Sunday, December 27, 2015

Car seats for small cars?

I hate how those little car seats aren't made for small cars. Everything about babies is made for large cars. It pisses me off how these baby gear makers simply assume we will get a large car. Well, I won't. I'll remain pissed off.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rumors of Jurassic World 2 - No, please don't!

So I read online about the possibility of a Jurassic World 2 in the making.
I really hope these are just rumors.

I will say why:

How many of us who lived the 90's remember going to the movies to see Jurassic Park? Pretty much any one who watched it remembers that day.

I do. It was my birthday and I was sitting between the boy who was my best friend and the boy who had a crush on me, and wishing the boy I had a crush on had come too.

I remember leaving the theater with that feeling that I had just seen something pretty amazing. I wanted to go home and write movies like that one I had just seen. Mostly I remember being in the movie, because that is how I watched movies as a kid - I was always in there, the screen, with the characters. And when the movie was grand, like Jurassic Park, I felt like I had just had the adventure of my life. ... I left the theater feeling like I had had the greatest adventure of my whole entire life ... and in 12 years of life you have already had lots of adventures ... well, at least in the theater.

Now, how many of us actually remembers going to the movies to see Jurassic Park 2 or 3? Honestly. I mean, unless this was the movie where you met the love of your life, they are pretty unmemorable - like most sequels, except for perhaps Indiana Jones, which wasn't a sequel, it was a trilogy.

So really, do we need a sequel for Jurassic World? It was a great rebirth of Jurassic Park, with all the references to the old park and the being released on the same day gave it a somewhat magic aura... Do we need to ruin this by coming up with a sequel?

I really hope they don't do it. I know I am not going to watch it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

truly shocked

Today I learned about the sudden passing of a FB friend. We never met face to face, but he led a group I belong to, and I enjoyed our interactions in the group and in PVTs, even though we didn't always agree and sometimes he got on my nerves.

I would probably never know what happened to him, had him not been the leader and admin of this group. It makes me uneasy to know that this could happen to any of my friends and I might never find out.

So, to all my friends out there on Facebook - even those of you who are my friends outside of FB, but I don't see or talk to very often; even those of you that don't agree with me on everything; and even those of you who are friends on FB only - I care about you. If I didn't, you wouldn't be on my FB. Believe me, I don't friend anyone I don't care to have in my life, no matter how long I've known such person in real life. So, if you're still on my FB friends list, I care about you. I wish you'd never die, but if you do, I wish I at least had a way to know, so I can mourn properly.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

facebook vacation

So, yeah, I had seen some people announcing they were going to take a facebook break, and I couldn't help but thinking "why would any one do that?"

I tried answering my own question. I thought about facebook could want to make anyone stay away from it? What would be the benefits of staying away from it? H'm... All the hours of the day you spend browsing through your friends' pages or your own "home", getting into pointless discussions, reading stuff that makes absolutely no sense and that you wonder why anyone would waste their time posting it.

Maybe staying away from Facebook wasn't a bad thing at all. Maybe it could even be a good thing. Maybe I should try this!

So I did it. I announced a week facebook vacation on a Wednesday morning.

Knowing myself and my lack of self-discipline the first thing I did in order to ensure absolute success was to delete the facebook app from my phone. I knew that if I had the app at the touch of my fingers at any given time, I would end up giving in and cheating by looking at the app "for just a quick little second", and then my experiment would be ruined.

The first couple of hours were really tough. I kept thinking, "dang, why did I do that?" I kept opening my phone just to be reminded that the facebook app wasn't there anymore. I kept wondering what my favorite comedians were posting, what was going on in my Beatles group, what my friends were up to what I would only find out next time I talked to them. Argh! It was driving me insane. I didn't think I'd be able to do it.

But, lo and behold, I made it through 24 hours and I wasn't as devastated as I thought I would be. I was actually fine.

The rest of the week went by uneventful. I checked twitter for my news updates, and I texted with friends I usually text with. So, as you can see, no, I didn't become a hermit, I just wasn't wasting hours and hours of my day scrolling through stuff that might or might not be true, cute sayings, drama-dram-drama. Did I miss the funny posts, my favorite comedians, my groups? Yes, I did. But just for a few minutes and less and less each day.

So, in the end, I must say, it was not as bad as I thought it would be, and it is actually better than what I thought it would be.

I went back to using Facebook this Wednesday, but I have been using it a lot less that I used to. I still haven't added the app back to my phone. Let's see what happens from now on.

Sunday, August 09, 2015


When Dean first met me (he told me years later) he thought I was a groupie. Why because I carried the world in my car. Sleeping bags, and backpacks, and blankets … you name it, I had it in there. Well, I still do – better safe than sorry. Let’s just say if I ever get stranded on the highway on a snow storm, I don’t plan on freezing to death.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Assuming I am Hispanic ticks me off

Once I sat next to a lady who kept on code-switching between English and Spanish with me. Why again did she think I could speak Spanish? People just assume I can speak Spanish. It drives me crazy. This other day I was at the train station and this lady looks at me and asks me IN SPANISH what time is the next train to NYC! 


I just shrugged. 

Honestly, why should I understand what you're saying? If you had assumed I could speak Portuguese and spoke Portuguese with me I'd be fine. 

