Thursday, October 16, 2008

Teen Teaching

How on Earth am I suppossed to teach any Language and Literature topic to 75 teenagers on a Friday just after a two day break?

Any ideas?



Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My first bimester is over, and I'm facing a very long night ahead of me, since I miscalculated the amount of time required to average 75 teenagers.

On the other hand, I have finally been able to drive my car to my work place, after three months of Saturday driving lessons; but taking into the account the current situation, I think I'll have to take the school bus one last time tomorrow, to be able to take a nap on the way. jaja.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


OH, MY GOD!! It's been more than a month, and I've found myself lacking the ability to find spare time to devote to my poor little blog. Therefore, I won't bore you to death with anything trivial, except for this pictures I was able to take for the first time with my digital camera during the Mexican Independence Celebrations, which just took place last September 15th and 16th. As you will be able to detect, I took my time to find the purpose of the "landscape" function.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The end of the rainbow.

I guess this is my best picture EVER. It started raining really hard to the east around 7 p.m., while the sun was going down. I knew there was going to be a rainbow, so both my camera and I got soaked to get this picture.

Now I know where to look for my gold pot.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's back to school tomorrow.

I don't really know how other teachers may be feeling about this, but I'm all shaky and nervous with the fact that I will be in front of 4 more groups starting monday. It's one of those moments when you question yourself about how you can become a better teacher compared to all your previous experience. I just hope I can do much better than last year.

This is one sight from the Middle School's Principal Office, and I love it. Resolution is not that good 'cause I took it with my cellphone.

I also wish to develop a sense of beauty appreciation in my students. Tips, anyone?


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Summer is over

For me, Summer is almost over. I have to go back to work on Monday (whinning, crying and sobbering). But I do intend to say good-bye to this lovely vacational period with a big smile and class.

One good thing I got from it was that my driving skills have already improved a lot. I am now able to negotiate semi-heavy traffic and almost every street, except for high-speed avenues, which I'm currently working on.

A beautiful Mexico City sight that most turists don't know about is what we call "The Moorish Kiosk" ("El Kiosko Morisco"), located at the Santa Maria La Ribera Park. I certainly hope that one day you may get a chance to see it live.

Here is a closer look:

I do hope your summer has been as productive and fun as mine.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I wish there were...

1. Apartment builidngs for boring, social lifeless, handworking DINKS, with kids, parties and noisy pets forbidden.

2. Adult-only, kid-forbidden, smoking-allowed restaurants.

3. Children-movie shows in their original language for adults only.

4. Sound-proof meditation cabins for claustrophobics.

5. Google-Sites practical crash-courses for dummies (like me).

6. A "How to Organize your Massive Demonstration in Mexico City" Manual for dummies (like me).

7. A mandatory electrical zapper for people who have bad manners and constatly use foul language, and kids who abuse their parents in public.

8. More people who visited and commented on my blog.

9. Clean, safe and free toilets in Mexico City.

10. Free best-seller distribution for reading maniacs (like me)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why insomnia is bad for you

A couple of days ago a bad combination of too much coffee, afternoon napping and a demonically noisy toddler neighborg resulted in me lying perfectly awake in the dark at 1 am. I wasn't exactly worried, given the fact that I still have a few days of summer vacation to enjoy, but in my desperate effort to try to relax and get some sleep, my brain started to wander around, and instead of following the well-known routine of telling myself an original story, suddenly my father came up in my mind, which was probably due to the fact that I had been watching "The Six Million Dollar Man" on Cable TV, and I briefly recalled how I used to think that Lee Majors sort of looked like my daddy when he was younger.

The point is that I'm not used to thinking a lot about my father, since my parents separated for good around 14 years ago, and my dad decided to move on and form a new family, which was not difficult for me to deal with, given the fact that my psychology course and a couple of readings had luckily provided me with the necessary tools to survive such a difficult transition; I guess I just assumed that , since I was no longer part of the equation of his life, he should be eliminated from mine.

Unfortunately, my younger brother hasn't been that lucky, and he has been under a lot of emotional stress because he was innocent enough to believe that his father could still be interested in him, and invited him several times to his new home, with his new family. For many Americans this might not be that unusual, but for most Mexican people it is considered bad taste and politically incorrect at least. In my personal opinion, if my father had been genuinelly interested in his son, he would've arranged a private meeting, just to get acquainted with the adult he hadn't seen for around 5 years, but as things turned out, he was more interested on my brother's money. The last straw came when our own daddy told my brother that he regreted not selling our family's house many years ago when he had the chance, since my brother and yours trully were old enough (we were 17 and 16 in those days) "to survive on our own".

