“I am a genius.”
The audience was asked to repeat that phrase to themselves by three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and author, Victor Villasenor.
Villasenor was invited to Texas A&M University Kingsville (TAMUK) to speak to the incoming freshman at Jones Auditorium about his book, Burro Genius, the common read chosen for their UNIV course this semester.
“I tell kids, I don’t care what your grades were in high school, I don’t care about anything about that. You inside are fabulous, wonderful,” Victor Villasenor said. “I ask them to repeat after me “I am a genius” I have them repeat it over 500 times for the first month and they start to access different parts of their brain they never did and that’s what I want I want them to get.”
Villasenor spoke to these students about his book and what it was representing, that everyone is a genius.
The freshman students were pleased to have the author of the book to visit and some didn’t even expect it.
“It was interesting. It was the first time for an author to come to a school that I’ve been to. It was a good surprise,” Bianca White-Thomas Freshman marketing major said.
It was more than just a mandatory book for class for some students. They felt they could relate to what Victor discusses in his novel.
“The book did have an impact on me because he wasn’t all that bright and he gave it his all. He could have stopped with all of the rejections he received but he didn’t give up, it was very inspiring,” White-Thomas said.
The UNIV committee chooses a book for their incoming freshman to read for the semester course and chose Villasenor’s because they felt it would be relatable and inspiring.
“I think it impacted them in a very positive way, their experiences both positive and negative, they aren’t alone, that everyone has up times and down times and it’s just a part of life and that is the best part of the book,” David Gotre, UNIV Lecturer said.
The novel was not only inspiring and relatable for TAMUK freshman but for one of the UNIV lecturers.
“I like it, I related to it a lot. I grew up learning disabled also, not dyslexic but dystrophic and had trouble with my writing and pretty similar to what Victor Villasenor described in his book so I can identify with it also,” Gotre said.
Villasenor had a book signing following the speech in the Ben Bailey Art Gallery giving the students the opportunity to speak to him one on one.