martes, 27 de abril de 2010


When I began my search for a place to help me continue my education beyond an undergraduate degree, I wanted a program that met my specific needs as a Spanish teacher. I am going to begin the three-year UNISSIST program this summer in Santiago de Compostela, Spain because I discovered that this program is an ideal fit for me, both personally and professionally. The study abroad component will only further establish my belief that study abroad can change a person.
This program is primarily fulfilling on a personal level. I was able to study abroad for a month during college by traveling to Costa Rica; it was one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable experiences I have ever had. While the process of traveling can be a headache, the experiences I had once I arrived in Costa Rica will never be forgotten. I can only anticipate the same will happen in Spain, perhaps even to a greater degree than my previous experience, because my experience will be twice as long. One of my greatest passions is speaking Spanish and learning about those who live in cultures where Spanish is a major language, and this program promises to benefit me in many ways. My previous experience with Spanish speakers and Spanish-speaking cultures has been limited to those from Mexico, Central America, and South America. After my experience in Spain, I know I will possess more knowledge of the varieties of Spanish, will become familiar with Galician-Spanish culture, will gain even more confidence in communicating in my second language, and of course, I will feel an increased amount of empathy and understanding of other cultures after living for two months within somewhere foreign to me.
Furthermore, UNISSIST promises to meet my academic and professional requirements. I possess an undergraduate degree in Spanish, but wish to obtain a graduate one in the subject as well. When I think of graduate level coursework, I anticipate extending and deepening my understanding of vocabulary, grammar, and culture. The fact that I will discover this academic knowledge in a target language culture will bring extra significance for me, as I will have a more immediate and real-world opportunity to apply my knowledge. This is especially meaningful for me as a Spanish teacher, whose task is to impart knowledge of the language using real-world applications. Possessing a Master's in Spanish will enable me to teach upper levels of high school spanish for double credit, my ideal position as an educator.
Ultimately, my participation in this program will further my present belief that study abroad is an invaluable way to build language and cultural skills, and I would promote study abroad in my personal beliefs and relationships even if I had never had this opportunity to experience it again. I consider myself a positive, encouraging person, and would love to be there for my fellow participants in the experience. In my personal life, I encourage anyone who considers study abroad as an option, as short or as long as an experience as a person is able to have. I would do anything formally required of me with enthusiasm to share my experiences.
As the weeks fly by taking me closer to my departure for Spain, I anticipate the new knowledge and experiences that I will be able to share after my first summer. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to attend this unique program, and would gladly share my experiences in order to promote study abroad.

viernes, 23 de abril de 2010

Muslim Beliefs / Tolerance is possible....

We now come to probably the most misunderstood of the four religions I have summarized. Islam. Buddhism I knew about, and I am a Christian so Christan and Jewish beliefs are familiar to me, but I have been particularly interested in the interaction of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in Spain during the Middle Ages. I am reading a book ( called Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal.

Really, it is possible for 3 distinctly different cultures and religions to coexist. What this book has helped me to see is they made a common culture while still maintaining their identities as religious groups. It is quite the read. Check it out!

On to the beliefs!


7 Pillars of Islam
1. Profession of faith (the shahadah): lâ ilâha illallâh, Muḥammadur rasûlullâh "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God (Want to hear it?)

2. Ritual worship (salah)
5 daily prayers, dawn, midday, afternoon, evening, night, facing East, Mecca (Muhammad's birthplace and Islam's holy city)
Accompanied by action -- raise their hands at "Allahu Akbar" = "God is the greatest," bend with hands on knees, kneel with their hands on their thighs, then bow heads to floor.

3. Fasting during holy month of Ramadan (sawm)
While the sun is up, no eating, drinking, smoking, or sex

4. Giving to charity (zakah)
Unlike Christians who feel led to tithe (10%), this amount is usually 2.5%. It is to help the poor and sick not to support the leaders of the religion. In some countries the government makes sure that their country's Muslims pay this.

5. Hajj -- Pilgrimage to Mecca
If you are capable of visiting Mecca during your lifetime, you should.

Additionally, in Menocal's book I learned about the idea of dhimma/dhimmi. Dhimma was the idea that "people of the book" (that is, Jews or Christians....Muslims do recognize The Torah and the Bible as good books, though the Qu'ran is their "Good Book.) deserved the protection of as in, letting no harm come to them!

If Christians or Jews lived in a Muslim country, they didn't have as many rights as Muslims, but the Muslims were to protect them. Quite the opposite of what you hear racists spurting.

(I've read the Qu'ran and NOWHERE in it does it say that Muslims are to murder infidels. Extremism exists in many religions, and it is dangerous. But even as dangerous is the idea that because just a few people believe something, to generalize and stereotype a whole lot of people!)

I have not had extensive experiences knowing Muslims but those who I do know are perfectly nice people and not at all what the racist stereotypes of terrorists. That makes me so sad that people can be so ignorant that they completely write off anyone who is different.

I do believe that my beliefs are what is right. That's why I believe them. But

Jewish Beliefs

1. Only one God; man created in the image of God
2. Jews are connected in a unique community no matter where they live.
3. The Torah/10 commandments
4. Israel has some connection with Judaism

Did you know where are 613 other commandments, called mitzvot? (Orthodox Jews, I assume, follow more than just the 10 commandments.)

The Ten Commandments:

I am the Lord your God
You shall not recognize the gods of others in My presence
You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain
Remember the day of shabbat (Sabbath) to keep it holy
Honor your father and your mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
Do not give false testimony against your neighbor
You shall not covet your fellow's possessions

Buddhist Beliefs


Four Noble Truths
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
The Noble Eightfold Path

1. Right View Wisdom
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech Ethical Conduct
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort Mental Development
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

Claims to end suffering.
Guideline for being ethical and freeing oneself from attachment.

Not a step by step guide, but 8 parts of life that when all used, can remove oneself from attachment to worldly things.

1. Right View
See things as they are.

2. Right Intention
Resist wordly desires
Resist feelings of anger or hate
Resist feeling cruelty and violence....develop compassion

3. Right Speech
"Words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace."
Don't tell lies or be deceitful
Don't use words to hurt others
Don't speak unless it has a purpose

4. Right Action
Do things that are right. Don't hurt other beings, don't take what is not given, don't do things that are wrong sexually.

5. Right Livelihood
Earn your living in a way that is right. no weapons, slavery, meat production or butchering, or drug dealing. also don't do any job that would make you speak or act in a wrong way.

6. Right Effort

You must want to give up the endeavors that are wrong, prevent "unwholesome states" to arise, to undertake endeavors that are wholesome, and keep them and improve upon them.

7. Right Mindfulness -- one I knew I had heard of but couldn't remember
"Clear perception" -- without letting your impressions carry you away. be aware of how you are thinking about things, how you feel about them.

