lunes, 28 de mayo de 2007

That anonymous crossing…

That anonymous crossing, the singular and special moment in which so many people graze shoulders and arms. The seconds you take to cross moving firmly feet and legs with the same rhythm of arms. The head in a topic that worries one, but at the same time concentrated on not stepping on someone’s foot or crashing somebody. Only grazing is allowed. The endless moment of unknown and serious faces, people carrying books, suitcases, talking at the cell phone, a child holding his mother’s hand. That uncomfortable moment in which one feels nothing… Or rather one more in the unknown crowd, who not only unknowns everybody doing the same movement, but even thinks he unknowns himself. New faces in one’s life, some we might recognize, but not greet, just an exchange of looks; if one’s not staring at the floor fearing a fall. Uncountable shoulders, uncountable feet, unaccountably one tries to count them, or at least estimate how many. But once more one fails, that answer can’t be gotten that easily. That anonymous crossing to which many people who were talking stop it in order not to loose the conversation thread between so many people, so many faces with other conversations in mind. So many people, so many lives, so many unknown bodies. I am a stranger, he is one too, but looks are unavoidable. Firmly one crosses, finishes the peculiar moment and stays thinking in one of the faces… But generally they have been simply ‘nothing’ and ‘nobody’. Simply unknowns we don’t know and we do not care about their lives, their worries, their faces. That anonymous crossing tends to be eternal although it lasts just some seconds. It can make us think, it can make us feel we are nobody. One more, just one stranger more. One more, one less, whatever. That singular moment were there are unavoidable grazes, exchangeable looks. Firmly one walks, firmly one goes on. We did it, we didn’t crash, we didn’t hook, we didn’t fall down, we didn’t recognize each other… That anonymous crossing to which many people call ‘crossing the pedestrian path’ is which makes me feel one more, one less between so many people alike, but so different at the same time. That anonymous crossing over parallel white lines. The singular anonymous crossing over the pedestrian path.

(I couldn’t find a pic of a pedestrian path with a lot of people…)


Ese cruce anónimo

Ese cruce anónimo, el singular y especial momento en el que tanta gente roza hombros y brazos. Los segundos que uno tarda en cruzar moviendo ligeramente pies y piernas al compás de brazos. La cabeza en algún tema que a uno le preocupa, pero a su vez concentrado en no pisar pies, en no chocar bruscamente, sólo está permitido rozar. El interminable momento de caras desconocidas, de rostros serios, cargando libros, maletas, hablando por celular, el niño de la mano del adulto. Ese momento incómodo en el que uno se siente nadie… O más bien, uno más en la multitud de desconocidos, que no sólo desconoce a todos los que efectúan el mismo movimiento, sino que hasta cree desconocerse a sí mismo.

Caras nuevas en nuestra vista, algunas podremos reconocer, pero no saludar, sólo un intercambio de miradas; si es que uno no está mirando al piso con miedo de tropezar. Incontables hombros, incontables pies, incontablemente uno intenta contarlos, o al menos descifrar cuántos. Pero una vez más fracasa, a esa respuesta uno no la puede obtener.

Ese cruce anónimo para el que mucha gente que venía manteniendo una conversación, la detiene, en orden de no perder el hilo entre tanta gente, entre tantos rostros con otras conversaciones en mente. Tanta gente, tantas vidas, tantos cuerpos desconocidos. Yo soy una extraña, él es un extraño, pero las miradas son inevitables. A paso firme uno cruza, termina el peculiar momento y queda pensando en algún rostro… Pero generalmente fueron simplemente “nada” y “nadie”. Simplemente desconocidos a los que desconocemos y no nos importan sus vidas, sus preocupaciones, su rostro. Ese cruce anónimo suele hacerse eterno, a pesar de durar sólo segundos. Puede dejarnos pensando, puede hacernos sentir nadie. Uno más, sólo un desconocido más. Uno más, uno menos, como sea. Ese singular momento donde hay roces inevitables, donde hay miradas intercambiables. A paso firme uno avanza, a paso firme uno sigue. Triunfamos, no nos chocamos, no nos enganchamos, no nos caímos, no nos reconocimos...

Ese cruce anónimo al que muchos llaman “cruzar la senda peatonal” es el que me hace sentir una más, una menos entre tanta gente tan igual, pero tan distinta al mismo tiempo.

Ese cruce anónimo sobre rayas paralelas blancas. El singular cruce anónimo sobre la senda peatonal.

domingo, 27 de mayo de 2007

The greatest quote from Of Mice and Men

In Lost, my favourite TV program – and the only one I watch – one of the characters said a quote taken from the book I read in 1st polimodal, Of Mice and Men and I liked it a lot and remembered it. I quickly wrote some key words I could keep in my mind in order to look up for the whole quote later. But I never found the exact quote. I must say that after some weeks of not trying, today I decided to find the quote, and I did. So here it is: the best quote and the most important lines from the book Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck.

