Friday, August 31, 2012

Desk Diaries and More.


 Living your life in a life that is not your own is an interesting feeling. Technically, it is still my life, and it is the life of my Chilean family as well.  I do not own this desk, the mug of tea or the lamp; but in the sense of the word, this is still my desk. Or was still my desk, for I am now moving to a new Chilean house where all of the things that don't belong to me will feel like new presents that certainly temporarily belong to me. Like the Desk Diaries, welcome to a little sliver of my daily routine and the place that I temporarily called my own. 

My desk and room in general were not capable of being messy for two reasons,  I don't have enough stuff to have it laying all over the place and 2 

my closet was so neat and fancy, and it mostly stayed like that

my calendar marking one important thing about the day, then sealing it with a wind rose stamp of traveling approval

goodbye desk by the window, who knows when I will have another spot like this, the answer is never. we take one place at a time and don't forget about it. to forget your own journey is tragedy in itself

the only things one truly needs to survive life in Chile, or anywhere as a matter of fact

what a normal dinner looked like because I always ate alone
there were multiple reasons that I had to move locations and find a new chilean house and family. But regardless, here I am on a new adventure, ready and not so ready to leave and readjust to everything that I once knew here. sometimes even if things aren't happy and positive, at least there is a routine in that, and leaving to new uncharted waters, well, I've always hated to swim. 

So here is my send off to the house on Condell street where I once had a month long stay, full of Maria Jose climbing on me and playing uno, Carlos telling me that girls here dont wear their hair like I do and that the men on the street are going to steal my $5 rubber watch, Claudia always asking me how I am and then walking away before I can say anymore than 'bueno,' Jaime making seafood and pisco sours on the weekends while smoking in the kitchen that I could taste in the food, getting food poisioning/stomach virus, seeing Vicente walk past me everyday and never understand that if we listen to the same music, we must be best friends, Rosita Manchita the orange tabby cat that joins me for morning walks, the man with glasses and dark curly hair that I make eye contact with every time I walk past his gourmet frozen food store, Laranza creating 5 yearold Maria Jose a facebook page and getting her into trouble, waiting for the metro every day, walking past the fresh fruit market man or Bimbo and not buying anything, slowly loosing my clothing in the washing, trying to find something to eat when everyone has already went to bed at 19:30, eating all the fruit in the house, waiting for 45 minuets to use the bathroom when I really have to pee, walking along Diego Portales and finding the beautiful lookouts to the sea. 

So it is with hesitation that I say I am SO EXCITED to move, because there will be some things that I truly miss, a lot. But here is to new changes and the decision has been made so here I go.


"I've been waiting for you..."

adios, 
rachael

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Leaving the US: Vlog #1

video

I'll be making one more before i leave because these are easier to make than a normal blog considering how spaced out and wacked out my mind is right now. happy thursday!

love,
hills

today does not belong to me

I have a tidal-wave of words that are stuck in my brain and tingling in my hand. I cannot write them fast enough. Thoughts about religion and people and moving and staying and leaving and arriving and being and disappearing and politics and right and wrong and left and right and write has been last on that list.

So what does one do when they are tongue-tied twisted? Well, we use the words of another. Or at least I do, this could be a cop out, call me a liar, call me a fake, but if it is with pure intent (see article below) what can go wrong, right?

I am feeling a little bit selfish. Before blogging was cool, this man had a blog. He inspired me to start my own blog (not this one) And as much as he inspired me, I am afraid he will inspire you too, and can two people have the same inspiration. Well, of course they can. But it's human emotion to think you lay claim to something, like taking over native land, or claiming this blog is 'mine' because it was written by a friend of mine's far distant cousin. I have never met this mysterious hIrSch and probably never will.


So here I am, sharing with you my personal writing inspiration, but the action is not pure of heart, it makes me feel better to do something hard, even if I don't want to. Can hIrSch relate?

friday, april 11th 2008

and it's not only the chain because there was a cup too and here's the story of the cup and i was drinking tea with these very kind men and they were all smoking and i was coughing and they had so many questions (and me with no answers) but the bulwark of the language barrier allowed none of them to be asked and that's how it goes and so i just sat there sipping the tea and then this man gets up and he goes into a nearby shop and comes out with the saddest insulated red mug you could ever imagine and he walks right up to me and gives it to me and i have no use for it and don't want it at all because it's just another thing and i hate all these things because life becomes full of things.
we just constantly go out and buy things and the only things i ever want to buy are items of food because this is the only thing i need because with duct tape and some needle and thread you can repair any thing you already have so you don't need more of them and so i just don't like things and curse each and every thing i have and have recently really begun contemplating just getting rid of all these disgusting things i have and just leaving it all behind and going and feeling that freedom of disengagement from things but i don't yet have the nerve so he comes right up to me with that red cup and hands it to me and as i just explained i don't want it and initially i try to kindly refuse it but then i realize, and i say to myself, hirsch, it's not about whether you (i.e. i) want or need this cup it's about the fact that this man wants to give it to you, it's something he wants to do and so just take the thing because by doing so you will make him happy and that is what it's all about.

