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.