Then another day I was at Walmart, wearing a BRAZILIAN flag shirt. On my way out this black guy looks at my shirt and goes - Buenos Dias!

Oh, please, no! Look at my flag! Look at my flag! Please! No Spanish! 

I looked at him as if I had not the slightest clue of what he said, and kept walking. From a distance I could hear him yell, " Buenos Dias!"


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hamburgs without tomatoes?

I can’t understand how anyone can conceive the idea of a sandwich without a tomato in it. It is so inconceivable to me, and yet, people actually believe hamburgers can be hamburgers without tomatoes. So much so that at McD’s, in order to get a hamburger with a tomato in it, I had to order a quarter-pounder deluxe. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I'm tired of this insanity

So, I've always been a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld. But this little link will show you what made him my hero:

Martin Luther King had a dream in which in America people wouldn't be judged by the color of their skin, but by their character.
We are so far from this dream. 
We label people in America and we judge them based on that. Some labels are better than others. 
We vote someone in bc of the color of their skin or their sex, not bc of their character. 
We punish people for having different different religious beliefs, political beliefs by socially destroying them. People are persecuted for speaking their minds if their beliefs are not the popular ones or if they are not part of the protected labels.

That's insanity - especially in a country with a bill of rights like the one we have. There's something wrong.
When it's okay to say "I don't want to be a man anymore, and I don't care what anyone says" but it's not okay to say "I don't want to bake you this cake, even though I respect you" based on one's religious beliefs, there's something wrong. 

When people are forced into apologizing publicly simply for speaking their minds on a controversial issue, there's something wrong. 

When people are considered hateful simply for having a moral code, there's something wrong with our country. 

When comedians can make jokes about certain kinds of people but are shamed into not making jokes about other kinds, there's something wrong with our country. 

When people lose their jobs, their contracts, their popularity simply for holding an unpopular opinion, there's something very wrong with our country. 

When you can stand up for your sex change but not for your religious beliefs, there's something wrong with our country. 

Yes, I am referring specifically to many of the stories I have read on the media lately. But this doesn't happen only to famous people. We, everyday regular regular people are also terrified of saying anything out loud, aren't we? God forbid our bosses might find out, and they happen to have a different belief system. 
And, yes, I am speaking from the point of view of a conservative and a Christian, bc, today in America, my personal beliefs are currently the unpopular ones. And I'm tired of seeing people who believe like me or slightly similar to me be slammed by the media and the larger public, have to have almost a secret code in their neighborhood or workplace so they won't be found and ostracized. 

However, it really doesn't matter if you are conservative or liberal, Christian or atheist, gay or straight. Anytime anyone  is persecuted for daring to be themselves, or speak their minds, it shows there's something wrong with us as a society. If we can't live together, knowing that we are different and respecting those differences, we are going to die alone.

I'm tired of this insanity where some people are more protected than other people. And if you happen to have an unpopular view, instead of being able to speak your mind in an honest debate, you are shamed into silence. Because, you know, if you say certain things, you might offend someone. And if you offend someone, there's nothing left to you but social ostracism. There isn't the slightest chance that you might have a perfectly good reason to think the way you do. You should be just a social outcast. Period. Pay the price. 

So here are the some of the stories that inspired this post. Just some of them ... but also remember the journalist that tweeted a racist joke concerning Ebola and Africa, the bakers who had to close down because they refused to bake a cake, the comedian who made a joke about (I think) Jenner, and all the heat Tebow got.

on not being to thrilled about Jenner:

on justices who took a stand against gay marriage: 

some muslim player punished for praying

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

People acting delusional

Why is everyone sounding way more excited than I am? People are delusional, I say. 

No, really. Sometimes I wish I hadn't said anything to anyone. 

I don't even think I was ready to break the news when I did. I was kind of forced into it. See, I was still trying to come to grips with the idea. I was absolutely not ready to say it aloud to any other human being (other than my husband). ... But the grapevine spreads rumors at the speed of light, so before the news got to certain people who should be hearing it from me, I had to go ahead and say it. 

Come on, people, don't you have anyone else to talk about? The Kardashians? Can you leave me alone until I fully understand what the hell I just did? I'll come out when I am good and ready.

But, really, what is it with people? I see a world of trouble ahead of me and they all got smiles on their faces.

They all got smiles and I'm going: "What was I thinking? Was I high or something? Was I temporarily insane when I CHOSE to have unprotected sex?"

I had everything I ever wanted from life - a good husband, great sex, awesome vacations to cool places around the world... Well, almost everything. I still don't have a house. And I still haven't met Paul McCartney. :( Well, he did blow me a hug from stage, but that's not the same as meeting him. I wanted to be up on stage. (Hear me, Paul? Next time I am holding up a poster, remember that! I want to hold your hand!!!!!)

So, yeah, I had almost everything, and our lives were going pretty darn well.But hey, baby, let's make a baby. Why? Bc just the two of us living happily and carefree ever after just isn't enough. (???) ... Because we agreed to it 6 years ago when we got married. (Really? Is that even a reason?)

Bottom line is, while everyone is going, "congratulations!" I'm here wondering, "Are they mocking me? They can't possibly mean that."

