Sunday, December 23, 2007

October, November, December ~ Time Flies

This is a spectacular shot of the Corpus Christi bay taken from a distance. Off in the distance if you squint your eyes slightly, you can catch a glimpse of the long bridge that is both frightening and thrilling. October marks a quite successful month for me. I completed my Teacher Certificate and passed the Final Exam to be a certified teacher in the state of Texas. There was about two weeks of constant cramming and memorization of Bloom's Taxonomy and Professional Ethics for teachers, and lots of prayer. Beautiful and ironic that I took the test during the month of October, Our Lady of the Rosary.

I always feel that she's looking out for me. Sometimes, in my mind before I take an exam or embark on something, I softly say the prayers in my mind. Or I simply say something like "please Mary, pray for me." It gives me a great sense of security.

I have a large amount of thanksgiving to offer my God who constantly lifts me over the troubled waters.

October marks another special time, because Tony asked for my hand in marriage which has been a tearful and joyful occassion. This is it, in less than a year from now, Iwill leave my parents' home to become a wife and taste that bittersweet flavor of independence and freedom - directly into the care of Tony. All the details are set, the church reserved, community center, catering service, and music. The smaller details will begin in January or February. I have ordered my beautiful satin wedding gown with sparkling beads and sequins in silver. I keep dreaming of it, wearing it, and feeling that swirl of satin around my body.

I have been glued to the television in my spare time, watching all kinds of wedding shows, and getting ideas. At the same time, I am struggling to find the right marriage preparation book for Tony and me. Then, there are some trial and error practices that are effective. Then that old repetitive saying - Just Communicate. We've had soem wonderful moments together, moments when I want to cry, because the thought of how much joy I feel, fills my insides with warmth. You know what I'm talking about that "awwww" moment.

November passed so quickly, that I don't remember much of it except for the quick Thanksgiving break from work. And assessment tests and results being recorded into computer screens, so data can be analyzed into that state-mandated manner.

December is almost gone, and so is 2007. December has been a lot of parties and celebrations. It's also been soem time, when I grow closer to Christ again, just renewing my private relationship with him through scripture, study of his word, or just simple prayer or talkign to him, knowing that he's there, and that he cares, and he wants to ease every pain I have. I also trust in the Lord for teh patience He continues to bless me with for my stressful fulfilling meaningful career as a teacher. I have two weeks off from work, and I plan to enjoy it. I am going to continue the study for my research on quinceaneras, and study another topic of science vs. faith. I made good grades in my grad school courses, but there's always a greater achievement after these credits. Always that larger aspiration.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Gonna Wear Bright Colors, Speak Spanish, and Smile

We had our 2nd week of RCIA classes, so I can officialy become Catholic around Easter-time. The nun who was teaching us is so funny and full of joy; God has really blessed her.

Last week one of my 4th graders said that I wore too much black, and it looked like I was mourning. A couple of years ago, I had stopped wearing so much black.

That's when Tony and I first got together, and there was this new-found glow to everything. You know that first glow to love when everything is perfect; he's perfect, and he never made me cry. He loved me in colors, especially red. I remember the day I cleaned out my closet, looking at the colors and the different representations. - blue - cool, comforting, the color the Virgin Mary wears.

Somehow I did drift back to wearing black. There was a period of time, I was struggling to erase inner pains. I relived that process of the wounds bleeding, dripping little drops of blood, as if my heart was pricked with a needle, stinging little pains. All the time, radiating that aura of happiness. While inside, scars were forming over my heart, and I was thinking to myself, "Is Pendeja written on my forehead? Why does this always freakin' happen?" Saying over and over to him or them, it's okay, really it's okay, you didn't hurt me that bad. Or saying nothing at all, but proceeding with life like nothing happened, Sometimes, it's better that way. The thing about these struggles and pain - there's always that rainbow after the storm, that light @ the end of the tunnel.

I heard something yesterday on EWTN that said what is one of the main differences between Catholics and Protestants; someone shouted MARY. Right! I think that's an important reason I feel closer to Catholicism, because I do feel she is there; she listens when I pray. I do feel content knowing I have a Mother in Heaven. It makes sense, you know.

I have liked yellow a lot this past summer, not because it's Tony's favorite color. I do like how it is unique. Many more people have been wearing red, and I would rather wear something that not everyone is wearing. Research has shown that children's minds are better stimulated when they are exposed to brighter colors in dimly lit settings, so I keep the lights off and lamps on and sunlight seeping through the blinds. The LCD projector making the humming fan noise as videos and Power Points are preseneted on the white screen that hides that ugly old-fashioned ancient, makes my fingers hurt to write on it, CHALKBOARD!