Crooks says, on a black man's loneliness:
"S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you was black. How'd you like that? S'pose you had to sit out here an' read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain't no good. A guy needs somebody-to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick" (Page 80).

I remember how Crooks, the guy who used to take care of the horses, was highly discriminated for being black. He had to be alone, out there, with the horses, and the only company he had was books. He was not allowed to talk with anyone, to enter to the bunk house, to play with the other men; he could only play horseshoes, which was outside.
I remember that I said that it would be wonderful to be alone, in silence, with anyone around you and with peace to read books. I saw that atmosphere as something interesting, something I would like to have. With no worries, an infinity bunch of free time, just to read. But I think that because I am surrounded by people and I don’t find the time to read peacefully, in that atmosphere. But just imagine, being with all that conditions all your life. That would be really terrible! The characteristics told there for me sound good, as I live the other way round. But for Crooks, continuing living like that was a horrible nightmare; he didn’t want it anymore.
The negro gets to the point of sayings that ‘books ain’t no good’ because of this reason. Then he says that he wants company, no matter from whom, he just needed it. We can easily figure out how depressed, lonely and hopeless he felt out there, surrounded by horses, books and discrimination. It is surely a terrible feeling. The image shown in the book of Crooks, and the way people treated him is really touching and makes every reader to think and realize about the reality that discriminated people live. It is obviously something we don’t want, even if we had so much free time, peace and silence only to read. We might want all that, but I’m sure nobody on earth wants the situation Crooks was living in, and what’s more, nobody on earth deserves it.

I’m glad to have found the quote! =) And it inspired me to write something, so I decided to post it.


viernes, 25 de mayo de 2007

Things are not that easy

I found this picture round the Internet and it made me think about Mildred. We said in class that this woman took pills for sleeping as a way of taking all the problems easy. She couldn’t sleep, ok, and she would take the whole bottle of pills… It was like an easy solution, she tried to solve everything with little effort.

This picture made me reflect about the meaning when I first saw it. I can’t get to read all the words written there, but most of them, and with that I can get the message – or at least what I interpret from it. There is a pot with stuff that almost all girls have, like earrings, a clip to hold the hair, a ring, little heart-shaped and nonsense things… With all that there is a triangular peace of plastic to play the guitar, many pills, a cigarette, a coin. Yes, a typical girl has mostly all of them. Here, everything’s common.

But the fact that each object has something written on it is what changes everything. What I get from this picture is that we can have almost everything, a whole life with just this stuff, inside the pot. There are pills with the words ‘personality’, ‘parties’, ‘make up’, ‘alcohol’, ‘sex’, ‘school’, ‘pills’ and ‘friends’. Is the picture trying to say that we can reach each of the things named there just by taking a pill? I think so…

If you want to have personality, take the green and black pill, if you want some friends, with the dark green will be ok, and if you want to have a party you should take the light green. Oh! And don’t remember to take the white and the green pills before going to the party! If you do it you’ll be automatically made up and under the effect of alcohol. Yes, what you’re thinking is right! You won’t have to spend money buying beer. Anyway, in one coin you have the word ‘money’, so there you have the power. Remember to take always with you the pink circle in your pocket in order to find a lover. And if you want something else, you just have to take the blue pill. I don’t get to read what the clip for the hair says, but I think it says ‘hair’, ‘cut and color’. So, you don’t need to go to the hairdresser. But if what you need is appearance, style and I don’t read what else, you should wear the yellow ring on your finger! Ups… almost forgot it: if your problem is school, just take the white pill and stay the whole day in bed!

I made almost an advertising I guess… but that’s what I got the first time I saw the picture! It is okay if your head is aching and you take a pill, but never resolve things that easy! If you don’t face new problems, new experiences, you never learn!

Well, I guess the meaning of the picture is already told and my view of it too… so, just don’t behave like Mildred and the owner of this pink pot – whoever she might be. =P


The marbles

A video clip I saw like a year ago, came back to my mind today and it inspired me to write.

Many marbles, each one different from the other, were thrown from the same box, at the same moment, through the street. The box opened and all of them went running down the alley at the same speed. Some seconds later the difference became noticeable; a group was ahead, the other one behind, running and jumping slower. As they were all rolling down, some of them got stuck in dark corners, others got wet in a puddle and some even got into a hole. The race had each time less competitors. Some of them fully concentrated, others just going down as the ground took them. When all the marbles, had stopped their way, had given up the challenge, there was only one that stood still, proudly ahead. It wasn’t that it was so incredible; it just knew how to roll down, how to keep on going, how to go on and never giving up.

Relate it with whatever you want… I did it with some situations…


miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2007

After camping with 1st grade

I wanted to go camping with children since the first time I went with older ones. It was a dream for me to have that experience. Now that I got the chance to do it, I didn’t hesitate and went to Alpa Puyo last Monday and Tuesday. The place brought back a lot of memories, as well as the activities we did. It was a common camping but with a different point of view. I was not a student, I was a teacher. It was really great to have this experience. I worked a lot and got back home really tired, but the experience was unique. I love children and I think that after this I have the patience I need to become a kindergarten teacher! Jajaja!! No, that is not my plan for the future...