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Thirteenth day of captivity in Hanover, NH

July 5, 2015, Hanover, NH

Two days ago was our last dinner together.
Yesterday was our last lunch.
This morning, our last breakfast, last Master Class, lass drill session...

Right now, I am cleaning up my classroom. And waiting for the students to come for their exit interview.

Then there's graduation and goodbyes.

I will certainly miss this mad mix of languages. I feel like I never ended a hallway conversation in the same language I started it. I even spoke a bit of French!

It was also very unusual for me to speak Portuguese for so many hours out of the day - from 7am to 9pm.


This post should have been finished last week right here. ...

We had the graduation ceremony, where a student from each class gave a small speech in their own target language. Yes, it was very emotional. ... Why do people like to make me cry? Anyway, I didn't cry. ... I almost did. Everyone thanked John Rassias for having such an amazing view which led to this awesome program. Then ...

... Then it was time to leave. You know, just saying a bunch of goodbyes and wondering will we see each other again?

Well, whatever happens, our lives were intertwined for 2 weeks of fun and hard work. We all took something from the people we met and we all left something with them too. Our lives will never be the same again.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Twelfth day of captivity in Hanover, NH

July 4th, Hanover, NH

Word to the wise, don't try punching in in your bank password on the code pad to get into the building. It won't work. I tried for about 10 times before I decided to actually punch in the code they gave me when I first got here. Only then was I able to get the door to unlock.

So it is the 4th of July. Two days ago I celebrated the independence of my home country (DOIS DE JULHO!). Last night the cultural event for the Brasil classroom was A trip through Brazilian colonial history and the Portuguese language.

The slide presentation went great and it was really fun except that one of my links was misplaced. That was disappointing, but fortunately I had been to the website on that very same day and the info from it was fresh in my mind.

Today was a fun day. Every one is pretty much exhausted, and frustrated at times, but the students have been making so much progress, it is also exciting. It is fun to see that even the ones that have the most trouble have come a long way in this (as they say) Club Med for language masochists.

But it was also fun because today was skits day. Each class was supposed to prepare a 3-5 minute skit about their experience here at ALPS. I was looking forward to see what my students were going to come up with. ... What were those girls up to?

Well, the skits were simply hysterical! I tried recording my class's, but I laughed so much that the camera wouldn't stay still. next time I will use a tripod.

It also was fun to see how much they learned (using the target language to present the skits), and how they can laugh at us and at themselves.

Finally, what do you do in Hanover, NH, on your night off, on fourth of July by yourself?

Luckly I was invited my the Argentina class to walk downtown with them to a restaurant. Hanover has no fireworks, but we could hear them. I also got to meet a lot of fun people, and practice my Spanish a bit.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Ninth, tenth, and eleventh days of captivity in Hanover, NH

July 3, Hanover, NH

Well, ok, so I stink at keeping daily posts, but for the past 2 nights it really wasn't my fault.
As it turns out, doing jumping jacks when you are carrying a 24-week person-in-the-make inside your tummy is a bad idea. I did just that on my first class of the day 2 days ago - because I couldn't figure out a better way to help my students understand the Portuguese word for exercise. Silly me, I could have done so many other things.

A few moments later I felt that sharp pain that you get right after you run with your mouth open. Well, that wasn't the problem, the problem was the pain wouldn't leave me all day long.

At dinner time I asked to go see a doctor, so my ride and I ended up at the emergency room from 7pm to almost midnight, and under observation in the OBG department till 2 am. So much for planning lessons for the next day.

I was so optimistic about getting a lot done that night. Our cultural activity - Brigadeiros field trip - happened before dinner. That meant I'd have the rest of the evening for class planning, drill writing, heck, maybe I would even make it to the 4th floor to wash my water bottles.

So much for that. Instead I spent 7 hours at a hospital wondering if i would even go back to the program or if my stay there was doomed somehow due to medical recommendations.

They kept telling me I likely just strained a muscle, but if that was the case, why had they let me go from the ER and then kept me again in the OBG?

Other than that though, the day went well. We used the diagnostic class to work on some brigadeiro vocab and watch a video about it. And then had a regular tutoring session (Q&A). Then we walked downtown to the Brigadeiro store and and some delicious brigadeiros.

The following morning was rough. I got up at six to plan my 8 am lesson, and made it out of my room just in time for it.

Yay, it's the independence of Bahia! Yes! July 2.

It was a crazy day, because I was worn out and I was still in pain from the incident of the day before. I taught my classes sitting down because moving just hurt, and to make things worse my mom tells me (via text message) that the reason I strained a muscle is that I am not physically fit. "After baby is out you're starting ab-crunches." Ew! Anything but ab-crunches, please.

Dinner was rough, Tylenol was not working, and I could barely make it down to the printer to get the material for the "light, really light" cultural activity I had planned for. So I borrowed a heating pad, had my Assistant teacher run the show for the night and went straight to bed.

That was the best idea I had for the whole day. I needed that rest. My students needed (they had actually been asking for) time to plan and prepare their skits. The skits must be presented on Saturday evening and I am not supposed to help.

Today I woke up much better, and the students are more confident having had time to work on the skits.