8. Right Concentration
Direction your concentration towards one, worthwhile thing.

Christian Beliefs

Virtue Post 1
Virtue and virtuous people are valued in all religions, but is the idea of virtue the same for all of them? Why is a virtuous woman so valued?

The basic beliefs...of course these are just basics, there are different sects which differ somewhat, but these are Religion 101.


1. God is triune, while still 1 God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit are three persons in one.
2. Jesus was the son of God and without sin. Gave his life in sacrifice for the sins of the world.
3. If you believe in Jesus as your savior you will be saved.

(something I learned from Club 121 in high school)
God created us to be with him
Our sins separate us from God
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again
Everyone who trusts in him has eternal life.
Life eternal means we will spend eternity with God in heaven

Bible was written by men through inspiration from God

Jesus will return again on the Day of Judgement

There is only one way to Heaven -- belief in Jesus Christ.

Virtue Post 1

I am just going to define what I think these quotes are saying to me, and then in another post talk about what virtue is defined as in various religions.

Plato's quote seems to say that the virtuous live their lives guided by what they believe is right but don't look to get credit. They don't make a big deal of it, hooting and hollering out the good things they do. They are content to live quiet lives doing what is right. They may never be recognized, but they are ok with that. I try to do this but I know I have a lot to improve on.

Martin Luther, my homeboy (ha ha ok I am a Lutheran), explains that virtue begins with our beliefs. If we believe something, and believe it sincerely, surely it will move us to actions that are in line with what we believe.

Buddha's quote is especially comforting. Faith keeps us going. Doing things that are right help us to live out our faith and help us to feel comforted. Wisdom, that oh so important part of life, helps us know where the path leads. Right mindfulness is something I remember learning about but I will look into it before I post Virtue Blog Post 2.

If we do what is right, inside us we will have inner peace and nothing can ruin that. People may say what they will, but we know and have proof that our consciences are clear.

Proverbs 31 is one of the parts of the Bible I especially like because it shows a strong, powerful woman. So much of the Bible (just like in real life I suppose) shows either prostitutes/women of ill character or wives and mothers. Males are generally the stars of the show. But we women need our time in the spotlight because some women really do great things!

A woman (yes a wife, but that was generally the role of a woman back then) who is virtuous has a husband who really appreciates her and knows what she is capable of. She knows the same of him and does her best to make his life better, not worse. She's in it for the long haul....all the days of her life.

She works hard and isn't lazy. She gives of herself. She's a businesswoman! She is a loving, kind person. She takes care of those who depend on her. Others beside her husband know of her great character and praise it. She is strong and distinguished and doesn't worry about the future. She's a smart cookie and a teacher (I like that)! She has a good relationship with God and lets inner beauty and virtue shine rather than depending on flirting and manipulation to get what she wants.

I may not live the same sort of life (servant girls? definitely a Biblical reference) as this woman, but I want to be more like her. I want to be a good person and let that be my best quality. Not that I want to ignore my appearance, but that has never been my top priority.

Next post I will go through 4 main religions and what their ideas of virtue are. Yippee, right?!

Being myself pt 2

You can live your whole life doing what others want of you and die unhappy. Or you can care about being yourself, in spite of how hard the world might make it to be so, and die at least knowing you lived a genuine life. The world may not make it easy, but really, it is well worth the effort finding who we are and always staying true to that person.

(He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull)
We must maintain our own selves. Just like whittling, after you've taken out chunks here and there that someone sometime felt were wrong...there's nothing left.

I am aware that I have been innocent and naïve most of my life. Obedience is a good thing in moderation. I have been obedient to whatever authority figures be, and sometimes I feel that it has been at the cost of me.

The only person I can be is me. Who is that person? Well I know who to go to --- me!

I can't just live a life like Oscar Wilde spoke about...copying others or just adapting who other people are in a false way. that is not the way to happiness.

I also really like the Judy Garland quote. If I am me, it is always going to be better than pretending to be someone else.

Being oneself is being honest. Recognizing what I'm good at, what I am not, and acting accordingly.

I am more than what I do, what I wear, what I look like.
I have desires, wishes, dreams. I am flawed. I am complicated I am delicate. But I deserve to be myself and be around people who accept me, and vice versa.

God wants us to be true to ourselves. That is who he made us to be! He wants us to strive to be better and better at being ourselves, not becoming stagnant. How can you be a better version of you? How can I be a better version of me?

who am I?
good traits
smart, kind, funny, good singer, great heart, accepting

overly emotional, try to solve all the world's problems, too hard on myself, too dependent

desires wishes dreams
To love and be loved.
To travel.
To have a happy life.
To be accepted for who I am.

Virtues and virtuous women

Virtue and virtuous people are valued in all religions, but is the idea of virtue the same for all of them? Why is a virtuous woman so valued?

(just like my previous blog post, I plan on writing on these quotes.)

No matter how poor the woman's home is or how hard her husband's lot, the true, selfless woman will cheer his heart, and so lighten his burden. May the quote of Shakespeare be constantly on her tongue: 'My heart is ever at your service.'"
~ Daughters of Destiny, compiled and edited by Noelle Wheeler

“The world and all things in it are valuable; but the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman”
- Muhammad

“The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.”

“People must have righteous principals in the first, and then they will not fail to perform virtuous actions.”
Martin Luther

“On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.”

Proverbs 31:
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Being myself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull

All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. ~Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. ~Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key. ~Paul Valéry, Mauvaises pensées et autres, 1942

The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike, and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune. ~Boris Pasternak

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep. ~Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, 1750

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. ~Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I've written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part. ~Shirley MacLaine

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein

Learn to... be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. ~Henri Frederic Amiel

No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character. ~John Morley

There is just one life for each of us: our own. ~Euripides

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. ~Benjamin Disraeli

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. ~Johann von Goethe

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

miércoles, 21 de abril de 2010


martes, 20 de abril de 2010


‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of God that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.’

- Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles

Amazing teacher quotes

One of the great things about being a sub is that you are in different classrooms and get tons and tons of ideas for keeping organized, decorations, etc. One thing I adore is quotes, and below are three I completely adore. Very inspirational! We teachers know what things inspire us!

30 years from now, it won't matter what jeans you wore, how popular you were, what your hair looked like, or what sneakers you wore. What will matter is what you made of your education, and where it took you in life.
- Unknown
(I like the version that has....what you learned, and how you use it)

The pencil maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. "There are five things you need to know," he told the pencil, "before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."

1. You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone's hand.
2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.
3. You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
4. The most important part of you will always be what's inside.
5. On the every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.

People are often unreasonable and self centered
If you are kind, poeple may accuse you of ulterior motives
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow
Give the world th ebest you have, and it may never be enough.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. it was never between you and them anyway.

miércoles, 7 de abril de 2010

Longing and Contentment

I have said that I am a dreamer, and I am thinking again over what motivates me and why I may need to curb my dreaming tendencies.

