EPISTOLARY: What little Alma Mater!

By Armando Rojas Arevalo

JORGE: EDUARDO MATOS, the famous Mexican anthropologist, graduate and teacher from UNAM, was awarded on the 18th of this month with the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2022. This is a resounding slap in the face to the enemies of scientific knowledge and those who They call themselves “discoverers of the true history of Mexico.”

The award makes UNAM and university students proud, as it also represents a great honor for all Mexicans who have graduated from the Maximum House of Studies and later became professors there, who received the Nobel Prize: ALFONSO GARCÍA ROBLES, OCTAVIO PAZ and MARIO MILL.

The list of distinguished Mexican graduates from UNAM would be endless, I only mention EFIGENIA NAVARRETE, who as director of the Faculty of Economics encouraged and supported the 1968 Movement. By the way, she is the first Mexican to obtain a master’s degree in economics at the University from Harvard. Strangely, she, who is so much a university student, now omits making any comment in favor of UNAM about what her friend and her boss thinks and says about the Institution.

They all want to enter UNAM. You have to see that the House has the largest student enrollment of all the universities in Latin America, and has one of the largest campuses in the world. Its numerous publications and research in all areas of knowledge make it the Mexican institution with the greatest scientific production. All Mexican Nobel Prize laureates have passed through this house of studies.

(Just a few bits of information: UNAM was founded in 1910 as the National University of Mexico by JUSTO SIERRA, who wanted to revive a liberal version of the defunct Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico; the oldest in North America, it obtained its autonomy in 1929 which It gave it the ability to self-manage its budget, administration and curriculum without government interference. The construction of Ciudad Universitaria (CU) was made by some of the most outstanding Mexican architects and artists of the 20th century. In 2007 it was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO In addition, it is considered one of the most attractive campuses for tourism in the world.In 2009 the university was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.

(UNAM is a public corporation, decentralized from the State, based on the principles of academic freedom and research, and inspired by all currents of thought, without taking part in militant activities and any individual interest)

59 years ago, when I arrived from my town, with an empty stomach and hungry to know more, two great souls sheltered me and marked my life: Mexico City, which opened its arms to me, and UNAM in High School number One. I dreamed of living in the metropolis for many years, but my greatest dream was to enter UNAM, which, I believe, is the same aspiration of all young Mexicans who want to study for a professional career.

Mexico City was like a midwife who wrapped me up with love, and the High School, with the RIVERA murals, the room called El Generalito” and the enormous amphitheater, was fascinating. For me they were new worlds. amazing.

I lived for a few weeks in a temporary hotel located in Argentina, next to the old Porrúa Bookstore, sweeping and mopping to make up for the expense, and then in the roof room of an old building on Guatemala Street, in front of the Cathedral courtyard, where the janitors or sacristans planted milpa.

Years of many needs, but happy. I learned to fend for myself and to enjoy the meager salary that I earned in a fiber factory for washing dishes on Calle de Moneda, in little things that made my life happy: Going to the cinema that was three blocks away, having coffee on Saturday in La Bombi, in Guatemala and Brazil; buy my first suit in installments at the Cathedral tailor shop, and go to the dances of the Chiapaneca neighborhood in the Riviera.

When I finished High School I entered Medicine, in Ciudad Universitaria, where as a “baptism” they locked me up the first day for a full night in the cold amphitheater, surrounded by skinned corpses and cut into pieces by the teachers with the scalpel or scalpel.

The “Roma-Mérida-Cozumel” bus took me to CU and brought me back. The twenty cents one way and twenty return, plus the midday cake, left my pocket fast, but I was already in University City! Medicine was –and is- a demanding and expensive career. The books of “Donkey” Quiroz had an unaffordable price for starving people like me, and going to the library to consult them took several hours because there was a queue waiting for them. Dedicating hours and hours to study left me breathless, and apart from that I had to stop working because the degree did not allow duality. Either you study or you work.

However, he either studied or worked to eat, dress and pay the rent for his room. But when I finished the second year of Medicine, with 10 kilos less weight and torn pants and shoes, I changed my career and entered the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, where over the years I was a member of the academic faculty for two decades. .

To Mexico City my gratitude until the last of my days, and to UNAM my life.

I don’t know why we university students allow ridicule and disqualification of the University. It has even been generous with them who took many years to graduate because they went to classes when they wanted. The omission of the university students, to whom the Alma Mater gave them a career and made thousands of them famous, is infamous.

Today the UNAM, “ranked” among the best universities in the world for its research, its study plans, its teachers and being the cradle of the intelligentsia, is going through a crisis of conscience, because of ridicule and insults. Where the hell -excuse me- are the university students of strain? Where the Rector and the illustrious academics? Where the directors of schools, institutes and faculties? Where do those who call themselves teachers, pránganas let the humiliations of culture, science and art pass?

UNAM has given us a lot. Damn, let’s not leave her alone. Let’s not stay silent.

ABOUT THE CUBAN “EMINENCES” WHO WILL COME TO TEACH MEXICAN DOCTORS HOW MEDICINE IS EXERCISED, IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT: The president has no powers, nor does the secretary of health, nor the secretary of education to endorse it. The only one that could validate the exception is Congress. It also requires a visa to work.





We wish to say thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding content

EPISTOLARY: What little Alma Mater!