First Latina mayor of a U.S. city larger than 100,000 population and First Latina president of a California community college, Judith Valles, shares her story in a book called, “As My Mother Would Say: Como Decia Mi Mama” that tackles her humble beginnings and the words of wisdom she learned from no less, but her own mother.
Written in Spanish and English, this 48-page-book introduces 53 proverbs or “dichos” which reflects her conservative Mexican descent who values the traditions and sayings of Mexico. These dichos have since then become her guidepost in teaching and influencing her students, colleagues and members in management style and leadership.
Some of her favorites are “Lo cortes no quinta lo valiente.” Or, “Courtesy does not take away courage.” She explained, “It means being polite and courteous does not diminish your courage, it makes you stronger.” The other one should not be taken literally, “Don’t look for three legs on a cat; you know it has four.” It means, “Don’t question the obvious; you’re asking for trouble.” How about “This egg wants salt.” It elucidates that someone wants something from you and is disguising it by flattering you. By absorbing the hidden message, everybody can ponder and get motivated.
The readers can learn a lot from the book especially how the ‘dichos’ can be applied in real lives. Moreover, Judith simply reminds the readers that they too can evaluate themselves about the learning and valuable pieces they might have learned from their parents or grandparents. This positive outlook can be passed on from one generation to another—and that’s how customs and traditions can be preserved.
As My Mother Would Say: Como Decia Mi Mama
by Judith Valles
About the Author
Judith Valles has over 45 years experience as an educator from teaching to college presidencies, the first Latina president of a college or university in California as well as the first Latina to be elected Mayor of a city over 100,000 residents in the U.S. She has retired several times but has not been successful at it. She has been consulting and often called upon to be a speaker at different conferences. She lives in San Bernardino, California, her hometown.
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