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Abalos / Education

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Zapata: In your own education, you went from Odessa College and started going to UTBB. You have a masters in history? Abalos: Yes. Zapata: Can you tell us about your own educational experience and teaching at Odessa College yourself? Abalos: I felt like – like I told you, when I went to Milam Elementary I was at the top of my class. My English was atrocious but I did well in math. I read well. I did those things well. I actually started the first grade knowing English. I knew English because when I was little I cried to go to school with my sister who went to a church kindergarten. The woman saw me crying every morning and she let me go at three years old when there were not any other three-year-old kids. So, I learned English before I started first grade. So many of the students I went to school with did not know English and there was no bilingual education, so they just had to make due. I felt that in my elementary years, I felt good. I think one of the problem with school everywhere and why we do not do well in math and science. When a students gets to the fifth and sixth grade, it is harder to teach math and science. Those teachers do not know- if they were not math and science majors- they do not know how to teach math and science. And that is where I started to fall behind when I got to the point where they could not teach it. Then I started Ector, my math started falling behind even though I had always been good at it, until I got to the fifth grade. So once you start falling behind it is hard to get caught up. Teachers expect you to know. I did okay, I passed. My mother was big on education. We may not go to college but we were going to graduate. Out of 10 kids, 9 graduated from high school, one got a GED. She was determined that we were going to get an education. We went to school and did not skip. If we stayed home it was because we were sick. So that was important. And I always put in on myself to go to college. So I went to OC, I went for two years and then I did not go back for a long time. Then I went to UTBB. To be honest with you, when I went to UTBB I thought if I could just make C’s, I will be good. But then I loved it. I was older and realized that I loved it. Then I took history and government and realized I loved history and government. So I double majored, got a double major in history and government. Then, I got my masters in History because UTBB at the time did not offer government. Zapata: What years did you graduate with you BA and then MA? Abalos: I am trying to think. I always forget to be honest with you. I think my son graduated high school in 1992, and that is when I graduated from UTBB with my bachelors. Then, two years later I got my masters.

Interview Interview with Delma Abalos
Subjects Family
Family › Childhood Experiences
Work › Occupations
Religion › Churches › Church Community and Social Services
Education › Head Start
Education › Pre-K Education
Education › Elementary Education
Education › Higher Education
Education › Adult Education
Education › Parent and Community Involvement in Education
Education › Teachers and Administrators
Education › Quality of Instruction
Law and Public Policy
Law and Public Policy › Bilingual Education
Historic Periods › 1990s
Work › Types of Work
Family › Parents
Family › Siblings
Tags Odessa College, Odessa, TX
El Magnet at Milam Elementary School, Odessa, TX
University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB)
Ector Junior High School, Odessa, TX
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Interview date 2016-07-14
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Abalos, Delma
Interviewers Moye, Todd
Wisely, Karen
Zapata, Joel
Duration 00:03:51
Citation "Education," from Delma Abalos oral history interview with Todd Moye, Karen Wisely, and Joel Zapata,  July 14, 2016, Odessa, TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed May 19, 2024