Roberto Germán [00:00:01]:
Welcome to Our Classroom. In this space, we talk about education, which is inclusive of, but not limited to, what happens in schools. Education is taking place whenever and wherever we are willing to learn. I am your host, Roberto Germán, and Our Classroom is official. Stenhouse Publishers amplifies educators' voices through professional books written by teachers for teachers. Check out one of our hot off the press books. Like Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations by Nawal Qarooni.
Roberto Germán [00:00:42]:
This book is rooted in the simple.
Roberto Germán [00:00:44]:
Truth that we can't separate knowing our students from knowing their homes, communities, and the people they love. Qarooni's toolkit expands our understanding of literacy, embraces the strength of difference, and empowers students to share in decision making. Use code STEN24 STEN24 for 20% off the Routledge website through April 26.
Roberto Germán [00:01:13]:
Welcome back to Our Classroom, folks. Listen, the guest that I have today, we've been going back and forth for a bit. I'm talking about several months now, trying to make this thing happen. She wasn't available. I wasn't available. She's traveling, I'm traveling. But here we are. Here we are finally with the award winning author of Breathe and count back from ten, Natalia Sylvester.
Roberto Germán [00:01:45]:
Thank you for being here.
Natalia Sylvester [00:01:46]:
Thank you so much, Roberto. I'm excited to be here.
Roberto Germán [00:01:49]:
Hey, my pleasure, my pleasure. Listen, I'm going to be straight up with you. I never saw myself reading a book about mermaids, but here we are. And it was good. It was good. You definitely got my attention with this book, and I appreciate the numerous themes that you covered. There's so much for us to talk about, so much for us to unpack. And one of the central themes in the book revolved around some physical challenges, particularly as it relates to the main character, Veronica Vero, having hip dysplasia.
Roberto Germán [00:02:33]:
Dysplasia. How do you say that word?
Natalia Sylvester [00:02:35]:
It's dysplasia. Yeah. Hip dysplasia.
Roberto Germán [00:02:39]:
Hip dysplasia. And talking about that journey of becoming a mermaid at Mermaid Cove, tell us about this central theme and how you arrived there.
Natalia Sylvester [00:02:50]:
Yeah, thank you. Well, so I have a lot in common with I. She's Peruvian American. Like me, she was born in Peru, came to the US when she was very young. And also, like me, she was born with hip dysplasia, which is a condition in which your hip socket isn't quite aligned in its socket. And so there's all sorts of disalignment. And because of this, she was in and out of surgeries as a child, like me. And I've always known that I wanted to write about this.
Natalia Sylvester [00:03:22]:
It's been a part of my life since birth, and I just never knew what the story that I wanted to write it in what shape would it take? And a lot of times when I'm writing, I think a lot about, particularly if I'm writing about things that might be hard or might be layered in terms of maybe having hardship but also having joy, I try to lean into the joy. And so I kept coming back to this idea of mermaids because when I was young, I wanted to become a mermaid. That was, like, my dream. And I thought, well, if I can give this character something really deep, like this deep dream that I can very much relate to, then I can know her dreams somewhere deep in my bones, and I can get to know her in a way that will understand each other. And so that's really how I arrived at this story about Veronica. She lives in central Florida in a town that has an attraction called Mermaid Cove, where professional performers dress up in tales underwater, and they do all sorts of underwater choreography, and they're world famous. And there is an opening for a new mermaid in her town. That's the summer before her senior year of college, and Vero wants to audition.
Natalia Sylvester [00:04:40]:
But the only problem is that her parents are very overprotective of her, both in terms of her disability and what they think she can and can't do with her body, but they're also very overprotective of her in general. So this is also a summer which a cute new neighbor moves into her apartment complex. And Vedo is crushing really hard. And her parents are also very strict about boys. And really, it becomes a summer of her wanting to make decisions for herself on her own terms, both in terms of chasing her dreams, in terms of her sexuality and her love life, her kind of stepping into her own as a woman who has this whole future ahead of her and wants to be the one making the major decisions in it.
Roberto Germán [00:05:30]:
Yeah, there was a lot of tension there, tension between beto and the parents and her navigating her physical disability, not just with the parents, but with how others viewed her. The comments that folks made. I remember towards the end of book, Barbara made a comment about how you shouldn't cover up your scar because it's beautiful. And Veronica's response was like, why does someone always have to say something about the scar or offer something to make me feel in a particular way? Why can't they just let it be? I just want to essentially just.