I feel like I'm always longing for something. I don't value material things as the most important thing in my life, but I still find myself discontented with where I am in life. I drive a car that gets me where I need to go, but I wish it wasn't a clunker. I live with my parents although it was a necessary step, but I wish I didn't. I have a new boyfriend but I don't see him all the time.

I need to be content with where I am, who I am with, and the specifics of my life right now.

Dreaming is ok, but God isn't a genie! He expects us to put honest effort towards our goals-- that thing that we wanted may not even end up being right for us, and working towards it may let us know that.

Everything in my life is the way it should be right now. Regardless of whether I fully like the way things are. I am a mature person but really, God knows whether certain dreams and desires of mine are meant to be fulfilled.

Every person I meet, good or bad, is meant to be there. I am especially blessed to have reassuring mentor figures to help me down my path. I am also very blessed to have found a very good friend who is now my significant other. As much pain as my former relationship caused be

Every event, every heartache, every feeling has a reason. God knows what he is doing, he is in control of my life. There's no wishing for things to be any other way. But I can work towards things I think are worthwhile and if I don't succeed, there's a reason for that.

God wants us to find contentment in him. If I fulfill myself in God alone, everything else with fall into place -- the place that he wants it to be in. That doesn't mean I shouldn't give my best effort in my job, my relationships, and everything. I just need to not OVERTHINK things, or OVERSTRESS on things I may not have any control over.

I am beginning a book called "Let Nothing Disturb You" based on (who else?) Teresa of Avila's writings. It has 30 entries to be read daily, 1 reading to center you at the beginning of the day, 1 mantra or saying to keep repeating towards the day reminding you of something important, and then a prayer to help you relax and reflect on what the entry said that day.

When I was a leader in a club in high school that was a Christian youth group at a public school, we filled out a sheet with road maps and five blanks on it....I can't remember all of the things it said, but I will use the headings BLESSINGS and PRAYER CONCERNS.

1. I am able to work and have a job that is fulfilling, at least for now
2. my boyfriend. he is a very supportive person.
3. my talents and strengths
4. my willingness to help
5. my family. though we may not always see eye to eye, they are amazing and love me.

1. boyfriend's grandfather
2. my grandma
3. my job search
4. my anxiety about job search, living with parents, traveling to Spain
5. I know I don't do the best I can in all areas of my life. I need to change that.

jueves, 1 de abril de 2010

Dealing with difficult people

This website is very helpful and thought-provoking:

At some point or another, we are all going to experience personalities that are irrational, abrasive, or downright jerky!

I know that even I have some irrational tendencies (I'm a woman with emotions), but I try to avoid hurting others.

I love thinking and feeling things.

martes, 30 de marzo de 2010

viernes, 19 de marzo de 2010

Snow Patrol, "Chocolate"

This could be the very minute
I'm aware I'm alive
All these places feel like home
I can make my first steps
As a child of 25
It is amazing how placing your ITunes on Shuffle can bring you some very philisophical and "meaning of life" thoughts. I am just that sort of person.

I have had an amazing week with an amazing man. We were friends in high school but have really reconnected again since then, and he is now, I am proud to say, my boyfriend.

I thank God every day for the mere chance to be alive but I am really finding joy in every moment. And it isn't just the boyfriend. Though he has a lot to do with it.

Now I'm not 25 yet, but I feel as if I am really making my first steps. Going to Spain, stepping out of my comfort zone to ask someone out, speaking my mind, acting upon my own thoughts, wishes, and desires. I am finding comfort in my own skin and in the life of someone else. In spite of the extreme drama and stress I've been through in the last year, it feels like it was a rough patch of sea I had to sail through in order to get to the beautiful waters ahead. I hope to find my dream job soon and make my joy complete, but God knows what he has in mind for me.

I know life is going to throw me curve balls and that just because I am feeling like everything is (almost) perfect now doesn't mean that everything is going to stay that way. However, I am very appreciative of the blessings I have right now. I am going to do what I can to really savor this joy and happiness and realize that even in my darkest moments, that there is a plan God has in mind. Did I expect to feel this way after the time I've had? Not at all. But I think it is the unexpected nature of all this that really makes me value it. God is good. Life is good.

lunes, 15 de marzo de 2010

Cooking attempt 1

Ok my last blog about food was rather lofty. Making it simple --I want to make the following in the next few weeks:
Sesame Noodles
Crab Baked Spring Rolls (like egg rolls but not fried)

Guava turnovers (miracle of miracles I found guava paste in the Latino aisle at wally world!)

Banana and Chocolate Mascarpone crepes

Easy Paella (not as hard as the real stuff so hopefully I will be capable of pulling it off.)

We shall see how these 4-5 attempts (something about the spring rolls makes me want to eat them with the noodles) turn out.

domingo, 14 de marzo de 2010

great song!

sábado, 13 de marzo de 2010

Feeling in a Julie and Julia mood....

Of course, i haven't read the book (it's on its way) and I haven't seen the movie. But I want to learn how to cook a lot better than I do! I am a feminista but somehow I feel like my skills to feed myself (and whoever one day may depend on me to feed them....) could use improvement. If you knew my last name you'd also understand why. It's Cook (though spelled differently).

Maybe it's the fact that my date on Friday seems to have cooking skills far superior to mine. And he's still in college....I have been out of college for 2 years.....shame on me! There are reasons for said skills on his part and lack thereof on my part. I guess it's just laziness. I have made my share of sandwiches, bowls of cereal, mac and cheese, and burnt pizzas. : (

Below is a broad list of the foods and specific recipes I want to, at some point in my life. I'm starting now!

I actually have made Mexican Lasagna for my fam, as well as occassional easier things to make. As long as I have a recipe I can do quite well. So I know I am capable of achieving it.

Broadly....I wish to learn how to make
• Mexican Dishes
• Spanish Dishes (aka tapas)
• Other Latin-American types of cuisine
• 30 Minute Meals from mi amiga Rachel Ray!
• Asian style cuisine
• Fun appetizers on the chance that one day I may throw a party!
• Yummy drinks, alcoholic or non

Specific Recipes I want to comes a long list....
• Sangria -- I have actually done a nonalcoholic version at the Immersion last summer! Along with tapas that involved french bread, cream cheese, olives, and sardines (eww)
• Paella (Rachel Ray style first....much easier than others)
• Rice and beans mmmmm yum! also Gallo Pinto
• Juevos Ranchersos (I can make eggs! Halfway there!)
• Sesame Noodles
• Spring Rolls (not fried but VIetnamese style cold)
• Hearts of Palm salad.... yum!
• Cheddar Herb Biscuits like from Red Lobster
• tostadas....with chicken or shrimp
• Shrimp Scampi
• Fried Plantains
• Enchiladas
• Eggplant Parmesan
• Tamales
• Crepes (mmm yum!)
• Cerviche (that's way out there but still sounds fun)

Baking (I am less good at this since you have to be more precise in measuring)
• Rosca de los Reyes (Three King's Bread)
• Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)
• Oreo truffles
• Special K bars
• Guava turnovers!
• Empanadas!!!

