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.