Natalia Sylvester [00:06:12]:
Yeah. Yeah. Because I think that. Well, vido has experienced two things with regards to her scars and also with regards to how she walks. And she has a limp, and she is always self conscious about her body, but particularly with her scars. She's heard both sides of know. People have looked at it like, it's ugly and really kind of in horror. And then other people might say, like, oh, but it's beautiful.
Natalia Sylvester [00:06:39]:
It's a battle scar. And really, she just doesn't want it to be either. She is like, not everything has to be a war. Like, my body isn't a war. A war ground to be waged. But also, it's not horrifying. It just is. And that's really what she wants, is to be allowed to exist without this outer gaze, making all these judgments.
Roberto Germán [00:07:02]:
I was drawn in to the book for a number of different reasons. I live in central Florida. I'm in Tampa. I haven't been to. What is it? Wishywashy.
Natalia Sylvester [00:07:10]:
Yeah, Wikiwachi. You're right there. Wikiwashi definitely inspired mermaid cove.
Roberto Germán [00:07:15]:
So I haven't been there yet, but there's a friend who has been there several times. It's their favorite place to go. She has, like, six kids, and she's told me about it, and I'm eager to go and bring my kids there. And now after reading the book, I'm like, when we finally go, be like, yo, where the mermaids at? Where the mermaids at? This is Natalia's spot. But also that Alex moved from Houston, and I've only been in central Florida. I've been in Tampa for two and a half years, but we moved from.
Natalia Sylvester [00:07:50]:
We. I did.
Roberto Germán [00:07:54]:
Know you. I think you were in the Rio Grande Valley, which is awesome. I know a lot of people over there, and I was in central Texas, in Austin, but I also spent time in Houston and some other areas in Texas, not living there, but for different reasons. So I was really drawn in there. Even thinking about Alex and his mother driving, and Alex having driven all those miles from Texas to Florida, I'm like, I drove. When we moved, I drove from Texas to Florida. So I know about ordinance miles. I know about that journey.
Roberto Germán [00:08:29]:
I was really drawn in by some of that context and some of those details with these just. I felt myself there. I also felt myself there. As a parent, I think I'm somewhat protective of my children. They're young. They're eight, five, and three. I have two daughters, just like the father in this book had two daughters. So there's things that I can relate with, like, yo, these are my girls.
Roberto Germán [00:09:00]:
These are my babies, I'm trying to keep them there as long as possible before it's time to release. We're not at that stage yet. My kids are too young. But I know at some point we're going to cross that bridge when they're moving more towards their independence. And, wow. Felt that tension there, especially with the father. You could cut that. Right? But also thinking about how much care they had for Vero, things that they shielded, fair or unfair, but things that we do as parents because we don't want our kids to hurt.
Roberto Germán [00:09:45]:
We don't want them to carry the burdens. And sometimes we're holding those things, and maybe it's not necessarily the right approach. Right. And I think that's part of what Vero was getting at. Like, hey, I should have known. I should have known that this was going on with my body, and I should have voice and say in the decisions as to how we proceed. Can you talk about that tension a little?
Natalia Sylvester [00:10:10]:
Yeah. Part of, I think part of the tension with the parents really just came out of. It was a hard thing to write because I'm writing as an adult who I could be Vero's parents, but the story is told through Vero's point of view, and it's for readers who could really see themselves in vero, whether they're adults with just reconnecting to that teen part of themselves or also primarily other teens. And so I really wanted to make sure to see it through Vero's eyes, but also understand the parents point of view. And I think it kept coming down to, they love her so deeply, but sometimes they become overprotective. And even though that is rooted in love, it can really stifle her. So, like, vero, at the beginning of each chapter has word definitions. And it's like the first definition is.
Natalia Sylvester [00:11:03]:
Yeah, thank you. The first definition is like the dictionary definition of a word, and the second definition is her version of how she would define that word. And a lot of times, those definitions are grappling with things like, I know one of the words is suffocate, another word is sulta, which in English and Spanish have different kind of. Well, the direct translation is let go, but in Spanish, it can often be used to describe, like, a loose woman. And this is something that also, her parents are very strict about boy, actually, about sex in general, and how she can present herself as a young woman. And so much of it for her, she just wishes they would let go. Right. They would let her have her independence.
