It has been some time since I told you tales of my son. More than two months to be precise.
The last reference to him on these pages was in late November when we visited Ciudad Guzmán (on the road to ciudad guzmán). Well, I visited Ciudad Guzmán. Omar was there to take an entrance exam to the University of Guadalajara -- the same university that operated his prep school.
He was certain he had done quite well on the examination. All we needed to do now was to wait for the results to be announced in January. That is when things went awry.
In 2019, over forty Americans were implicated in a college admission fraud case. Because Americans are besotted with celebrity worship, two actresses (Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman) became the faces of elitist entitlement. We collectively clucked our tongues -- after asking: "Who is Lori Loughlin?"
Omar found himself as collateral damage in a similar less-celebrity-oriented scandal. Wherever entry examinations are conducted, some hardy entrepreneur will set up a course to teach examinees how to take the test. And that is what happens in Mexico. There are lots of courses on offer to help enhance test scores.
Omar took one locally. And he felt that it had been helpful to psychologically prepare him for the test in Ciudad Guzmán.
Then came the bad news. Around the date the test results were scheduled to be released, Omar emailed me in Oregon that there was a problem. One of the test preparation courses had obtained a copy of the examination and had distributed it to its students -- along with the correct answers.
Even though Omar's preparation course was not involved in the scandal, his results were invalidated along with all of the other results. He would need to take another examination. In Ciudad Guzmán. On 6 February.
It did not sound fair. But what other option was there for the university? The process had been thoroughly tainted.
He took the news just as I would have anticipated. He has that Mexican personality trait of patiently working through every setback. I would not call it fatalism so much as doggedness.
And now there is a new twist. Even though Jalisco state has been under a modified lockdown order for two weeks, the number of new virus cases continues to climb.
The rector of the University of Guadalajara was interviewed in this morning's newspaper. He advised the governor to extend the lockdown past its 31 January expiration date. More interesting to Omar was the rector's comment that the 6 February entrance examination would most likely be moved -- once again.
I just gave him the news that he may not be taking the examination in a week. He accepted it stoically. Just as I anticipated. It also gave me an opportunity to stretch my Spanish muscles by conveying some abstract ideas. Slowly and roughly. But it worked.
Omar is one of the many students around the world whose educational process has been interrupted. Unlike primary and elementary school students (many of whom have left school permanently as a result of virus-related school closures), Omar can bide his time on the road to becoming a dentist. He has kept busy by working as a waiter in a seafood restaurant. I suspect other potential students may have abandoned their dreams during these shutdown days.
So, that is the latest installment in "Father Knows Least" and "My One Son." As long as the network does not cancel us, Omar will be back with more on his tooth-drilling quest.