May 30, 2012

Field Trip!

Today, my 3rd and 4th graders went on a field trip to the Mystic Aquarium. We had an awesome time!

The children were excited and mesmerized by the diversity of aquatic life on display.

I was so proud of them using terms like vertebrate, invertebrate, and mammals.

One of my favorite moments is when I took my five little learners to the bird pavilion, so we can feed them from our hands.

The young people were a bit afraid at first but then relaxed and communed with our fine feathered friends.

That is my hand in the lower center, with one of my little papitos on the left.

I am in my purpose and so grateful.

May 28, 2012

Ah, Yes, Memorial Day

Did you know that I come from a military family? My father served in Korea. Two of my uncles fought in  Vietnam. My brother is a former-Marine.

Some of these men in my family have moved on and healed, while a couple of them were never able to fully shed the trauma.

All of them came back to poverty, slums, racism, and very little support in terms of employment. This sad excuse of a welcome back is still being offered to many enlisted men and women today, that return from conflict over oil, resources and strategic military placement.

Wars are mostly fought over goodies, only a few are fought for a noble cause like freedom. Moreover, often the most disenfranchised and poor are on the front lines, protecting the interest of the rich-elite.

With that in mind, I came to this:

May 26, 2012

Movie Blockbusters of Summers Past

Michael Musto recently posted a list of the Top 10 Biggest Box Office Movies - with the domestic gross adjusted for inflation. Here is the list.  
10--Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
9--The Exorcist
8--Doctor Zhivago
6--The Ten Commandments
4--E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
3--The Sound of Music
2--Star Wars
1--Gone With The Wind
I've seen all these movies more than once, and I would see them all again. 
Any surprises regarding which movies made the list, and which ones didn't?  
I kinda gag that Titanic and Grease didn't make the top 10.
BTW, my favorite movie theatre snack is hot buttered popcorn, lightly salted, with Raisinettes mixed in for contrast. 

May 24, 2012

On This Day, Marcos Landed

My Darling,

On this day, in 1960 your spirit came to this place called Earth. You landed on Puerto Rico.

Within the beauty of the motherland, your tender spirit saw ugly.

It came in the form of homophobia, corruption, poverty, and grounded spirits struggling with addictions fueled by fear and anger.

You my darling, was brave enough to move beyond that reality.

Darling, you pursued the goal of learning, when most decided to give up.

The blessing was you were able to nurture a loving extended-family of choice. We miss you so much, but still feel your love.

It give me great pleasure to tell you that your family of blood and spirt are united. We are bonded by knowing who you were, and what your spirit gave us.

You lead a life dedicated to speaking out, loud, and proud for the people that had been silenced. Watch us as we make this belief grow and make a difference.

Your are triumphant! As an art teacher you inspired young people to look for beauty, express their own unique voice, and be themselves.

What I will do, and many that were touched by you? We will honor you by putting to practice the messages you gave us.
  • Learn everyday.
  • Shed the voices of oppression.
  • Believe what we see in each other and offer our own light in support of helping each other out.

I feel you watching over me.  I remain forever grateful.

On the day you were born, we will see art, eat amazing food, listen to sublime music, and remember you.


May 17, 2012

Donna's Turn at Metamorphosis

What you need to understand about me and Donna Summer, is that her voice and the music she sang to, got me through a very dysfunctional and abusive childhood. 

She always brought sexy and exciting music into my world that enabled me to let my imagination take off.

I remember the first time I heard “Love To Love You Baby,” I got so swept up in her voice in the music. It was a new day for me. I must have been 7 or 8 years old.

The grown folks were talking as the song played. The topic was whether or not her moaning was recorded while she was actually having sex. 

Wow! I loved it even more. She was dangerous in my eyes at the moment, and I mean it in a good way. 

At first they were all doubtful, but then when Donna really got into it, she convinced the room that she actually was getting it on.

My appreciation for Donna was very sincere. I was a 10 year-old gayling that had posters of Donna on my bedroom walls. I would look at her dressed in sexy glittery gowns, and fantasized I was right along side her. 

I of course imagined we were both best of friends and living it up at the nightclubs DJ Paco talked about on WKTU.

Thank you, Donna Summer, for your amazing voice and for being a part of an amazing time in music history. 

Even when you got all church about gays, I gave you a pass, because I knew you eventually would come to your senses.

It is your turn at metamorphosis. Marcos, along with hundreds of your fans, is going to be on the other side to guide you through the first few layers. 

All will be revealed and you will understand how you were a divine part of it.

May 8, 2012

No More Apples for the Teacher

One of my students brought me some homemade chilaquiles. His mom, whose was born and raised in Mexico,  really hooked it up and sent one batch with red sauce and the other with salsa verde.

I shared this mother's generosity with a classroom teacher, because sharing is the right thing to do.

I tucked into the dish with a roasted chicken leg. I tried the red sauce one first. It was so sabroso, and then the heat washed over me. I felt like this --

I was lit up with the top of my head tingling.

I then digged into the salsa verde. Werrrk! My face turned red and the endorphins kicked in to help a biatch out.

I took to the sky on a natural high. I was loving it more and more. I felt like this --

I can't wait till the year-end parties, when all the mamis bring their best dishes for our potluck parties. I will be hunting down some chilaquiles.

May 6, 2012

Raul, I Did Not Forget You

In my early-teens I cried at times because Raul Julia was not mine. I wonder now what his metamorphosis has brought his sprit to experience.

I am grateful that while on this plane, Raul gave this fellow Puerto Rican, an example of the grace, talent, and beauty that our people have to give to the world.

I offer this post in appreciation to the stardust Raul left behind, and may it connect and motivate the spirit in its currently perceived reality.

May 3, 2012

A Mom and Her Family in Crisis

Today I had a PPT meeting with a single-parent that is having major challenges with her three children.

At one point my heart sank as I looked at her face, which to me, conveyed totally exhaustion and regrets for many of the choices she has made in her life.

At one point her three-year old clenched his fist and gestured as if he was going to punch her, after she had reprimand him for crawling under the conference table. Everyone in the room told that child, "No!"

She really is trying her best to make things better. She has support services in place for her and her sons.

I plan on continuing to encourage her to remain consistent in showing up for these services, and hope this support makes a difference in their lives.

I also hope that she finds a new and improved version of herself. May she find a different way of being and thrive in her life.

May she cast to the side the belief that someone that suffers on this plane will get her rewards in the next life. Get yours now mamita!