ICON | Eulalia "Sister" Bourne


A teacher and an author, a rebel and a rancher, Eulalia Bourne is an icon whose stories are so fantastic that they almost seem mythical. In the 1910s she lost her first school teaching job in Arizona because she danced the one-step (think about what would have happened if it was the two-step!). At her second teaching job at a mining camp outside of Tuscon, Bourne asked her students (who didn't speak any english) to teach her spanish even though it was illegal to speak spanish at Arizona schools at the time. She explained:

"They had a rule in Arizona at the time: no Spanish on the school ground. Not a word. I thought that was the silliest thing I ever heard. I determined that if I was to teach them, I had to be able to talk to them…[One afternoon], after the primary grades had been dismissed, I said, ‘0igan’ [Listen] I have been teaching you English all day. Now will you teach me Spanish? ‘Sure’, they said, so they began telling me the words for different things around the room. They told me about a hundred words and how they laughed when I missed one. But everyday we did that – they taught me Spanish for five minutes. It was wonderful.”

Bourne later received her BA in English with a minor in Spanish at the University of Arizona. She taught at other schools, raised cattle and built an adobe home, where in 1967 she wrote her first book, Woman in Levi’s, the first of four books. All royalties from her published work went to the Eulalia Bourne Scholarship fund at the University of Arizona. Chapters in Woman in Levi’s include: “Please Excuse the Pants,” in which she describes her choice to wear Levi’s—a decision that drew negative attention from her community.  

"I appreciated with regret the fortitude and charity it took to be friends with a nonconformist like me, a woman in Levi's… And I was not trying to make a spectacle of myself. I had nothing but business on my mind. With trade as my purpose I was not dressed to pass inspection by style-conscious bystanders. I was dressed for a long night ride in an unheated pickup. Nevertheless, there I was under the bright lights, sticking out like a finger-splint, jostling evening strollers and shocking one into ill-founded criticism.


A woman of practicality, empathy, Western pragmatism and dry humor, Eulalia Bourne was a woman who lived her life deeply and truthfully, no matter what people said or thought. 

Comments

Unknown said…
Thanks for sharing! She sounds like such a character I immediately went looking for her books at my library.
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Naghahanap ako ng tulong sa internet upang maibalik ang aking dating asawa pagkatapos na hiwalayan niya ako 5 buwan na ang nakakaraan, napansin ko ang napakaraming mga patotoo mula sa iba't ibang mga tao at lahat sila ay nagsasalita tungkol sa kamangha-manghang taong ito na tinawag na Doctor AKHERE kung paano niya sila tinulungan upang makatipid ang kanilang kasal at mga relasyon at nakipag-ugnay din ako sa kanya sa kanyang email (AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com) at ipinaliwanag sa kanya ang aking problema at gumawa siya ng isang magandang trabaho sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong sa akin na maibalik ang aking diborsyo na asawa sa loob ng 48 na oras .. Hindi ako naniniwala na ganoon ang mga bagay na tulad nito ay maaaring posible ngunit ngayon ako ay isang buhay na patotoo dito sapagkat talagang binalik ng Doctor AKHERE ang aking kasintahan, Kung mayroon kang anumang mga problema sa relasyon bakit hindi makipag-ugnay sa Doctor AKHERE para sa tulong sa pamamagitan ng email: AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com o tumawag / whatsapp : +2349057261346
Pagkatapos ipinapangako ko sa iyo na pagkatapos ng 48 na oras magkakaroon ka ng mga dahilan upang ipagdiwang tulad ko

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