Why Gustavo Ditched His East Los Angeles College Commencement Speech (Hint: Because He's a Big Ol' Pendejo)

pendejo_queen_elizabeth.jpg
To quoth GOB Bluth: I've made a huge mistake.

Back in February,East Los Angeles College announced that they invited me to be their commencement speaker. I was thrilled because it's always an honor to give a commencement speech--and it was a juco, to boot, California's perpetually unloved higher ed track from which I originated (go Orange Coast College!)

I marked the date down on my calendar. I began writing and rewriting my speech, to make the most of my allotted five minutes. I got my suit dry-cleaned. I waited. And then yesterday, around 6 p.m., I received a very succinct email from an ELAC administrator: "Where are you?"

AW, CRAP. I had the graduation ceremony dotted down on my calendar as happening on June 6--and it was actually June 4. YESTERDAY. By then, it was too late to leave work--we were in the middle of closing our Summer Guide, and I had to be in the office for that--and I felt like the biggest pendejo in the world. I mean, I'm ALWAYS the biggest pendejo in the world, but I usually don't feel bad about it because I can almost always stand by my pendejadas. But standing up a bunch of students because I mixed up the dates? I feel horrible.

And, so: the apologies. I profusely apologize to everyone at East Los Angeles College for insulting you in this way--you deserve so much better. Perdóname, Profe Godinez, my fellow Chapman University alum, who recommended me as the commencement speaker in the first place. A big ol' :-( to the student on Twitter who asked a very simple question: "Donde estas, buey?" I throw myself at the mercy of this infernal rag and the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at Cal State Fullerton, for being such an unworthy representative of our brands. I will be apologizing for this for the rest of my life, and I will never be able to live this mistake down.

I offer no excuses--I messed up, and that's that. The only other thing I'll add is that OF COURSE something like this would happen to me--I'm a nerd. This is as humiliating to me as the time in seventh grade at Sycamore Junior High when I ripped the loudest possible fart imaginable during reading time, or in Mrs. Stikeleather's English class in eighth grade, when my voice cracked during the finals of a speech tournament. In a couple of hundred years, when the Machines take over and my brain's being kept alive in some saline solution-filled jar, I will group the ELAC snub alongside such embarrassing, improbable, preventable, pendejo moments. Oh, joy!

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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58 comments
warrenburt
warrenburt

Gus, It LOOKS to me like>>>YOU have to throw the biggest grad party ever! One way to make it up to those poor jobless college grads....Cervezas all around ! Everyone take a swing at Pendejo  Pinata !

mophisto.waltz
mophisto.waltz

Great..... hopefully we can see your apology for what you have done to the OC Weekly soon.... 

macias16
macias16

no sean tan ojetes!  cut him some slack!  He has done more for la raza than any of you chumps.

enok32
enok32

That was my graduation... I waited for you. As a journalism major i was excited to have you be there.. Thanks a lot. your next column should be "ask a Mexican, why you can't trust a Mexican" i went to see you at some writers event a while back at citrus college u sure didn't miss that.. you let your people down.. Ur a sell out.

elvagotrago
elvagotrago

Since Klavito obfuscates the story of how he missed the commencement address at ELAC, I shall elaborate with my mad investigative journo skillz.  According to well placed but anonymous sources ie Mox, Coker and Gabe San Roman, our dear editor was face first interviewing Orly Taitz.  To be more accurate Klavito was face first in Taitz' taint and refused repeated requests to dress and make it over to the ceremony.  He was quoted as saying "Mmmmphp Grrmmmpph" as  lapped at the Moldovan milf's moistened mound.  More apt advice than his planned remarks to the class of 2013 to be sure.  A lesson to those thinking of booking him as a speaker:  You can take the chico out of Zacatecas, but its still a cerdo with pintalabios.  Andale pues.  142 image slideshow up soon.

Aide Alvarez
Aide Alvarez

Yeah, or an email reminder, msg, phone call to remind you!

fredgsansan
fredgsansan

Really, Gustavo, blaming the college?  You remembered your engagement at UCLA well enough, but "oops, sorry ELAC, I have a 'what to do in Orange County this summer' guide to put out for the well-heeled and privileged."  The next time you offer an 'apology,' you might want to avoid blaming those that you screw over.  The fact that you have people on here defending you is just as disgusting.   

Anne Shilton Graumlich
Anne Shilton Graumlich

Nice apology....Sorry this happened. I do think someone from the college should have had more than one contact with you....