They run everywhere
Shout, run, talk, smile
And they never get tired

Their faces are dirty
As well as their hands
Their hair is a mess
But they don’t care
They just go on playing

With a ball, a teddy bear
Or holding your hand
They feel safe, far from harm
They want their parents
But they’ve got you now

There is always a why
You have to answer
And if you don’t, then
‘Why don’t you know?’

They are so innocent
You can see it on their faces
They are happy, they smile
If they cry is because
They miss their families
But not such problems they have

She likes him and he likes her,
That’s what their friends say
That’s what they talk about
That’s what they sing out loud

Suddenly you are in that world
You become part of it
But not completely
You understand how things used to be
You see a child’s life differently
You see yourself differently
You realize how things really used to be
You find yourself in that world
But you don’t really belong
Despite they want you to belong

You contemplate how they behave
You contemplate your past
Old memories come back
The same place, a different group
The same old activities, games
But now, you are much older
Hide and seek is not interesting,
Who shouts louder has no sense

You see them having so much fun
You see your past
You want to be like them
You used to be like them
Now you can’t get back
You can only remember
And still contemplate innocence,
Happiness, free faces
True selves, children.

Vale Becker

viernes, 18 de mayo de 2007

Kids everywhere

An interesting cause took me to the primary school this morning. A cause I chose, a cause I like, something I enjoy: dealing with children. This time I will be with them for two days, camping in Alpa Puyo. That’s why I went today, to meet them.
We arrived and silence ruled in the school. When the bell rang it was as someone had announced that there was a bomb in the class! Everybody, from everywhere started running, shouting, feasting that the bell had rang! I could see balls, stickers, Cokes, cookies, lollipops. We were strange for them so they started asking us why were we there, who we were and then they told us to go away because we were ‘invading their school’!! Confidence was easily reached and those little creatures started bothering us… But I still like them.

Calmness again, but after some minutes we all met on the back yard. We presented ourselves, the teachers explained them what we were doing there, and the games started. After a while of playing ‘Pato Ñato’, running, and jumping like frogs, we were free to do whatever we wanted. Those little creatures started running everywhere, unstoppable, taking us from one side to the other. Then they ‘caught’ us and a big group hold us from our clothes, hands, legs, and took us to ‘jail’. Whenever we tried to escape, we were caught again! Then they wanted to do some running competences, so I had to run for a while. They never got tired!! I was impressed by their unstoppable activity and unexhaustible energy! A little girl was holding one of my hand, another one the other, and then a third one shouted: ‘She’s mine! Don’t touch her!’. The three of them pulled me to different sides, while I explained them: ‘I’m of the three of you! Don’t fight!’. And then, another one, holding my leg! It was a mess!! But how I enjoyed it… I love kids, I love looking at them, happily playing, with any worry, any fear of reality. Just playing and enjoying the present time.

I wonder if we were the same when we were six years old… Yes, definitely. We would run from one side to the other, we would jump for a whole hour, and we would never get tired. We would play until long hours, we would talk, and talk, and talk. And when someone with more experience than us, but being just the same as us, with only some years more, would come and have fun with us, we would all be holding him or her. And then thinking about that different and funny moment we spent together, looking back to going camping as sooner as possible. Yes, I know we all got out from the class like these kids did today. We all played hide and seek at school, we all run every time it was possible. We were just the same! And we are the same as we were some years ago, but now we have more things to take care about, we have less energy, we think more about all we do… and we get tired easily. We feel shy about talking to strangers, we feel there’s no leader that can guide us, we can manage ourselves, the world is ours. But it is not.

I’ve seen myself in all those kids running, laughing, talking, shouting, kicking a ball. I’ve seen my past there, jumping like a frog, and doing exactly what the teachers asked to do. I’ve seen myself, my little girl, inside of them all. And I’m looking forward to go camping with those tiny devils full of happiness, energy, confidence, love and innocence. I won’t sleep on Monday, but I’ll have such a good time… (I hope so…)

Vale Becker

jueves, 17 de mayo de 2007

About the same topic of my last entry…

There are several things that happened this week, all of them related to the same topic. I would like to share them, or at least to let them get out of my head and go somewhere else… I’ve written a part on Monday afternoon, another on Tuesday… I didn’t get the time to make a whole writing and post it. So, here I place the events chronologically and make a new and complete writing.

• Two weeks ago…
I read a great passage from Fahrenheit 451 that says:

“When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor. He was also a very kind man who had a lot of love to give the world, and he helped clean up the slum in our town; and he made toys for us and he did a million things in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn't crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the back yard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I've never gotten over his death. Often I think, what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.” (from Part III: Burning Bright)

I really liked it, I reread it, and I highlighted it. It is really good, tells the truth, and gives a good example… I think it illustrates exactly what happens in real life. I thought of it as a future event, that in one way or the other, would come.