In general my food tastes lean this way....
• chocolatey
• avacados in anything
• shrimp, seafood, yummyness
• Latino (so I can cook for my future Spanish classes)
• Things with bread, rice, or pasta
• Soups that are yummy!

I'll let you know how I do. Hopefully I can bring some of my dreams of being a Cook who can cook into reality.

jueves, 11 de marzo de 2010

Lovin' the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach....

In the past year I've experienced the lowest of lows. But I also feel like life is turning around full circle and right now can be seen as a high point in my life.

I am working and have yet to feel like I have NOT been successful. That is about 20 days of subbing. Speaks very well for the school I'm at.
I am seeking out good things in my life, not sticking with sucky ones just because I am afraid of change.
I am standing up for myself in ways I couldn't have imagined before! *aka speaking my mind*
I am making it a point to be around people who respect and appreciate me.
I am not perfect by any means. But I deserve good things.
I have....peace, joy, love of my family and friends, perhaps a little romance as well!
I am finally getting to know who I am and loving that person, as flawed as she is.
I still have to control my imagination sometimes. My mind just sort of flips into dream mode. This is ok but I need to make sure my focus on the present and making it the best I can.

I have a date tomorrow. I am excited because this person is a friend I've had for many years, but there is a mutual admiration between us that is unheard of in my prior dating life. I always seemed to have some guy liking me and I took a chance on them, talking myself into liking them. No such thing in my current potential relationship.

This guy is one I can see myself being happy with! I think it is true when it is said that the best things in life are the most unexpected.

I think if this was a year ago and I felt this, I wouldn't have been brave enough to realize what I want my life and to actually follow through with my actions in order to make that possible.

It's like I'm Me Version 2.0!!!

lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Language blabber and potential romance....interesting mix!

My family recieved something from the Census today. And they have it first in English, then in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, and then Russian.

While I do think that everyone who lives in the United States of America should learn English, I think it is important for there to be first language resources available to help support those whose English proficiency isn't very high. That's all I have to say about that.

Now to the potential romance. :) I think it is so strange that the person who really might be right for us is someone unexpected. So much about my friendship with this person has been awesome and super good for me, so I can only see positive things for it going to a different level.

Life is very good right now.

domingo, 7 de marzo de 2010


A person's current loves in music say a lot to their state of mind, feelings, etc. Here is a list of aweomeness that I am listening to at this point in my life.

Jesús Verbo No Sustantivo (Spanish Version) 6:47 Ricardo Arjona
God doesn't want us to just love him and do nothing about it. He wants us to go out into the world and really make a positive effect and care for our fellow man.
Jesus is a verb, not a noun!

Two Is Better Than One (feat. Taylor Swift) 4:04 Boys Like Girls
Amazing song. Two is better than one only if that +1 really is worth it.

Damaged 4:09 Danity Kane
My heart needs some healing. But life is helping me to protect it and only risk it with those who I think won't hurt it.

According to You 3:20 Orianthi
This is my anthem currently!

Whataya Want from Me 3:47 Adam Lambert
Somedays you just want to say to the world, what do you want from me?

I Want to Know What Love Is 5:01 Foreigner
I do want to know what love is! Doesn't hurt that Josh Groban sang it on Ellen while dressed like an Avatar character on the Oscars Special.

Be Italian 4:12 Fergie Nine (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Something very sexy about this song. Fergie does that! Kind of a good statement about carpe diem and taking chances in love. Not necessarily just for Italians. Be a singer! Be a lover! Pick the flower before the chance is past!

Taking Chances 4:03 Céline Dion
Saw it first on Glee but Celine does it awesomely as the original. Life is about taking risks even though there's no guarantee that things will turn out the way you want them to.

Kerosene 3:06 Miranda Lambert Kerosene Country 100 5
Trying to be at peace with what happened in the past. But somewhere inside the desire to start fires is touched at by this song. Not that I'd ever do that....really, I wouldn't! I would just listen to songs about it, I swear.

Any Man of Mine 4:07 Shania Twain
Doesn't every woman want a man like she sings about? "When I'm cookin dinner and I burnt it black he better say, mmm I like it like that!"

Chicks Dig It 3:31 Chris Cagle
Not that you should go out and cause trouble just because girls like it. But chicks do dig some stuff. I know it, I'm a chick.

My Life Would Suck Without You (Glee Cast Version) 3:32 Glee Cast
"I know that I've got issues, but you're pretty messed up too." I don't actually feel all the lyrics to this song, but it is just the type of upbeat tune that mirrors my attitude these days.

Don't Rain On My Parade (Glee Cast Version) 2:45
Don't you dare rain on my parade! I am the star of it! Amazing song!

You Can't Always Get What You Want (Glee Cast Version) 3:27
Isn't it true. If you try sometimes, you get what you need! Life has a way of showing us what we need even though it's the complete opposite of what we wanted before.

Lovin' the soundtrack to "Nine"

If you want to make a woman happy, rely on what you’re born with, because it is in your blood.

Be Italian
Be Italian
take a chance and try to steal a fiery kiss
be Italian
be Italian
when you hold me don’t just hold me but hold this
please be gentle, sentimental
go ahead and try to give my cheek a pat
but be daring and uncaring
when you pinch me try to pinch me where there’s fat
be a singer be a lover
pick the flower now before the chance is past
be Italian
be Italian
live today as if it may become your last!

10 amazing things that enrich my life

1. Having a relationship with God. Knowing that no matter how bad I mess up, that I am forgiven. Peace, love, happiness....they all come from one place.

2. Friends. People who really "get" me. There is nothing better.

3. Travel -- going to a place with a different culture, language, etc. Seeing the sights and letting the experience change me.

4. Chocolate. Avacados. A yummy fruity drink. Eating and drinking things that make my tongue say, "yay!"

5. Books -- getting lost in another world, imagining the story, and again, letting the experience change me.

6. Isabel Allende -- the most amazing author ever. Her book "Cuentos de Eva Luna" is amazing and started my love for her books.

7. Speaking Spanish. Communicating with natives, learning new ways of expressing myself.

8. Knowing there is one place in the world you can go where you are loved no matter what, with my family.

9. Being a weirdo and having people who are just as weird around me. For example, singing to the radio at the top of my lungs and having a person beside me competing to be the loudest.

10. Love without demands. Just being accepted for who I am, not forced to fit some mold of who I should be.

viernes, 5 de marzo de 2010

Things I love and why I love them....

