Saturday, December 04, 2010
These traditions were paltry compared to the ones that I remember from my childhood because when I was younger I lived in New York with my large extended family. There everyone brought and shared dishes like arroz con gandules, pernil, and my Mom's specialty pasteles--meat pies or Puerto Rican tamales. Christmas for me meant playing in the snow, partying with large numbers of cousins, aunts, and uncles. It also meant going to church with Mom who preferred Spanish with her Catholicism.
In Puerto Rico, my Cousin Rosin Torres tells me, Christmas Season meant music like the Aguinaldos formerly sung by "Jibaros" in rural communities and small towns. My Mom and aunts and uncles brought those sounds and the smell of good cooking with them to New York. In New York getting the ingredients for Puerto Rican cooking was easy as the demand for them was high and shipment did not take long.
When we moved to California we had to learn to make do with the paucity of Caribbean spices there. However, we kept the traditions as faithfully as possible and today my children cook with the same love for the family and friends that stop by as my mother did as a young woman on the island, in New York, and later in California.
I live to see many of the traditions and love passed along to newer members of the family and I am at peace and praying for peace in the world.
Friday, October 22, 2010
He is my Grandson, whom I love and Cassandra has also gained my love for the way she cares for Antonio.
We Grandmothers love our children and their children.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
From what I read, they gave their stockholders big dividends and their executives bonuses.
Now look at the car makers that were given stringent loans. Working along with the people they employ they seem to have been able to come up with profits and repayment of government loans. MOST importantly, they saved the jobs of many of their employees. Yes life in Michigan and other areas where people build cars are not as they were, but the workers and their bosses seem to have been more responsible and Patriotic than the Wall Street Greedmeisters.
I really hope Obama learns whom to help and whom to let fall and fail on their own. Some of these banks are too greedy to be propped up by the government and the taxpayers whose money is used in the wrong parts of the economy.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Sometime ago, I read about nuns who wrote plays which turned out to be against church teachings. Yet in their life times these women reached audiences outside their immediate sphere of influence.
Another nun had a busy career as poet and playwright.
Earlier posts to this blog show my connections to nuns, for I think I was raised to be one and one of my cousins actually became one. She lives in Convento Carmelita de San Jose en Trujillo Alto Puerto Rico.
Let us see where these explorations go.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
I lost so much time trying to get my programs and word documents back that I almost did the unthinkable. l almost put a little hex on it. However, after a few moments of calm meditation, I called someone who took care of most of the issues. A horrid little Trojan and his smarmy friends infected the computer which had to be deloused and set to running right. Except for the web-shots fiasco, The machine is now allowing me to log on and do a public venting.
I hope to be in a better mood later today after the sun rises and reassures me that all is right in my world. There is nothing much I can control in the greater world. Leaders of countries are not doing their jobs---lead. Others steal from their own people, and others in our country care nothing for the plight of the poor.
I don't think I'll die soon; however, in the state the world finds itself without true caring wise leaders who do what is right for their people instead of what is politically expedient, living is not as pleasurable. I still have not rid myself of the idealist within.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Recently I noticed that when all around me are venting, I can actually stay calm. The feeling that overtook me was similar to the ones that held me tight when my parents passed. A family issue arose. Many people were upset, yet somehow I and the person affected were able to spend time together, talking, sharing, crying and loving one another. I felt at peace. Perhaps because the issues were not mine, I could actually be a grown up to actually help without judging. So today I am happy I survived 9/19/2010 and I think my beloved Father, mí Papí, would be pleased.
A favorite person in from my childhood had a very strange name, Theckla. Now who had ever heard of such a name? Over a period of time I learned many versions of the story of "Thekla". Since the original Theckla lived nearer to the times that Romans ruled the world, I did not know her. However, I met a delightful, kind woman who had taken her name as a sister of the order of nuns founded by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. Mother Theckla turned out to be a bright light in my girlhood.
I must have been pretty daring because shortly after meeting her I felt comfortable enough to laugh at her jokes and tell her she "was funny enough to be on TV." One of the young women, who worked at the school, shushed me for daring to speak so directly to the person who would become my teacher for three grades. Mother Theckla, however, had a good sense of humor and put me at ease. Like many 8 year olds, I was easily led by the catechism lessons we learned. One day I ran to Mother Theckla in tears. "What's this? Why are you crying?" I had just learned that only Catholics went to heaven and I was concerned that one of my heroes was not there. Abraham Lincoln was an early hero to me. I was born on his birthday and everything I read about him showed him to be caring, diligent, and concerned with undoing injustice. Patiently and kindly, Mother Theckla soothed me and stated clearly. "President Lincoln followed his religion and was a good man. He most definitely is in heaven." That was my first experience of an ecumenical practitioner of the Catholic faith. And I believe it preceded Pope John the 23rd's call for opening the windows of the church. This was his metaphor for letting in new light and air into what had become a stilted religion.