Unfortunately the morning class was painful. Every time blobby kicked on my sore side I wanted to cry. Tylenol and heating pad kept me through class, which I taught sitting down. Don't call me lazy. Try moving around with a strained muscle on your side.

I normally find the baby moves very entertaining. It's pretty much the coolest thing to have my arm take flight from my tummy bc some person inside it is dancing and prancing around. It's also a very weird thought. I am not sure if this image fits better in a scary sci-fi movie or in a TLC show. However, when my muscles are sore, the only thing I can do is laugh - just so I don't cry. And this overdeveloped blob of cells is pretty much a fitness-freak.

I called my doctor. Is there anything I can do? Ride it out, she said. Bangay might help too. And keep active. I will try.

By lunch time I was feeling much better (yay, heating pads!) Then Hillary Clinton happens to be in town, so we had a huge break after lunch. And I was able to have a break. Great. time to catch up, blog away and do some drill writing. Maybe I will even be able to stand up on my next class.

The differentiated instruction has been working wonderfully. Both students are happy and getting the help they need.

As for me, I find it so weird to speak Portuguese for so many hours out of the day with anyone that is not my family.

We have a little bit over 24 hours left of captivity. I guess we can make it alive.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

seventh and eighth days of captivity in Hanover, NH

June 30th, 2015, Hanover, NH

Well, I didn't write anything yesterday because when I got back to the dorm I laid down in bed to watch a video and next time I opened my eyes, it was 2 in the morning.

At that point I just kicked off my converse, pulled off my jeans, turned to the wall and slept fo rthe rest of the night.

Yesterday was the first day that I finished preparing my lessons early enough. By early afternoon they were all planned. Well, of course. I was meeting my baby for my birthday at night.

I was pretty tired yesterday. Even though I got to my room early, I could barely keep my eyes open. My kingdom for a RedBull.

My students brought me cupcakes and I taught them how to sing happy birthday to you in Portuguese.

Even after eating the chocolate cupcakes I was still really tired.

Today I slept till 6:45 in the morning. So glad I had all my lessons ready.

Tomorrow I really have to wake up early because lessons didn't get prepared at all. I was busy with meetings and payroll stuff all day.

In the evening we went downtown for a special event where they were going to serve us a typical meal ... well, as typical as they could get.

It was a fun time practicing the target language. On the way back, I said good night to my students when we got close to our dorms, and they promised me they'd speak portuguese. Sure I believed them. Why not? It's not like they don't take advantage of the time I am away to speak English to each other. ...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sixth day of captivity in Hanover, NH

June 28th, Hanover, NH

Who would have thought that I would have to do differentiated instruction at a 12-day immersion camp with a group that consists of TWO students! Well, yeah, for at least one hour a day I will have have to create to separate classes. Yay! more work for me. The thing is, they did really like their individualized attention and were glad I did that. Well, in Brazil we say if you're out in the rain you're there to get wet. Let's get wet then - and give the people what the people want.

But today I did have a feeling that I am doing my job much better. I'm finally getting the hang of it. The classes went on much smoother than before.

The students also are doing much better. I don't know what is going on in their brains right now, but they seem enthusiastic and are talking and understanding  a lot more.

The cultural event was Futebol Brasileiro. It was really fun! I gave them some futebol vocabulary, we talked about the world cups in which Brazil was champion or almost got there. We DID NOT talk much about last year's uttermost humiliation. We did go over some curious facts about soccer, and the Maracana's losing their place as largest stadium in the world because it reduced its capacity from 200,000 to 78,0000.

Well, I am exhausted. And tomorrow it starts all over. Boy! Well, at least the students are actually learning.

I miss my baby. He dropped me off here in the morning and drove home. :'( That's why it rained all day. The sky was crying with me.
But I don't think about missing him when I am teaching or racing through the hallways to get stuff done, only when I am by myself. And today, even by myself I couldn't think much, because I was falling asleep. We didn't really fall asleep on the early side  last night ...

Then I woke up at 4 to prepare lessons for the day. 

Tomorrow is my b-day so we will meet again, just that this time we will meet halfway, in Brattleboro (no idea how to spell it - it's new england).

As much as I want to be with my baby, I don't want to go back to that stupid apartment. I have nothing to do there all day. I will just sit around miserable remembering that everything I own is in storage and we have no perspective of finding an affordable house that meets our checklist. Then I will cry all day and be a pest to my husband when he gets home. 

I was up at 4 this morning preparing classes because last night ... well, last night I was with my baby.

The lessons got done by 6. But the cultural event for the evening wasn't. I had to do it during the day.

I really don't like it how the book and the drills seem to not match on purpose. I'm going to ask Michael if he wants me to write actual matching drills for that book - for a small compensation of course!

Okay, I am literally falling asleep as I type. I should go now. Shower and bed.

P.S. Ew! There was human hair in the shower stall! What was I thinking to forget my flipflops. I hope I don't get some weird fungus and die.

Fifth day of captivity in Hanover, NH

June, 27th, 2015, Hanover NH

This place is a Babel Tower! I never know which language I am supposed to speak when I walk through the halls. I am learning bits and pieces of greetings in French, Chinese, and Arabic, and conducting fairly intelligible conversations in Italian and Spanish.

