeting from a young woman to everyone who is willing to listen/ and or criticize.
  8. I’m in transition mode from colleague graduate to young adult in the real world.

Quid Pro Quo

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What is the Chinquapin Prep School?

Chinquapin is already one of the most sought after private schools in the greater Houston area ever, but the majority of its students come from low-income households. Founded by Robert P. Moore in 1969, the school – a 50 acre campus located 20 miles east of Houston, Texas – has seen hundreds of Chinquapin graduates go on to earn a four-year college degree.

Chinquapin employs a motley crew of faculty and staff to challenge their students to aim for excellence, to be curious, to question everything in order to not fall for the astounding  claims of others.

In mid January, Chinquapin opened a new two-story building on campus, which holds a dining hall on the first floor and a girl’s dormitory on the second floor. Historically, girls have never been allowed to stay overnight on campus unlike their male counterparts.

The school board of directors started this project in hopes of achieving better academic outcomes for the girls. According to the school’s current development director, Marilu Garza, “…male students who board on campus have an average grade-point average of 3.2, versus an average GPA of 3.08 for girls”. Therefore it’s imperative that girls receive the same opportunities to stay more focused on academics and grow on a personal level as they get their first real taste of a college atmosphere.

It still begs the question, why should a parent allow their child to stay on campus at Chinquapin?  In my personal experience, Chinquapin, has always put emphasis on the liberal arts. This means we read a lot of works inspired by the Graeco-Roman world like Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound to mythical history/and paradigmatic figures: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Charlemagne and Napoleon. In addition we get to do many hands-on activities pertaining to science, health and medicine. This has fostered a sense of curiosity in us all. However our days are also spent in finding our lesser binding pursuits like art, politics or sports. Finally, living on campus proves that a liberal arts education is worth every dollar because every student grows up to become a great humanist.

Many of our alumni association are now dedicated towards teaching other less fortunate than themselves as well fundraising money to keep the Chinquapin School fulfilling the school’s motto Quid Pro Quo, something for something, for nothing is more endearing than giving back to the community that believes you can make a difference.

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To learn more about Chinquapin click here.