The Office - can you seriously ask me why I love this show? 5 words: Dwight Schrute, Jim and Pam! I find myself laughing hysterically almost every episode of this amazing show.

NCIS - Gibbs is like a father figure to a group of silly adults. Tony and Ziva. Abby. McGee. Ducky. Need I say more? Even though they are military, I still love the way the show is put together.

Glee - I think Glee is the best thing to happen to tv in a long time. A lot of it is exaggerated for plot, but I love that it takes place in a high school and that singing and dancing is a big part of the show. Doesn't hurt that Mr. Schuester is a Spanish teacher!!! And that Josh Groban and Kristen Chenoweth are guest stars!!! Lea Michelle reminds me of a young Idina Menzel.

CSI - I love the way they put their scenes/forensics together. The original is the best, Miami is kind of funny because of Horatio's intensity, and I love NY because of Gary Sinise.

House - Hugh Laurie plays an American, sarcastic person, doctor awesomely. And the cases are usually pretty interesting and suspenseful. Wilson is pretty cool too. I like House more since he went to rehab....

Anything on the Food Network - it is calorie free just to watch Giada, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen cook things. Quite amazing!
the Spanish channels/telenovelas -- I feel proud when I can understand what is being said. Rebelde is pretty good.

Moulin Rouge - Ewan. Singing. *Melts* No one is ever going to make me hate this movie.

Titanic - ahh the beginning of the maddness! Epic love story. 3 hours of delicious costumes and cross class love. I kind of dig it..... a lot! Still! FOREVER!

The Twilight Saga - don't be hatin'! Millions of teen girls have read the books, and the movies are pretty good. Everyone loves a good love triangle.

P.S. I Love You - even if Gerard Butler dies right away, his Irish brogue goes on saying lovely things. I don't mind Hilary Swank so much in this. Makes me want to go to Ireland!

Timeline - time travel. history. love. Equals AWESOMENESS! (Did I mention Gerard Butler and Paul Walker?)

Dan in Real Life - Steve Carrell as someone serious but still goofy. Real life can stink....but it is worth the struggle. Juliette Binoche is awesome.

The Phantom of the Opera - Gerard Butler (can you see a pattern?), , amazing singing, Patrick Wilson, mystery, and sexyness.

Harry Potter series -- DUH! IT'S HARRY FRICKIN POTTER! :D

Rent - I love love love the stage show and this movie version Rosario Dawson doing Mimi's singing is amazing....I don't think I would have liked the original gal to be in the film.

Dark Shadows MiniSeries -- although a lot of scenes that are supposed to be at night are obviously during the day, I love the story as ridiculous and supernatural as it is. Vampires, time travel....amazing! And it never really got resolved.

anything by Isabel Allende (Eva Luna, Mi Pais Inventado, Ines of my Soul, Paula)
It started with the story "La mujer del juez." I am pretty much obsessed with anything Isabel produces. Need to get my butt reading the many novels she has!

Camille: The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas
inspired Moulin Rouge. Courtesan who is dying of consumption finds love in a young rich handsome man. Except this one isn't poor.

Like Water for Chocolate, Malinche by Laura Esquivel
The first is the better....combining a love story (tragic) with food that sounds really good. Magic Realism so some strange things happen. Like fires at different (ahem) not so appropriate times. aka sexytime.

Jane Eyre By Charlotte Brontë
This book is so much a part of who I am. I feel like I am Jane. But I know that I'm not....she just seems very much like me. Rochester - dark handsome mysterious. Could not put it down.

The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Falling Angels, The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Love Chevalier's style. First and third are my favs. Historical details mixed in with sensual descriptions.

The Alanna series by Tamora Pierce
Same story as Jane Eyre - helped shape who I am. Girl who wants to be a knight pretends to be a boy. Girl power!

Spook, Bonk, Stiff By Mary Roach
I am a nerd. I confess. So once I read Stiff *about cadavers and how the human body is used after death to help science, I had to go out and read the other two books.
Spook is about life after death and any experiments that have been done....
Bonk is about sex. But presented in an academic way that's actually kind of funny.

Highlights of intelligent conversation

I overthink, overfeel, etc.

I feel like I'm growing up and maturing and part of that is recognizing my feelings, speaking up, and being around people who are good for me and who I actually like rather than just who is convenient.

Part of the excitement of growing up and getting a job is the unknown part, in spite of how scary it is!

I have had more conflicts with my parents than ever before. In my earlier years I was just kind of a "yes mom yes dad" person, and now I am getting my own ideas and they aren't always the same as my parents' ideas.

My attitude towards everything, including dating, is maturing and getting better.

If people looked for a person of good character rather than instant gratification/sex they'd be a lot happier!

I think people going into relationships with the statistics in mind can really appreciate a good thing when they have it. Knowing how very rare a good person and a good, lasting relationship is kind of adds to the appreciation that people have for one another.

My priorities have changed a lot! To where they should be!

If a relationship can accompany me on my path to greatness then that's great! But really I can't see myself facing life the same as before. I feel like I have a lot more balance. I care about me now. I think any relationship I embark on with that balanced attitude will be more fulfilling for me and the other person in it.

Being cautious is good although sometimes it can influence a person to avoid things that could really be worthwhile. If I said, "oh I'm afraid to go to Spain I'm not going to do it!" I would miss out on something incredibly amazing and worthwhile. I am trying to face the rest of my life with a fearless attitude. Or an attitude of realizing the fears but facing it anyways.

jueves, 4 de marzo de 2010

Love Speaks (Celebs reciting and singing Shakespeare sonnets)

This is an amazing album. A lot of people think of Shakespeare and have a look of disgust on their faces. But anyone who has seen the Leonardo Dicaprio version of Romeo and Juliet, or has seen a stage production knows that Mr. Shakespeare knew his stuff. It helps when a talented person is speaking the words. There are more poems but these are the ones that are sung by well known celebs.

Live With Me And Be My Love by Annie Lennox *actually Christopher Marlowe, not Shakespeare)
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
*there's more but this is all that Annie Lennox chose to sing*

When, In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes by Rufus Wainwright (he's amazing!)
William Shakespeare - Sonnet #29

When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

No More Be Grieved At That Which Thou Hast Done by Keb'Mo'
(Sonnet XXXV: No more be grieved at that which thou hast done)

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud,
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authórizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense—
Thy adverse party is thy advocate—
And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence.
Such civil war is in my love and hate,
That I an áccessory needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

How Heavy Do I Journey On The Way by Gemma Jones
How heavy do I journey on the way,
When what I seek, my weary travel's end,
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say
'Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!'
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me,
As if by some instinct the wretch did know
His rider loved not speed, being made from thee:
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide;
Which heavily he answers with a groan,
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind;
My grief lies onward and my joy behind.