This morning my alarm didn't ring at 5. OF COURSE NOT!!!! IT IS SATURDAY!!!! When you are in captivity, you don't keep track of the days of the week. LOL.

Hectic morning. I checked the clock at 5:11 and jumped out of bed, straight to the shower, then I still have time to prepare today's powerpoint. I did that till halfway through breakfast. Can't believe I still had time to sit down and eat.

My class started 5 min late, but then I ended it 5 min late. Only then did I find out (from my AT) that they had added an hour to my schedule today. Well, gone were my plans to prepare lessons for tomorrow, write drills and get the cultural event for today and tomorrow done.

My love came to see me today, so I knew nothing would get done at night.

Oh brother, is there anything better than seeing the one you love and actually being able to sleep with him! We take those things for granted, you know, we really do. So glad to be in a motel room with my baby and not in the dorm. 

The cultural event tonight went very well. Carnaval was supposed to be the event. But it didn't turned out be so. The planning was too overwhelming, I had no time and I could find nothing that I wanted, so I did a last minute change of plans, and it turned out much much better. I switched to a Brazilian musical night. We learned about some of the great names of Brazilian music and their musical styles. I got to brag about the fact that the mother of two of them was my downstairs neighbor, and we even danced some samba ... well, I sort of moved my legs in an awkward way that might resemble samba to the untrained eye of an American.

We had fun talking about how many of those artists were responsible for great changes in in Brazil, not only culturally, but politically as well. Many of them spoke against the dictatorship back in the 70s and were exiled or had their music censored because it spoke against the political regime.

The evening turned out to be better than what I had planned. Students want more. Musical Night Part 2 ... when can I fit that in?

Well, I will think about that later. I am with my baby tonight. Keeping a married woman from her husband for 5 days is a very evil thing to do. Very Very EVIL. So let me get off this computer and go enjoy a scary movie with him.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fourth day of captivity in Hanover, NH

June 26th, 2015, Hanover, NH

OMG! Someone was in the bathroom this morning when I wanted in ... So that's what happens when students arrive. Your privacy is over! Now I have to wait to use the shower!

Ok, I will get up earlier tomorrow.

The meal last night was the best one I had had so far, but the meals today were just as good. I guess the caterers were waiting for the students to arrive to start making the good stuff.

Last night I was freaking out trying to the make a list of cultural events, just so Michael could come look at it and tell me they were all wrong. Back to the drawing board I went. Cultural events have to be more about fun and experience than about doing hard work. After all, at the end of a day of sheer torture in a foreign language, their brains are pretty fried.

The only time students are allowed to speak English is at breakfast. I am using the word allowed very loosely. Staff is supposed to speak in the target language 100% of the time so if we want to torture them a bit more, we can go and sit with them during breakfast as well. I did that today.

Hanover is a cute town. Have I had time to walk around much? I have ran out of TUMs on Tuesday night, CVS is a 10 minute walk and I still haven't gone buy TUMs. ...

My classes today went a lot slower than what I had predicted, but I know exactly what I did wrong. I should only review during the last class of the day, and I did it right after lunch. Fatal mistake. If you don't cover enough stuff the AT won't have enough materials for 5 hours of drills and will have to improvise. ... I can't do that to Ceci.

Tomorrow I have to get into the go-go-go rhythm of this immersion program. After the evening event (a very good movie called Rassias in China) I had a chance to talk with David, a Spanish AT. He, like me, was thinking about all the stuff he'd done wrong through the day and how he could make it better. I really like that we can do this self-evaluation. That's the only way we can actually improve.

Rassias in China was a nice movie about the whole Rassias Method and how Chinese teachers of English were trained in it and started implementing it in their classrooms.

My eyes are really hurting right now and my brain has pretty much shut down. I will go to sleep. Tomorrow I will get up as soon as the alarm rings, shower, and finish up these lessons, and the cultural activity.

I can't wait to see Dean ... We facetime every night, but really ... I sort of need more than facetime with my baby ... even if he is glued to his computer for 4 hrs a night. I think I am addicted to my husband ... Come on, Saturday night! Come quickly!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Third day of captivity in Hanover NH

June 25th, 2015, Hanover, NH
I have been stressing over lesson planning all day today. There isn’t a single good chunk of time to sit and plan. I am finally on to it, it's 9 pm.

Students arrived at around 4.

Before that, Ceci and I were sitting down, writing as many drills as possible. Well, that means I have to prepare a class that will include the structure for all these drills, and I have about 3 hours left to do that.

Today I had quite a long conversation with Andrew, one of the Italian teachers, in Italian. It is soooooo exciting to speak all these different languages!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrew wondered why I wasn’t working for him as his Assistant teacher since I could speak Italian so well. Well, I wished I was, but the Master teaching position was paying better.

Today I also met my students – two different ladies in completely different walks of life. Exciting. 

We had dinner together and talked about hour families and plans and jobs. It was a good chat. 

I had forgotten how much I enjoy telling people how much I love my current job. I do. Everything about it. My students(even though some of them really get under my skin), my co-workers, my principal and vice-principals – I am just so grateful to be where I am. When I think of what a terrible place I was in before ... ever since I got this job I have been in heaven. Even when I was feeling overwhelmed with classes last year, I wouldn’t have traded my job for another one, especially for the one I had before – oh how unhappy I was. I like telling people about these things because it reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for.