• Last Friday… (May 11th)
After what happened, that sudden departure, I thought of the passage and I related it with the man that stole my thoughts for a while. I would miss all he won’t be doing now… (I won’t repeat concepts of my last entry, which was based in this extract too).

• Monday afternoon (at school)
We made the final analysis of Fahrenheit 451, Charlie read the same extract I transcribed above. The same one, from the same word until the same dot. I had read it two weeks ago and I had thought of it in one way. Then death appeared and I remembered the passage. But reading it again, with the paused tone in which Charlie read it, thinking of every single word, after that mentioned event, was completely different. I though of it in a different way, I thought of other things, other concepts, other memories and I related it with the present, not with a future event, as I did when I first read it. It has been a different perspective the one in which I saw the passage today, it was a different atmosphere, a different environment, a different cause. That rereading of the extract touched me. I found a new meaning to all those words I thought I had already figured out, I saw everything differently and I felt something different. I got really sensible in that moment I was about to break myself in tears, but I could domain my thoughts, eyes, inner desire. Yes, I had already read it, but reading it in this new situation was completely different, touching, moving, full of feelings and meaning.

• Monday afternoon (at home, night was falling down)
I did my tennis class as always from 6 pm to 7. Then I always rest a little while at home, change my t-shirt, and go to “physic” (physical activities) from 8 to 9. What I did last Monday was to turn my computer on, check e-mails and post something quickly, on my fotolog. I started thinking about HH and it really brought me down. I was feeling very tired because I had ate at school (for IB) and I had done that intense tennis class, so it was as everything suddenly showed up and brought me down. I told myself I was not going. When it was ten to eight I decided to go and disconnected the Internet. Three seconds later I connected it again and decided to stay. In that moment many things went through my head. I consider that I’ve psychologically auto-provided with suggestions I would give someone feeling what I was feeling. One of the things I thought of was the phrase by Oscar Wilde on his famous book ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ that says: ‘People are very fond of giving away advice they need themselves’. I thought about a lot of things in some seconds and I jumped up, disconnected the Internet, drunk a little pot of Bio milk in one swallow and in one second I was with my snickers on and riding my bike. The “physic class” was really great, as always, and I realized that doing physical activity really clears you up, makes you forget problems, makes you have a good time, enjoy. I suffer of physical pain, but I really love it! Obviously, it would be better not to feel pain at all, but when it is because I’ve been doing physical activity, I love it!! It had been a sudden feeling that had caught me before going out, and changing the atmosphere and doing what I know that I really like, changed everything.

• Tuesday morning
While the flag was being ran up, I saw new faces in the school, but they seemed so familiar to me… A second later I realized they were Horacio’s wife and daughters, and another little girl who turned to be his granddaughter.

Ricky, Lalo and the older daughter said some great words. I thought we would all be destroyed, crying, but it wasn’t like that! The effect that all their words created on me was happiness. The daughter’s speech was based on the idea that she never asked, angrily, why did he die. She said that in some way he knew that he was leaving, so he made a lot of farewells to his loved people and left them calm as he said that when he would leave, he would leave happy. All these three people did that morning was to talk about Horacio and all the good things he did, he taught, how happy he was. But what made me feel calm at last, was to hear that he was leaving happily. His job was done, he had lived what he needed, he had been happy but with some tumbles on his way, but he had to leave now. He knew that we wouldn’t forget him and all what he has done for us to touch our lives. He knew he would be remembered and that we would suffer his departure; but we’ve learned so much of him that those lessons would be never forgotten.

That morning I realized that he had left happy and with the sense of having ended his job down here. That’s when I felt tranquillity inside of me and ended thinking day and night of him, worried and sad.

Just me...

sábado, 12 de mayo de 2007

Death Experience

I’ve written all this last night but I had some problems with the Internet connection and I couldn’t post… so here it is:

Someone told me that I write in English in order to use the language as a filter to people who wants to read. Yes, that’s true! It is unconscious, but sometimes I prefer writing in here and in English, for that reason…

For you, who are reading this right now, do you consider me (I don’t know the word to express it…) someone who is like obsessed with death? As I’ve written many times of it and as you read my writings you get to know that I think often of death… Well, if you’ve noticed that, you might think that I’ve suffered some tragical deaths of close people and that’s why I can explain things and I talk about it… but it’s not! It’s just that death is one of the topics that inspire me. Thanks God, the people who died were not so close to me. But that was until today… =S

