15 Reasons Everyone Should Watch ‘Stand and Deliver’ Again

Can you believe the movie Stand and Deliver came out in 1988? Based on the true story of badass Bolivian math teacher Jaime Escalante, the movie has been a must-see for Latinos for nearly two decades. It stars Edward James Olmos as Escalante, who is trying to inject confidence in a group of misfit students from East LA’s Garfield High School. Here’s what we learned from el maestro Escalante:

1. Sometimes, it’s OK to Bring a Knife to School

How did Jaime Escalante get a rowdy class to settle down? He showed up dressed like a short order cook with a cleaver. ¡Hijole! Relax… he just did it so he could chop up some apples and teach everyone about math.

2. Chale, Holmes… Hairnets Aren’t Just for Lunch Ladies

In the ’80s, no self-respecting cholo would be caught without a hairnet. But being called a “nethead” by his teacher made Angel’s hair stand on end.

3. Your Parents May Have a Different American Dream Than You

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Ana Delgado had dreams of going to medical school, but her papá wanted her waiting tables at the family restaurant. He wasn’t trying to be a hater, but he totally came off like one.  All Ana wanted was to be in charge of her life. Mr. Escalante even tried to convince Ana’s father in person:

Jaime Escalante: She’ll just get fat, waste her life away in your restaurant. You have to understand – she’s a top student.
Mr. Delgado: I started washing dishes for a nickel an hour. Now I own this place. Did I waste my life?

Awwwwkward.

4. Latinos Have Math in Their Blood, Ese

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Going to school in the United States sometimes leaves you thinking that all the big ideas and concepts first came from Europe, but sabes qué? Escalante schools his kids (and us) when he reveals the Mayans discovered the concept of zero before the Greeks or Romans.

5. If They Give You the Finger…

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

… Give Them Ten

THE FINGER MAN SCENE. Classic. You’re a teacher. A student flips you off. What do you do? Lose your mind? Nope. Jaime Escalante taught us how to use our fingers to do multiplication with the number nine. It TOTALLY works!

READ: Have You Noticed Latinos Only Get Screen Time During Junk Food Commercials?

6. There’s Nothing Better Than Shutting Up the Haters

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

You know why it feels so good to succeed after working hard? Because nobody handed it to you. YOU worked for it. That’s how Escalante’s students felt when the haters at the Education Testing Service questioned how they scored so well on their calculus exams (even if one of them was played by a young, sexy Andy Garcia).

7. Cholos Have Feelings, Too

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Angel wanted to learn calculus, but he didn’t want his homies to give him shit for trying. He ended up with THREE text books (one for class, one for his locker and one for home) so he wouldn’t have to deal with the anxiety he felt from all the peer pressure. DAYUM!

8. What? Mexican-Americans and Chicanos Had Their Own Section on Test Sheets?

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

“Mexican American or Chicano” was its own ethnic group category and Latinos from other places were in a different category. In the ’80s?

9. Your Abuelita Always Has Your Back Even When You’ve Got a Bad Rep

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

You tried to explain why you couldn’t show up to class on time, but it didn’t fly and you got kicked out. Show up at your profe’s house with your abuela pleading your case. No one can resist an abuela.

10. You Might be a “Burro,” but Ignorance Is Not Stupidity

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Can you call a child, teenager or young adult stupid because they don’t know about things they haven’t been exposed to? No. In Stand and Deliver, Pancho had no confidence in his abilities, then being exposed to computers sparked a passion in him.

READ: This Adorable Kid Cries on His First Day of School When He Realizes Mom Can’t Come

11. Your Grandma Doesn’t Want You to Dress Like a Cholo – Even When You Are One

“If you don’t tuck your shirt in you’re going to go bald.” Angel’s abuelita was coughing up a lung but she still took time out to tell him to keep his shirt tucked in. Abuelitas always think you’re still that innocent little kid from yesteryear.

12. You Can’t Always Have Everything Under Control

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

You can’t be prepared for everything that might happen. All you can do is your best and try to keep your ass covered.

13. No Bathing Suit, No Problem

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Your friends jump into the ocean fully clothed, but you don’t want to mess up your khakis and you don’t have swimming trunks? Strip down to your chonies and vámonos! Also, metaphorically speaking—don’t be afraid to expose your true self.

READ: 11 Rules Every Latino Unconsciously Lives By

 14. Even When You Think You’ve Got it All Together, Life Will Continue to Test You

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

You work hard, you prove yourself and you think you’re done. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it works. Sometimes you are going to be asked to prove yourself again.

15. You Can Have All the Talent in the World, But It’s Nothing Without GANAS

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Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Jaime Escalante saw the talent in his students and he made sure they knew it. But Escalante also knew that recognizing your talent isn’t enough – you’ve got to have the drive to succeed and PUT IN WORK.

What lessons did you learn from the movie Stand and Deliver? mitú wants to know. Tell us in the comments below!