Friday, March 26, 2010
It was a hot summer day. Sophie was at her home in the north of Africa, thinking of her father the fisherman who had gone to sea. Suddenly she heard a noise outside the room. She stood up and went to the living room where a great light was shining from the old grandfather clock on the wall. She opened the door and to her great surprise she found she was on a big cruise liner. From the ship's deck, she could take in all the stars in the sky and heard a voice calling her to dinner in the great dining room. She had never seen a place like this, it was like some gracious, luxurious hotel. Again, to her astonishment, she was dressed like a princess. Everyone stood up for the captain to enter the dining room but the man in the penguin suit (tuxedo) was her dad. After their lovely meal, he took her around the boat. Then they ventured out onto the deck where they could survey the white coast and hundreds of penguins. It was like a dream.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I remember when I was a child every time I went to my granny’s big old house I noticed she had a grandfather clock in the drawing room and when it was striking the hours, you could hear the sound from almost everywhere in the house. Not to mention at night, if it stroke one that was not too bad but the striking of twelve created a real racket! Surely you got woken up.
Perhaps due to be awaken at night because of the clock, I used to stay by the window trying to find the moon and the stars in the dark night. When it was full moon you did not need to light either the room or the garden to see clearly.
But what really fascinated me in that house was the silver cutlery: the ancient spoons, knives and forks. My mother told me once that women in this family have been inheriting it (mother to daughter) from the seventeenth century up to now. Nowadays the cutlery belongs to my sister since my mother died a few years ago.
Miguel Angel NI-2B
Friday, March 12, 2010
On our last morning in Boston, before flying that very Tuesday afternoon to Chicago, we had a rare opportunity to visit the Massachusetts State House, the seat of government for my home state. I had ventured over to Beacon Hill at the break of dawn and spoke to a guard who gave us permission to visit before the official tours started at 10.
We set off at 9 and trudged the three blocks in a flurry of snow. The city took on that silent magic of whiteness muffling every corner. It was magic although as the frosting of snow grew deeper, we needed to walk with care to keep our feet.
Once inside those hallowed halls, the security people made us feel very welcome. They explained to us about the workings of the government as we toured both chambers and also gaped at the dome. It was an unforgettable experience.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Well we made it to the USA! Although many people warned us that the weather and cold would be too much for us, we made a once in a lifetime trip to Boston and Chicago. We even managed to make it to Turners Falls, Massachusetts for Valentine's Day so that my dear mom, Blanche Patricia Shea could meet my boss, Don Rafael Gutierrez Cabrera.
It was an amazing adventure which included lots of snowy, icy, chilly weather, but we managed fine. Before I provide my account of the trip, I would like to thank my mother for reserving us the room at the French King Restaurant and to Rafa for making it all possible and for believing in our students. I want to thank my family and friends for turning out for lunch and to my little sister Vicky, her husband Matt and their beautiful daughter Julie for taking us around downtown Turners (see photo below). I also want to thank all the students who made the trip special, especially Arminda, Jose Luis, Cayetana, Ana, Braulio, Paula (the timplista), Carola, Jesus, Teresa and Juan Pedro for your patience and perserverance. It was great to travel with you and learn about my native land, as academic tourists!
(the top photo is a group shot in downtown Turners Falls, while the other is of my mother, Rafa and me)