Today I’ve had an experience with death, and from the people who died in my life, the one who went away today is the closest of them to me. One of my grandparents died when I was a baby but I don’t remember him. Two uncles (not direct uncles) also died when I was little, but I remember only one of them, and I never understood that mysterious disappearance, as I was a child. Then two friends of my parents died and I was shocked with it because I was starting to understand the essence of death and I insistently thought that I was not going to see them again here on Earth… and they were close friends. A year and some days ago a friend’s father died and I was really shocked. It has been like ‘my first death experience’ and it marked me a lot although I didn’t even know the man. In one afternoon and the morning after I had lived the strongest experience of all my life, seeing for the first time a dead body, being in that horrible room full of pale faces and seeing people cry when a coffin was being pulled down into a hole. After that I neither eat nor sleep for three days. I had a recurrent abstract image in my mind which came back every time I tried to sleep and whenever I managed to close my eyes, it woke me up all covered in sweat. It was terrible. Two friend’s grandparents were called by God then, but for one reason or another I couldn’t be with my friends in those moments. Last Monday I went to a burial of a friend’s grandmother, who I didn’t know, and I think that’s why it didn’t shock me that much.

Today I’ve experienced the death of a person close to mine and loved by many people. The logic and philosophy teacher, Horacio Héctor Campero, died today.

I still have in my mind the moment when I was told the news. I and four friends were in the school’s kiosk and the bell rang. Some seconds after the bell rings teachers start appearing and walking through corridors trying to make the students enter to class again. Today no teachers were out in the corridor, just you, Charlie. You were arriving school I think, and I can perfectly remember you there, the only teacher of school out of the teacher’s room; the only one we could see. In my mind I was wandering why I could see no teachers out there, but I never commented it with my friends. Despite being no authorities there we started our way back to our class and in our way some teachers appeared. Laurita Carracedo stopped us, and asked for Anto and Laurita Yanotti’s e-mails and told them that they weren’t having classes at noon. The girls asked why and the teacher said that there we were not having IB classes that afternoon. Happy, we all asked why and she turned her head down. Laurita Carracedo silently said that we were on mourning. We all jumped in a single: ‘What happened? Who died? Ana Inés?’ We only could think about her, who is the sick teacher now. Her eyes went glazed and said ‘No’. In that moment we all look at each other and almost shouted a ‘What?! Who?!’. ‘Horacio’ she answered. In that moment we really shouted: ‘What happened?! You’re joking! It can’t be possible! Campero? Horacio Campero died?’ And she told us not to say much because we had to be announced by Maria Elena. She went away and continued her way. All we could do was to put a hand in our mouth, look at each other and then we turned around to see a huge group of people. All 5th form was there surrounding Maria Elena. It was true, we couldn’t believe it.

Susy appeared from behind the mass of serious faces and some pair of eyes turning red. Hers were completely red and her mouth swelled. We entered and we sit down. Susy told us briefly what happened, but she didn’t know many details. We have been fifteen minutes there each one on his sit, looking to the front in silence. Ones crying, others shaking, some praying, others with their hands on their eyes. I remember clearly that horrible fifteen minutes, all of us sitting there, in silence, looking to almost anything, Susy in the front doing the same. Suddenly Mariano interrupted the silence: ‘Susy, how old was he?’ ‘53’ ‘Ah…’ And silence again. Depression ruled the horrible atmosphere, we couldn’t believe it yet. When that horrible moment had ended the bell rang – the same bell that saved Leo yesterday, at Horacio’s class, of speaking in the front – and we went to the yard. Ricky said some beautiful words in Horacio’s honour and we prayed.

So many memories came to my mind… I remembered the time when we did the ‘living chart of truth’, in which we placed the chairs as a big chart and each one of us was a symbol or a letter. We placed where we should be and if the answer was true, the one answering had to place himself in the right place and lift his hand. If it was false, he had to leave his hand down. I remembered how we laughed that afternoon, last year. I also remembered when he tried to convince us about something and we had to use good arguments to defend our posture. He talked about a great monster, and nonsense things, but we always stayed with our mouths closed after arguing for a long time. Then all those long letters he always left in our works and tests. The great vocabulary he used, the poet in him. I remember those tedious problems we had to solve which had a great familiar mess: ‘the father of the uncle of the son of the sister of the mother of the aunt of my mother. Who is he?’ (Don’t try to solve it because it is nonsense, I’ve just invented it).

Every time he had to put his name, to sign, whatever, he always wrote HH Campero. That’s why his nickname has always been ‘Achiachi’. He laughed a lot when we called him like that! And what a good person Horacio was! We’ve learned so much of him… not only logic, crazy philosophers, charts of truth, “falacias proposicionales” and all those strange words, we’ve learned to live, we’ve learned spirituality. The main message Achiachi always gave and the one which is stuck here in my head since the first time that I saw him and his glasses, is that happiness has nothing to do with material objects. Happiness is in our family, our friends, our people, what we like doing, what we like studying, the people we love, sports, religion. He taught us that smoking is harmful and he was so happy when he told us that he no longer smoked… I still remember the day when one of my partners said: ‘Horacio, you smell of tobacco! Stop smoking!’ ‘Someday I will, now I can’t…’ And he did it, he stopped smoking, he recovered from the heart attack of last year and he has always told us that smoking is bad since that time.

