|Name: Deolinda Maria Adão
Year of Birth: 1954
Place of birth: Lisboa, Portugal
City of residence: El Cerrito, California, USA
Years in the US: 37
Undergraduate Degree: Spanish Language and Literature, University of California, Berkeley
Post-graduate Degree: M.A.- Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of California, Berkeley; PhD in progress Luso-Brazilian Literature, University of California, Berkeley
Current professional status: Coordinator of the Portuguese Studies Program, University of California, Berkeley
Research interests: Contemporary Literature, Gender studies, Post-Colonial studies.
To be or not to be an immigrant in the US
What brought you to the USA?
Name the three most valuable lessons you have learned in this country (at work or not).
That only the condition of my birth is pre-determined, all else in my life depends greatly on me. You must work for what you want in life. Also, never burn any bridges, you may have to go back and cross them again some day.
Are you planning to go back to Portugal? Why/Why not?
No, I have a family in the US. But if I were to go back, that would be ok.
What conditions (other than salary) do you have here that you do not have in Portugal?
Excellent research conditions and much greater liberty of thought.
What do you think Portugal is still better at?
What would you like to see changed in the Portuguese educational system?
There seems to be a lack of accountability at all ends. I think that teachers need to stop blaming the students and the government for all their problems, and that the students need to stop blaming the teachers and the government for theirs. I also believe that at the primary and secondary level the centralization of power of the actual running of the school (at the level of the Ministry of Education) is a major cause of bottlenecking of the system. Teachers are not accountable to the area in which they teach because their appointment is the responsibility of the central administration. I think that these schools should be locally administered by boards that include parent, teacher and administrative representation. For this end regional school areas should be drawn, and school boards elected from within the community. The individual school boards would report to the regional school board who would follow curriculum mandates of the central government as minimum requirements for education standards. That would allow for these boards to be able to compliment educational programs, but never go below a certain level of requirements that would be state imposed. In this scenario teachers would apply to the regional boards and would be hired and be accountable to those boards. That would provide for a better distribution of man-power and would cut back on the problem of absenteeism due to the displacement of teachers from their area of residence. In the event that there was a shortage of teachers in a particular area and an overage in another, the regional boards would be able to effect nation-wide searches and offer longer appointment to prospective candidates.
The daily life in the US
|Favourite news from Portugal:
||RTPi and several on-line newspapers
|Ideal weekend program in your US city:
||Camping and going out with friends and family.
San Leandro, San Jose