Believe it or not, when I was told this, I started laughing my head off. It was just unbelievable for me that a 54 year-old man could possibly regret something he wasn't even near to do for a bunch of kids that were not even conceived in the mind yet in those days. I found it extremely amusing, but my poor brother was about to burst with anger and dissapointment towards the old man.

And that sleepless night, I unwillingly started remembering that episode, and all the other moments when things went wrong with our dad, and how it has been radically different for my brother and me; how I had learned not to expect a great deal from him, and how my brother always kept looking for that "fatherly approval" that most men long for, and about that moment in life when you have to acknowledge the fact that mommy and daddy are not Superman and Wonderwoman (or Mighty Mom and Dyno Dad, if you like), but just a couple of guys with the right to make their own mistakes and how it is difficult for some people to assume that, before being our parents, mom and dad were individuals, kids or no kids in the way.

The really annoying part came when, after spending 3 hours grinding all these thoughts in my hyperactive brain, I reached the same conclusion I have lived under for the last 18 years: there's no point in wasting time holding onto the past, and my brother is stupid for letting these things still hurt him. It's hard, and it hurts when it happens, but when somebody, whoever that is, doesn't want you in your life, you must face it and go on. You still have yourself.

Sorry for boring you dead with all this babbling.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trigger happy summer 2

Probably the secret to a good photo entry resides on posting just a couple at a time, but it is really tempting to upload almost everything I have ever captured digitally.

But I'll try to keep it simple and short.

My cat sleeps with her eyes open.

This I took with my celphone, from where I work. I call it "Swan-cloud".

And this is a "jacaranda", which gets purple flowers in the spring.
Hope you like them. I'll post more next time.

Music and Sun

After reading kyklops post on music, I decided to post these pictures related both to music and one of my personal obsessions.

I collect suns. That is, handcraft representations of the sun, which has always been extremely relevant in Ancient Mexican Culture. Here you have a sample of my collection.
I intend to cover the wall from ceiling to floor.
And regarding music, here is this one:
Hope you like it, and any contribution in the form of sun representations from other cultures, of any material, will be gladly welcome.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Carrington's Sculptures, with Names.

"Music for the Deaf" ("Música para Sordos")

"Cannibal Table" ("Mesa Canibal")

"Albino Swine" ("Cerdo Albino")

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leonora Carrington at Reforma Avenue

"The Shadow of the Ahuehete" ("La Sombra del Ahuehete")

"All Seats Taken" ("Ya no hay lugar")

"GoatSnake" ("SerpienteChivo")

And my favorite, due to horrible fascination it inspires me, "Cuculati 1, 2 and 3", day and night shots.

Don't they look absolutely creepy? They give me goosebumps when I look at them every dawn on my way to work, but that is their most fascinating quality: you just can't stop looking at them.

The rest of my pictures will be uploaded as soon as I verify their titles.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trigger happy summer

I had promised kyklops to try to share some of the things my city has. Right now, there is a public exhibit of some of Leonora Carrington's sculptures down at Paseo de la Reforma Avenue, so I went down and took some pictures. They are a little shaky and the format is not great for two reasons: we (that is, my husband and yours truly) had escape the storm that was about to pour down on us, and I haven't been able to acquire the additional memory card my camera requires to store better resolution. It has been a bloody duel between quantity vs. quality. Here they go.

This one is titled "Manta-butterfly" ("Mariposa Mantarraya").

This one is "The Dream of Fire" ("El sueño del Fuego"), back and front.

This one is "The Mother of Wolves" ("La Madre de los Lobos").

My favorite, the creepiest ones, will be saved for another post. Hope you enjoy them.

So, kyklops, finally I found out how to upload images and link text (yupii!!) Establishing a linked photo gallery comes next.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh, beautiful Summer...

One of the reasons why I was so desperate to go back to a school calendar was the chance to have time (one the new luxuries of the 21th century) to fool around and do "nothing". Spending time on my personal projects has always represented the topmost pleasure a person as crazy as me may experience.

This week I decided to take for free. So far, I have been able to:

1. Read 5 books in a row: Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman, Shogun by James Clavell, Lena's Secret by Michael Ende, Crocodile-skin Shoes by Alfonso Suarez Romero, The Name of Cuautla by Antonio Malpica and The Man Who Was Thursday, by Gilbert Keith Chesterton, which I found even stranger than Mirrormask, but pretty fun as well.