So, yes, it was interesting reminiscing today. I updated Joel Goldfield on what has been going on in my life. last we talked I was a newly wed. 

Also I like talking about the good things in my life so it gets my mind off the things that are making me sad. The fact that the farm house we really wanted but that is lost to us forever. The 170 acres of land just a couple of miles away from us that we will never be able to afford. 1-7-0 acres of land … less than 1k per acre. ... ugh... a spear through my heart. Well, I will count my blessings, and keep my knees on the ground.

Today Ceci and I also walked to town to a Brigadeiro store and talked to the owner. She will give our students a little culinary class.

Oh, I will stop writing now, and go back to lesson planning. 3 lessons for tomorrow and 5 hours of drills to go with it. I’m freaking out a bit. Just a bit.  ...
Ok, I am freaking out a lot. ...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Second Day in Hanover, NH

June 24th , 2015, Hanover, NH

It's 1 am. Why do I do that to myself? I just can’t get to bed on time, can I? No, I don't think I ever will. No self-discipline whatsoever. ... And I am hoping to raise a human being. This poor child will be messed up. 

Well, I got my books today and was trying to figure them out.  Also I will only have 2 students, so I am trying to figure out how to do enough drills to last 5 hours. The ones that came with the drills aren’t enough – and aren’t good enough.

I am so worried about preparing for my first class. Today we had a couple of hours of training and a chance to talk to more experienced teachers. It was so nice getting advice from them. And also learning the techniques from the Rassias method. I never did master teaching with rassias, so this is all really new and quite overwhelming. And I just got my books a couple of hours ago.

Oh, dear, not everything is perfect. Meetings are very flexible here. They are supposed to happen, but they don’t. Or they are not supposed to happen, then they do. I’m confused out of my mind. I was told to wait till 3 to go to payroll. At 10 of 3 I txted the person in charge and he replied wondering I was not at the meeting, everyone was there already. … :/

Oh, Joel Goldfield did arrive today. He had lunch with us. He recognized me right away. He even remembered my email address. Wow, we haven’t seen each other in 7 years. Either he's got good memory or he really liked me. He told me he was the one who told the Rassias people to hire me this time around because he remembered what a great job I did before. I did? Wow, thanks! You're really nice. Then he reminded me his son was that teenager who used to come in to his office and help a few times. Wow! No way! That guy who gave me a ride couldn’t be that little kid. Well, yes, it could.

I have loved meeting and talking to the MTs and ATs today. Also trying to speak their language - it has been fun.

It’s late, but that’s because I was talking to hubby for a while about this house we might put an offer in. I am excited and sad at the same time. We have been upping our max and for the money we are willing to pay now we could have gotten much better places that we passed because they were above our old max. L

It has also been fun talking about Blobby. People who have kids ask me questions and also have been telling me about their experience with their kids. I love and have fun listening to them. I have no idea what is ahead of us, and I have this feeling I have it all under control, and at the same time I have a feeling that I am mortally wrong about thinking I have it all under control. I really I have no idea what I am getting myself into. Neither does Dean. This is us, walking right into the storm of the century absolutely clueless of what the heck we are actually doing.

Well, I really should get to bed now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First day in Hanover, NH

June 23rd, 2015, Hanover, NH

I am finally in my bedroom. This was an insanely hectic day. I’m not going to shower, I don’t care what my conscience says. I am not leaving this room anymore, to go anywhere. ... Well, maybe if someone yells, "Paul McCartney is out here!" I will jump out the window (and hopefully fall right on top of him).

Last night I went to bed at 1 am, getting stuff read for the ESL potluck at school. This morning I was up at 5 am, rolling bread and banking … and thinking, “students better think this is the best meal of their lives or I will collapse right there in the classroom.”

My HS students loved it, and so did the people we invited. Our principal and vice-principal didn’t have a chance to show up. That's too bad, since one of them is retiring - I was really hoping she'd have a chance to eat our yummy foods. But other teachers at our floor did show up for at least a quick bite, and some did stay longer, and they ate all of it.

Then I hopped in the car to NH. It took me exactly 2 hours to get up here. And it took me another hour to figure out where to go. Then another hour to find parking.

At the entrance of the office building I met John Rassias himself. Wow. The man responsible for this whole mega structure, the man who revolutionized language teaching in the Peace Corps ... Yup I met him.

Later on, for dinner, Mr.Rassias sat at my table. It was fun and exciting meeting the man behind all of this. He is very friendly and full of energy – for someone in his 70s, that says a lot. I want to be like him when I am his age.

And I have been meeting new people ever since. I just accidentally got a ride from the son of my old mentor, Joel Goldfield, who is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I wonder if he still remembers me.
Now that I am wearing my pregnant outfits, it is quite obvious to people that I am carrying a little person in here. It is both fun and annoying. I understand everyone is sort of looking out for me, but I really wish everyone wouldn’t be so worried. I’m fine. Really. I am fine. Yes, I mean it. Just, oh, stop asking. I am perfect.

But they did send me to bed, and I did what they said because I am exhausted.

I also met Ceci, my Assistant Teacher. She is a very fun and sweet young lady who goes to the same college where I started my Masters Degree. Her family is all from Rio.

