Ph playmates Stand 29. 10. 2011 Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg



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PH Playmates Stand 29.10. 2011

Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg

Prof. Dr. Mechthild Hesse

Kunzenweg 21

79117 Freiburg



hessegm@t-online.de



Ann Jaramillo: La Linea

Summary

La Linea is about 15-year-old Miguel’s dangerous journey from Mexico to California, where he hopes to be reunited1 with his parents.

On his fifteenth birthday, Miguel does not get any present; instead2 he gets a hand-written note from his father saying: “It’s been six years, eleven months and twelve days since I left to go north across la linea3. It’s time for you to come. Go see Don Clemente. He’ll help you.”

Don Clemente, the rich landowner in Miguel’s Mexican village, does help him by giving him money, advice4 and above all, the name of a coyote (a guide) leading him through the dangerous terrain. However, he is secretly followed by his sister Elena, who destroys the well-laid-out plans for the border crossing.

Although he tries to send her back, he cannot get rid5 of her resolute, determined

13-year-old sister. Together with Javier, a family father trying to cross the border after several attempts6, they walk through the desert, suffering from lack of water, food, shelter7. And then there is not only “La Migra”, the official American border patrol8 trying to arrest and send back illegal immigrants, but also the militia, a private armed9 American citizen10 group, who want to catch Hispanics to protect in the southwest border of the US.


Excerpt from the novel (chapter 5):

By Sunday noon, everyone knew Don Clemente had returned from la capital. You couldn’t miss his new black Mercedes among the thirty-year-old beat-up, patched-together11 VW beetles and Chevy Novas. Most of us didn’t have cars at all.

I walked to Don Clemente’s compound12. It was no longer a house. He’d added two stories13, a fancy tiled courtyard14, a three-car garage, gates all around, a security system. They said there was even a swimming pool, inside. Don Clemente made his money off people like us who needed him. (p. 17)

I’ve heard from Domingo,” he announced. “Tu padre,” he added, as if I might have forgotten Papá’s name.



He’s sent money and asked me to make arrangements for you to go.” Don Clemente pushed the papers across the table to me.

Everything you need is there. It’s becoming more complicated to make the journey. You must follow the instructions I’ve provided15. Unfortunately, I can no longer vouch for everyone who assists16 in my operation,” he explained. “I’ve had to 17rely on some polleros whose reputation18 you should fear.” (p.18)



Scene 1: Miguel’s birthday
Appearing characters: Miguel, Abuelita, Elena

List of props: two tables, chair, soup bowl, spoon, wooden board, knife, bowl

Abuelita is cooking in the kitchen. Miguel sits at the table and stirs19 in his bowl without eating.
Abuelita: Eat Miguel, eat.
Miguel responds, eating, grunting.
Sorry I couldn't get you a present, you know how our situation is. At least something from the heart: Happy Birthday my dear grandson!

She hugs20 him.
Miguel: Gracias, Abuelita.
Abuelita: Actually, I do have something for you.
Abuelita hands over the letter.

Miguel: Happy Birthday, Miguel, my son. It’s been six years, eleven months, and twelve days since I left to go north across la línea. It’s time for you to come. Go see Don Clemente. He’ll help you. Papa.
Miguel is excited and happy. He hugs Abuelita.
Miguel: Abuelita. That means I’m going. It’s my turn21, finally.
Abuelita: You know that you have to tell your sister.
Miguel: I know but you know her. I don't want to be the one to tell her. She'd have one of her famous tantrums22 and cry for hours.
Miguel leaves stage; Elena enters grumpily.
Elena: Happy birthday.

What's going on here?


Abuelita: Not to worry. He’ll talk to you later. Eat Elena, eat.

Scene 2: Elena and Miguel in town eating ice cream
Appearing characters: Miguel, Elena

List of props: bucket/bowl, grains, mirror, two ice cream cones


Elena is feeding the chicken. Miguel enters searching for her.

Miguel: Elena! Elena?

Hey, give me this. I want to take you out for some ice cream.