I bring up my fourth grade teacher in loving memory because I am a teacher and a "fallen" Catholic who still appreciates the sisters who helped raise her. I believe many of my more loving and caring approaches to life come from these Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and of course my family. I credit Theckla most because when I most needed a motherly touch, she provided it.
Despite the fact that my parents were working class, I had the privilege of a different learning environment and experience. These helped me see greater complexity in the possibilities and obstacles that people from my parents' working class and immigrant status encountered. I fear it instilled in me a desire for living as if I were a Roosevelt or Kennedy—I did it in my mind rather than in fact. While in the convent school I had one kind of experience. When I was in Manhattan that was another experience, and later when I left my beloved Sacred Heart Villa to move to California I once again encountered new situations. I suppose it was a good thing that I learn t be flexible at an early age because life has challenged me to adapt to new things all too frequently.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
In our family we love storytelling, politics, arguing and calling each other out on those things that make us unique--not with malice but frequently with laughter and joy. I think that is happening now with me and my older progeny. Not wanting to date myself I now include grandchildren with children in one lump sum. In truth the characteristics of my parents and my late-ex-husband's parents are readily seen in the children that came.
So now is the time to see how my children respond to the call of their ancestors. I'll patiently await to see how we each take the gifts we have been handed.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Short entry on a small thing that I need to remember more often.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I've held her in memory as she was when we were 14 and 15. When I needed a special person, Judi and her mother Margaret were there. I can almost hear Judy's voice for we walked to school many days and we shared each others family stories. We both lived in the Bronx and after school we generally went to her apartment and listened to music, listened to Mrs. Herman's stories of life in Hungry where she and Mr. Herman had lived during WWII, played cards and thus I came to learn of a non-Latino culture that was rich in history and sorrows. Despite the past, Mrs Herman exemplified the best qualities of a person who embraced the present and made the most of it.
When I left New York, I gave Judy my Harry Belafonte album and she gave me both a necklace and a Star of David.But she gave me so much more. She introduced me to Classical Music, particularly the opera, Tosca and friendship which encouraged me and believed in me.
Why is it that at all the stages of my life self-doubt rears its ugly head. At that time in the Bronx, I had a good friend who believed in me and encouraged me to live beyond the limits of the environment at 2087 Creston Avenue.
If I could see Judi now, I'd tell her about my life's journey and hope that she sees in it the tenacity that has allowed me to survive and thrive because she and her mother were two of the three most important women who gave me early encouragement.
I hope that we can all remember the people in our lives who have given so much to us and we can thank them either in person or in prayer. I do not know how else to reach out to those who have passed to the other side of life or whose current addresses we do not have. Perhaps there is a good reason we are not in contact now--perhaps it is best to have places in our memories for these special friends. Thus, the magic of friendship can continue its work through the years of our lives.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
This reflection leads me to consider my own work so that it can become a better example of the kinds of writings with which I invite my students to engage. As noted in the previous entry to this blog, I have plenty of pieces of writing on my computer which need to be made public. So henceforth I will plug along with my work.Who knows I may share more of my interests in language with others so they can become interested in the wonders of words. Words do lead us to new worlds. Many of these worlds can be of our own making and worthy of existence along the worlds others have created.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I just found an old document on my computer which was a story about confrontations that teachers frequently experience. We've all heard, "Those that can, do, and those that can't teach." It's an old canard that seems to equate teaching with some sort of deficiency. I've had time to mull over the profession I have chosen and can say categorically that teachers "do". They write, the study, they create lectures and learn new technologies with which to enhance the learning experience. Moreover, most teachers "care". They care about their work, the profession, and most of all their students.
I entered the teaching profession a long time ago and then went back to complete an education that I had left hanging (as it were) during the time I married and reared three children. In this, I am not unique. Interestingly, it was the problem I observed with my children's education in various places that led me to want to join the teaching profession to see if I could make a difference. I returned to school, acquired a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and a Doctorate – a Ph. D. What makes this story different is that my return to school to complete all that I'd missed took place when my children were "older" teens. Instead of being a 30 something Ph. D. student I was a 50 something Ph. D. student. Notwithstanding the age, I attempted to create a career path for me. My success is mixed but the point is that I am still learning and willing to learn to help others learn. Age, gender, illnesses all these have yet to stop me.
Today I completed the third of ten days of training for an exclusively online tutor position. I am still trying to learn new technologies so as to maintain contact with students and thus make difference. I find myself learning and enjoying the experience of the teachers who now instruct me and remind me how to be better at both teaching and encouraging students to take responsibility for their work.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thurgood Marshall On Trial: Republican Senators Use Elena Kagan's Supreme Court Hearing To Trash Her Mentor (VIDEO)
I've been toiling on this idea for years without coming up with an answer. I hope people will wake up from their apathy soon.
