Victor Villasenor was born in the United States, where he started school--with two burdens--he spoke only Spanish, and (as it became clear later) he was dyslexic, and had auditory processing problems. In his new book, Burro Genius,
Villasenor takes readers with him to his first day of kindergarten in Oceanside in 1945 where he was physically abused and screamed at for asking to go to the bathroom in Spanish ----- the only language he knew. Since he couldn't ask in English, he had to urinate on himself.
It would be the first of many horrific school days that became more damaging to his self-image when he couldn't read like the other children. It took a couple of Anglo cowboys and a substitute teacher to help him see himself for who he was, a hardworking intellectual ---- a burro genius.
Is it better now? Some, but I am glad Villasenor is publishing this book. A person can be dyslexic and a novelist, a person can achieve although poor. I hope that he is also publishing this book in Spanish and on audiotapes--many people for whom Spanish is their first language would be inspired by his story.