Horacio, such a good person, such a happy man! I never saw him without energy to lead the class, without a smile to share. How the guys bothered one of them with Wittgenstein, which ended been ‘Viget’… ‘Lobito’ he used to call Ramiro Lobo, and he always laughed at what he said. We studied the whole Betty Argañaráz case and we had to invent possibilities that could be approved logically, for example, that Beatty had always dreamed of living in the Amazonas and she had gone there and what people were saying was untrue and it was all made up. We laughed at those stupid but ‘logical’ suppositions. And he laughed too. He laughed of his own mistakes, of his own words, of our jokes, he smiled, he smiled to everybody, he was a happy man.

People say that the ones who are about to die know that and say goodbye to everybody, but unconsciously. They know it inside of them but they can’t express that, they don’t really know. I had heard this before, but never heard of a concrete example. Achiachi is one. Susy told us that yesterday he went, as always, saying a ‘general goodbye’ with his hand to all the teachers there. He went, and a little time after he came back and gave a kiss to everybody. Leti told me that he had talked a little bit with almost all teachers. He had told her that a lot of time had passed since the last time they had seen, that he missed her, how was everything in her life… Then Diana told me that yesterday too, he had told her that in his life he had three graces: the first one was to have had a son, the second that his son was up in Heaven with God now, and the third one that he knew that when he would die he would go with his son again. Yesterday… we saw him so happy yesterday!! He has always been a happy person, but yesterday it was a different happiness. He gave us a good class and then he said that it was a real pleasure to have had classes with us. Wasn’t all that a goodbye? I think that people about to die are called before by God, without consciously knowing, and He gives them a little while to say goodbye to their relatives. Now that I know all these goodbyes he said I can relate it, but no one would ever have imagined that this could happen.

I still remember when we did the raffle at the ‘Family’s Day’ and he won a big basket full of sweets, chocolates, a wine, and things like that. He bought the raffle with the only proposal of helping us - he told us – and never with the desire of winning. But he won. He said that he wanted to share the price with us, and we felt very happy with that, but we told him that we wanted him to share it with his family, his loved people, and he answered: ‘You are the people I love’. We were all moved by this.

Horacio, I don’t know if we will be able to remember always what Plato thought, but I’m sure we will never forget the great times we spent together, your happiness, you strength to go living, your desire to stop smoking, to get better. Our great classes, the times we saw you in the corridor and we all went to say hi to you. I will never forget your religious talks, our long discussions about legalization of abortion and the forum we’ve left incomplete. We will try to make it happen, we will tell Ricky that we were organizing it, and we’ll make it in your honour. I feel happy of being able to send you the e-mail I wanted you to read about abortion just two days ago. And I know you’ve read it because you answered me.

I will never forget your lessons and those so many times this year, when we said while crossing our fingers: ‘Please, Lalo, don’t come today. We want Campero to come.’ Or whenever we saw you round school it was the classic: ‘Hey! Campero is here! Maybe Lalo is absent and we have classes with Achiachi!’ And we were all so happy. Your classes were so funny…

I still hear your voice yesterday, telling me to go to the board and complete the chart about Homo Sapiens: ‘Mrs Vale, come on’. ‘No, please, I don’t understand that’ ‘Come on’ you repeated friendly. I still have the image of you walking through the corridor and a lot of students of 5th form choiring: ‘Achi achi!! Achi achi!!’ And your bright smile on your face.

I won’t continue with this because my eyes are with storm on them, trying to get out (the same metaphor you once used on an e-mail you sent me). I just can’t explain how sad I feel now that I know that you won’t walk through that corridor with your black jacket anymore, your chamois leather shoes, your smile, your nose. And now I remember once you drew yourself in the board and you told us that you drew that big nose because you had it! Horacio, we all love you, and are extremely happy to having known you and learning so much from you. We will miss you so much… But as you said, you are now with God, with your son, in a better life, to which we all will go. So we’ll meet again. The ones who suffer are the ones who stay here, who will not have that great and funny teacher anymore near us, but I know you’ve gone happy. And I’m sure that now you are happier than ever.

Wow… I let everything get out, I think! Everything… yes. Now I’ll go to bed and surely think of all this. We’ll see if I can sleep…

Vale Becker

domingo, 6 de mayo de 2007

The World Was Still Rotating (2nd draft)

We took some pieces of writing to class and we read it to our groups. I read The World Was Still Rotating and I got some suggestions. Here, the correction I made to the poem.

The World Was Still Rotating

Some autumn leaves were falling from the trees
While others were travelling through the air.
The wind was still blowing and the sun still shining.
Dad with his hands on his eyes, silently shivering
And mom next to me, holding my hand with strength.
A repulsive atmosphere around us, I didn’t want to be there.

Cars drove through the highway, birds still flying.
Outside people were talking on the phone,
Many others laughing, while water was still moving.

