Offering some advice to a writer

Santiago, Santiago, Santiago. It almost hurts to write this letter.

First, because it is a waste of time.

Why? Because you can’t read. So many people have tried to give you correct information and, time and again, you have demonstrated that you either did not understand or you did not care about being corrected.

Secondly, I believe you when you said you never studied when you were in college, that you don’t really know how you got your degree. It shows.

You are living proof that a college degree means only one thing: that you went to college. It does not mean that you learned anything. Just one example: English 101. You must have slept through that course because all of your writings to the Valley Morning Star clearly show you did not learn how to write.

Having written these negative thoughts, I must now go the other way. Your writings about yourself, your struggles and your triumphs deeply moved me.

Believe it or not, I found myself identifying to a large degree with you. I too was a migrant, missing a lot of school, helping support my family, as did all my brothers and sisters. Family always came first for all of us in the Barrientes clan.

No, Santiago, I definitely believe that life has not been easy for you. I am glad that you have managed to survive all the hard, bitter struggles that afflicted you and your family.

I know that you are not going to stop expressing your opinions. Let me recommend that you change your strategy a little bit. Make your point without name calling. Also, get into the habit of “reading” your letters before you send them. You might, in fact, find errors that you can correct before you send out your letter. If a sentence does not make sense, do not be afraid to change it.

Good luck, Santiago. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Most sincerely, Guillermo Barrientes, Harlingen