Scholar Stories: Dra. Patricia Abril-Gonzalez

How do you use writing or art in your life?

Art and writing are a way of life in our home and in my work. I have always been inspired by artists, musicians, and creators. For this reason, I have found creating art and writing flows into all of the endeavors in our household, with my own kids and my students (K12 to Higher Education). The acts of looking at and listening to art and writing, particularly poetry of others is my inhalation. The production of artistic creativity with my kids and students is the exhalation.

What lessons/teachings from your family, home and/or community do you draw on in your teaching and scholarship?

I remember mi mamá playing the piano as a young child. She was taken away and transformed, as her hands moved on the keys. Mi papá doodled and doodled, he drew for us anything we imagined. He created stories with his funny words and pictures. These moments continue today with my own children. I bring music and art into the classroom, inviting my students to share the moments shared with their own families as sources of inspiration for their writing. 

What would you tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to stop worrying so much. My younger self was such a stressed out little girl and she turned into a stressed out woman. I would tell her to take time to breathe and that sometimes it really is better to just stop and smell the roses. 

Advice for new scholars and/or teachers? 

 My advice for teachers is to hold on to special moments in your heart, physically and mentally. Cherish the tight hugs with your abuelita; remember frijole cooking in your mamá’s kitchen; listen to the music of your childhood. These memories can serve as tools, bridges, and openings to a different way of imaging the future of education. Share moments to connect with others.

Something else you want to share?

In these harder moments of humanity look to artists and the musicians for hope.

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