Some relatives with eyes opened wide, shaking,
And some pale faces; prayers and weeping I could hear.
No-one cared, no-one knew, just you and your people.

The day your soul was free, the sun was still shining.
In the moment your heart stopped beating, and when
No more air entered to your lungs; we were next to you.

Outside no-one cared, no-one knew, who ever care of strangers?
Inside, all sitting around you: your people and me, wiping.
The day when you died, the world was still rotating.

viernes, 4 de mayo de 2007

Your indifference, grey creature

Everything irritates you, you shout
You fight with every single thing
You are pessimist, you are grey
And you transmit that pessimism.

Nothing is real for you,
Nothing catches your attention
You don’t feel passion towards
Absolutely anything in life.

You don’t care, you don’t mind.
You just can’t look up to the sky
You just don’t realize that the moon
Is there, up in the sky, shinning for you.

The moon wants you to change,
But you give a damn and you look down.
You still have your eyes in something else
You don’t care about anything
All I mention is indifferent to you.

‘The sky is full of shinning stars!’
‘And so..? Why should I care?’
‘Hey, look! The cat is yawning!’
‘His problem… not mine’
‘Wow! Look that wonderful flower!’
‘Interesting’ with a serious face.

You don’t care about anything
You just live and spend your life living.
The way you live is not interesting

The path of life continues, and
When you’ll open your eyes,
It will all have ended, and you’ll regret.

You’re so grey, anything matters to you
You walk, you walk, and never stop
You go on and you don’t look around.

Your absolutism irritates me
Your dark way of seeing life
Racism, your black path, black life.
Everybody is imperfect, but you.

Everything is indifferent to you
You don’t have passion towards anything
Your head looking straight,
What’s on your sides, not your business.

You don’t look up to the sky,
You don’t look down to the flowers.
You never find a single shape in the clouds,
You never analyse water movements.

You contradict everything,
You are so ironic, pessimist.
Close-minded people never learn,
They just don’t interact with others.

What’s not by your side, is rubbish,
All men are grey, all woman are ugly.
It is commercial and without significance.
You don’t like it, it is rubbish.
You don’t like it, throw it, insult it.

You’re just a grey creature.
I won’t do what you say
I just don’t listen to your stupidities
I know the contradictory you are.

I am firmly affirmed to earth
I know what I want, I know what I like
And what you say doesn’t have
Even a little influence in what I really am.

Go on as you like, go on as you are.
Grey creatures are ignored,
Indifferent you are, indifference you’ll get.
Go on insulting, I just don’t hear you anymore

You’ve never said something good
And it is very difficult to change
That impression in people.

Go on as you like,
You are the one who loses.
Just walk ahead, don’t look aside
Life will pass by and then you will regret.

Just stop bringing me down
And stop the anger that grows inside of me,
The feeling of emptiness that fills me
Whenever you get closer.

Continue your black path
But make it go far from mine
We will never ever get on well.

Vale Becker

martes, 1 de mayo de 2007

The song for my presentation

Hold on: to wait

Song: Hold On
Artist: Good Charlotte


This world, this world is cold

But you don’t, you don’t have to go
You’re feeling sad you’re feeling lonely
And no one seems to care
Your mother’s gone and your father hits you
This pain you cannot bear

But we all bleed the same way as you do
We all have the same things to go through

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on, it gets better than you know

Your days you say they’re way too long
And your nights, you can’t sleep at all (hold on)
And you’re not sure what you’re waiting for
But you don’t want to no more
And you’re not sure what you’re looking for
But you don’t want to no more

But we all bleed the same way as you do
And we all have the same things to go through

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on, it gets better than you know

Don’t stop looking you’re one step closer
Don’t stop searching it’s not over. Hold on

What are you looking for?
What are you waiting for?
Do you know what you’re doing to me?
Go ahead. What are you waiting for?

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on, it gets better than you know

Don’t stop looking you’re one step closer
Don’t stop searching its not over

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on, it gets better than you know
Hold on

My reaction towards Hold On
The first time I listened to this song was in the CD of the band and I liked it a lot, but I hadn’t had the time to pay attention to the lyrics neither to look for them in the internet. After having listened Hold On a couple of times, I saw the video clip on TV and I was shocked. At the beginning it explains that the song tries to avoid suicide and is dedicated to the ones who already committed it, and to help the relatives of these people. So I watched it paying a lot of attention and the images and what the relatives say are really shocking! After that I searched the lyrics in the internet and listened the song a lot of times, singing it and each time understanding more the significance. The song got to the point of making me cry!
In times when I was not feeling alright this song helped me enormously. I listened to it, read the lyrics over and over again, and I even put a print out of it in my desk. The song really got into my heart and soul.
‘It gets better than you know’ says Good Charlotte… In those times I couldn’t be totally sure about that. But little by little all the darkness turned to light and I was feeling better than ever. This is how I finally understood the song and was able to recommend it to people. From that time, when someone needs my help, is not feeling ok, I just tell them to listen this song, to read the lyrics and to analyse it. Now that I have understood it and I feel as it has been with me, accompanying me through it all, I consider I am able to recommend it.
It is wonderful how the idea is sung and how it can touch one’s heart – or at least mine. I felt identified with the people described on it and now I must thank Good Charlotte for helping me like they did with Hold On.