I am freaking out a bit bc I haven’t seen my book yet, and I know the drills that come with it aren’t good. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Do you know what June 18 is?

Thursday was an interesting day. For those who know me, I use the word interesting very freely; I use it for lack of a better – clearer – understanding of what I really feel about something.

Well, let’s start with “it was Paul McCartney’s birthday”. And I, along with millions (maybe billions) of other fans, took it to twitter to say happy birthday. I used to do fancy birthday wishes in the hopes that mine got retweeted by @PaulMcCartney. Apparently I am not the most creative person out there. But yes, my day is pretty much Paul center on June 18th. Out of every ten words that cross my mind on every June 18th, eleven are PaulMcCartney (yes, one word), and that night I usually dream about him as well. 

I am just thankful my hubby isn’t jealous of Paul. Why would he anyway? The guy is 73, and I am, well, 21. They guy is ubber famous and I am, let’s say, not.

And yes, I know I am slightly crazy (okay, maybe a little bit over-the-edge crazy), but shut up. Whoever isn’t slightly crazy about something throw the first stone. So, yes, shut it. You know exactly what I am talking about.

Okay, day goes on. It is a regular work day. Slaves go to work on regular work day, and so do I – and glad I have work to go to. And even though Paulie was everything I could think about, I did do my job. I have to say I forgot my lunch at home, but I did my job.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

blood work

After 2 years of procrastination I finally got my bloodwork done. ( It wasn't really procrastination - my insurance doesn't cover bloodwork before deductible; so I was really looking for the guts to pay for it) . Doc told me I was supposed to be fasting for 14 hours. Well, ok, trying to do that was another challenge. Then I toughened up and, after 14 hours of sheer torture, the nurse proceeded to remove all 4 liters of blood from my body - well, it darn well looked like 4 liters. And they expect me to drive home without passing out? Well... I did! There! In your face. Made it home safe and sound.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter message

Jesus wasn't a good man as everyone thinks. He went around claiming to be God. If what he said isn't true, he is a megalomaniac.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Let's all be civil

if you want to criticize something, do it because you don't agree with that something. Do it because you believe you have something better. And do it respectfully. If you are criticizing just because you are trying to promote an agenda, exalt a group, or put down another group, I'd rather you kept your mouth shut. It's counterproductive and contentious and it takes no one nowhere. Don't make fun of people who disagree with you. Don't diminish people who disagree with you. Don't try to discredit people who disagree with you by making it sound as if they only disagree with you because they have an agenda or because they are stupid. People believe one way or another because they are humans with working brains like you, and are trying to make sense of the world just like you. Human beings like and deserve to be treated as such. Worst case scenario we can all learn each other's position and agree to disagree. In the end, either we learn to live together, or we will die alone.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Two bad products on the same day?

So last week I was super excited. I had ordered an Atari console with 92 games, and a license plate frame with a Brazilian and an American flag.
They both arrived on the same day. They were both huge disappointments.

The license plate had a Jamaican flag.
The Atari games only had one phase and most games I like were not there.

Well, I returned the Atari console right away. Five minutes since the game was out of the box it was packaged up again and ready to go.

The license plate, I didn't want a refund. It was a nice metal frame, I wanted it. I sent the seller an email requiring a replacement. It turns out it is a sticker and they will send me the Brazilian sticker flag.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

too many cultural differences

Sometimes I wonder if ESL teachers don't exaggerate on the cultural differences between Americans and other cultures.

Yes, when I came to America I took a class on American culture as part of my training as an au pair. However sometimes I hear teachers (Foreign and Americans alike) emphasizing aspects of the American cultures that even the Americans don't seem to know it exists.

"Unless there is something wrong with me, this is how I act on a regular basis," I was told by an American friend of mine when I mentioned a supposedly no-no in American culture, but standard in Puerto-Rican culture. This particular friend of mine is of Scottish-Irish ancestry.

Now, honestly, friends, let's talk about American culture. America has 50 states.

Heck, Brazil has 26 states and we have several different Brazilian cultures. So talking about Brazilian culture has to be either a very short set of general guidelines that defines the majority of the Brazilian population across the states, or it will be a very prejudiced or elitist (only this group of Brazilians determine which one is the Brazilian culture) definition of the Brazilian culture.

The same goes for the US. 50 states. 5 official regions. How can we define American culture without either giving very few and general guidelines or without being extremely elitist to the point of saying that these people here in this area are the true representatives of American culture, and everyone else is just not doing it right?

50 states, 5 regions, about 20 different ancestries which came from different economic and religious sects of their original countries. Each of these categories make a different culture.

The American culture is a mix and match of all these. It takes quite a bit of effort to find so many definite American cultural traits. Yes, they exist, mas they are not as many as one would like to believe they are.

We are more the same than we are different.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A month later ... I pledge somersaults. No, wait.

Well, A month later, after going through the coldest February on record (which means it hasn't been this cold for at least 100+ years), after having pretty much every Monday off (which was a blessing at first, bc my husband got to stay home as well, but later it turned out to be a curse because I was pretty cabin-fevered), I have to say that I am about done with snow.