I have been selected stories with bits of Spanish because the students are learning Spanish in their World Lang. Curriculum, and I like speaking Spanish even though I do not say the words perfectly, but at least, I roll my R's and say 'em the Mexican way, you know what I mean? I don't like it when Latinos try to speak like white people speaking Spanish when they know they can roll their R's.

I am going to keep smiling, because that creates a joyful atmosphere. I am honestly happy teaching the students; there are days I can put my worries aside and really focus on that. We really aren't supposed to bring our worries to work or have a negative attitude or take anything out on the kids. Sometimes, it is inevitable, but I work hard at staying alert and attentive to the students. Thank God for the energy, strength, and patience.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Comfortably Content

The third day of school has already passed, and I realize I am where I am supposed to be, comfortably content in my own classroom with the colorful posters with blue borders that have stars across them. The hunter green blinds and the sun seeping through the cracks. The red bean bags in the corners under the blue poster board that says "Reading Corner" in red letters. The carpets that range from cream to brown neatly arranged on the floor until the kids run over there and move them around to their fancy.

I am getting to know the students, one by one, emotions, hyperactivity, and sweetness - all put together in the assortment of 4th - 6th graders. My goal - to teach them to be active readers and creative writers. What fun lessons. I do like the age of fourth graders; they are still children with a hint of puberty sprouting within, and they don't even realize it. The fifth graders are well-mannered, but still losing that unconsciousness of the difference between boys and girls. Yesterday, during an introductory lesson of changes. I asked the question, "What kind of changes are taking place in your life right now? Physical changes? Emotional changes?" One little boy with a bright smile, yelled out "I'm becoming a MAN!" I wanted to release the laugh out loud, instead smiled cheerfully and wrote it physical "bodily" changes on the board.

The sixth graders are mature, able to relate to those teeange growing-up both frightening and enlightening narratives. They are that lazy generation of "show me video clips, and I will watch and be quiet" later on, they thanked me and said they had so much fun, watchign the news from They were still learning; it's a concept of journalism - the news. I was still teaching.

It has been fun; I am tired - my eyelids are heavy, but I am thankful and grateful for God's work in my life.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poesia para mi amor

Cuantas Veces?

Me amas cuando estoy delicada
Me amas cuando siento fuerte
Me amas cuando necesito mas
En todo tiempo – tienes amor para mí…

Nunca perderé mi amor para ti

Te voy amar cuando tienes una sonrisa de alegría
Te voy amar cuando tienes una sombra de miedo
Te voy amar cuando tienes una mirada de la confianza

Siempre crees en mí
Siempre creo en ti.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Already Knew

First teacher interview
I drove 50 miles
grey slacks
cropped at the ankle
pearly pink pointy shoes
pastel pink dress shirt
under a grey blazer
three quarter sleeve
I thought I looked professional

When they asked if I had any questions
about the district
I thought for a minute
this is a small town,
it seems sheltered,
did I blab too much about being Latina?
did I clarify my desire to make a difference enough?
did I stop being nervous by now?
I wish I would stop sweating.

-Since you asked me what make me different from other applicants, and why you should hire me, then I want to know what makes your district so different, so unique, why should I work for you?

Maybe I was too forward
the prinicipal glanced at the superintendent
the counselor in cut off jeans with holes and a tank top smiled at me,

The principal,
straight faced
no emotions,
I couldn't tell if she was mad or bored or annoyed,

"Well, we have high scores on the TAKS test, our community is very close, we have a dress code."
She paused as if deciding to continue then stopped talking altogether.

The interview was concluded;
I already knew
that gut feeling that tells you,
No, I didn't get the job.

I stepped back to the outer office,
the secretary typed away frantically,
I don't like this place anyway.

They're too quiet,
like where is their spirit?
It's okay, I know God has something better.
I grabbed my pink folder of resumes and college transcripts,
-Thank you for your time; I have to get to class now. I am a grad student you know, always wanting to learn more, that's my most valuable asset.

I drove back to Victoria,
preparing to go to class,
that night I received another phone call,
while I was visiting Tony at work.

I did not recongize the number,
but still answered it.
It was the human resources director from another school,
I already knew,
as soon as I pressed end on my cell phone and slid it shut,
I am going to get this job.

Before even going to the interview,
I already knew.
They smiled while they asked me questions,
still keeping a level of professionalism,
accompanied by that warmth
that says "we like you; we could see you at our school."
I paused to consider
the pay scale was low, state standard,
the school is small,
only about fifteen - twenty minutes away from home,
the students will be 4th graders; that'll be my homeroom.
They're going to throw in a class of 5th graders and 6th graders, too.
Hmm, that's a lot of planning for a first year teacher,
but I won't get bored teaching the same thing all day.
Each student will be different; different ages, different genders, different hormones.
Hay Dios! Can I handle that?

