From Humble to Harvard, From El Paso to HCC

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Published on December 12, 2016

Whether you’re lifting knee to chin to reach the peak of a mountain, or digging your heels into the downgrade of the other side to keep from tumbling, every inch forward is measured and counted. For Sergio Troncoso, each step of his unlikely journey is recounted in heartbreaking fashion in his collection of 16 essays, Crossing Borders.

In the spring of 2017, HCC will be in the middle of another One Book One College celebration, with Troncoso’s collection at the heart of it.

Last spring hundreds of students and staff members partook in various events centered around Laura McBride’s novel We Are Called To Rise’ There was roundtable analysis of the novel, seminars and discussions regarding social topics raised, and a visit from the novelist herself.

Available copies of ‘Crossing Borders’ in the HCC Library. Photo By Eric Vazquez.

Available copies of ‘Crossing Borders’ in the HCC Library. Photo By Eric Vazquez.

This year more events are being organized to further involve different sections of HCC. The Theatre Arts division will have a hand in designing performances that highlight areas of Troncoso’s essays along with some original stories from the student body pertaining to our own interpretations of and experiences with “borders.”   

The short stories trek over borders that are physical, metaphorical, and all too real even if most of them can’t be seen. In “Fresh Challah,” Troncoso discusses generational borders between he and his grandmother. Written on 9/11, “Terror and Humanity” carefully touches on the bridge that connects the devastation of terrorism with the unity that it can create. In “Chico Lingo Days” and “Latinos Find an America on the Border of Acceptance,” Troncoso delves into the ever boiling issue of Latino immigrants, their struggles, and their effect on the United States.

Of his writings Troncoso said, “I seek my audience with a vague hope to be heard, but even if I am not, if my words and strange musings remain unread and not understood, I would still reach into the darkness.” With this regaling of a sometimes beautiful, sometimes treacherous journey that is shared by many, Troncoso certainly digs deep.

One Book One College was a success last year during its inception and will likely exceed those successes this year with another sweet and bitter exploration of real life to chew on.