Natalia Sylvester [00:11:54]:
And for them, it becomes something about needing to figure out that journey, too, of kind of trusting. Like, you have to trust how you've raised this person. You have to trust that you've guided and taught them well to make the decisions that they'll make and then also to make the mistakes they might make and learn from those. And so there's constantly that tension with them. And I know for a lot of people, depending on who's reading it, I've noticed that it's either too extreme that it seems to them, which is usually someone reading it who might not necessarily relate to Vero's cultural background. And then with a lot of Latinx readers, they'll just tell me, like, that's so relatable. And I think that sometimes what I've found, especially with Vero's family, because they're immigrants, because she is a young woman of color in navigating a world that has different rules for her than it may have for others, they're trying to protect her from that, but then they're also bringing their own very strict rules along with it under the guise of that protection. So it's a hard thing for them to navigate constantly, and it becomes a real source of conflict.
Roberto Germán [00:13:12]:
Yeah. And one of the things that surfaced in terms of their conflict was a reason for them being protective for the parents, that is, and doing things the way they did things was their status in the country. Right. So thinking about immigrants and thinking about some of the challenges that immigrants experience when they come to United States, can you talk about that a little bit?
Natalia Sylvester [00:13:45]:
Yeah. So Vero came to the US. Vero and her family came to the US when she was very young. And so they have spent most of her childhood of what she remembers really navigating the immigration system to try and become citizens. And at this point in the book, they have finally gotten their green cards. And it's been a really hard road of just so much waiting, so much hoping. You don't make a single mistake along the way because any wrong step can really get you in trouble. And they live in fear of being sent back.
Natalia Sylvester [00:14:22]:
And so that feeling of instability is one that she has grown up with and that she has felt really deeply. And it really ends up coming to light, I guess, when she decides she wants to become a mermaid at Mermaid Cove, because it comes with all these different forms. It comes with her having to present her Social Security card. It comes with her having to sign liability waivers, and she knows her parents wouldn't go for it, and so I'm not going to spoil it, but the thing I think for me, this idea of paperwork ended up being really a really big part of this book in terms of the tension and the hardship that can come with that when you're an immigrant, when so much revolves around this idea of Los Pales, what's going to happen if we don't get our papers? Will we be allowed to be here or will we not? It's just a sheet of paper, but it can determine so much in your life. Right? And so this idea of record keeping for Vero is just, it determines whether she's going to be able to chase her dreams and in terms of her own body, how it relates to her disability. There's one passage where she reflects on the power that record keeping has had over her body her whole life, not just in terms of immigration papers, but in terms of doctor's notes, in terms of x rays, in terms of prescription orders. And basically she's realizing, like, someone else has been writing the story of my life and I want to write it for myself now.
Roberto Germán [00:16:08]:
Right. That's powerful. That's powerful. It's important for folks to take control of the narrative. It's important for folks to tell their stories, for folks to feel like they could lean into all that's impacting them. And we see that with Vetto, the story delves into her quest for control over her life. And it makes me wonder about how you went about developing the character, developing the plot, and maintaining authenticity for each of the different characters. Right.
Roberto Germán [00:16:49]:
Like, you felt the authenticity of Alex's care and empathy for Vero, but also the authenticity of his own struggles, particularly as it relates to depression and the divorce of his parents. And I think that many can relate to that. Many can relate to having experienced divorce. Many can relate to having bouts with depression. Why did you choose to also address some of those themes in your book?
Natalia Sylvester [00:17:23]:
Yeah. So it's twofold because often when I'm writing in the first draft of a book, I'm just listening to the characters. So it was really, truly Alex who one day I'm writing him and I realize, oh, Alex has depression. And this is part of his story. And it's been going on ever since his parents divorced and probably long before, actually. And they haven't always known how to help him. Right. Because I think that when we're talking about disability, we often think about the different kinds of disability.
Natalia Sylvester [00:17:55]:
Some are more visible than others, and depression is not as visible as something like tavero deals with, which is more physical and evident as she moves through the world. Once I realized going into it, like, okay, so this is who Alex. This is part of this layered existence who Alex is. Right? It just made a lot of sense to me, and it was about just listening to, like, depression is a topic very close to my own heart and my own life. And I really just wanted to write with as much understanding and compassion as I could for both of these characters. And I ended up having them lean into each other to find that, to really see each other and hear each other. Because even though their disabilities are very different, there are places where they can overlap with veros. It's actually not very uncommon for a lot of people with disabilities to also have mental health issues.