The clip I made for Hold On
In the clip I tried to show the feeling of loneliness, depression and the world don’t caring about you that the song expresses. I did it with photographs and drawings taken from the Internet, but I also included myself on it. What Hold On describes can happen to any of us and we must give support to each other. As I felt so identified with the song and it helped so much, I considered important to include myself in all those pictures of people feeling not so good. They are all photographs taken in older times, depending on how I was feeling.
I think the great message of the song: ‘Hold on, it gets better than you know’ is well expressed on the clip I made and it reaches people.

The clip will be soon in this blog! I must do the formal presentation tomorrow at English class and then I will post it here.

Vale Becker

Grandmother and granddaughter

Green grass, yellow leaves in the trees and two white chairs in the middle of the garden. Autumn sun was shinning and a comfortable breeze made the trees shake a little bit. It was not a big garden, but squared, a little surface covered with grass, a small pool and a powerful and invisible force that made things bigger. In one chair a little girl of about seven years old and in the other a woman. How old might she be? Well… maybe she is her grandmother. Yes, definitely, grandmother and granddaughter contemplating the bright blue sky, the shinning sun, and talking.
Conversation went easy. Grandmothers have always so much to tell… Wonderful stories, a lot of them, very exciting ones! They’ve lived a whole life and they know about mostly everything. What we ask, they answer; whatever happens to us, they know, they’ve been through it all. Grandmother talked, granddaughter listened. Both looking at each other and enjoying the sunny autumn afternoon. A green tangerine was in the old woman’s wrinkled hands. One finger got into it and softly, with all the sweetness possible, the tangerine got an orange-white colour. The green pieces of the external layer that covered it from the terrible cold, painful hits and the world’s indifference were now in a plate on the floor.
Grandmother taught while granddaughter learned. Grandmother made the classic ‘hens’ with the tangerine segment and the little girl, paying a lot of attention, tried to do the same. She did her best, but difficulty grew stronger and frustration managed to win the place. The girl couldn’t do the ‘hens’ but she was still happy; she was sitting under the autumn sun eating tangerine and learning from her grandmother.
The breeze caressed softly the girl’s hair, but the sun and the fact that she was having a great time out there kept her warm. The first ‘hen’ of the afternoon was about to be eaten. The granddaughter took a deep breath of happiness and the acid tangerine touched her tongue as she did the same movement of the trees. Her eyes went small for a little while but acid depends on the situation – and this one was sweet. After some ‘hens’ her mouth felt the acid taste but her soul didn’t. It was an apparent, a transitive feeling. The real one was the huge love, the immense warmness in that tiny garden. Love between grandmother and granddaughter is incomparable, as well as an interesting talk between them, and learning – or at least trying to – from your grandmother.
Those white chairs in the squared garden, the green grass, the yellow leaves and the breeze blowing softly never got out of my mind. The image of family, love, peace, help, teaching, love, peace and more love is still alive. Feeling warm in the middle of the autumn thanks to the sun, is mostly the same as feeling love having acid in your mouth; a comfortable and kind acid. It was a powerful and invisible force that made things huge while being in a humble and small house. It was love that made things bigger. Love can save us all. Love can warm us all.
That little girl that in those times was seven years old and was sitting in that garden is now in front of a computer writing these words and trying to make sense with them. The squared garden with the small swimming pool and the tiny surface with green grass is part of my past now. That house is far away from mine’s and as I left it, I left a mountain of memories on it. Although I still have some with me and are the ones that could defeat all the changes in me, the different periods of my life and those years in which I didn’t care about past times. I will never forget those wonderful times of my childhood. Now that these childish moments learning basic tasks are less each time, I love bringing back all those memories. I will never forget the first time my grandmother taught me how to make ‘hens’ with a tangerine. And we still sit with a pair of white chairs under the autumn sun remembering old times, talking about new stuff and I am still learning from my grandmother.


Charlie, that was what I wanted to write (I managed to do it now…) That episode, which was very often, long ago, came back to my mind when I ate my first tangerine of this year, and I wanted to share that with you. As you said: why should we eat a tangerine under a tree, in winter, and all that? I know they taste the same if we are at home, but I have those memories that I think I’ve explained clearly, and the image of the sun in autumn, the tangerine, the breeze, is unique! I think that the company on those times is the most important, is the one that makes these memories so great nowadays… That’s it! Hope you enjoy it! And since that time I am a tangerine fanatic! I eat 2 or three per day from the day they start appearing till when they disappear!! =P