The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strained (Portia - The Merchant Of Venice) by Des'ree

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blessed.
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
It is mightiest in the mightiest,
It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
An attribute to awe and majesty.
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power dost the become likest God's,
Where mercy seasons justice.
Therefore Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice we all must see salvation,
We all do pray for mercy
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.
I have spoke thus much to mittgate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou dost follow,
This strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentance gainst the merchant there.

The Willow Song (Desdemona - Othello) by Barbara Bonney
A poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
Sing all the green willow,
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
Sing willow, willow, willow.

The fresh streams ran by her and murmur'd her moans,
Her salt tears ran from her and soften'd the stones,
Sing willow, willow, willow.

Sing all a green willow must be in my garland,
Sing willow, willow, willow.

The fresh streams ran by her and murmur'd her moans,
Her salt tears ran from her and soften'd the stones,
Sing willow, willow, willow.

Sing all a green willow must be in my garland,
Sing willow, willow, willow.

Music To Hear, Why Hears't Thou Music Sadly by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tunèd sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing;
Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: "Thou single wilt prove none."

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day by Bryan Ferry
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Our Revels Now Are Ended (The Tempest, Act IV, Scene I) by Joesph Fiennes
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Pablo Neruda Sonnet 17

"No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño."


I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

miércoles, 3 de marzo de 2010

Why I Want To Teach in a Larger Community

Interview went swimmingly. I am totally in love with this school....I could tell from the time I saw the murals in the hall!

Anywho, though I love my mom dearly, sometimes her practicality brings me down while I'm soaring in the clouds dreaming.... and when you're soaring with the birdies one minute and then have to be brought back down to earth, sometimes it feels like things are crashing down. I know she has in mind what's best for me, and I know that I am maturing because I can handle hearing advice even if I don't agree with it wholeheartedly. My Grama also wants me to stay closer to home -- but this is only just under 2 hours away, a quick drive on the Interstate and I'd be home. I've done 30+ minutes away in a tiny town with no diversity, subbing in my home school (with tons od diversity)....I am looking for something different in my next fulltime position.

Fueled by a coffee had way too late in the day and some worries, I thought I'd write down why a larger school and community appeals to me. That way if I ever have to bring this up in an interview, I will have the words!

First there's the school:
AP Spanish/college credit possibilities
Actual Spanish department vs. me as the department (lonely)

The community:
Actual things to do (wow!)
Opportunities for cultural learning/fieldtrips
Native speakers of Spanish in the area

Rent is more in a large community (I will never have the just under $300 rent that I had at my first apt. But really, your rent has to do with location...)
But so is salary! (I am not kidding you, it is amazing! And I am going to have 16 grad credits so more dinero.)
I need a new car (I'm wondering if I get a little bit of repairs on Lil Red - mi coche - if I can drive it for just a while longer....maybe buy a used car with low miles in Oct/Nov)
I live pretty I think I am going to be able to be doing ok no matter where I go. The few things I like to do in life are read, travel, and learn.

Also, why I like the path I'm taking to gettting my Masters (summer program):
It's during the summer (ideal!)
It only takes 3 years total (an amazingly short amount of time compared to 2 whole years of study if I was doing it full time traditionally).
It's in a Spanish-speaking country
I am not sure it would be less money "stateside" or be possible for me to complete in the same amount of time a Master's in Spanish. I think if I took my Master's in the states, it would take longer...they probably don't offer too many night classes for an MA in Spanish, so the only way I'd get it done would be not working and doing it full time. And I can't NOT work! (Long story)
This way I will get it done sooner, with optimal amount of culture and exposure to native speakers. And I can work on school things (aka my job) during the year, with the exception of my paper between Summer 2011 and 2012. But I could do papers in my sleep.... he he yes true.

I realize where my real mom is coming from and that her background/my grandparents came from a generation that it was work, work, work. I see the value of work and I am not saying that I'm NOT going to work. It is nice in times when I feel like I am not exactly on the same wavelength with some people in my life, that I still have contact with others that seem to "get" it. My Spanish-teacher mom (not my biological mom, just a really amazing former Spanish teacher!) says to me that this program is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I agree. Maybe it is that non-Spanish majors just don't understand. I know there are tons and tons of native speakers around here, but there's just something so magical about living and traveling abroad. And dangit, I am going to do it while I'm single and unattached. There may never be a chance like this again. I am not going to live my life with regrets....and failing to do this program would be something I would regret, I know that in my heart.

If I am given an opportunity and can reasonably do it, why not?

I am learning and growing as a person. I have always had trouble liking myself or having confidence in the things that I do. I think I am still pretty sensitive, but I am realizing that I am pretty dang awesome! And what is more, I am finding out that, out of anyone in the world, I know what I know, what I desire, what I feel BEST. I think realizing that and really believing in what is right for me is a big step towards maturity for me. I realize that achieving my dreams is going to take some elbow grease. I may not always love having the next three summers of my life dictated for me, I may get homesick, or having the extreme amount of work might really tire me out (each day is equivalent to a week of a traditional class I believe). But the end result of a Master's en Español, with cultural experience along the way, is what I want to achieve. If I want to be a college Profe some day, this is the first step. I am going to concentrate on taking that step in the best way for me. I will worry about the next step later.

martes, 2 de marzo de 2010

Book musings

I spoke too soon.

I promise I am going to bed as soon as I can....maybe. ;)

I am a follower of some book blogs and that got me thinking. I love reading...what are places, books, etc that I hold dear? What books do I want to revisit or visit for the first time?

Specific memories connected with books

Les Miserables on a boat in a canal in Costa Rica....along with "Hey There Delilah" in a pair of shared earbuds with my ex.
The Twilight Series in an Anderson hall dorm room....
Mary Roach's 3 sciencey books....Bonk (about sex, but scientifically viewed), Spook (afterlife), Stiff (about dead people), in my bed in my first apartment.
Harry Potter 7 in my room at my house, from after work at about 4 until about 3 am that night. Deathly Hallows, along with the Twilight books, was one that I couldn't put down. Sleep lost when reading is not missed!
Jane Eyre....don't remember where but along with the Alanna books it really affected me, I think it shaped who I became!
Del Amor y Otros Demonios by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (liked!)
100 years of Solitude by Gabo also (very boring!)

Additonally,I remember when the library in my town was in a different place, and it held a lot of positive reading memories.
I like the new library but a lot of my adolescent reading occurred in the old building. It was small and homey too....I remember the way the light would come through the windows and keep you warm while you read.

I am sure there are more, but these are really the ones that stand out.

Books I want to read in Spain, on the plane, or somewhere else (oh man I could have rhymed)!
On the plane
One of my many unread books! Isabel Allende, Julie and Julia, Teresa of Avila, Screwtape Letters,

Reread....Candide, Les Miz, Twilight book in Spanish, Wuthering Heights

In Spain -- my class items!

The way back -- ?

