Saturday, June 12, 2010

un video, una biblioteca

This, my third unemployed Saturday searching for a teaching position. The Denver Post affirms my future is as uncertain as many others' in the Great Recession that may become our Permanent Condition:

"Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been warning that 300,000 school teachers may l
ose their jobs if the federal government doesn't bail out public school systems."

But if I despair, I can watch my daughter Marika's video of kids performing this May at the Barnum Elem. Talent Show. It covers the most important loves I nurture in my students: Love of animal and plant life, the Earth, the arts, their culture and fellow man, education and lastly, family.

A poem, a chant and a song. The performance won't win any competitions--they're just first graders--but I share it in case you need something uplifting, something to inspire you to keep searching for what your life lacks at the moment. For faster download, click the Small version. More info about the video content at the bottom of this post.

Biblioteca de Cuentos

A friend Juan V. sent me a site called Biblioteca de Cuentos.
There you will find a list of authors and stories or passages from larger works, all en español. Isabel Allende, Carlos Castaneda, Octavio Paz, Edgar Allen Poe y más. You click on an author's work and a screen open with a graphic and the stylized text for you to read. As my friend said, "Para los que tengan el tiempo de pasar en la compu aqui les va algo divertido." The Castaneda passage spoke to my search for a new job:

"Un camino no es más que un camino.

Que lo abandones cuando tu corazón así te lo indique no significa ningún desaire a ti mismo ni a los demás.

Pero tu decisión de seguir esa senda o apartarte de ella no debe ser producto del temor ni la ambición.

Luego hazte esta pregunta: ¿Tiene corazón este camino?

Todos los caminos son iguales, no llevan a ningún lado. Atraviesan la maleza, se internan o van por debajo de ella.

Si ese camino tiene corazón, entonces es bueno. De lo contrario, no te servirá de nada …

de "Las enseñanzas de Don Juan”, de Carlos Castaneda

about the poem, chant and song:

Children love many things. These activities touch on some of the most important. Performed by forty of Mr. R. Garcia's first grade students from this and prior years. [BTW, 90% of these kids attained grade level or advanced in reading.]

First poem, written by the 15th century prince of Texcoco, engineer and poet, Nezahualcoyotl, appears in microprint (in blue oval) on a 100-peso Mexican note. It refers to the love of the arts (music), animal (bird) and plant life (flower), the earth, represented by jade, and one's fellow man:
Amo el canto de zenzontle
Pájaro de cuatrocientas voces,
Amo el color del jade
Y el enervante perfume de las flores,
Pero más, amo a mi hermano: el hombre.
Nezahualcoyotl (1402-1472)

I love the song of the mockingbird,
The bird of four hundred voices,
I love the color of the jadestone
And the enervating perfume of flowers,
But more than anything, I love my brother: man.

The second chant speaks to the love of learning:
¿Por qué estás aquí? ¡Para aprender!

¿Por qué quieres aprender? Para subir, de nivel, y ser, más inteligente.

¿Más inteligente? ¡Sí! para ir, a la universidad.

¿Para ser? Para ser científico, para ser doctora, para ser astronauta, etc.

- created by Mr. Garcia and his first graders

The final song concerns love for one's mother and father, and family, despite one's economic situation. Accompanied on guitar by Joaquin from El Centro Su Teatro.
Song Ay Mamacita
taken from the Denver Oratorio CD, copyright Daniel Valdez, available from

Es todo, hoy,

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