Yolanda Uranga
Yolanda Uranga

Stuff like this happens. The college dropped the ball too. Any event planner will tell you that they confirm, and reconfirm to make sure the speakers are on the right page. They also share in the responsiblility, not wait till the last minute to see if speaker is showing up.

debrahboltz
debrahboltz

CPT is still a part of who I am -- although I really do work on it.  But kudos for putting it out there pendejo.  I bet the graduates were dissapointed -- but I still love you!

leonciorivas
leonciorivas

Carnalito, la culpa no es tuya....It's the fault of old ELAC (class of 1966).  

Event Planning 101 teaches that scheduling snafus and last minute problems can and do occur.  An event planner cannot rely on the old "offer and acceptance" method of handling something as important as a commencement speaker.  

He must also create a relationship with you and/or your designees to assure a problem free commencement.

Bottom Line: The duty and obligation is on the school to remind you "prior" to the scheduled event date--not just by e-mail, but personally, by phone.

My God man, my dentist and doctors call to remind me of upcoming appointments, why not the "academics" at ELAC.

Get over your suicidal thoughts and get back to work.



Olivia Olivares
Olivia Olivares

Why wait for another invitation from the college? Could you rent an auditorium somewhere, or even secure a venue on campus, and make a speech to which all the grads would get in free? All on your dime, of course ...

roberto74
roberto74

No ven que es la nueva tendencia d elos politicos, entre mas pendejos ( like stupid but with proud ) mejos les va, ya ven a Peña nieto

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

At least you've never tried to deliberately destroy someone's life while pretending to be an American police Chief/Sheriff.   -----  Perspective.

Glenna Thompson
Glenna Thompson

Poor Gustavo. You remind me of me. So, I still think you're cool.

djwoody
djwoody

I missed my citizenship appointment cause I wrote down the wrong date. Luckily I caught it a couple of hours after my appointment was supposed to be, showed up to ICE immediately, wrote a HUGE apology letter to them, kissed ass, and got my self a reschedule a month later.

Esmeralda Lopez
Esmeralda Lopez

Yes BIG booboo. Somos seres humanos y cometemos errores, todos!! Maybe you can write an apology letter and send to all grads?

Hector Garcia
Hector Garcia

no te vuelvas a hacer pendejo !!!! what was the name of the nalguita ??????

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

ROTFL. But props for putting it out there. 

Don't feel bad, though, I once missed an Economics final exam due to a schedule misreading.

rippinit
rippinit

Y ahora quien podra ayudarme???

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

everyones a pendejo now and then. just try to keep it to a minimum

dtakeda1
dtakeda1

What? No "Latin time" jokes?

Daniel Neri Osborn
Daniel Neri Osborn

"it was too late to leave work--we were in the middle of closing our Summer Guide, and I had to be in the office for that" - weak excuse. It couldn't wait a couple hours? You are so essential you couldn't leave for a while?

Yolotl Ochoa
Yolotl Ochoa

Big oops! But I truly enjoyed reading your post about it. Nice way to explain what happened and emphasize that you won't hide behind an excuse.

Andres Rivas
Andres Rivas

damn, that is unfortunate but shit happens; make amends for the error.

Jesus A. Barreras
Jesus A. Barreras

No hay pedo Gustavo Arellano.Estas perdonado." shit P A S A". (Pinche Arellano Se Apendejo).Go HUSKIES"

Silvia Rodriguez
Silvia Rodriguez

Ouch, i feel your pain, but i agree with power kix martial arts comment, they should have followed up with you too. I put together events with colleges all the time and I stalk all parties involved until 5 min before the event starts.,,..

Power Kix Martial Arts
Power Kix Martial Arts

Yes, you should have known... But follow up with you from the school should have also happened.

enok32
enok32

Put your money Where your mouth is. How about a real apology on your next publication which you can bring personally to Elac so the HUSKIES can know why you bailed on them. You wouldn't bail on colbert or hannity would you? Chingale jefe lets see what you got.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@dtakeda1 Gustavo has surpassed the 'mañana' mentality -- he's gone on to 'pasado mañana'. 

The really funny thing is that no one at East LA Community College -- no doubt 99.99% 'Latino' in staff, students, and faculty, thought to confirm with him. I shudder to think what the state will be like in 10-20 years, with that demographic in charge.

dtakeda1
dtakeda1

@Mitchell_Young @dtakeda1 "East LA Community College -- no doubt 99.99% 'Latino' in staff, students, and faculty..."  Well, I doubt that.  Glad you can live your life so secure in your beliefs.

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