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Professor Manuel Hernández
Essays Collection

Address: : 2012 Ernest St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741

Manuel Hernandez was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York in 1963. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and finished a Master�s in Education from Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) in the Bronx in 1994. He has coordinated symposiums, produced and coordinated television interviews on the literature written by Puerto Rican and Latino/a writers from the Diaspora. He has done numerous presentations, workshops and seminars on how to integrate latino/a literature in the English classroom. In 2014, he participated in a TedxTalk (Connections) at Southern New Hampshire University. He is the author of three books, , Latino/a Literature in the English Classroom (Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2003), The Birth of a Rican (Imprenta Sifre. 2008) and Living the Kingdom with purpose (Imprenta Sifre, 2013). He is a Language Arts teacher at Osceola School District in Florida.

Education: An American Journey
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright 2008

It is very difficult to explain what dreams may come. The current year leaves us with mixed feelings and bittersweet sensorial imagery. On one hand, the 2008 achievement of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the election of America’s first African-American President. On the other, the financial debacle of Wall Street and the Government’s failure to rebuild a downtrodden economy. There is no easy solution to what may seem an uncertain 2009.

The discussions in the media are plentiful, and there are very few optimists these days.There are no quick fixes, and everyone agrees that the road ahead is bumpy, pun intended. America was founded on its ability to attain and overcome against all odds. It recovered after The Great Depression and the social reforms of FDR. Why do we doubt that it can happen again? To dream is to hope and long for better days and a much brighter present and blessed future.

What Dreams May Come is actually a 1998 movie starring Robin Williams and and Anabella Sciora. In the movie, "Christy" and Annie have a beautiful life together. However, tragedy knocks on their door when their children are killed in a car accident. Annie blames herself and goes into a state of mental disarray. Five years later, the couple has begun getting their lives back together but Chris is killed in a car accident. Then he goes into an afterlife derived from his wife's paintings. Despite he lives in paradise, he is unhappy without his wife Annie (Sciorra). When Annie commits suicide following Chris' death she forms a reality of hell as her afterlife. Unwavering that they belong together, Chris begins a quest to rescue her (paraphrased from the plot as printed in The plot unfolds and develops in a web of pessimism, distrust and cynicism about life and what dreams may come.

Ten years after the movie stormed Hollywood, America finds itself in a state of distrust, cynicism and pessimism about its immediate future. There is too much trust in the self and very little Faith in God. It was only seven and a bit years ago (9/11) that America redefined its Faith. How fast we forget? When Egypt found itself throttled by hunger and famine, a young man was sent to revive the dreams of his family and generations to come, Psalms 105:17”He sent a man before them, even Joseph who was sold as a servant, 18 whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in irons. 19Until the time when his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tried him. 20 The king sent and loosed him, even the ruler of the people, and let him go free 21. He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, 22 to command his princes at his pleasure and teach his elders (21st Century King James Version).”

Joseph was a dreamer, and his dreams came to a halt when his brothers betrayed him and sold him as a slave. Yet his Faith, despite of the unjust process that he went through, kept him sane and overcame against all odds. America must find new hope in its history. America declared freedom while in captivity and enslaved. How fast we forget? Let us revive Faith and declare freedom from ourselves and believe that our present and future will be a much brighter and blessed one.