Networking: a field, and players in a field connecting and knowing one another as they expand socially. Networking speaking talking arguing discoursing. Meeting to network, to spread branches into communities and acknowledge the significance of being known locally. It begins at the local, and networking extends into and as social. One’s network extends the bounds of social capital, and participation in an unequal game structured by the powerful and their vision and di/vision of the social space.
That’s a lot of theory to begin with, to say that, no, I don’t have business cards yet . . . but I shook hands with one former CEO, gringo, made his fortune manufacturing helmets, spoke Spanish with his accent Mexicano because he studied Spanish in high school in San Luis Potsi. He tested out of Spanish in college. He’s about 58, gray hair, thin gringo with a firm voice and that thicker western Kentucky twang. He liked my story about Spanish, how it was killed in my family and how I did my best to resucitate it, and how my pop went to Korea during the U.S. occupation.
And the other gentleman a lawyer who like me felt the weight of sponsorship in the point of educational activism. A Puerto Rican lawyer from Spanish Harlem, Marcos Rubio grew up twelve street away from where I lived during my research at MANOS. He’s lived in Kentucky now for fifty years. He left New York when he was 18 to attend college at Transy. Except when he left to join the service after undergrad, he’s never left Lexington.
I had a good time chatting with these men who are both powerful in the business community, as well as in organizing local politics for Latinos in the area. There was much for me to learn about how the political field and the social alliances and networks shape here in the Blue Grass, but I understand that lawyers and business folks have tremendous clout. I’ve made several connections into the community independently, and these two guys were impressed about where I’ve been cultivating my social network.
Today’s the Latino Festival, as well as tomorrow. Some of the students from my writing class will be organizing a booth. It should be fun to remind them to write. Maybe I’ll bring some notebooks for them.