Searching the Obvious

Dixil Rodríguez

is a university professor and volunteer hospital chaplain living in Texas.

​Speak!

It is the first day of class at the university. From a couch next to my classroom I watch students enter, oblivious to all around. Most don’t notice me, except him: a young man wearing the athletic jersey of the university. He walks toward me with the class bulletin and demands: “Speak!”

I instinctively stand: “Excuse me?”

“Oh! You don’t have an accent,” he says with relief. “The bulletin says the teacher is Rodríguez, and I wondered how a Hispanic could teach English, you know?”

I remember every detail. The way he slouched in the back of class with arms crossed and the unnecessary …

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