Scribbling in the Margins
When we spoke with Fany DeJesús Hannon ’08 MA in November, she had just begun week two of her appointment as Interim Dean of Students after a decade as director of PRLACC, UConn’s Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center. Her books are always hard copy and often end up full of scribbled markings, sticky notes, and folded corners — things to remember and things to share. Not surprising for this collector of wisdom and friends, Hannon is constantly seeking ways to grow and to support others in their growth. When we went to press she had just added a doctoral degree in higher education administration to her laurels.
“Isabel’s Hand-Me- Down Dreams ” by Isabel López ’75 (CLAS)
In my second year at PRLACC, Isabel emailed me saying she was a founder of PRLACC, had just written her memoir, and would like me to read it. I read it back then, and I just read it again. She talks about coming to UConn in the ’70s, finding only 17 Puerto Rican students, and protesting to start PRLACC and give them a home. For our 50th anniversary, Ana Isabel, as she is now known, contacted those 17 students, who all came back to Storrs for the celebration. It was wonderful to see them all in person, like seeing her book coming to life. I was especially over the moon to meet Isabel and have her sign the book, which I have been using for years in teaching peer mentoring classes. I hope she knows the impact she’s had on me and every single Latinx student we’ve had on this campus.
“Warrior of The Light” by Paulo Coelho
I love Paulo Coelho. He’s a Brazilian author and the first book of his I read, like everyone else, was “The Alchemist,” and I fell in love with his writing. “Warrior of the Light” is basically short passages about this warrior who is facing obstacles and finding opportunities. You can take this book like a daily devotional. There’s a story but not a linear story. I can open it anywhere and find pieces of wisdom and a bit of perspective. Every single thing I read, I always think about how can I apply what I have read? Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, I may not have all the answers but the hero of this story might. Coelho talks in this book and in “The Archer” about how you never know who you’re going to encounter or what people are carrying inside of them, and asks how can you unpack that and help them.
“Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I’m very curious about what is going to happen to the heroine in this novel. My go-to is to support Latinx authors and this is the first book I’m reading by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I love movies like “The Others” that are psychological with a little bit of horror and not too much gore. This is a psychological thriller that takes place in the 1930s in an area in Mexico where there were many factories and people were dying. The cousin of the protagonist is very sick, keeps having hallucinations, and they don’t know what’s wrong with her. The protagonist sets out to solve the mystery of what’s wrong with her.
It had great reviews so I’m hoping winter break will give me the opportunity to read it. I think I’m going to have more time now that I’m done with my dissertation.