TSTC forum helps students understand humanities

HARLINGEN – If you want to be a writer, just look around you.

Manuel Medrano spoke Thursday at an author’s forum at the Gilbert Leal Learning Resource Center at Texas State Technical College.

” If you are interested in writing just look around you, at the tamaladas, the quinceaneras, even curanderismo,” he said. “Nobody knows those experiences better than you.”

He and fellow author Elvia Ardalani, both professors of the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, were speaking to a group of students and writers about the humanities. The informal forum between students and authors was hosted by the TSTC Humanities and Arts Department.


From Richard Kirk, professor of sociology and psychology at Texas State Technical College:

“The purpose of the Texas Writer’s Exhibit was to provide our students and the community with an experience of celebrating the humanities, specifically Texas literature and literature that has roots in the RGV. That exhibit was shipped from Austin from Humanities Texas.”

The exhibit had already been created by Humanities Texas which is the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibit is part of the Humanities Symposium taking place at TSTC through Nov. 17.

More specifically, they were speaking in response to a Texas Writer’s Exhibit in the library. The fold-out exhibit had panels highlighting such authors as Sandra Cisneros and Americo Paredes.

The exhibit at the LRC was made possible through a $1,000 grant awarded to TSTC by Humanities Texas, said Richard Kirk, sociology and psychology professor at TSTC.

” Every year we have exhibits,” he said. “It’s to promote the arts and humanities education for the community.”

Those in attendance were eager to hear and learn.

” Do you ever get the feeling you want to quit writing?” asked Janie Davila, 17, a student at TSTC.

Ardalani was quick to say she could never quit writing. She appreciated the attentiveness of those in attendance.

” It was very nice,” she said. “They seemed to be very interested in enjoying the humanities. I think professor Kirk is doing an excellent job.”

Curiously, Davila didn’t identify herself as a writer. But she wanted to know how authors keep writing even through those times when the words don’t come. And there was more.

“It was very important for me to see how they look at our cultural differences,” she said.

Kirk was pleased with the forum.

“It though it went great,” he said. “The students asked good and insightful questions.”