Thursday, April 1, 2010


With sadness, I read that one of my heroes died in my town a couple days ago. The movie Stand and Deliver tells the true story of how Bolivian immigrant Jaime Escalante set high expectations and transformed a tough Los Angeles school into an advanced placement calculus powerhouse, exposing as myth that inner city kids can't learn.

I'm not a teacher by trade, but the part of me that wants to teach is mostly inspired by Escalante's story. I remember the movie sometimes when I'm struggling to find motivation as a student of chess. I can hear Edward James Olmos' gravelly voice as he spoke of having "ganas" - the desire to learn.

We all begin as students. It is a rare blessing to encounter a teacher who inspires not only students but also other teachers to continue the tradition of passing on knowledge to those who follow.

Rest in peace, Mr. Escalante.

1 comment:

64 squres of mind said...

oh yeah! I've seen this news 2 days ago and that guy sounds very talented on what he is doing base on what the news tells me.