how to tame a wild tongue

Broadly Defined Theme: La Frontera/The Border, as Witnessed in Three Genres: poem; essay/prose-poem; film. Key phrases to think about: borders to cross, inter- culturally (between cultures) and/or intra-culturally (within a culture); border between authority and subjection; border between a dream and reality.
Choose one of more of these three sources for your topic: (1) Essay/poem: Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” (in W.O.R.); (2) Poem: Martin Espada, “The New bathroom Policy at English High School”/”Nueva Norma para el bano en la English High School” (in Rebelion es el giro del manos del amante/Rebellion is the Circle of a Loverʼs Hands (Curbstone Books, publ. 1990) Note: *There is an excellent source for Martin Espada on Wikipedia. (3) Film: Maria, Llena de Gracia/Maria, Full of Grace, 2004, written/directed by Joshua Marston.
Requirements are similar to the requirements for paper #1: Accurate MLA style documentation/formatting; five (5) typed double-spaced pages of your text; quote(s) cited; your own unique title; peer draft, approx. 3 pp. due in class Wed., Nov. 4; Work(s) Cited page.
Conferences: Monday, Nov. 2, all classes (priority to those who have not met with me) Suggestions for Approaching Paper #2:
“How to Tame a Wild Tongue”
[1] Source: p. 35, Q. #2, Questions for a Second Reading: Judging by your responses, many of you have an excellent grasp on the concept of “…Wild Tongue” – the duality Anzaldua discusses; the tug-of-war regarding a mix of languages and dialects; the border between oneʼs true self, and the identity perceived by others, for example, those in the role of authority. So you may expand on your responses re: How you read this “crazy dance”; when, where, how you worked through your frustrations as a reader to find, perhaps, some commonality with the choice to cast an untraditional text such as Anzalduaʼs.
[2] Source: p. 35, Q. #3, Questions for a Second Reading: Refer to the assignment sheet [hard copy or scanned on BBOARD]: How Anzaldua works through her unconventional text as an argument. This question focuses on stages in her argument; possibly speculating on where her argument follows a logical development, or tends more toward an argument justifying her struggle for identity.
[3] Source: pp. 38, 39, Making Connections, Q. #2: This question would appeal to students who feel they have more to say when faced with a “compare/contrast” paper. The questions basically asks you to “…reread Brian Doyleʼs ʻJoyas Voladorasʼ, looking for [metaphorical] moments that can be discussed with/against Anzalduaʼs moments of metaphor – the “tongue” being the most obvious, regarding restraint, language

“prohibition” – and the “wild tongue” identity Anzaldua embraces, as Doyle embraces the heart.
Maria Llena de Gracia/Maria Full of Grace:
[1] Again, keeping “la frontera” in the back of your mind, think about the “borders” Maria is confronted with crossing: A young girlʼs dreams for a better life versus the reality of ingesting pellets of heroin in order to cross over to her ideal world.
[2] You could do a relatively short research paper on a focused aspect of the “mule” as occupation – looking at aspects such as “profiling” [is there an “ideal mule”, in terms of the business authoritiesʼ needs, who is “recruited”?]; statistics: how many return to Colombia [in this case] safely? How many disappear , or are arrested – and what, if any, is a potential solution to diminishing the corruption around this business?
[3] In Ways of Reading: Panopticism, Michel Foucault, p. 185: “They are like so many cages, so many small theaters, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible…visibility is a trap.” — Here is a starter passage to get you thinking about the authorities [police, heroin dealers] – and how the “actors” (Maria, Blanca, Lucy, ) are being scrutinized as human machines void of emotional consideration: Ultimately, their behavior is governed by those who pay their salaries.
The New Bathroom Policy at English High School:
[1] Compare/contrast: In “…Wild Tongue” and “…Bathroom Policy” there is a language issue, and each author implies that there is a political, social, gender “border” to consider in remedying the language barrier. Both Anzaldua and Espada are the speakers, observing personal situations. Anzaldua considers male/female and the “dominant” language; Espada speaks on the authority between the male students and the [male Principal and the decisions those in authority are entitled to make.
[2] in Panopticism, Ways of Reading
# Each individual, in his place, is securely confined to a cell for which he is seen
# from the front by the supervisor; but the side walls prevent him from coming in
# contact with his companions. He is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of
# information, never a subject of communication. (185 – 186)
For this one, youʼd want to look at the photos in “Panopticism” to get an idea of the Panoptic concept of the prison. Then, speculate on how the poem recalls a metaphoric “scenario” similar to the Panoptic structure. Consider: From the boysʼ point of view, what comes up around the issues of communication, language, or otherwise? – being “seen”? being “objects”? OR from the Principalsʼʼ mind set: What comes up that recalls Panoptic surveillance/supervision, authoritarian decisions based on communication (or lack thereof)? Also to think about: Whether the roles of authority can overlap or be interchanged, based on who you perceive to be in the passive role or the aggressive role: the boys, or the Principal?