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Eulogy for Jaime Escalante

Given by Elsa Bolado
Garfield High School Alumnus,
“Stand and Deliver” A.P. Calculus class of 1982
April 17, 2010
East Los Angeles College

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

Thank you to everyone who is here today honoring my dear teacher.

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 sorrow in my heart taking on once again a challenging assignment you have put before me –having to say: good -bye.

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

Jaime Escalante.

Here I stand as a humble educator in the presence of a great one

To deliver

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

Jaime Escalante

Our beloved Kimo

May he live in our hearts forever.

Thank you

 

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