Monday, January 12, 2009

What they don't have in Hawaii

I just finished watching my novela and it brought me back to something that happened to me when we were in Hawaii last month.

One night I was in the hotel room flipping through the channels and trying to find something to watch. I found nothing but kept flipping through the channels as if something I wanted to watch would miraculously appear on the screen. I did find several channels in Japanese. That was interesting for a few minutes but after the novelty wore off, I turned off the tv.

The next night I did the same thing. I flipped through the channels again. I knew that I was missing something and then it hit me...there were no stations in Spanish! I am so used to (dependent upon) my Spanish channels. I like to watch the evening news on Univision, I like to watch Despierta America in the morning. I like to watch old novelas on Telefutura. I enjoy picking up stray novelas on other channels like TV Azteca and Galavision. None of these channels were in the lineup in Hawaii. AAUGH!!!

As it turns out, I did survive without Spanish tv. Hawaii has many wonderful things to offer. It was just interesting to see how different it was.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Newest Addition to My Blogroll

Today, after receiving an e-mail from Jewish Voice for Peace, I added Rabbi Brant's blog to my blogroll. Check it out: Shalom Rav

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

iPod vs. CD's

I am considering taking my iPod to school to use there permanently. I have had so many problems in the past few years with orgainzing all of my CD's or having them skip. I also have CD player problems. The machines that the school buys don't seem to last very long.

My thought is that I could bring in my iPOd and load all of the CD's that I need for work on there. I wouldn't have to worry about finding CD's, they would all be there.

This if course means that I would need to get a new iPod for myself. :-)

If you are a teacher reading this post, what do you do???

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

God's Gang

The school I work at is on the West side of town. It is in the poorest section of town. There is also a higher incidence of crime and gang activity in the neighborhood.

There is a faith based organization within a few blocks of the school. The organization has a lot of activities going on at their site for families and children. Most of the kids at the school know of this organization. I have some issues with the way the organization operates but it does do many good things for the community. Most recently, they organized coat drive and everyone who needed a coat in the neighborhood got one.

The FB organization has an after school club for kids. I don't know the exact extent of activities that they offer to the children but I do know that they offer homework assistance, there are computers available for use, day care and snacks. What bothers me about this service is their logo, "God's Gang." Many of our kids come to school in t-shirts and sweatshirts with this logo on it. I think it is just irresponsible for them to use this as their logo. I take issue with the phrase God's Gang. It is catchy but what is it trying to say? I especially take issue with the fact that they would use this as the logo in our Gang infested neighborhood. I am sure that the people running the program would tell me that the kids are already familiar with gangs and that they are trying to use familiar language to help them see a more positive light. My thought is that kids should be taught that gangs are bad period. We have sure a bad problem with gangs in our neighborhood that all 5th and 6th grade students receive gang awareness instruction built into the regular school day.

I would love to be able to express my opinion to the organization but I have a feeling that my thoughts would fall on deaf ears.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I don't have any resolutions this year. I hate making them only to break them. I will just try to do a better job of being a better mother, daughter, sister, teacher, co-worker and human being.

Yeah I will try to eat better and exercise more too.

The end!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Today I went to a memorial service of a longtime family friend of my grandparents who passed away last week. I was never close with Mr. H but from what I knew of him, he was a great man.

Mr. H and his wife lived in the same senior complex that my grandmother lives in. A few months ago I heard that he was not doing well and had some health problems. Recently I heard that he took a turn for the worse. He had hospice care coming to his home to help out and was basically waiting to die. Despite all of his pain and problems, we was still in good spirits and was fighting the best he could. Before he died my grandmother stopped by to visit. Mr. H told my grandmother something that really stuck with me. I can't remember exactly how he phrased it but it was something to the effect that he felt so blessed to know that he was dying because it gave him the opportunity to personally say his goodbyes to his friends and family. When my grandmother told me that it kind of stuck with me. I was impressed with how he managed to face his end so positively and try to live the time he had left to the fullest.

Today, at the service, one of his sons mentioned this same thought to us when he spoke. He said that one of Mr. H's many relatives kept a bedside watch by him every night these past few weeks while he slept. Most of the time spent at his bedside was spent reading while Mr. H slept but sometime through the night Mr. H would wake up because he remembered one more thing that he wanted to tell the person spending time with him before he died. Mr. H. had so much to share and he really took advantage of the time he had left to do it.

Rest in peace Mr. H. You will be missed by many people.

Friday, January 02, 2009

School Girls

Today I went to school to get some work done in my classroom. I was accompanied by Sabi and her friend M. The girls had a blast hanging out with each other. They spent the day entertaining themselves playing games online, teaching each other art that they learned in school, playing board games and doing test prep. (yes, test prep...they are crazy like that!) They also helped me here and there with little projects around the room. As I was working I got to hear little tidbits of their conversations. Most of it centered around school. They talked a lot about college and even went so far as to create their own colleges on the computer designing a flag and mascot! From college talk they moved to junior high and high school thoughts. They were talking about which jr. high and hs they will attend. Sabi told M that she needs to go to Modesto High beacause her grandma works there and also because there is an IB program there. M asked what IB was. I tried to explain it to her very simplistically and said "well, it is a program that is competitive and accelerated in academics.." M, who is a high achiever, cut me off and with huge eyes and a big smile said "that is the one for me. You had me at competitive!" I am still cracking up over that!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Update

My poor blog. I have pretty much abandoned this site for the past several months. I have been busy with a hectic year. It doesn't help that I discovered Facebook. Much of my free computer time is spent there playing games!

What have I been up to?

1) School: Every so often I get a rough year. This is one of those years. I am being challenged in many ways. I could go on and on about how rough life has been for me but I won't. i think that I have gotten over the depression of the year and have grown thicker skin. For the second half of the year I am going to view the year as a challenge that I will overcome. It will make me a stronger and better teacher. The end!

2) Health: I have been off health wise since April of 08. I have seen a slew of specialists, had several tests taken and been on different meds here and there. I think most of my problems have leveled off. I found that I have mild carpal tunnel syndrome as well as Reynaud's Phenomenon. In a short time I took care of the carpal tunnel with a hand brace. The Reynaud's is mild but I am learning to handle that too. I am doing ok now.

3) Family: My dad came to visit from Panama this month. Two days after he arrived my entire family jumped on a plane and went on a trip to Hawaii. We haven't had a family trip in over 20 years. It was great. We went to Oahu and had a blast. One highlight of the trip was snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. Too cool! We had a whole week together. I don't know when we will do something like this again but I really hope we won't wait another 20 years to do it.

Happy New Year!