I signed the dotted line by the "x,"
felt a new air of confidence,
they really appreciated my passion, my energy, my desire to help the students,
going beyond the "calling" of being a teacher,
because we don't just teach,
we have to be social workers, psychologists, parents, sisters,

As I was leaving my interview,
the human resource director beamed at me
"you're going to be such an excellent role model for those girls."
I smiled back,
- I will do my best.
I already knew...
this is where I belong.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finally - Tiempo Para Escribir Otra Vez!

The two weeks went by so quickly but so long at the same time, like I kept watching my watch - can the second hand move any slower? I had two weeks of 12 days of teacher workshops. The State of Texas does not make it easy to be a teacher here; they want to stress you out and give you these tests, and right when you think you've completed them all, another one is thrown at you. But it's okay! It will be worth it on the first day of school when I start teaching.

God has been working so much in my life; I just celebrated my 23rd birthday. On Thursday, Tony and I did some work for my quinceanera project; we interviewed the priest at the Church and it was fun, very powerful, influential, truthful interivew - sin pelos en la lengua. Then we had turkey burgers for dinner; they were okay, next we saw Live Free or Die Hard - pretty action-oriented film! Tony bought me a dozen pink roses, a pretty balloon that said "Relax, it's your birthday!", some chocolate kisses, the movie In the Time of the Butterflies. It was fun being with him and celebrating my birthday.

Friday, I celebrated with my family and some friends, too bad that Tony had to work because the new Harry Potter book came out; I think about 50 sold, because everyone buys books like at Waldenbooks or Hastings here in Victoria. My mom made hamburgers with toasted buns and all the works and my sister, Tina, made nachos. We had delicious red velvet cake and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert and lots of rasberry tea! The family atmosphere was great, that's what I love about being Latina, we may talk a lot of sh*t, but hey we're always here for each other, whether it's to talk sh*t or celebrate or chismar. Whatever you know!

I got a lot of gifts, fairy (Tinkerbell) stuff, teacher stuff, M & M's, a sexy top I am wearing today! I can't believe my brother who I have called my "bro" since I was like one, bought me this cute cute top in bright turqoiuse with a yellow design that had a low V-Neck. He was teasing me saying, "you like to show your chi-chis all the time, so we made sure it was low-cut." LMAO! Tony liked it; it's not that revealing!! Omg, which reminds me, one of my sisters, bought me a bunch of stuff in a bag, and there was a box of condoms in there! I tried to throw it off and stuffed it in the gift bag with purple tissue paper on top. I didn't want my mom to notice and flip!

Even at my party, I was worried about school-work; I kept saying I needed to watch Total Recall this weekend, so I could do my assignment for my film class, and one of my guests, a close friend of the family, ended up running to the video store and buying me the DVD, pretty cool! I am so thankful for all these wonderful things in my life; Tony and I start RCIA courses soon with the Church, so I will be completely Catholic by April and we are getting closer to marriage, frightening, isn't it? (wink-wink) I just noticed that JcPenney has some beautiful wedding dresses at affordable prices, too. Hmm, inspiriation to lose weight! Either way, I need to take better care of myself, because of my health and history of heart disease, diabetics, etc. And, the clothes are tight!

More and more, Tony and I are in the public eye,
People have been coming up to us lately, either assuming we're married or that we're already engaged. If finances were different, we'd probably be there, but it's okay. Patience is a virtue, and I love Tony regardless of his income. Like those Chicano rap songs say, "Down for you when you have money, and down when you're broke." haha, I'm straight up loyal like that!

Last week was my niece's quince, and it was such a blast that before we knew it, it was over. I didn't get to sleep till close to 3 a.m. and my feet were so swollen, I didn't think my silver dress shoes would come off! I wore a black halter dress that had a black and white design on the skirt -very pretty! I actually like halters now. I thought I was too big to wear them, but turns out I am not! Soo woohoo, lemme look sexy and pretty! My niece looked so grown-up, mature, too! She is so tall; I can't believe it already passed; we were so used to planning it.

I know this entry is long, but I still have one more thing to mention. Today as I was waiting in line to set up my deductions to pay my loan from the service center that is giving me my teacher's certificate, I started talking to this lady. The more we talked, the more she recongized me from school and from the community. I felt real honored to be told I was a role model because of all my community work with the Latina Forum, I wanted to cry. There have been so many changes in the organization whose original mission was to promote higher education for Latina youth by being role models.. I have been disheartened by some of the changes, but hearing about the influence I can make in a young one's life, was motivating. I want to continue doing what I can; I know God can use me in so many ways, and the Latina Forum has been something I have been very passionate about, and I'd like to pray that that passion is reborn - despire some of the negative attitudes or conflicts that arise.
Here's a link to page I created a couple of years ago ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week 2 - Quinceanera Project

For one of my graduate Comm. courses, I am making a documentary about quinceaneras, reflecting the changes from traditional quinces to modern quinces. I am also going to include a great deal about the influence of pop culture. I was ecstatic about this project, because I think it's something so important in our culture. The misa, the reception, the dance. The way some young girls today, don't take as much consideration into the misa, how we live in a culture of materialism, it's all about outdoing the other quinceaneras, etc. I am glad to have met some girls who actually do understand that they are becoming a woman, getting new responsibilities, no longer a little girl.

