20150525 PDF PG20 SOBREMESAA culture’s sense of time is based on how that culture views the past, present and future.

The United States has a very different sense of time compared to other countries that instead practice more of a “Sobremesa mentality.” While some see time as a holder of endless possibilities, others tend to fear it since time cannot be slowed down, stopped or turned back.

Then there are others who adopt the “sobremesa” way of thinking. The word sobremesa literally means “over the table,” but culturally it means the leisure time after we have finished eating but before we get up from the table – it’s the time spent in conversation, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. The traditional American view of time tends to focus on the future; they attempt to “save time” by moving faster, being more efficient and sometimes taking shortcuts.

People in the U.S. are characteristically punctual, and they expect others to be on time as well. For Hispanics, however, personal interaction is far more important than timeliness. In many Hispanic cultures, not being on time is considered culturally acceptable and it is the norm to be late if one gets caught up talking to a friend. This isn’t a sign that Hispanics don’t care about being punctual; it’s just that Hispanics have a more relaxed attitude about time.

Growing up as a second generation Hispanic, I understood the importance of preparing and planning for the future, but like so many other Hispanics I also tried to live in the here and now. Time is not actually passing; it is simply waiting for you – Dr. Orville B. Jenkins. So instead of rushing out to get all the things checked off your to-do list, why don’t you just stop and enjoy your time? As Miles Davis said: “Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.” How we construct and use our time defines the texture and quality of our existence.

De-Americanization Has Great Cost


I was born and raised in Northern California. My father’s family and my mother’s family, both from Mexico, emigrated to the U.S. during the Bracero guest worker program. I am the eldest of four children and the first person in my family to have graduated from college earning a B.A. (cum laude) and an M.A. from California State University, Chico.

I earned my Ph.D. in political science from Washington State University I am currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at Pacific Lutheran University specializing in American government, public policy, and race and politics.

I am the author of Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism and co-author of a new book Living the Dream-New Immigration Policies and The Experiences of Undocumented Latino Youth.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

TED is a global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”. TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event; the annual conference series began in 1990.

Soccer Club and ESPN Deportes Reach Broadcasting Agreement


The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and ESPN Deportes 97.5 FM announced a broadcasting agreement for all 34 of the Fire’s Major League Soccer matches this season, Match day coverage for all Fire games will include pre-game show, post-game wrap-up and comprehensive play-by-play action.  Rodrigo Arana and Raquel Ortiz will serve in play-by-play and analysis roles, respectively.

“Our broadcast partnership with ESPN Deportes is yet another opportunity to serve the needs of our Spanish-speaking fan base,” said Fire COO Atul Khosla. “Through this deal, our games will air on the same local station as other world class soccer properties, including Liga MX, and factor among the biggest stories in sports.  We’re thrilled by this agreement and look forward to tomorrow night’s game.”

20150309 ChicagoFire PG12

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty among Multicultural Families


Forty-seven million people are currently living in poverty in the U.S. Those more likely to be poor are Blacks and Hispanics, which make up a disproportionate majority (9.7% of Non-Hispanic Whites live in poverty vs. 25% of Hispanics, and 27% of Blacks). This is very concerning because these two minorities will make up 32% of the population by 2050. Even more concerning is that poverty can also become a multi-generational issue, where children who grow up poor are more likely to be poor as adults.

The government spends millions of dollars trying to help, but results are marginal at best. A more innovative approach to breaking the cycle of poverty is the two-generation approach. It gives children access to high-quality education early on and simultaneously helps parents get better jobs. On one end, children with early high-quality education are more likely to attend college. On the other end, parents are more likely to get a better job if they can get access to career training/education programs. Parents would also get support if they don’t have anyone else to help with the kids or can’t afford daycare while they are at school. In essence, a program that focuses on the parent’s work life as well as the children’s needs will have more chances of success for both. In the long run, this approach can be much more productive and cost efficient than current welfare programs.


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