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Showing posts from September, 2020

Apple Picking without Discrimination

In New England, apple picking is the quintessential fall fun activity. I actually didn't know going to an orchard to pick your own apples was a pastime until I moved to Boston, but after I went with my youth group during my freshman year of college I was hooked, and I've been apple picking with friends or family every fall since. I have beautiful memories of walking up and down rows of apple-laden (or sometimes picked bare!) trees, trying to climb to the top and always searching for the shiniest, juiciest apples. Even one of Francisco and my first dates was apple picking.  In my 15 years of residency on the East Coast, I've visited a variety of apple orchards in New England nearly every autumn and a few years ago, I thought I had finally found the perfect place. Tougas Family Farm had everything you wanted for your perfect fall afternoon--apple and pumpkin picking, fresh apple cider and donuts, kettle corn, a petting farm, a hayride, and a playground for the kids. But it al

Storytime Bilingüe featuring “Oh the Places You'll Go”

Although it was written just about 30 years ago now, Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss, reaches the best-seller list every year right around graduation time. It's no surprise, because the children's story tells the archetypal truths of growing up, moving out, and embarking upon life's journey on your own. It depicts both the highs and the lows of coming of age, and as children love it for its playful images, meter and rhyme, and nonsense words, adults enjoy it just as much, because even after countless reads, it still pulls on the heartstrings. So when Audelina, the first emerging bilingual I raised, came by after her graduation ceremony in her cap and gown to show off her diploma, I had to record a bilingual story time of her reading this story to Maya and Mateo.  I actually received this copy of the book from my youth pastor at Ojai Presbyterian Church when I graduate from high school in 2005. All of my friends in the youth group signed it, and when I was a classro

Storytime Bilingüe featuring “El camioncito azul”

 Mateo absolutely loves trucks. In fact, one of his first "words" was "vroom vroom," as he crawled around the house, pushing one of his favorite toy trucks. Since his big sister is only two years older, he inherited most of her toys, so there is always an assortment of toys on the lower levels of the bookshelf for the kids to choose from. Some are baby dolls, or toys that could be considered "girly," but most are gender-neutral like musical instruments, play food, and puzzles. If Maya is playing with her baby dolls or her doll house, Mateo is happy to play with her. But when I set him loose just to play on his own, he always gravitates directly to his toy trucks, tractors, and cars.  So it is no surprise that the Spanish translation of the classic Little Blue Truck is Mateo's favorite book. Now that he is tall enough to select books for himself from the bookshelf, that one is the first one he grabs.    He clutched it tightly, toddles over to the rug, s

If Only Eliminating the Social Problems depicted in Cuties were as easy as Canceling Netflix

  I wish people were more upset about the social problem #Cuties depicts, instead of so upset that a movie depicts social problems. It is the sad, disgusting truth that this film reflects REAL LIFE. So instead of writing to Netflix to get it removed from the streaming service, you should be writing to Tik Tok to not accept users under 18, writing to Cardi B and Miley Cyrus to stop teaching young girls these overtly sexual moves, and writing to the clothing companies who design and sell such scantly clothing for children! If you haven't seen the film Cuties on Netflix yet, go watch it, and then draw your own conclusions. Please, please, do not cancel your Netflix, petition Congress, or rant on Facebook until you have actually seen it. Don't join in the uneducated American public bandwagon that is vilifying first-time film maker Maïmouna Doucouré, making their judgements based upon only having watched the explicit trailer Netflix chose to curate to promote the English translatio

For when you're feeling a monstrous prism of feelings...

  "Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions," the artist Pablo Picasso once said.  He is remarking upon how colors are often connected to different emotions and feelings.  Warm colors can give rise to different emotions than cool colors and bright colors can create different feelings than muted colors. As a skilled painter, Picasso must have been deeply aware of the nuances of color. But varying colors can have different effects upon each of us. It all depends on how the psychological effects of color . While there hasn't been extensive research on the subject , there are some color effects that have universal meaning. Colors can make us feel happy, sad, hungry, relaxed. These reactions are rooted in psychological effects , biological conditioning and cultural imprinting.  Colors in the red area of the color spectrum are known as warm colors and include red, orange, and yellow. These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort t

Work From Home Mom

 I want to write about what it's been like to survive my first week as a stay-at-home-and-work mom, but it's so overwhelmingly hard I can barely muster the strength to type. The school year for teachers started last Monday, and since the state gave us a 10-day delay for the students to start, we have spent that time from 8am to 3pm in online professional development, webinars, team meetings, and curriculum meetings, trying to prepare for a remote start to the year.  It's kind of like when you have a new baby, and everything seems so magnificently hard... and then you have your second child in two years, and you realize when you only had one it was EASY!  Since most international travel is still quite limited and the Guatemalan airport is closed, our plan to have dear Tia Mari return to take care of the kids when I went back to work has been thwarted. That's left us without any reliable childcare, and I've continued the role of stay-at-home mom as my role of work-fro

Storytime Bilingüe featuring “Cachorro carinoso”

 This week concludes our author study of some of our favorite Sandra Boynton board books in Spanish, and we have a guest reader who entertains us with his animation and antics. I thought it thoroughly appropriate for our beloved Papi to read the book "Cachorro cariñoso" to Maya and Mateo, as it is a playful love song from parent to child. Though he does not sing the lyrical story exactly, his love for his two little ones is quite evident in their interactions together.  So snuggle up with your little puppies at home, and enjoy this sweet and fun story!