Tony and I have been interviewing people, like every day that we spend together is spent working, seeking out people for interviews. Last week, we interviewed a deacon who had a lot to share about the religious aspect and the classes he teaches to prepare the girls for their quinceaneras. Immediately afterwards, we saw some viejitas in the parking lot who I recognized, turns out they were there for a rosary. I glanced at one of their shirts and saw a picture of an eldery man I actually knew. He was the husband of my grandpa's sister, so I was glad to be there. We ended up attending the rosary and offering condolences to the family. I had done quinceanera pictures for one of the grand daughters. We saw two rows of orange; all of the grandchildren were wearing orange Longhorn t-shirts. They actually buried him in an orange collared Longhorn t-shirt and blue jeans, with a Longhorn football. We are all about UT here!
Afterwards, we went by my tio's house and visited there for awhile, then we went to eat at El Patio, my favorite Mexican restuarant in Port Lavaca! We ended up seeing some of my former students, there. So I got some interviews scheduled, and I actually ended up interviewing one of my students. It was fun; we got a lot accomplished.

Yesterday, we got a lot accomplished as well, interviewed 2 fifteen year old silly boys who were hilarious, but fun to listen to. We also interviewed Gloria, who had a great perspective about the cultural changes from her time to today. We spent a lot of time at La Michiocana, a Mexican Meat Market/Taqueria. It was nice there, being among Spanish-speaking people, and feeling how desperately I could not communicate as well, so Tony had to do most of the talking. Overall, the project has been taking up a lot of time, and my computer has not been working with the video-editing program. So that is frustrating, but I am determined to fix it! :) :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Numero Uno

I am not new to the blogging world or the writing world at that; I just take prolonged rests. I get involved in other things called mi vida. But when the creatives juices flow, they flow - fast like the river currents of the Guadalupe River when the rain comes down.

I created this blog to write about my experiences as a Tejana. As I live here, in Tejas, I realize how different and similar mi vida is to the other lives of Latinas in the U.S. Here is where I share bits and pieces of the business that makes up cada dia. To share a bit about who I am - first generation college graduate - B.A. in English/Comm (my degree is my pride and joy - the first of many bambinos I will conceive in this lifetime), graduate student - forever learning, actively pursuing my dream of someday becoming a college prof..

Education is one of my passions; I am grateful to my God who called me to become a teacher less than a year ago. I am currently completing the teacher certificaiton process; they don't make it easy to become a teacher in Texas! I gotta know the psychological developoment of children from birth till adulthood; can you say mucha tarea? I start my first teaching assignment in August; that's the light at the end of the tunnel.

The past year after completing my Bachelor's degree, I felt somewhat in the dark. Not completely, I wasn't like trapped in depression or anything, but finances weren't what I expected for a college graduate, every day was not packed with the tasks of a career, but hey it's okay. God was there with me the whole way, teaching me lessons every day. We gotta know that what we want done aint' always on our time. Sometimes, God is trying to teach us patience.

I am looking forward to it. 4th grade Homeroom, and on top of that 4th/5th/6th grade Reading/Language Arts. It's right in my territory. I am not used to the age, but I know this is where God wants me to be, and I cannot express my gratitude enough! The school is about 15 mins - 20 mins max. from my house, so not much driving. The ladies hired me because they were impressed when I said "becoming a teacher is a calling." :) :)

I don't know want to go on with this basic intro because you are going to get to know me through the blog entries. I am happily - ecstatically (if there is a word) - madly - in love with el amor de mi vida, Tony. Gracias a Dios that our paths crossed when I needed to experience the never-ending pains and everlasting joys of amor eterno. He's a big part of my life; my best friend and worst enemy - at the same time. I look at him sometimes in the middle of a criticism or correction, and I see myself... To experience true love - is to look at the other - see all their faults, but still manage to see their goodness and see your soul in their eyes.

Some people in our families say we are obsessed with one another. I talk about our relationship freely; our ups and downs, how once he entered my life, he never left my heart. Because I want everyone to have faith in love, give everyone that romance-novel, never lose hope, there's someone for everyone, feeling. That hope that no matter how lonely you think you are, God is watching you and He has someone created just for you. I pray for single people a lot, the single people I know, and the single people I do not know. The single people I see in the street, at the library, inside Hastings - jamming to his Ipod, lost in a magazine, but still with a lonely look in his eyes. So I will leave you with that.

1 Corin. 13:4-7 - LOVE IS PATIENT.