About Elena Kagan
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Sunday, June 20, 2010
<em>iSatiristas!</em> Bill Maher, George Carlin, And More Talk Satire And The State Of Comedy (PHOTOS)
I did and I do. He is awesome and I LOVE him but he's too young for me. LOL
About Photo Galleries
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Just a thought on a Sunday afternoon.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I grew up in many different environments and as an only child I learned to acclimate to what I had even if I occasionally envied cousins who lived elsewhere. Over the past few decades I have come to be happy in an environment that is quiet yet near friends and activities I relish.
Sunday a daughter left, Wednesday carpets were cleaned and the process of creating a new space for writing and crafting has begun. I can't wait to see what I wind up with.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I thought it discouraging for someone like myself who is trying to get her memoirs out on paper. I do the worst thing an aspiring writer can do. I tell myself that if these well known writers have stacks of their books gathering dust, what can I expect from my feeble attempts.
Today I heard a story on NPR programing about a person who'd been sent off to an orphanage when he was 9 and I said to myself--ah that's like me. Only I was sent away to a "boarding" school when I was at the ripe old age of 5. I felt a bit of solace and wondered if anyone would be interested in boarding schools AND happier memories of summers in the country side. Apparently boarding school teachers needed summers off.
Back to my original musings. Who reads?: Who cares? Are our feeble attempts worth the effort or are they indulgences to our egos?
Friday, April 16, 2010
I have never thought that all things should operate like corporations because there are many works like health, education and maintenance of public buildings and roads which should be done for the people regardless of the almighty bottom line.
People learn in different ways and need different approaches in order to grasp concepts. SO the privatization of Education does not take this into account and in stead insists on tests. Now some students do well in responding to standard tests. I never did yet with time I came to the point of earning a doctorate. Had my teachers insisted on evaluating me solely on results of GED or other standardized tests, I might never have succeed in earning my degree.
Not all students have the same family backgrounds and support for continuing in higher education. so they must work harder at both learning substance of the courses they take and passing standardized tests that make politicians feel as if they've accomplished something wonderful for the public schools. Of course the information in the Klein book points to the great desire of the followers of Milton Friedman to privatize all of education.
So as I get deeper into the Klein book I'd like to see what other have to say that either add further light on my findings or make any corrections for errors in reading which I may have made.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The most important thing I learned from the advertisement is this: the enemy is not food in general. It is SUGAR! Sugar and low physical activity my nemesis will be challenged.
I now have the feeling of satisfaction of having followed through by not accepting sweets that are not grown on someone's farm and by practicing a little tai-chi. When I finish my first ten weeks, I'll just go for another and then I can gain greater satisfaction.
When Justice Soto-Mayor gained entry to the Supreme Court, I had a call from one of my cousins stating that the newly minted Justice looked and spoke like me. I apologize to the Justice in advance. She is more Chic than I am. Nonetheless a Puerto Rican American who struggled to become educated and worked hard to gain admission to the halls of power is but a small demonstration of what USAmerica looks like in the future.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I love to listen to wisecracking Bill Maher whenever I can, although sometimes I disagree with him. However, I can't help but fully agree with his New Rules commentary posted at the Huffington Post. Many of us are celebrating the passage of Health Insurance Reform. Maher's commentary is both a nod to the success of the new law but also an admonishment for Democrats to take their newly acquired feeling of success as reason and method to push forward with other equally important and difficult work ahead.
Fortunately, the President's party has quite a number of strong leaders that include many women. We are all aware of the strength and support Hilary Clinton brings to diplomatic discussions on behalf of President Obama. Palin seems to be the only woman held in high esteem by members of her party and so they turn to her. However talented Ms Palin is there is little of substance in her positions I would admire. Nancy Pelosi demonstrates a different view of women in politics. Perhaps because she has worked hard to gain the Speakership of the House of Representatives in the U.S. and because she has dealt with issues concerning women, Pelosi was able to grasp the need for party unity, and its ability to go it alone when partnerships fail. The Republican members of the House and Senate relinquished their responsibilities for participating in governing the country during the past year. When there is a failure of leadership in the minority party, the majority party must make a decision to take control of the work that needs to be done. There comes a point when one partner says to the other: "I understand you want to do things your way, we have done it your way and it does not work. Stop the threats and the passive aggressive behavior we'll go it alone." We have reached the point of going it alone.
There is honor in doing the thing that is right for the national family and do what is right for the family members. President Obama needs to understand that winning will lead to bipartisanship but he need not go out begging for votes from people who seek to destroy his ideals for USAmerica and his presidency.
Bill you are 100% on this one.
It is a testament to President Obama that he has sought the counsel and help from women. Yes we know he has high octane men in his administration, but Nancy Pelosi and Hilary Clinton. Wow what a team. As I get to know about the others on his team, I doubt I'll be disappointed in his selections--Larry Summers aside.
So way to go and I feel this law is just a beginning.