Brown, Olga Lucinda Villegas 2000-03-24

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Olga Lucinda Villegas Brown discusses her education from elementary to obtaining a degree in education and continuing learning. She also talks about her passion for teaching and her life and struggles for being of Mexican descent.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Olga Lucinda Villegas Brown

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: March 24, 2000

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Daniel Sanchez

Length: approx. 102 minutes


Minidisc 1, Side 1: parents and their families; her childhood experience working on the fields; describes her family; parents inculcating education on her and her siblings and the importance of education; her first year of school without knowing English; primary language was Spanish. She continues about the struggles that not speaking English brought on her; being in a classroom with Mexicans only; being moved to a real first grade classroom; other experiences between first and second grade; Reemphasizes the support from her parents in her education; lack of confidence in what she could or could not do when growing up; family moving to Lubbock after her dad got a full-time job; new house; attended Bozeman elementary school; how much she liked learning new things; joining the campfire girls; During third and fourth grade she started to come out of her shell; how important it was for her mom that she looked like the rest of the girls; the death of her grandfather and her father inheriting a lot in Abernathy; Started fifth grade and her continue strive for learning more; Mrs. Davenport, a teacher that pushed her to getting better grades; what it was like at home after getting off of school; the stress she carried as a fifth grader; joining the band and how she was able to own a saxophone during junior high; the big turning point in her life, being in the A class with nothing but Anglo-Americans, during junior high; another Mexican classmate, Delfina Valdez; Did not have any Hispanic friends; trying out for cheerleading in sixth grade; the support her mother would provide her; the importance of report cards at home; the difficulty of not completely fitting in with Mexicans nor Anglo-Americans; making the cheerleading squad the second year around (seventh grade); the first phone in her home; how her mother would tell her to not speak Spanish at school and the importance of it.

Minidisc 1, Side 2: her parents not promoting Mexican culture in her family; Mexican culture was thought by the parents to be harmful for the kids; her grandparents, who were Mexican; being part of the junior play; always looking for extracurricular activities; her work ethic at a young age; having to work over the summers; Unlike other kids, her siblings and she would get the money earned at work to pay for school supplies and personal things; learning about twelfth grade and hearing about a college; being active in church and playing the organ for the choir; working as a babysitter; the first time she thought about being a teacher; asking the principal about college and getting no information from him; taking the SAT and graduating from high school; As a graduation present, she asked for permission to go to California and working there; Works for ITT Gilfillan Company, making radars for the moon walk; watching the historical moment of the moon walk; the company offering a student program and a scholarship to the University of Berkeley; her mother not allowing her to go to Berkeley and she comes back to Texas to attend Texas Tech University; her first experiences at Texas Tech; how she was paying for college; being on probation after the first semester of college; the Tertulianos, a Hispanic organization; hearing of the bilingual program in education, not offered at Texas Tech; her experience with the tornado in 1970; moving to Lubbock, previously living with parents in Abernathy; being nominated as homecoming queen by the Tertulianos; senior year and her student teaching; graduating in December 1972 and looking for a job in the L.I.S.D.

Minidisc 2, Side 1: Continues the story about applying for employment in the L.I.S.D.; Mentions her engagement; getting three different interviews and having to decide which school to go to; Decided to go to Sanders Elementary School; During her third of teaching, her fiancé got stationed in England; Mentions her trip to Madrid, Spain during a spring break; her summer trip to San Luis Potosí, Mexico; her trip to England to visit her fiancé; volunteering as a teaching assistant there until 1975; working on her master’s degree in supervision in 1977; Mentions her goal of working in the central office; Talks about becoming a bilingual director in centra office at 29 years of age with a two-year old and a newborn; Worked there for five years; getting the idea of becoming a principal and applying to schools; getting the principal’s job and having to get a certification in mid-management; being a single parent for five years which was another reason why she did not go back to school; being at Ramirez Elementary School for nine years; receiving the Extra-mile Award and in 1997 the Distinguished Alumni for Tech Award; her struggles through college and her lack of information about the whole college process.

Minidisc 2, Side 2: Continues talking about her life through college; becoming more allegiant to the Mexican culture than her parents and not having to apologize for it; getting pass the negative idea of being Mexican through education; not lecturing people but demonstrating it, especially to her own kids, to not pressure into thinking one way or another; teaching her kids right and wrong and letting them make their own decisions; Anita Carmona is mentioned, believed to be the first Hispanic to go through the entire L.I.S.D. system.

Range Dates: 1900-1930

Bulk Dates: 1920s

Access Information

Original Recording Format: mini disc and audio cassette

Recording Format Notes: digitized; CD available in Reading Room

Transcript: drafts of Spanish and English transcripts available in Reading Room

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