Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Serros visits Cerritos

Orlando Dominguez/TM
Michelle Serros signs copies of her book at the Strawberry Bonanza

Chicanas falsas and Chicana role models turned out to hear author Michele Serros speak at the Falcon Square amphitheater for Strawberry Bonanza on March 25.

Serros, best known for writing Chicana Falsa and other stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard and How to be a Chicana Role Model, read from her published work and shared anecdotes from her days as a college student at Ventura College and Santa Monica College, and then as a transfer student at UCLA.
“[At Santa Monica College] I never understood the importance of good grades, as long as I got to class,” Serros recalled.
The author, who off-and-on spent a total of nine years attending community college, geared her presentation toward students who are not on the “2-year track” and experience “detours” which prolong their time at community college.
“I realized that by working a bit harder to get to university, I also worked towards gaining the lifestyle I wanted and a job I love—I feel it was possible because of advantages I had at community college.”
After her reading, Serros quizzed the audience and handed out t-shirts and books as prizes.
“Don’t be selling it, I’ll find you and I’ll blog about you,” she joked, when handing an audience member an out-of-print copy of Chicana Falsa.
Nursing student Paulina Larios won a SCANDALOSA! shirt, named after one of the author’s books.
“I’m going to read her books and show the shirt to my class,” Larios shared.
For the remainder of the event, the author was available to sign books and pose for pictures with her fans at the Chicana/o Literature class’ wild strawberry water stand.
English major Cristina Gutierrez wrote the author a personal e-mail message that made the trip from New York to California a priority for Serros.
Guttierrez admits all she wanted was a chance to meet her idol, but has gained much more from the experience.
“She surpassed my expectations: I knew she was nice, but she blew me away with her kindness and made me feel like I was talking to an old friend, regardless of how nervous I was.”
Gutierrez attributes the event’s success to the work put forth by her classmates in Dr. Frank Gaik’s Chicana/o Literature course, a class that for the past two spring semesters has been in danger of cancellation due to low enrollment.
“I am so lucky and grateful that I had so much support from my classmates, professors, and other clubs.”
I hope this event makes the school realize what an impact this course is having on students so that it will endure through budget cuts.”
Gaik looks forward to reaching out to more students at next year’s campus-wide Strawberry Bonanza, where those in attendance will enjoy food and wild strawberry water while listening to the inspirational messages of several writers/poets, including Michele Serros.
“This can be known as the Strawberry Campus,” Gaik said with a smile.
“Why not?,” he shrugged.

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Serros visits Cerritos