Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Silence Helps Latino Teens Prepare for Higher Education

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Silence Helps Latino Teens Prepare for Higher Education

Article excerpt

Priming the Pump...

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. -Mahatma Gandhi

iPods. MP3s. DSs. Television. Cell phones. For many teenagers, the noise is constant. In a rush to escape silence, many adolescents will tune into music or chatter however and whenever they can. For many Latino teens, the family home might be abuzz with relatives, young and old - talking, visiting, watching TV or simply going in and out frequently. Adolescents who get cranky or protest loudly that others "bug" might actually need some down urne in the quiet, allowing themselves a place and some urne to think, rest and be creative. That stillness can help them prepare for higher education.

One might argue that the developing adolescent brain needs the stimulation to keep going and growing. At the same urne, though, one of the most rejuvenating, mind-clearing and simple things a person can do for learning and productivity is to shut off the noise.

Some Latino teens might protest silence, claiming it is "boring." Others will proclaim, "Hey, this isn't a library!" And a few might question, "How can you stand it in here with so much quiet?"

Maybe we need to make it cool to be quiet. Perhaps if people realized how important silence is, they'd be more apt to seek and embrace it.

Structuring silence into daily school life would help many Latino students perform better. The reasons for doing so are compelling.

Silence gives your mind an opportunity for introspection. How can a Latino student come to know himself if he can't hear himself think? Hispanic students who are comfortable in conversation with themselves function well alone and with others since they integrate learning into their lives with deeper understanding. Students who use quiet to develop introspection might also be less prone to participating in risky behavior promoted by peer pressure. A student who knows himself well is far less likely to stray to gain the favor of others or to search for himself in untoward ways.

Silence helps Latino teens think more clearly. It is easy to consider an idea quickly and dismiss it. To think about it later, in stillness, helps the idea become clearer and more meaningful. …

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