Elena with squinting eyes

Elena: Yeah, sure. First of all, where did you get the money from? And secondly why would you buy ice cream for me? Pulls away the bucket from him

Miguel: Well, first of all: it’s none of your business23. (taking back the bucket) And

second of all, why can’t a brother buy some ice cream for his sister?


Elena with squinting eyes
Elena: Alright. But give me a minute to get ready.
Miguel: Sure.

You look trashy24, cover up, you’re dishonoring our family.


Elena: Who are you to judge? You’re only 18 months older than me…
Elena fumbles out a photo.
Elena: Look, Miguel. Mamá sent a photo.
Miguel: Who’s that?
Elena: It’s our twin sisters, Liliana and Maria. They’ll turn three soon and we still haven’t seen them.
Miguel holds the picture and stares at it
Miguel: We’ll see them soon. I promise.
Elena: This means you’re leaving, right? Stop pretending25 I don’t know, I’m not stupid.
Miguel: Well, Elena, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you…, but you know papá’s plan. Papá first, then Mamá, then me and then you. It won’t be long, then we’ll all be together, as a real family. Come on, Elena.
MUSIC. Miguel and Elena walk towards plaza and get ice-cream.
Elena: This place is dead! Who’d want to stay anymore? Everybody is leaving.

I want to go with you!


Miguel: Elena, you know that is not possible…
Elena in rage, frustration, throws down her ice-cream in front of Miguel’s feet.
Elena: It’s not fair, Miguel, it’s just not fair!
Elena runs away.
Miguel: Hey, what are you doing here?

Scene 4: Miguel’s going-away party

Appearing characters: Miguel, Abuelita, Lalo, Chuy, Elena, Person 1-3


Props: dishes, cups, bottles, some food
Miguel, his friends Lalo and Chuy, Elena, Abuelita and some other friends and relatives sit together, chatting and laughing. It is the last evening before Miguel’s departure. MUSIC
Lalo (laughing) Miguel, you know that the Americans just stuff themselves with fast food… So enjoy your last proper26 meal, amigo!
Miguel Haha very funny, Lalo! Gets up and hugs Abuelita

But indeed everything is so tasty27 tonight, thanks Abuelita for such a great meal.


Abuelita (touched by his words) Oh, you’re welcome Miguel…
The others claps, then continue chatting and eating.
Person 1 stands up and leans towards Miguel Juanita’s husband never returned… We never heard a word from him. Some say he was lost in the desert. Others say, he found a new wife up north.
The guests look up from their plates, listening to the story.
Person 2 stands behind Miguel, speaking

A friend told me that his nephew was kidnapped up north, right on the border. They drugged him and when he woke up, he had stitches28 in his stomach. (dramatic pause) They took out his kidneys29 and sold them!


Gasps of horror
Chuy gets up and hits one hand on the table

Ha, you can’t live with both kidneys gone. That’s impossible!


Miguel and some people laugh relieved.
Person 2 (without reacting to what Chuy said)

And there was a woman…; bandits took her baby and stole it!


Everybody looks at the ground, affected by what has been said. Abuelita

reaches out for Miguel’s hand and squeezes it gently.

Person 3 Miguel, and be aware of La Llorona, the weeping woman… (dramatic pause) She’ll try to lure you away from the path30. You have to cover you ears so you don’t hear her wailing31. Don’t make the mistake and follow her! (looks Miguel right in the eye) Those who don’t resist32 her are never found again. Their bodies dry up and fly away with the wind.
Person 2 Also, watch out for the chupacabras, the vampire-like creatures! They

catch you and suck all the blood out of your body, until there is not a single drop left.


Miguel view gazes off into the distance, he looks thoughtful.
Lalo Well, I don’t believe in La Llorona or the chupacabras… But there are other dangers, real dangers in the desert. You can be poisoned33 by a snake or by a scorpion. What if that happens?
There is a deep silence for a few moments
Chuy Hey, how does everybody like my homemade tortillas? Aren’t they so good?!
Elena You fool, your mum made them. You can’t even cook fried eggs!
Everybody laughs