Natalia Sylvester [00:19:00]:
Because if you live like Vero does with chronic pain or like Vero does, with not always feeling heard in the needs of her body, something like depression or anxiety could come up as well. Right. And similar to that, I think it's why Alex understands her so well, is that she can see her struggles and not feel the need to invalidate them and not tell her, oh, it's all in your head. Like he has heard many times in his own was just. That was really important to me. And it's interesting because I originally wrote Alex. I originally wrote the love interest in the very first draft, and I wouldn't even call it the first draft because it was the first chapter I was trying to write. And then I rewrote it and rewrote it, and I was like, this isn't working, and this isn't working.
Natalia Sylvester [00:19:48]:
And it was because the first time I was writing this chapter of them meeting, he actually made her very uncomfortable by looking at her scars and asking all these invasive questions about it. And I realized I don't want her love interest to be someone who is already coming from this toxic place and this place of making her feel less than I felt like she deserved to feel loved and whole in her whole self. And it doesn't mean that she had. I'm not trying to erase those experiences, because she's also dealt with other horrible experiences that show up in the book but aren't in the foreground. They're not the point of the book. They're part of her experience. But in terms of the relationship that she has that is more spotlighted in this book, I wanted it to be something that made her feel good and that made him feel good, and that they can come together without it being this conflict ridden thing, because they already have enough pain and conflict in their own lives. And I thought there would be something really beautiful in them being able to see each other and support each other through that.
Roberto Germán [00:20:56]:
That's good. Can you share with us, share with the audience how you think this book can be utilized in a classroom setting?
Natalia Sylvester [00:21:10]:
Yeah, there's a few ways, actually. And I found one of the ones that when I've done visits, I talk a lot about language, because vero is very. She's very obsessed with language, and it's why she does these dictionary definitions. Right. And so I've often used that as an exercise with other students, and it becomes a way for us to talk about the power of language, like, who gets to define words. Right. And the thing about words and how they get defined is that it's truly defined by us, like, collectively, how we're using them over time, who is applying meaning to them. The more meaning gets attached to a word over time, it eventually gets its way into a dictionary with that usage.
Natalia Sylvester [00:21:55]:
Right. And so I think we have a lot more power in language than we realize. And I often use this exercise, like Vero does, at the beginning of each chapter, to look at the dictionary definition of a word and then define it based on her own words and her own terms, based off of her own life experiences, and see how that definition changes. And also, what does it make you feel in terms of the power that that word now holds in order to kind of reflect on language and our own role in it? Another thing I love to do, because the water is such an important part of the book, and the water, over time, took a lot of different meanings for Vero, is that. And the mermaids took a lot of different meanings for Vero as a result. So a lot of times, I'll have students think of different sea creatures and think of which would be the one that represents you, that you feel connected to the way that beto feels connected to mermaids. And then why is that? And then if we take it even further, then how does that choice impact the word choices we make, the figurative language that we use, the flow of the language, the rhythm. And that one I found really useful in creative writing classes and things like that.
Roberto Germán [00:23:28]:
That's great. Are there common ones that come up from the students when you're presenting this?
Natalia Sylvester [00:23:37]:
They're always surprising. They're always so surprising. I remember one student talked about an electric eel, which was so surprising and really cool, but they were just talking about the charge of this electric eel moving through water and how you have water, but you also have electricity, and the contrast between the two elements. And then I think somebody talked about, was it a narwhal which before writing this book, I never realized it was a real thing. I always thought it was like a man fully creature, but it's not. So, yeah, there's just so many different ways to approach it. Other students actually created their own creature entirely, so they're now creating their own mythology, which I thought was really cool. And we talk about origin stories.
Natalia Sylvester [00:24:28]:
Know, Vero talks about her own origin story as. And so there's a lot of different directions that we often go with.
