World Cup, Elections, Pinche Gringo, The Comic Book Store, Cultural Studies, Opening Opportunities.

Wow.  What a welcome onrush of exciting events recently to counteract so much dread, negativity, and what sometimes seems one sided- banging your head off the wall sanity at times.

World Cup. 

Wow.  Never would I have thought I wold have cared and I am SO SO excited I was able to have so many close friends like Javier, Mocte, Julien, and so many more that got me into futball and created a love of the game as I did when in Mexico.  The respect shown when I was what seemed to be the only American in the stadium watching the U.S. team play Mexico almost 6 years ago? – That never left me from the first time I went to the last time I went and – watching the World Cup first in Mexico and now from the states – it is – I never realized how addicted I would become and knowing the players I have become familiar with and – it was DRIVING ME CRAZY that the 10:00 match between Mexico and Brazil was on at 10:00 AM today – how students and I vocalized how excited we were, nervous, how we monitored out phones for the updates, how yes, devastated we were to see the final outcome today but the amazing energy futball brings to so much, not just countries, nationalities, but so much more when you have the opportunity to know the world a bit more through positive means such as sports, competition and getting to know Flopping (LOL) and just so much more. A priceless gift I was lucky enough to receive while in Mexico and that endears me to changing my view about certain sports I used to pay attention to.  Mexico you rocked today and Brazil you rocked a but more so VERY excited to see what happens from this point out, even though I was so hoping Mexico would play a crucial part.

Elections in Mexico. Wow.  I vaguely remember being in a new country of Mexico when elections were held and Enrique Peña Nieto was elected and learning the in and outs of Mexico history, and then latching onto almost anything I could get my hands onto, to learn about the history and sources of so much concern, disappointments, and possibilities that sit with the people of Mexico when it came to elections.  Yes, I do remember as well, Andrés Manuel López Obrador running for President when I first arrived in Mexico and now, elected as President.  I am privileged to have been in a country like Mexico to appreciate how much the citizens of another country take to heart elections and the results outside of a country I have always lived in.  It changed me forever and garnered a deeper respect of how incredibly large and yet how incredibly similar individuals are when it comes down to basic expectations and desires.  An exciting exciting time in seeing this second election and being tuned into the details for so long.

Cultural Studies, Current Talk, wow.  The opportunity to take experiences that were new to me and how I transitioned through learning SO MUCH about myself by taking myself out of a country I was born and raised in and then seeing that homeland from the outside –

I realized every single moment – how much I appreciated being able to do that, being able to appreciate individuals who I only learned about from the radio and television, and the reality changed me to the core and helped me challenge so much I simply took for granted, and continue to reflect on with so much happening around us.  In presenting so many amazing perspectives that differ from my own, and being able to discuss these views with students from so many different countries, the awareness that a lack of sitting down and finding ways to discuss opposite points of view rather than spewing inaccuracies, hatred, negativity, animosity and so much more – it is SO REFRESHING to be able to communicate with younger generations how there is a MUCH better way to solve problems than we have been doing for the last 15 or so years – and being able to dissect so many past and current difficulties and come together on those topics – I am truly fortunate to know individuals such as Dan Defossey

that owns Pinche Gringo and is a huge impetus, and example, of the change we discuss and  for the possible, positive change that can occur within another country- and show – all it takes it ALOT of hard work and MUCH initiative to want to be a beacon of change to allow change to occur.  I am so excited to how younger generations have the energy to make some MAJOR changes in how we can come together to change our own futures but those of others, positively, but simply staying in the race and with patience, and kindness, and not negativity.  

When bringing up this about the things we DO NOT HEAR on the radio, television, etc about other countries, the impact I had experience firs-hand on how so many individuals from different learned about each other’s traditions and belief over Thanksgiving dinners, World Cup matches, and election time at Pinche Gringo, the conversation allowed itself to grow and experience how much education depends on diversity.  

It is so ironic to see as a media Specialist Librarian, and hear the remark that there has been such a push in the last many years to lay off librarians because they are not deemed as vital and an asset in the educational system as other positions and then hearing an


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outcry for resources and individuals to help steer younger populations from discerning between fake news and real news. HYSTERICAL.  What did you think would happen by deeming individuals that go to school to get Master’s in education and learn how to use technology for the purpose of fining unbiased, neutral, factual information

(while many are sure the only things librarians do are sit behind a desk and die to shelve books),

LOL and to my chagrin, some librarians have used this position as that and that alone, (SUCH a WASTE). The opportunity to belong to groups of individuals that see this different IS the change that can impact so many more.  It is exciting to see the chance to have these discussions with so many young people who will be voting this year, next year, the year after and seeing that there is a way to have a more educated, positive, and connected relationship with so many people, so many cultures, so many countries, and that there is the chance to improve – it is refreshing once you find the opportunity to be able to advance this reality and pass it on to others.

Graphic Novels. Sounds silly but let e tell you.  WOW.  When Donna Carter suggested having a Comic Con at Greenwood Library I thought yeah, cool!  What ensued was amazing.  I was able to witness the generosity of what it means when people genuinely interested in education will do cool things to make a difference.  Sarah  and  Titus from The Comic Book Shop in Wilmington –

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AMAZING.  They made these two baskets of AMAZING gifts to provide for the Comic Con at Greenwood Public Library,  and whether they were aware or not, this went to benefit the mini Comic Con we held at the Woodbridge High School TOO – not possible without the amazing generosity and foresight of what would interest youth, and how they could provide for not just one, but multiple chances at attracting youth.  The day I drove to Wilmington with my three canines, Sarah welcomed the dogs, watered them with fresh water, showered me with AMAZING donations and a basket

Basket.jpg that was like – you could see a MILE AWAY how much thought and effort went into something as taken for granted as graphic novels can be for youth.  

It Worked. It drew so many in based on these events at Greenwood Public Library and Woodbridge High, youth that would have never participated in such an event had it not been for using an educational tool as graphic novels and comics to inspire, excite, and cause enthusiasm on MULTIPLE levels.  Funny, this resembles willing to know more about something you know nothing about and willing to extend your time to get to know the unknown, and make a difference.  We are learning every day how this occurs in opportunities to teach and discuss with youth in courses like Cultural Studies, Current Talk, motivating teachers to buck the crazy illusion that dittos and formats that have not worked for years are not the way that inspire students today, finding opportunities where discussion, thoughtful discourse, positive ACTION (not just rhetoric-  blah blah blah) and being a mover and a shaker among adults, students, and future leaders WILL be the factor that turns so much negativity around.

That’s alot to realize in a day, but realizing what the impacts of individuals and organizations such as Upward Bound led by Cheryl Miller and Becky Everisto, companies like Dan Defossey and Pinche Gringo that are making a difference across countries, companies like The Comic Book Shop

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 10.51.03 PM.pngthat can use a medium to impact change in the community and schools – priceless.  It is totally fine there are large populations not buying into making a difference, because there are so many more ways that individuals like these will make the world a better place, day by day that truly see the light.  Kudos to these and all the heroes that show the difference is not division, but finding ways to show that humanity is the true party, not decided by walls, borders, political parties, issues, race, religion or beliefs, but by supporting and believing in each other through action.  It doesn’t get any better than seeing and being involved with individuals that believe in humanity and not just one particular type of human being.


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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