2. Improve my Japanese Anime singing by repeating ad infinitum the fonetic lyrics to "Kon'ya Wa Hurricane" from Bubblegum Crisis, "Zankoku na Tenshi no TE-ZE", from Neon Genesis Evangelion, "Tenshi no Yubikiri" from Karekano, "Coppelia's Casket" from Noir, "Voices" from Macross Plus, and the intro and ending songs from Totoro. My neighbors have already placed a complaint to the building manager.

3. Clean and organize my tool box, collecting and placing every single nail and screw in neat plastic bags clasified by size. Locking the box became a must after my husband took a 5 minute look afterwards.

4. Catch up with my blogging, which was abandoned for more than a month. Thank God you people out there are still alive.

5. Devote a daily half-hour to breaking a sweat trying to beat my husband's records at Wii-Fit. So far, the monster is still winning in 50% of the exercises. Grrr!!

6. Sleep 8 hours in a row, having the craziest nightmares everynight and realising how stressed out I've been for the last 6 months. I even dreamed I was married to one of my students! Yuck!

7. Eat every single yummy treat I have been able to think about, from a breaded chicken breast torta with Oaxacan cheese to whole wheat cupcakes. Obviously, my nutritionist has filed an official objection.

9. Nail 5 more sun sculptures to my collection on my living room's wall, just to discover I did it in an unartistical disposition. I left them that way, though, to cover previous nail holes.

Next week will be devoted to pending paperwork (sigh) and a couple of personal projects, like clearing up the storeroom, but I definitely needed some time on my own to rememeber the joy of being out of an office during daylight.

By the way, do you remember my whinning due to the lack of summer cherries last season? I've been able to munch over a kilo this season!! Not all at once, of course, but they are going to be the death of me! ja,ja.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A king's ransom... for teachers.

Uff! It's been more than a whole month since I last sat down to exercise my creative skills by blogging, but if you had been in my shoes, you wouldn't have found the time either.

The last month was mostly spent preparing my yearly plan for the next school period, checking that every single item provided by the school was returned as close as the original state as possible, and dealing with angry parents who didn't understand why their lovely children flunked the school year and now have to take an extraordinary exam. My private LAAAAAAAAAAAME prize to the stupidest phrase of the year went to a father who stated that "you are so demotivating to the kids". If he only knew how demotivating his lazy kid was to me... (sigh).

But there was an extremely positive side to all this, and it was just the merry perspective of a whole month ahead without any responsibilities, but the amount of stuff these kids left behind in the abandoned, empty classrooms (which happened to look kind of happy, I'd say).

Among the huge amount of partialy used notebooks with only around 20 written pages each, the complete geometry sets which only lacked the compasses and a couple of just-a-bit-battered Swiss Army and Swiss Gear backpacks, there were around 14 or 15 novels and short stories students were not interested in keeping, although we teachers are.

From "Mirrormask" to "The Catcher in the Rye", which I had been trying to get for years, around 9 or 10 assorted books were carefully and tenderly placed in my rucksack, unable to wait for the moment they would join my humble 926-book library. And after finishing "Crocodile Shoes", which I found particularly amusing, I keep wondering what separates me from a generation that discards these expensive books as others discard used tissues. This is one of those peculiar things that make me feel absolutely detached from the rest of human race... well, of Mexican People. I have only found 3 other aliens... I mean, people, who read as avidly and hungrily as me. Understanding that modern kids perceive reading these carefully selected pieces as a punishment, and that they will barely come, not to appreciate them, but to fully understand them, makes me worried and proud at the same time.

So, after 6 months of hell unleashed, there was finally a pay back: all these wonderful books I was allowed to select, read, reread and nurture for years to come. A king's ransom in books, indeed.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Summer time

When you work indoors, how do you know the summer is here?

1. The air conditioning breaks down at the hottest moment of the day.

2. It rains when you don't carry your umbrella, but it doesn't when you have your umbrella and raincoat at hand.

3. Your cat stops sleeping in your bed.

4. It's 8 o'clock and you can't sleep because of the sunlight thanks to a completely unnecessary daylight saving time.

5. Your dog's panting wakes you up at midnight.

6. Your car's front seat burns your butt.

7. There are no cold drinks left at the store's fridge.

8. Your boss leaves the office for lunch at 2 o'clock, but returns way after 4.

9. There is no cop in sight between 1 p.m. till 4 p.m.

10. Kids at school start planning either a killing spree or torching down the building.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Survival Mode

I haven't had a single day off to put my ideas in order, but anyway I realized that my decisions are mine and, however high the price, I do like what I do.