Roberto Germán [00:24:39]:
You know, I noticed a few times in the book references to the birthplace that you're not familiar with, that veto is not familiar then Florida, the home that veto knows. And I just. I sense the character working with that tension. Can you bring me in there? Because as a Dominican American who was born in the United States, I think I've experienced that tension also in terms of dominican republic not being my birth home, but being my heritage. Right. It's the home of my parents, so there's a connection there, and yet still, there's so much that I don't know, and I'm a lot more familiar with things over here, even though I've spent time over there. So can you talk about that?
Natalia Sylvester [00:25:37]:
Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up. I think a lot of times when we come from an immigrant background, whether we're first generation, second generation, regardless of our birthplace, we do feel that constant push and pull because there's a place that you are from, and then there's the place that shaped you and made you who you are, and they're not always the same places. And one of the things that ended up being a guiding image for this book was really the idea of hip dysplasia in general. Right. Like I mentioned, it's like your joint isn't quite fitting in the way that it should. And I remember there was a day when I was like, I felt that way my whole life as an immigrant. I have felt displaced.
Natalia Sylvester [00:26:19]:
Right. I have felt out of place. I have felt like I'm not quite fitting in the way I should and that I am out of alignment essentially, in the way that my joints are, the way my skeleton, my spine as a result. And this is also the case with Vero, as I think it's also the case with a lot of us who come from immigrant backgrounds when we might not have the physical connection to the place that we're from. Whether it's because we haven't been able to go back or whether it's because we haven't grown up there, maybe we've visited, and then the place that has shaped us become two places, and they don't always fit together in the way that maybe we see others fit. And so a lot of people, like here in the US, will always ask, where are you from? And then, as if we're not from here. And then if we have the chance to go back to our birthplace or our home country, they'll also kind of joke, like, oh, la Merigana. Right.
Natalia Sylvester [00:27:18]:
And so it makes you just feel a bit fractured. And so this is really like, that was the idea I was working from with Fero, is that she feels very fragmented and out of alignment all the time, and she has to arrive at a point where she realizes the power of how whole I am, or the idea of how whole I am isn't going to come from somebody else's idea of me, isn't going to come from someone else's stamp of approval. It has to come from me. And so for her to arrive at a place where she's like, even if I am of two places, that doesn't have to mean I'm fractured. It could actually mean that I'm beautifully whole. Like, all of these pieces are part of me and make me complete. And I think that's something that took me quite a bit of time to learn as well.
Roberto Germán [00:28:10]:
That's good. I like the way that you made that work. There's a natural flow there between the hip dysplasia and the fragmentation there, and then the fragmentation with the birthplace and the place that I grew up. I appreciate the craftiness of your art with bringing the words together and making it flow in a way where it connects with that central theme. And I also appreciate your courage in telling your story and developing these characters in a way that draws us into conversations and content that perhaps is not necessarily the norm. Right. Where we're talking about a character that's dealing with a physical disability, with hip dysplasia. I didn't even know what hip dysplasia was until I read this book.
Roberto Germán [00:29:13]:
A character that is experiencing surgeries and rehabilitation, right? These things that you could feel. I read that, and I'm like, oh, man, I feel the pain. I've been through a surgery. I know the pain of a surgery. It wasn't for my hip, but nonetheless a surgery that was when I was, what, 1415 years old. When I think about it, I'm like, I still feel that pain.
Natalia Sylvester [00:29:42]:
Roberto Germán [00:29:44]:
And so part of what you've done in sharing this story and being vulnerable with the character, with yourself, but also offering these details, is really at least for me and hopefully for other readers, is connect us to empathy that I think we all need. Right. Just, wow, bring me into what this character is feeling and experiencing and help me to be a little bit more informed of what other people struggle with.
Natalia Sylvester [00:30:15]:
Thank you. No, that means a lot. And also that it connected to you with your own memories and your own surgeries. And even though you might not have heard of hip dysplasia, one thing I found when I talk to students is that they always find a way to relate, and particularly with disability, which disability is something that affects so many of us, and yet we don't often talk about it, because part of the conversation around disability that I think that many of us disabled people are trying to move further along is really to get rid of the stigma and the silence that's attached to it. A lot of times we even internalize this idea that to voice the needs of our bodies and the ways that, let's say, maybe if we have chronic pain or if we need attention or accommodations, that we feel it might be a burden to others, right? And that's something that we need to break through, because it's really about just advocating for ourselves. And the more we advocate for ourselves, we're also advocating for others by normalizing this idea that most of us at one point or another, will deal with some sort of disability. And what I found with students is that a lot of times they'll tell me, I had a surgery once, or maybe they also deal with anxiety or depression. I remember one student talking about their own scars and the ways that they related to how vero deals with all the questions and feelings that she has about her scars.
