Linda Hernandez (LH)
LH: We had to sit in the back of the class, and stay after school and clean the erasers when the other kids didn’t have to do that. But both my parents laid down the law and said, You had to go to school.
And, I had to have been a junior in high school–my sister was the senior. And our high school counselor told us we didn’t have to take the SAT test or the ACT test because we were Hispanic women, and all we would do is have babies.
So we went home and we told our parents, and my mother went in the back room and cried. And then, that’s when my brother said, Uhuh, it ain’t happening. We were very lucky that he was over six feet tall. So he walked us down to school and told our high school counselors, My sisters will take the test.
But I remember, in order to take the test, you had to have a #2 pencil. So my sister and I, we had to walk the alleys to find pop bottles, because that’s when you could still turn them in and get money for them, so that we could have money to buy the pencils to take the test.
We both scored really high. My sister got a four year scholarship to University of Nebraska. And then she got accepted into medical school.
You know, my mother, would always post our grades on the refrigerator. And if we got straight A’s, they were on the refrigerator until the next time we got a report card.
My mother passed away ten years ago, and when she knew that she was ill, she had gone and started making photo albums. I expected to see family photos that we had of us as we were kids, but I didn’t expect to see the report cards in there. And I didn’t expect to see the little graduation announcement from when we graduated from high school. Those were in our photo albums too.
I think that when she knew that she was going to be, you know, here no longer, one thing that made her feel really good was that all her kids went to school. She was very proud of that.