I think I'll be able to keep occupied with my laptop (if I can find a carryon I can fit it into!), blogging, my ipod, and 1-2 books. eating, sleeping.....drawing....possibly planning for my new classroom! Whatever I do, I hope to enjoy!

Interview Jitters

I have an interview tomorrow. I am going to go to bed soon, but before I do, I would like to blog about it a little.

I feel more confident with it having been a teacher and having had multiple interviews before. I am going to try to be professional enthusiastic, not crazy weird enthusiastic. (no weird Spanish speaking, Kelsey, sorry!)

Also, the driving to another town that is rather far away is not so stressful. I know how to get there....getting back, hopefully just as easy. Gotta love the interstate!

I think I have a lot to offer. I have the idea that this school is a lot like my ideal school, and not too far away (within my radius of 2-3 hours). I want to be close to a bigger city for the cultural stuff.

I put together my questions for the school, letter of application, resume, and a little "highlights" sheet (my resume stuff, instructional stuff, and classroom management). I also see these as goals for me to shoot for when I do finally get a job.

Anywho, I hope that my preparation (mental and otherwise) pays off. If nothing else it is good to have an interview. But I think I'm a pretty good candidate!

lunes, 1 de marzo de 2010

6 word memoir

I am a very wordy person sometimes. So when I saw the idea of a six word memoir, I was intrigued. Even Twitter's 140 letters isn't enough sometimes....and my facebook statuses, don't get me started on those! So here are a few attempts on my account....

If a memoir is supposed to sum up my life thus far:
Books are good, life is hard.

what I want my life to be:
Reading, learning, loving, I will prosper.

if what my current state of mind is
Joyful anticipation of the future, wishing....

my life philosophy
solo Dios basta (Only God is enough - 3 words in Spanish); yo soy humana (I am human.)
Only God satisfies, I am human.

What do you see this idea as? What should it be? A lot of those I saw online were more like postsecrets....

jueves, 25 de febrero de 2010


Looking at word clouds.....

I have word clouds of:
a poem by Sor Juana, Cancion de Pirata by Espronceda, Que es poesia? by Becquer, San Juan de La Cruz "Llama de amor viva," Mientras por competir by Gongora, Sonnet 17 in English by Pablo Neruda, Romance de la luna, luna by Lorca, Nuestra America by Jose Marti,and some English quotes by Teresa of Avila and San Juan de la Cruz

what to do with them? rewrite into a new poem? give impressions before the poem is read in original form?

there is so much that can be done.! Glad I wrote it down.

6 Questions for Teaching Survey - WORDLE

Wordle: Question 1 Teaching Beliefs
Wordle: Question 2 Teaching Beliefs
Wordle: Question 3 Teaching Beliefs

Wordle: Question 4 Teaching Beliefs
Wordle: Question 5  Teaching Beliefs

Wordle: Question 6 Teaching Beliefs


3/3 at 3 pm. good sign, I hope? My fav # is 33 or 333. My Grama, though she's in the hospital, is very excited for me! It's her fav # too!

I am thinking that this school is going to be pretty nice....more of what I am looking for than where I was at. I will be sad to leave subbing but really, it is an "in between" job. Not ideal.....but will get me to where I need to go. Guess the principal at HS gave me a good rec. :) Loved subbing in Spanish and the kids in ESL told me I speak good Spanish! In spite of whatever mischveiousness is in these kids, I am getting stricter

I was having a hard week....but I guess I see where my 'rents are coming from. Life is stressful. Have feelings but don't stew in them. Living at home is challenging me....but I am thinking it will have been worth it to get me to Spain.

I hope by this time next year I will have...
  • a successful job working with students in a Spanish classroom
  • my own apartment filled with books
  • 1/3 of a Master's in Spanish
  • memories of a fun summer
  • more self confidence
  • additional skills in the classroom and in life
  • more internal peace
But it's in God's hands. He knows what's best.

lunes, 22 de febrero de 2010

So this is what grownups do!

I should remind myself that I'm too blessed to be stressed.....but that's going to take some change of mindset. I am a worrier. It's a family thing.

Two of the schools at which I applied for jobs sent me letters saying they had filled the positions. I know that I got my first job in April, so I need to not get stressed out. But a headache plus a paycheck that wasn't as big as I had hoped, is enough to make anyone bummed. Trying to get over it and not complain. I have a job. That's a lot more than some people can say. I am in good health. I have a loving, nonabusive family. I have a college degree and am pursuing more education. I may not have everything going for me, but I have a whole lot!

I am filling out more applications, printing out cover letters, and sending them. Hoping to have some interviews and find my dream school.

I have had conversations with fam that I can't be picky, but here are the areas I am going to be picky on:
  • not too terribly far away (maybe my next job after ths one, but I am still a homebody. 3 hours max -- I want to someday get my PhD and teach at the university level so probably Lincoln or Omaha would be good at some point. but I am sticking to this step first....that step later.)
  • maybe in my neighbor state of IA? I need to look into getting a certificate there.
  • I want to have a job in Spanish. It is where my passion is. If there are the other subjects mixed in, that's ok. But I am too awesome at teaching Spanish not to apply for positions that are for that type of teacher.
  • I could do English and ESL but really my experience and heart are in Espanol! I need to pursue my passion. Anything else would not be very fulfilling.
  • I want to go to a school and have a warm, positive feeling inside about it. I know there is only so much that can be known from the application process and interview process, but I want to think to myself after the experience, "Wow, I really want to work here!" (I should think about asking questions that are going to get to the heart of what is important to me....probably going to blog about that sometime soon.)
  • I want the possibility for advancement. Especially since I want an MA in Spanish. I will have 16 grad credits by this fall. Hopefully that won't scare any schools away from hiring me.
  • A town that is close to a larger town or has something to do within the town/city itself.
I am subbing and making a reputation for myself here, and that can only be good. I need to remind myself every day that I get into my teacher clothes that this point in my life, while not exactly what I expected, has a purpose and I can make the best of it. Honestly subbing is very good. The unsureness of whether I work every day can be solved with a quick phonecall....and whether or not I work, waking up and getting the day started is good. (I learned this the hard way.)

Working -- I was able to sub and actually plan in Spanish for a total of 5 days because of a teacher family emergency. While I'm not happy that an emergency happened I did enjoy my experiences.

Spanish 2 and 3 (and 4) would be my ideal teaching area. Spanish 1 is more just getting acquainted with the language and learning vocabulary. It is when you have some background knowledge that you can start doing a lot of fun stuff with the language. I think I also like it that kids at this school have been exposed to native speakers, so they pronounce things correctly and already have some background knowledge. I also don't get some of the refusing to do things because kids don't want to learn Spanish. These kids know they need to know it! God bless 'em! They may not be perfect but I think I can handle them.