Key vocabulary

la línea – border; la migra – Grenzpolizei; coyote – Schleuser; cockroach, worm, bastard - Schimpfwörter für Juanito; poisonous snakes – giftige Schlangen; to take out kidneys – die Nieren entnehmen; to drug s.o. – jdn. mit Drogen vollstopfen; to lure s.o. away from the path – vom Pfad weglocken; to resist – widerstehen; sissy – weinerliches Mädchen; to skip school – Schule schwänzen; don’t be upset –ärgere dich nicht; incident – Ereignis; traffic accident – Unfall; I owe you – ich schulde dir etwas; the trick works – der Trick funktioniert; cargo train – Frachtzug; you’ll make it up north – du schaffst es in den Norden; to lose limbs – Körperteile verlieren; to save one’s own life – sein eigenes Leben retten; we’re lucky actually – wir haben tatsächlich Glück; mature – reif, erwachsen; we need a ride – wir brauchen eine Mitfahrgelegenheit; train derailed – Zug entgleist; market stall – Marktstand; I was delayed – ich habe mich verspätet; irritable – reizbar; to take advantage of the full moon – den Vollmond ausnutzen; moisture – Flüssigkeit; desert - Wüste; we have no choice – wir haben keine Wahl; giant, gigantic – riesig; to have faith – glauben, vertrauen; militia – Bürgerwehr

Task:

Read the words aloud

Put them into different categories and/or make a mind map with these words

Previewing task

(from Heiko Kist’s highly recommended La Línea Teacher’s Guide)
How to survive in the desert? - Pyramid Discussion -
Think about how Miguel, Elena, Javi and Moises can survive in the desert. Which things are important when you cross the desert?
Write down at least five ideas. Then decide which one is the best and say why.

Now talk to your partner. You have to agree on one solution. Then talk to another group and also agree on one solution. This process continues until two big

groups remain.



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Post-viewing tasks
Comprehension

La Linea is about ……………………………………

On his fifteenth birthday, Miguel ……………………………………………………..; instead he gets a hand-written note from his father saying: “……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….It’s time for you to come. Go see Don Clemente. He’ll help you.”

Don Clemente, the rich landowner in Miguel’s Mexican village, helps him with ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

He plans on going all by himself, but he is secretly followed by his sister Elena, who ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Although he tries to send her back, ………………....…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Together with Javier ……………………………………………………………………. they walk through the desert, suffering from ……………………………………………….

They have to overcome many dangers: ……………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………


Relate yourself to the Mexican teenagers

Miguel, Elena and me
Compare your life with Miguel´s and Elena´s life.

Fill in the chart with information from the chapters and your own experiences.




name

Miguel

Elena

________________

age











home










looks










parents











relation to parents and grandparents












Chores (jobs for children to do at home)










biggest dream










hobbies











Personal opinion

I liked/ disliked the story/the acting/ the music because


Story

………………………………………………………………………………

The scene(s) I liked best was …………

because …………………



Acting……………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………


The character I liked best on stage was ……………………………. because

Music ……………………………………………………………………………..

The music piece I liked best was



1 to reunite - wiedervereinigen

2 instead - statt dessen

3 La línea (Spanish) - border

4 advice - Ratschläge

5 to get rid of - loswerden

6 attempt - Versuch

7 shelter - Schutz

8 border patrol - Grenzschutztruppe

9 armed – bewaffnet

10citizen - Bürger

11 beat-up , patched-together – verbeullt, zusammengeflickt

12 compound - Grundstück

13 story - Etage

14 a fancy tiled courtyard – ein elegant gefliester Hof

15 to provide instructions - für Anweisungen sorgen

16 to assist in one’s operations - Hilfestellung leisten bei den Plänen


17 to rely on polleros – sich verlassen auf Führer

18 reputation – Ruf

19 to stir - rühren

20 to hug umarmen

21 It’s my turn - jetzt bin ich dran

22 tantrum - Wutausbruch

23 It’s none of your business – es geht dich nichts an

25 to pretend – so tun als ob

26 proper – richtig

27 tasty - gut schmeckend

28 Stitches in his stomach – Stiche im Bauch

29 kidney - Niere

30 to lure s.o. away from the path – jdn. Vom richtigen Pfad abbringen

31 to wail - jammern

32 to resist – Widerstand leisten

33 to poison - vergiften





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