Saturday, September 17, 2005

Reflection

Last night I called my sister to find out how things were going in Puerto Rico, especially about my apartment that is up for rent. Anyway, it turns out that the realtor had not fixed the sofa that is broken in the apartment. Why would a realtor be fixing my broken sofa? That is a long story worthy of a rainy day and I will probably write about it when I get the apartment rented again. Anyway, my sister is renting it for now. I have a cup on my desk, and I happened to glance at it and it has a Bible verse, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Yes I will do that not only for the apartment but also for the situation I was going to address. One of my most beloved aunts, Titi Georgina, "Georgy," as Mami calls her is very ill in the hospital.

Our relationship was always a reflection of my mother's own closeness to her. My mom was Evie's godmother even though Titi Sarita stood in her place at her baptism. The point is Mom and Titi Georgina have always been close and as a consequence I have many enduring memories of visiting Titi Georgina. Titi was married for a short time and had a daughter, Evie, who is only a couple of months older than me. Whenever we were in Puerto Rico on vacation while Daddy was in the service, we frequently visited Titi Georgina. I had my first pancake at Titi Georgina's house when she rented Titi Carmen's house. While she rented Mom's house in Puerto Nuevo, I listened to Frank Sinatra, croon, Fly me to the Moon, and other classics. Later, Abuelita (Mamita as mom would call her) went to live with Titi and of course it meant even more visits. Finally when we moved to Puerto Rico when I was thirteen, Evie and I, became quick friends and of course we were "primas hermanas." It is a closeness not reflected in the term cousin. The literal translation is cousin sister, but I like, sister cousins since we were almost sisters. As I look back, I think Titi was a little wary of this anglosized niece who came into their lives, that she never allowed Evie to spend the night at my house but I did spend many a night at Evie's sharing a twin size bed. Eating an orange while listening to my elders carry on a conversation while I stared at the brown japanese pattern painted on the wall with a roller trying to count how many lines there were or finding any twisted mistake in the pattern, later talking to Evie about books sitting on the cool terrazo floor in the then open front porch which was shaded by a tree with big roots that deformed the sidewalk, babysitting Abuelita and learning to play briscas over and over again since it was such a complicated game for me compared to fish and casino, going to the back terraza and learning about plants from Titi, under the canopy of a blossoming pink studded acacia tree. Memories, scattered and bundled together. And Titi facilitating in such a kind manner so many of the things I enjoyed. Of course, not all was pleasant, it wasn't easy for Titi to carry such a load but she did it with grace, and I will always be grateful to her. Titi was Abuelita's caretaker until she went to heaven when Annie was a baby, and now it looks like Titi is about to join her. Recently, in Puerto Rico, knowing her health was failing, I visited her twice and last night I got to talk to her by phone and told her I loved her and she understood. Now it is time to practice Philippians 4:6.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


A pretty hill in Naranjito. Posted by Picasa

A day trip to Naranjito with my sister Doris where we ran into Damaris, my cousin, who is a hoot! Posted by Picasa

Another view. Posted by Picasa

This is the construction at "Wesleyan" now Christian Community Church. The new basement is almost complete! It is huge. Posted by Picasa

Still another view, this time the road down there is La Carretera de Caguas near La Muda. Posted by Picasa

A look toward San Juan. Do recognize anything? Posted by Picasa

Mami taking pictures in el Mirador in Guaynabo just going up the road from Barrio Camarones on our way to Valle Escondido. Isn't she cute? Posted by Picasa

Flamboyan against the sky Posted by Picasa

closeup of Flamboyan flower Posted by Picasa

Flamboyan near mom's house in Trujillo Alto. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2005

Going from the sublime to the mundane and back again

I got a haircut today. Nothing unusual except my hairdresser, Cristina, who happens to be from Italy and married to a Puerto Rican, was so happy to see me and commented on how well I looked. She said she noticed it as I stepped out of the car. She said I looked real well. Several days ago, I had someone else comment on the same thing. That time is was Marcia, an excellent math teacher, at Discovery. She said I looked well rested. I have only two things, I can attribute it to. First of all, I am no longer a slave. I was living like a slave. I worked hard at school, went home to correct papers and to write lesson plans, and fall asleep exhausted. There was no end to it. Now,I feel so liberated and happy. I am starting to pursue my hobbies and I must be more relaxed about it! I have deadlines to meet at work but they seem reasonable, compared to all the demands of teaching. I get to see and talk to kids while I do lunch duty and some have learned my name. It is cute, so Ha, I got the cake and get to eat it, too.

It is really unfortunate, when I think of all the demands they put on teachers... it is no wonder then that many teachers do not last more than five years at the job. Don't get me started on the demands, parent teacher conferences, some times with hostile belligerent parents, administrators that sometimes do not back the teachers, though that seldom was my case, but I have had bad experiences and I have heard stories. When you are new or not the most popular you often get varied curriculi to teach thus multiple lesson plans are required,and finally,(so I thought) the paper work which is huge, and specialized lesson plans for particular students, ex. ANI, IEP, etc., continued education, and extracurricular activities you are expected to attend. All this for a 30 something salary. People are not in it for the money, but frankly, it was a load before, now it's a burden.

So, what do I think? Will I go back to teaching? Well, never say never. I do like the idea of teaching adults. I also would like to go back and study Art. Maybe I could teach Art. Wow the thought of it. I would be doing what I love and not have to be overburdened with reading and correcting. It seems exciting... No wonder I am looking better...