So this is what grownups do! Get up in the morning, go to work, earn money and pay for bills, experience life. I felt like I was experiencing life in my previous job, but really, here I feel fam, coworkers, friends, etc. That makes all the difference.

sábado, 20 de febrero de 2010

I Love Quotes!!!

Love is the opening of the heart, the welcoming of your beloved. Loving is not secure, authentic loving is risky. Security lies behind the walls of a closed heart. You either invite the union by opening in love, or you secure the isolation by closing down.

I think I am willing to love authentically. There are a lot of reasons why I am afraid of love or getting involved with someone. I read a site summarizing this book: Ms. Typed: Discover Your True Dating Persaonality and Rewrite your Romantic Future by Michelle R. Callahan, PhD. I could relate to some of the types described in this book, although I didn't read it yet, just an article online.
  • Ms. Second Place -- putting everyone else before myself
  • Ms. Rose-Colored Glasses - not seeing that a situation (ie my ex) was bad, ignoring red flags
  • Ms. Perfect - very idealistic. Wondering if anyone will ever meet my expectations.
I think that being aware of what emotional baggage I have will put me at an advantage. Of course I won't bring this up on a first date, but the guy that is long term material should be willing to hear my emotions. The way I feel and sharing it is so essential to who I am that I can't imagine being with someone who is anti-emotion. I don't think that I need a complete, huggy feely, school counselor type, but really, a person who is unable to talk about their feelings or at least hear others talk about their feelings is going to have a lot of issues.

I am trying to be a positive person so I would try to both share the good and bad with the person I am with, but I think every person wanting a relationship wants someone who is willing to ride the rollercoaster of life through both the lows and highs.

I am doing a lot of thinking if you couldn't tell. Of course I am going to show my best side to whoever I am interested in romantically at first, but I am very desirous of a person who accepts me in spite of my flaws.

This world lets me down a lot of the time. I know in my heart that there are good people with good morals and hearts in the right place. I want to find one to share my life with.

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it. - Abraham Lincoln

I try to live by this quote, but sometimes it's really hard! A lot of people say whatever comes to their mind, not caring who it hurts. A lot of people live their lives that way -- "if it feels good, do it." Consequences come from actions as well as words.

I try to realize that when someone says something to me that offends me, there is a reason that they say it. It doesn't make it hurt any less.

I also try not to give offense. But again, it is difficult. I know that I shouldn't do things or live my life because of what it may get me, but I do want to have positive results in this life.....a good feeling, someone appreciating me.... Doing the right thing should be its own reward, but it helps when someone sees that you are a good person. I have to silence the voice in my head that thinks thoughts that are hurtful.

I just wish that life would encourage good behavior.

I know the world is against God's children....and that the wicked prosper in life on Earth, but not afterwards.... that has to be enough.

domingo, 14 de febrero de 2010

Feliz día del amor y la amistad! (something of a rant)

I really like that in Spanish Valentine's Day is the day of love AND friendship. Friendship is, for me, a prerequisite to true romance, and really, friends are more valuable than a bunch of bad dates. So much of American Valentine's Day is wrapped up in couples. or they call it Singles Awareness Day. Like being single is a disease. Wear a red ribbon in support of those who are single! If everyone's aware we can fight this epidemic....

I am a romantic person. I love reading a book in which there is a really engaging love story. Or even not such an engaging love story. (Yes I read romance novels too....guilty! Those are usually very unrealistic but there is romance.) In short, I love LOVE! I just don't have any real romance in my life right now. *insert sigh here* If it is worth having, it will happen, and it won't necessarily happen quickly. It is possible to be happy and single. I am discovering that. But at the same time, I want to think to myself that when I am in a relationship, that it is what is best for me. How do I do that? Get to know people, trust them, and make note in my head of any red flags that show that a person (as a friend) is not good for me. I know I might not necessarily marry the next person I date. I am willing to take a chance on someone....I just need to know in my heart of hearts that I have value, and that no love is worth ruining myself emotionally. My ideal man would make me more of who I am, and I would make him more of who he is.

I am happy for those who are in a good, stable relationship with a person who really values them. That is what I want in a relationship. But I know that society has kind of screwed up perfectly sane people with the idea of "love" or "romance." So begins my rant part of this post.....

A lot of the romantic movies make your heart strings flutter are not realistic. I hope that even whilst I melt into a puddle on the ground, I realize that this EPIC, INSTANT love is UNREALISTIC.
Cases in point:
  • My beloved Twilight. Beyond the supernatural elements, Edward and Bella have a very obsessive, overprotective, unhealthy sort of love. Which is why I like Jacob and the love he has for her. :) I have talked about this before. Nothing against Stephenie Meyer, she knows what teen girls want to read.....but really, don't take life lessons from fictional characters. Because then you'll end up in a love triangle, preggers with a vampire baby, and then a vampire yourself.
  • Titanic. Cross class love. He saves her from committing suicide, sneaks around with her on an ocean liner, draws her naked....etc etc....and he dies. And she remembers him even when she is a 110.
  • Disney princes and heroines. (CCDC talked about how a very needy "Cinderella" might have some issues after the wedding with her egotistical, narcassistic prince.) Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Ariel. Again, as much as I love these movies, do not take them as advice for how to live your life. I will not get into the details.
  • Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom has major anger issues. Don't kidnap the person who you supposedly love and threaten to kill your competition if your love doesn't want to stay with you.
I realize that real love isn't very marketable. It is hard to put what a realistic love affair is into a 2 or 3 hour block of time and get people to see the movie. It would be kind of boring. I think women of all ages, guys too, need to be critical consumers of entertainment. Enjoy it, but don't take it as truth. Question what you see and hear.

Real romances happen. I am sure of it. But there will be bumps along the road. Even the happiest couples fight. It isn't all puppies and rainbows. The thing is, you have to be willing to go down the road of life with someone, and to be there for them no matter what. That's committment.

Real love makes you feel....
a better you!

And of course, the Bible has this to say:
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

A common misconception is that this is talking excusively about couples. TRUTH: Love doesn't necessarily mean romance. Friends and family can give you this type of love.

BUT, ideally, a romantic partner would be patient and kind to you, not be jealous of you in any way, would care for your needs, would want the best for you. An ideal romantic partner would forgive. If you want an ideal romantic partner, you need to try to live up to the ideals of being a good friend and a good romantic partner. If you want someone good, be someone good. We're all human, but we are all capable of working towards being good.

Love might even show itself in something that really hurts you to do. Like understanding if someone you really like gets married to someone they really are happy with. Or that your loved one isn't going to drop their entire life and focus just on you. That's selfish.

Real love happens between equals who encourage the betterment of each other. Obsessive, self-centered relationships do not equal successful romance. In fact, save your loved one therapy money and if you're in a relationship like that, get out!


On this topic,
I love the artist Travis and his songs "Luv" and "Safe":