Natalia Sylvester [00:31:47]:
And I just think that it shouldn't be surprising, but sometimes it is, because we all live in a know and our bodies are also different. And even talking about the ways that the hip dysplasia is like a metaphor for how they walk through the world. As an immigrant, a lot of times I've found that students can feel empowered to then write about their own bodies right and again on their terms, and how that what is below the surface like that vero deals with all her dreams about being a mermaid and all the ways that she just doesn't want to be seen as one thing can get reflected above the surface, and that we find parallels between the two. And so that's something that I love to talk about with students as well, because it's always so surprising not just how unique their journeys are, but also how much they can interlap and find in common with one another.
Roberto Germán [00:32:48]:
That's real. So let's shift a little bit. If you had the opportunity to have lunch with anybody, dead or alive, who would be and why?
Natalia Sylvester [00:33:01]:
Oh, God, this is such a hard question. I kept coming back to, and I think it's because I'm in. Recently, I've really been wondering a lot about my family history, and I think it would be my grandfather. He passed away in 2018, and I feel very lucky to have had him around as long as I did. But he also has such a history that I wish I could know more about. He played in the Olympics for Peru. He played basketball. Wow.
Natalia Sylvester [00:33:38]:
Yeah, right? I got to hear a little bit about it, but it's never enough. And not just that, but just all sorts of things, like what must have seen the history of the world that he saw. What was it like through his eyes? As a peruvian son of italian immigrants, I just wish I could get those moments with him.
Roberto Germán [00:34:04]:
Wonderful. What's your message of encouragement to our.
Natalia Sylvester [00:34:11]:
Oh, so something I've been thinking about lately, that's really when we have goals like Vero does, for example. It's very common for us to get so hyper focused on those goals that we don't end up nurturing all the other parts of ourselves. And so something that I've been coming back to lately is just to not be afraid to nurture all the different parts of yourself as a whole person rather than as someone who is trying to have x goal, whether it's career, whether it's school, whether it's sports related, anything, really, because the more that you're nourishing yourself as a whole person, that's also going to serve your dreams. But there have been times in my life when if all I focus on is my writing and nothing else, the writing actually suffers. Because then the part of me that's also like a wife and a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a friend and a plant obsessed dog person, all these different parts of me that they're not being nursed. How can that whole person be putting the best part of herself into her writing when she can't? So I would say just to not be afraid to really look at your needs as a whole person, because also that's how you're going to bring the best version of yourself forward to the world and to how you show up for not just yourself, but your community.
Roberto Germán [00:35:41]:
Thanks for sharing.
Natalia Sylvester [00:35:43]:
Roberto Germán [00:35:44]:
Where can folks follow you?
Natalia Sylvester [00:35:46]:
Yea h, so I am on @nataliasylv on Instagram. I'm also on threads and I'm really not on Twitter anymore, but my handle anywhere is @nataliasylv. My website is nataliasylvester.com.
Roberto Germán [00:36:04]:
Is that the best place for folks to purchase your book?
Natalia Sylvester [00:36:08]:
Yeah, actually. So breathing cowback from ten is available at any bookstore, but definitely if you go to my website, you'll find a link to my local independent store, which is where you can also find signed copies if you're interested. In.
Roberto Germán [00:36:27]:
Pleasure Natalia, so great to be with you, to learn from you, to just dig into this book and unpack all these themes. Wishing you great success and looking forward to reading more of your content. Thank you.
Natalia Sylvester [00:36:45]:
Thank you Roberto.
Roberto Germán [00:36:46]:
All that you offered us and keep writing in a courageous manner. Keep being bold about the stories that you share and the topics that you address. We definitely need more writers who are changing the narrative and normalizing the conversations that sometimes feel taboo for us.
Natalia Sylvester [00:37:07]:
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Roberto Germán [00:37:12]:
As always, your engagement in Our Classroom is greatly appreciated. Be sure to subscribe, rate the show, and write a review. Finally, for resources to help you understand the intersection of race, bias, education, and society, go to multiculturalclassroom.com. Peace and love from your host, Roberto Germán.