And the Medulla Oblongata Controls Your Heart Rate

I’m still in a good mood from achieving post number one hundred (see my previous article). So here’s a positive, uplifting story… no, I really mean it. This isn’t some cynical trick, although I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking I would pull such a thing.

This feel-good tale has been covered in other places, but it can’t get too much publicity. Basically, years ago, a guy named Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa jumped a fence and entered America illegally. He became one of the numerous Mexicans who wound up toiling in the fields. But he strived to do more with his life.

So today, he is, quite literally, a brain surgeon.

Go ahead and check out this article if you don’t believe me. I’m waiting for the movie treatment on this, ala “The Pursuit of Happyness.” But since we have a dearth of Latino movie stars, I have no idea who would play Quiñones-Hinojosa. Maybe it will be Johnny Depp after a few tanning-booth sessions.

Now, I’ve seen objections in the blogosphere to this most uplifting of tales. Some people are so filled with rage at anything Hispanic that they will twist even inspirational tales to fit a xenophobic agenda. It’s a knee-jerk emotional reaction, which I’m sure Quiñones-Hinojosa could tell you is controlled by the amygdale portion of your brain.

My favorite comment was “One brain surgeon does not legitimize millions of illegals.” No, I guess mathematically it does not.

Still, how about we celebrate this guy’s tremendous achievement rather than taking another shot at immigration? What is Quiñones-Hinojosa’s story but the American Dream come true, which is what we’re all supposed to be encouraging? He worked hard against enormous obstacles, embraced education, and is contributing a rare and crucial skill to American society.

I mean, damn, that’s most cool.

To be fair, I’m sure being a brain surgeon has its own set of problems. For starters, the guy is probably sick of people dismissing his accomplishments with “Well, you’re no rocket scientist.”


1 Response to “And the Medulla Oblongata Controls Your Heart Rate”

  1. 1 Mary Turck
    December 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Great story! I have a friend who is a genius math professor, who also entered without documents, to the great enrichment of the U.S.A.

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