Eulogy for Jaime Escalante
Thank you to everyone who is here today. Thank you Eddie Olmos, the Foundation for Advancements in Science in Education, my 1982 Principal Mr. Gradillas. Thank you Sal Castro and my Eastman Ave team
Estimada Familia Escalante- Sra Fabiola, Fernando y Jaimito ..gracias por darme el gran honor de compartir con mi querido maestro los ultimo’s momentos de su vida- gracias por darme este gran honor de compartir unas humildes palabras sobre mi querido amigo y maestro.
My beloved Kimo,
Here I stand with the painful realization that I have lost my dearest teacher, a beloved friend of my adolescence, and my most admired colleague in this beleaguered profession called teaching.
Here I stand Kimo, hoping you left this world knowing that I considered myself most fortunate to have been one of your students and to have called you friend;
Here I stand, hoping that you left knowing my gratitude for your kind and timely encouragement to confront the intimidating challenges an AP calculus class poses for an insecure Chicana high school student.
Here I stand, Kimo- to thank you: for letting me realize that Mayan blood runs through my veins; thank you Kimo, for securing a permanent pride in my heart for my ancestors who discovered the concept of zero, who also invented astronomy and agriculture and practiced advanced medicine and mathematics.
Here I stand Kimo, not just to mourn your irreversible departure but to celebrate your life as well.
I stand here today
To celebrate a rare gift that also ran through our ancestor’s veins.
An extremely rare and precious gift you possessed.
A gift you so generously shared even at the risk of your own life:
The gift of teaching.
Here I stand to celebrate and honor the Paolo Freirian facilitator, the Socratic interrogator, the Vygoskian scaffolder, the team collaborator, the socially conscious educator, the innovative and fearless without a text book pedagogical theorist, the get the parents involved and sign a contract teacher, the differentiated instruction instructor, the multiple intelligences teaching philosopher, the tender tough-love mathematical equalizer, the Kimosabe, "kimo-lo-save-todo" "Kimo-knows-all" self-effacing master, the teacher of calculus, the math of unavoidable change.
In short, my beloved teacher and mentor- Jaime Escalante
Here I stand to celebrate the rarest and most unappreciated of all human beauties -
The beauty of teaching.
Here I stand to celebrate and honor, not just a great mathematician, not just a mentally gifted person, not only a great humanitarian,
But a rare thing in our lives
A beautiful teacher.
Here I stand to celebrate my teacher, our teacher
Here I stand as a humble educator in the presence of a great one
The good news:
Good teachers, like courageous and righteous people, never die.
They live forever in our fortunate hearts.
Here I stand
In front of a Master teacher
Our beloved Kimo
May he live in our hearts forever.