Sueños Isabel the dreamer

An adaptation of Cinderella & Frankenstein

Created by Cheryl Smith through the generous support of the National Endowment of the Humanities and the University of Arkansas. Special thanks to Dr. Lissette Lopez Szwydky-Davis, Dr. Sean Connors, Erin Daugherty, Hung Pham, and the 2018 Remaking Monsters and Heroines Fellows for their inspiration and expertise.


Today I start my new job. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but mamá tells me, "no te preocupes, Isabel." I don't know how she can put all of her faith in you. Worrying is my magic power. I worry about everything, big or small: animal rights, paying the rent, immigration reform, where my dad is now, and my hair (the Arkansas humidity and my Guatemalan/gringo hair no son muy amigos.) Mamá says that you will protect us--like a fairy godmother in a cuento de hadas. I want to believe in magic but mostly I rely on myself. In the meantime, I'm going to be late for work. --Isa


Dad- American soldier who abandoned my pregnant mom in Guatemala. We have no actual proof he exists (except for my reflection in the mirror.)
La Migra--Mamá has false papers that she uses to work at the chicken farm
#Dreamer--We came to the US when I was one. I'm waiting for the day when this country grants my wish to be a full American. U of Arkansas allows Dreamers to enroll in the university but we have to pay international tuition, which I can't afford.

Looking good! My uniform is on fleek.

--Not. No princess would approve this hot mess. At least it's comfortable.

My new job. I can't wait to see what my co-workers are like!

the dishroom


My first day wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. I got assigned to the dish machine, which is understandably gross, but manageable. I seriously didn't want to work on food prep--or anything that required cutting up meat. Mamá's stories of the slaughter floor have put me off meat forever, I think. But the kitchen was clean--no chicken guts in sight. And Fernando (a nice Chicano third year student who claims to be the "Dishy Prince" --jaja) rescued me when the dishes kept piling up, Lucy-style, and I was getting behind. He's studying chemistry and we struck up a friendship through our shared love of science. He's a vegan. He was telling me all sorts of stuff about alternatives to meat. I want to learn more. Well, I'm tired, so I'll tweet more later. Besos, -I

after my first week, my thoughts on the way to work


@virgendeguadalupe #tridelts - where magic starts & dreams come true


After walking past the TriDelt house on the way home from work, I stopped at the Ever After Consignment Shop where I found this book. I think it's going to help me make my dreams come true. I hate to confess: I would do anything to be a TriDelt. I know that if I lived in that house, all of my problems would disappear, fairytale-style.


I have to get a new job. After 20 years of working at the poultry plant, mamás jefe has decided to retire and sell the farm. Because of the increased scrutiny over documentation and the recent migra raids, we decided that it would be better for me to get a second job while mamá tries to figure something else out. Fernando (the cute dishwasher I told you about) told me about a job he heard about in the biochem building. It's for an evening custodian position. I could work in the cafeteria during the morning shift and in the bio building at night. Nando has been telling me about the great classes that he is taking. I can't help but be jealous of everything he is learning. He loves science but his second favorite class is a Frankenstein seminar with Dr. Szwydky Davis. He leant his book to me so we could discuss it because I told him how interested I am in learning even though I can't take classes here yet. I don't know how much science is in it, but I'm going to find out! Besos, I

Frankenstein and food - EUREKA!!


Last night, after working at the cafeteria, Nando and I had a fantastic conversation about plant-based protein. Tyson has invested in a line called "Beyond Meat" which is based on non-meat substitutes. I've tried a few of them in the caf and they are pretty good. But one area that they are lacking is shredded vegetable substitute. It sounds like it's pretty difficult to make look and taste like actual meat (and to taste good). Nando mentioned that Tyson is sponsoring an incubator competition for food-based products and categories in two weeks. So I was thinking, if I could get into the biochem labs during my shift, I could tinker around with some ideas. I've been inspired by the Frankenstein book to create my own "Frankenchicken" - although Nando was quick to remind me that Frankenstein is actually the creator and not the monster, but I like the name. It's a work in progress. I promised him that I wouldn't bail on the chicken in the same way that Victor does. Anyhow, I'm planning on working in the lab for the next two weeks (if I can grab some vegetable scraps from the kitchen--which shouldn't be a problem :) I wonder if I will need lightning, jaja

my scientific process!


Last night, all of my hard work and research paid off. After almost two weeks of careful scheming, I was able to bring my creation to life (or lack thereof, jaja.) The competition- which is called Pitchfork - is tomorrow. I'm going to have to figure out what to wear, because I certainly can't show up in my work clothes or my normal clothes either. I think they might take me more seriously if they thought I was a sorority girl. Back to Ever After so I can find the perfect costume and get my happy ending!




So that was a disaster. After I ran out of the presentation, I got to work just in the nick of time and stripped off those uncomfortable heels and skirt. I have no idea how sorority girls wear heels like that. I put my ugly, but comfortable uniform on when I noticed that I had lost one of my Virgen de Guadalupe earrings that I wore for moral support. With that, I burst into tears. Nando walked into the room, gave me one look, and opened his arms. His arms engulfed me like a blanket, supporting and containing all of my sorrow at botching the pitch. "Todo estará bien," he whispered over and over. "How do you know?" I asked. "You deserve a happy ending," he said softly smiling. If I close my eyes, I can still feel his embrace. Nothing has changed, yet everything has.


Nando and me, Isabel


Today was the weirdest and best day for real. I got to work early, hoping to see Nando, when I noticed the hot Tyson Prince lurking outside the dining hall. In his hand, he held my lost earring. "Bella?" he asked in a tentative voice. "Isabel." I replied. "Didn't you say your name was Bella last week?" A note of confusion crept into his voice. "Oh right. I did. I figured you wouldn't want to listen to a lowly dish girl and 'Bella, the Delta Delta Delta' would have more ethos. But it doesn't matter because you threw me out of the room and dismissed me out of hand." I retorted. He looked away. "I was an idiot," he said. "Anyhow, I came here to see if we could work with you. I spent a lot of time with my dad and he convinced me that meat-less shredded chicken could be a profitable new category for us. How can I convince you to work with us? We can pay you handsomely for your process. What would it take to make your dreams come true?" His eyes twinkled in anticipation of my response. I couldn't take my eyes off of his perfect features. He was like the perfect version of Prince Charming in my Princess Primer, chiseled features, wavy blonde hair, perfect frat boy clothes down to his perfectly broken-in Sperrys. "Bella, I mean, Isabel, seriously, what do I need to offer you?" he repeated. "I have money; I have influence, what do you want?"

"I need you to help me track down my father. If I can find him, I can get my papers, enroll in college, and achieve my dreams." "Done," he said, continuing, "and I'll pay your international tuition in the meantime until we find him. You can start classes next semester." I stared at him, uncomprehendingly. "Está bien," I said. At that moment, Nando walked up, glaring at this fancy frat boy. "Isa, ¿todo bien?" he asked. "Everything is perfect!" I exclaimed as I grabbed Nando and kissed him.


Created with images by Grant Whitty - "Madona with Child" • congerdesign - "alarm clock time of good morning stand" • freestocks.org - "untitled image" • mnovelo - "A apple, pear and lemon putted together like Frankenstein" • Jared Sluyter - "untitled image" • geralt - "target group advertising buyer" • stevepb - "map vacation travel"

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