Did your chin drop? Well, I can't say I think it's ugly. I can't say I don't like it. It's still beautiful. And everytime it snows, my heart still jumps a little bit, like a little girl excited that she hears daddy's voice as he arrives home from work.

But I just want it to go away already. Enough is enough.

My dad used to say that too little of something is insufficient, too much of something is excessive.

It's not that I don't like the snow. It's that the snow won't melt! It won't melt! It won't friggin melt!


I feel like I am stuck in a never-ending winter. Feel like I will never be able to feel the heat of the sun again.

Negative temperatures are never a good thing. Negative temperatures in Fahrenheit is definitely never a good thing. Negative temperatures in Fahrenheit and for several days, weeks in a row is absolutely never (ever, in anyone's wildest nightmare) a good thing.

It has been a long cold winter and I am so ready to pack up my things and move back to Brazil.

Suddenly Here Comes the Sun had become my favorite Beatles song. It used to be one of my least favorites, above only freaks like All You Need is Love, Within You Without You, and Hey Jude (no, Hey Jude is not that great, no matter what you say).

So, now it has been in the 40s during the day for a couple of days. I am praying with all my heart that it goes higher a little bit everyday and that it stays that way until we reach the 70s.

I pledge that on the first sunny, windless, 70-degree day, I will go outside and bask. And the only reason why I don't say I will do somersaults is because I absolutely don't know how to.

Thursday, February 05, 2015


Now it's trending. Everyone trashing snow, saying how much they hate snow, that they are done with winter.
Quite honestly, I hate winter. I hate it with all my heart. The deadly cold. The wind that cuts right through your soul. The dreadful black ice. Do you want a cranky Vika? Check her out in the winter time.
But snow? No, I don't complain about snow. I always say that if I have to go through this awful weather, you better give me something beautiful to look at. If I have to be cold, let it be in a winter wonderland.
So let it snow, beautiful white snow, until spring comes.
At least I don't feel like I am stuck in a giant freezer, where all life has ceased to exist. Quite the opposite, now I feel like I am simply in a land where everything is blanketed in a white yummy frosting, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

afraid of death?

I suppose it might sound strange for a Christian to say that she is afraid of dying.
So I guess I need to clarify.
I like being alive. That's how God made me.

What am I really afraid of?
I'm not sure whether I am afraid of dying or of getting old. Maybe neither.

I am afraid of time maybe. I guess I am afraid of the fact that our time is so short, and I don't want to waste it. In my mind I still feel like I am 14. Sometimes I even feel like I am less smart than most 14-year-olds, but then again, when have I have been smarter than anyone over 14? I feel like I will be 84 and still feel the same way. If I get to be 84.

I am afraid of what I don't know. They say we are afraid of the unknown. Well, I don't know what it's like to die, but I suppose there is a lot of pain involved.

I am afraid of pain. You have no idea. I have very little tolerance for pain. I am not sure why I was born a woman, since women supposedly have more tolerance for pain. I have always been a chicken. I was afraid of getting my first period, because I was told I would bleed. I was afraid sex would hurt, and that terrified me, because if there was one thing I really wanted when I was a virgin was to have sex. I am terrified of the day I find out I am pregnant because that baby will have to come out somehow.

So it's the ailments that scare me. That ailments of life.
Most of us will die of cancer, heart disease or some freaky accident.

When I was a kid I always thought I could die of some freaky accident - like falling down the elevator shaft or shot on a bus robbery. But why stop there? Car accidents, kitchen accidents (I did almost cut my finger off with a knife last year), slippery bath tub accidents (yes, I look at the bath tub and all I see are ways I could get myself badly hurt; that's why I keep the bathtub so squeaky clean), fire accidents.

Not only accidents. I have been paying more attention to how people die. Cancer kills a lot of people. Then there is heart disease. A young couple died of a heart attack the first time they had sex. So now I don't think only of freaky accidents, I also think cancer and heart disease. Then there is food poison and medical errors.

All of these mean one thing - pain. I watch a TV show called Bones, and they make very vivid descriptions of what happens to the body when people die in freaky ways. They all sound painful.

Then there is the ailments of old age. I had a teacher who used to say, if you don't die at a young age, old age will do it. Aging also does things to your body. And there you go thinking you're 14, next thing you know you've got Alzheimer's, or dementia, or something freaky like that.

What happens to our bodies when we die? What do we feel? Do we have time to regret all the things we didn't do?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Boys respected Girls

There was a time a boy or a man changed his behavior before a girl or a woman.

Men have always used swear words, but in front of a lady, they did not.

Men have always used vulgar language to talk about sex, but in front of a lady, they did not.

Men have always gotten drunk and fought each other, but in front of a lady, they did not.

Men were always illbehaved, but in front of a lady, they knew to behave properly.

Today, who even realizes there is a woman in the group? In fact, even women talk dirty and use vulgar language to talk about sex. They get drunk, fight and are illbehaved.

That is, even women nowadays do not respect themselves... ... Today? Today is euphemism, because when I was a teenager it was already so. I miss the teenage days of my mom.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

New Year's Resolutions - What for?

New Year's resolutions are really stupid. You make a list of things you know won't get done. If you really wanted to change something you wouldn't wait until New Year's day to start it, you'd start as soon as you realize there is something that needs to be done about it.