Saturday, December 18, 2010

Learn to play the guitar in Russian

The hardest part about learning how to play the guitar in English is having to re-learn music language.

You'd think it's the reading of the staff or the positioning of your fingers. Well, those are all pretty hard. (I should have learned it as a child. Instead I played the brat and lost my chance. And my mom was never very much adept of second chances)

But, yeah, those are all hard things to learn. However those are hard things for everyone one.

It's hard having to understand that DÓ RÉ MI FÁ SOL LÁ SI are now called C D E F G A B

Bemol and sustenido are flat or sharp, and I don't even know which one is which.

See, maybe if you are a musician, those transfers are easier to you. But I am not. I am just a girl who likes to sing her favorite songs and who would like to play them in the guitar, just for fun.

Makes me think of my ELL students trying to learn science, math, social studies in English. They are not scientists or mathematicians, or historians or geographers. They are just normal children trying to survive in school.

Just like you and me once were.

And they have to relearn school language in English.

If you want to understand how your ELL students feel in your class, trying learning music in Russian or something.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My experience at a laundromat - clueless!!! like a sore thumb

This is a new experience for me - Today I was at a laundromat drying my clothes.

Quite an adventure.

I had no idea what to do at first. Here I was, trying to read every sign and pretend I was in complete control of the situation.

Can you imagine the scene? - hope your dryer never breaks down on you.

It's negative Celsius outside, by the way. Just a little side note. NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NE-GA-TIVE! Hey! I'm from Brazil, remember! Negative Celsius is bad!
    • Then I found out they have this wheeled basket I could have used to push my wet laundry around the store instead of dragging the bag across the floor.

      Everything about my being there screamed: NEWBIE.

      Now I understand the true meaning of the phrase "sticking out like a sore thumb"
    • Maybe you're not supposed to talk to other people's children in a laundromat. This lady was looking at me like I was the devil. I took a quick look at myself - not wearing a mini skirt, tight pants, low cuts... It's winter! I'm not myself! Why was she looking at me like I was the devil? I just smiled at the little guy and said "excuse me little guy, can I walk by here?"

      And by the way!!! The guy running the place was Asian!!! Just like in the song!!! "UN, DOS, TRES! TEM JAPONES LÁ NA LAVANDERIA! UN, DOS, TRES! UM PASSA E O OUTRO TRAZ!"

      I went to him to ask for coins, because I no longer carry this ancient form of money called cash on me. Had to go get some at the ATM and go to the guy to exchange it for coins!

      I sort of hoped they's do that, because it would be a smart thing to do at a coin-op laundromat. And I was right.

      I am pretty smart!

      Then I wanted to say ARIGATO, to show off what's left of my Japanese skills, but I was afraid he was like Korean or Chinese and kicked me out of his place for offensive behavior to his culture!

      So I just played the ignorant monolingual and said, "Thanks!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Learning a new game

I learned to play a new game last week. It's called Mancala. No, I know you know that Mancala is not a NEW game per se. it's a new game for me however.

I had seen children playing. And I even knew my husband had played it as a kid, but I had not the slightest idea what on earth that game was. to me it was just a bunch of little marbles being moved around. And fast. My goodness, those kids move those marbles around fast!

Anyway, one of my students became my teacher last week and taught me how to play the mancala and I am very happy about it. I love learning new thigns. Especially new games!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Paul on SNL

Yes, I am talking about Paul McCartney, the only other man in my life other than my husband and my two brothers.

He will be on SNL this Saturday and I will try to go see him.

And no, I don't want to go see him just because I am desperately in love wit him. I probably would not go through the trouble of getting in SNL if I did not have a very specific goal in my mind. I want Paul to receive my book. The one I wrote about the time machine. "The Little Girl from Yesterday".

I don't care if I never talk to him, though I wold appreciate the chance. I want him to read my book. Come on, I have waited my whole entire life to get this book to him. Only now I felt I actually had the knowledge to translate it into English. Now that it's ready, it's time he gets a copy of it.

So I don't care if he doesn't talk to me. I just want him to read my book.
LOL! Any resemblance to Paperback Writer is a mere coincidence.

Hard part of buying a guitar: learning how to play

So, I bought my guitar. I bought a Dean. No, not because it is the name of my love, well, ok, yes, it is because it's the name of my love, but I made sure to ask around first. People said it is a good guitar.

So I went to the store and checked out some models. I really wanted to buy the sunburst one, because being desperately in love with Paul McCartney - the other love of my life - I figured I'd get something that reminded me of him. Besides, the first guitar I ever saw in my life, in my church, was like that and I remember being mesmerized by the way the colors blended together. It was like... candy.

But then I thought, "No, I don't want to get something just to look like it's Paul McCartney's stuff. Besides, I am never going to be a hundredth of what he is, so... no. I actually want something that looks girly, like me. I wanted one that looked really made of pixie dust. However Dean guitars did not have any pixie-dusty stuff, and I really wanted the Dean. SO I got a red one. ... Yeah, girly enough. Cute like me. It reminds me of Kevin - my first car.

Once I knew what I wanted, I just waited fro Black Friday to come along and ordered it online. The discount? The discount was lousy. So much for waiting for Black Friday discounts. 15%. 15%??? What kind of a Black Friday sale gives you a mere 15-freaking-% discount? I don't know!!! Lousy. But I had to get my guitar on that day or I'd die!

No my guitar is here and I am trying to figure out how to learn it. I'm either a lousy learner or this guitar playing thing really is not the easiest thing in the world.

The tip of my fingers are hurting. My baby says that's how it's supposed to be. Man! I wish it was just like this - Get a guitar and Boom! Now you magically know how to play anything you want, starting with Puff the Magic Dragon, passing by Sandy & Junior, the king - Roberto - and ending with the Beatles.

Can't it just be that easy?