Dealing with Middle School Students can be hell, specially if you get to the school right at the middle of the school year, which is only aggravated by the factor that youngsters nowadays have no idea about what respect or courtesy is. They are driving me mad, and it's gonna get worse as the end of the school year approaches.

However, while I was being told off because of my "lack of authority", of which I am admitedly 98% responsible, I was able to produce the most inspired speech of my teaching career; something that came not from the bottom of the heart, but from my very guts:
"Look, I know this situation is directly my responsibility, but let me assure you that I'm working to solve it, and learning from it. If I am finally given the second chance (of renewing my contract), I'll prove you I'm much better than this, because being here was MY choice, and no matter how difficult, I DO want to be here, because this is what I want to do. If by next year's first bimester things are not running smoothly, I will quit, because then I am of no use to this school; you have my word on that".

Certainly I got no applauses at all, but I realized then that I really meant how important being a good teacher is to me. It is not about "taming" 20 wills to my own, but about remembering what kind of strong person I am. I may have forgotten after two years of servitude, but what my students don't know is how much they have been teaching me about how mean and machiavelic they can be, and, sorry for them, they will found out only until next year, when I will have the reins in my hand, or the pan by the handle, as we say in Spanish.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coming backs hurt - a lot!

The most enourmous gratitude and love to ines, miao and kyklops for all their good wishes. Corny as it sounds, I do sincerely appreciate that from so far, you were concerned about your humble friend. May all the blessings of the Universe shower on your lives.

I spent the whole weekend at the hospital. The intervention turned out to be a relatively simple procedure that lasted an hour only. I was so scared, though, that I spent the whole pre and post intervention processes flowing the staff with the silliest utterances my panicked brain has ever produced. The most celebrated comment was something like this:

(Patient, still a bit numb from anaesthesia and a 24 hour fast, is waiting for the recovery room clearance. Staff is hungry and thinking about dinner)
Nurse 1: I'm starving. Any ideas for dinner?
Nurse 2: I think we should call Antonio to order something.
Patient (raising her hand numbily): Pizza would be fine for me, thanks.

And that is just a sample.

The visible evidence of the procedure consists on a small puncture under my last right rib, an almost invisible small puncture inside the bellybutton cleft and a beautiful second belly button 2 inches bellow my sternum. The invisible, I will carry 2 titanium staplers inside my belly for the rest of my life. Talking about extra weigth, eh?

Unfortunately, someone messed up with my insurance policy, and we're having a bit of trouble solving the economical part of this issue, I'm feeling a bit depressed without any apparent reason and, on top of that, although I was able to go to work yesterday, last night the remmanant pain was so intense that I had to miss my students' bimester exam today (crap!). But considering ALL the things that could've gone WRONG, I think we are still on the winning side.

I can't wait for the official dismisal day to go and wolf down the chessiest, most fattening and greasiest pizza I can find!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


There might be a slight chance that I get my gallbladder problem solved this very weekend. That might sound like good news, you'd think. But as usual, it always seems that my family are absolutely incapable of taking a grip on themselves, and I, the patient, has to be comforting and supporting my relatives who immediatly panic.

Why the hell can't I be pampered and spoiled for once? I'm absolutely terrified, since it would be the very first major surgery I would undergo in my life, and I have to spend time calming people around me!!

That is just so unfair...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning: how do you deal with old technology?

It's been a long while, but adapting to my new job is taking longer than I thought.
Spring Break, which I devoted to tiding my house and my driving lessons is about to finish, and I haven't found the answer to a very stressful question: how do you get rid of all old technology?

I found myself surprised with the amount of now useless items I picked up from long forgotten drawers and my closets: my first computer (now more than 10 years old), a traditional auto-focus camera, a battery-tape reporter recorder from my college years and a walkman! Now that the laptop, the digital camera, the MP3 and the camera-included cell-phone, both of which include voice-recording devices have obsoleted them forever, I don't know how to discard them in a practical and ecological way, not to mention that my capitalist heart is torn by the idea of throwing away those items that cost me so much effort to acquire in those days. The fact that they must go due to room optimization remains, though.

I mean, what am I suppossed to do? Put them into plastic bags and throw them into the garbage bin, just like that? My ecological conscience tells me that they may end up in a field polluting the ground with their electronic parts. On the other hand, who in his right mind would offer money for this prehistoric age devices, when even the sanitation man can afford a cheap cell-phone? In this era of constantly up-grading technology, how are we expected to deal with all the obsolete items that used to be the coolest trend no more than 5 years ago?

Regarding my old computer, I've been told that the CPU might still be used as a "slave" for our more modern computers, adding to the storage capacity, but I have absolutely no idea about how to do that, not to mention even opening the case. On top of that, the question about how to retrieve and convert into more modern formats all the information contained there and in all my cassettes (more than a hundred) creates a critical problem, since searching for that info on the web would consume a lot of hours I should be devoting to preparing my classes.

For some younger people this wouldn't represent a serious problem, given the fact they must be familiarized since long ago with this kind of situation, but for yours truly, who is just catching up with the newest tech-trends, is becoming a real headache.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Remember I mentioned having purchased a laptop? Although it has solved a lot of practical issues I used to have as a teacher, discovering the advantages of wireless connection is becoming some sort of addiction to me. Right now, I've just finished answering my students' emailed homeworks and updated my class webpage while lying comfortably flat on my belly and watching tv. I've just found myself tempted like ten times to take out my laptop at the oddest places and try to find an unsecure wireless connection. It might be the delight of having a new toy to play with, but I noticed the fact, though.

Could I be turning into a web-addict?

(oh, my gosh!)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Laptop

O.k., I know that for most of you this has been part of your daily life for long, but for me it is pure novelty. I'm writing this from my just recently purchased new laptop!

As obvious as it may seem for younger readers, I'm just thrilled with the discovery of the comfort it represents sitting in the living room, taking even more advantage of my wireless conection, watching the Oscars ceremony enjoying the company of my husband while I work on my student-aimed webpage and avoiding shooing the cat's butt from the keyboard.

Laptops rock!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Next week, my 8th grade students are going on a camping trip organized by the school. One would assume teachers would be happy to have some time to devote to their catching up. Not me. 8 students are staying due to disciplinary sanctions, and most of us teachers will have to devote time to keep an eye on them and assign enough work to prevent them from killing each other (metaphorically, of course). To cap it all, that's the week I'm not assigned guard duty (basically, keeping an eye on all the students) at the end of the day. Isn't it deliciously ironic?

Thank God, I'm ready with at least one class, from the two I was assigned. My dear boss was so kind in that regard. I'll have to take some time during the week to prepare a second one, but I'll make sure these guys won't have a minute to breath.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not my cup of tea.

Grades have to be delivered Friday 15th the latest and I'm not even halfway through them.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Now I know what it feels like...

Man, I did feel like crap doing this, but after counting the months some bloggers posted for the last time, I had to take the hard decision to erase them from my public list. Now only 3 remain. I do hope these guys come back soon, since I really appreciated their style and vision, but I guess it's time to move forward.

I'm also seriously considering to integrate my Spanish marks here, since "Planeta Quejas" doesn't seem to be working. I'll give it another try but, if necessary, it will have to be executed, for the benefit of "The Usual Stuff".

It does hurt, tough.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Back from the black hole

Again, I must thank miao, for being so kind as to cry for me. THANK YOU, MY DEAR; ALL THE BEST WISHES FROM MY HEART TO YOU!!

And finally I found a good reason to be back, since my life has taken a complete turn. I have finally been able to quit my awful, passive, future-denied job and get back into what I'm really cut out to do, which happens to be teaching.

I'm currently working at a Middle school, trying to transmit some of my little literary knowledge into hard-headed, selfish, spoiled, irresponsible and rude 8th graders. (I know what you're gonna say: new job and she's already complaining!? What's the matter with this girl!) The fact is that, despite how exhausting it is, I must say I do love it. Even tough I got here in the middle of the school year, which is the toughest moment for a newcomer to take over, finally my skills and energy are at full use. My time is at last used to the last minute and my brain is aching to keep up with all the research and lesson preparation, which is the absolute opposite to the dullest year of my life. On the other hand, the wage is definitely better and now there are fringe benefits, which were non-existent at my previous job.

So, I took the leap, and decided that, if I'm gonna be stuck somewhere for the rest of my life (since I'm about to turn 35 the Mexican labor market is eager to mark me as "disposable"), I'd rather be stuck doing something I really love, and God granted me this blessing, and I am oh so grateful for it.

Greetings to everyone!!