so i took the cup and lashed it down with a bungee and he was so pleased and that man and that cup taught me something and i cycled off - but the story of the cup continues - because i cycled off and the fact that i didn't need or want this cup had not changed and a couple of clicks down the road i saw this sad little school boy standing on the side of the road perhaps waiting for a bus or perhaps meditating and i pulled over and kicked my kickstand and unlashed the cup being careful with the bungee because a man in norway told me more people go blind from getting whap-bap-schlapped in the eye with the end of a bungee than for any other reason and i walked up to that little boy hoping he was just waiting on a bus and not meditating because if he were meditating he might have been on the brink of samadhi and were i to interrupt that there would be no forgiveness for me (which there might not be any forgiveness for me anyway) and i held out that cup and as soon as i did and he realized what was happening and he saw how shiny and how round and how red that cup was and how that that cup was no longer mine but was now his well that sad little boy was happy and he smiled and he looked around a bit nervously (i, for some reason, make people nervous which is another (of many) contributing factor of my need to be alone) and i smiled and for some reason sort of bowed (because i think he had reached the level of samadhi) 

then i cycled away and then, post facto of course, i realized what i had done was "bad" or at least misrepresented because that kid doesn't fully understand (as you do) the source of that cup, he doesn't understand that i did not give him that cup out of the goodness of my heart but out of my non-need for it and how really i was doing myself a favor rather than doing one for him and so i began to feel awful about the cup because even though it made a sad boy happy the source of that happiness was not purely driven.

(all photos were STOLEN from hIrSch's blog) 
thoughts to think about, 
rach (and hIrSch)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Artist of the Day



 So this band and song came on my Mumford and Sons Pandora station. Very appropriate, considering that they have a very mumford-ish sound.  This particular choice is called Ho Hey by The Lumineers. They are just entering the music world with their new self titled album in stores fairly recently. I find myself listening to this song on repeat lately, which I am totally okay with.

Be The Makers of Music and the Dreamers of Dreams.
Megs

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stand Up

Education and politics have been on my mind recently. Well, lets be honest, they are often on my mind. But after settling into the swing of things at PUCV, I have started to pick up on cultural cues that suggest that Chileans (South Americans in general) go about their education differently.

Take for example the student riots going on in Santiago over their demands for a new framework for their education system. There haven't been any new public universities build since the Pinochet revolution and their is little to no support for student grants and loans for the expensive private schools. PUCV participates in their own educational marches in Vina y Valpo. I plan on attending one of these marches soon to gain even more new perspective.

We can think back to my blog post about my dear Culture and Communications profe and how he is inspiring a new outlook on culture for non-natives (I dislike the use of the word foreigners). Our newest homework assignment is to write a poem, based on the Pablo Nerudian description of personal characteristics with out being obvious. Carlos' example:

I have some grey hair.   LAME
And onto my head falls a gentle dusting of snow. NERUDIAN

I am still working on my poem, but also during our class we watched a powerful video that inspired not only me to jot some thoughts down. Mi soon-to-be hermana, la Meghan wrote about it in her blog post. And while you are there, just take a little gander; she has some great things to say. 

This poem was written during class and finished on the bench waiting for the metro station. 

No Importa

No importa que lengua hablas con su boca
Ni importa que cosa trabajas con sus manos
Ni importa que color tienes en su piel
Ni importa el tamaño de su billetero 
Ni importa la ubicación de su casa
Ni importa la ropa que llevas 

La única importancia es su tiempo y que haces cuando nadie te ve.


For all of the non Spanish readers out there, I also fabricated a poem in English as well.

Someday


Someday, the sea will reach out to me, 
Take my hand; offer me a cup of tea. 

Someday, the land will lift me up, 
Pour more wine into a half empty cup. 

Someday, the sky will lend me air, 
Send down white clouds while I sit and stare.

Someday, the mountains will give me a plot, 
Of land to plant some forget-me-nots. 

Someday, the world will take a stand, 
And I will be there, holding her hand


The world has a way of helping us understand others through the arts. I don't know what it feels like to not have the opportunity to go to college. Heck, I am going to two colleges! I don't know what bombs sound like, destroying my city and loved ones. I don't know what it is like not be able to voice and type my opinions with out extreme censorship.

But I do know what it feels like to care. I do know what it's like to get goose bumps during class, when we are talking about educational reform. I do know how frustrated I get when American students who are handed everything on a silver platter, would rather skip class and hold no value in their education.  I do know how it feels to cry over the minor riots in South Africa, the drug cartel violence in Mexico, the explicit monotone voices of news reporter after reporter give a death toll, take a sip of their coffee and move on to the next homicide report.

And just maybe, while not physically acting to remove this violence, these little poems can just bring a small bit of peace back into humanity.

find out what it feels like,
rach



Monday, August 20, 2012

A New Addition


As requested by Rach via skype, my very first Indie Attic blog post. Here we go:

Indie Attic. Version 2.0. The new addition would be...drum role please...me! I'm very new to the whole blogging scene so it will take me a little while to fully get into the swing of how all of this work. Patience, okay? Okay! FIrst off, I am so super excited to be fully moved in and completely organized in my new home that is the Indie Attic. I'm also very excited that Hill is here for a couple of days before she, like the other two indie attic occupants, leaves the country and explores the world that is Scotland. As jealous as I am that she is going to be where I was just last summer, I can't wait for her to experience all the greatness that is Scotland.

As much as I am sad to see Hilly go after getting used to her being here, I can't wait for her return as well as the return of Kelc and Rach. ( approximately 81 days, 12 hours, 21 minutes, and 45 seconds until Rach and Kelc come home and 121 days 12 hours 20 minutes and  52 seconds until Hilly come home) Thank you Google Countdown for being so exact! I am highly looking forward to the excitement and epic reunion of sorts that will occur come next semester when they are back in the States and more importantly, filling up this massive room so I dont have to look at a bunch of empty furniture anymore!

As for me, I will spend much time crafting and decorating, getting ready for the epicness that will be the Indie Attic 2.0. So be prepared for many-a-pinterest crafts and whatever else I stumble across that seems worthy that will be blogged about in the near future.

Dream On.
Megs



Friday, August 17, 2012

i was born a ramblin' man

video
this video is way too long. i apologize. TGIF.

Books and Boxes

Today, with my friends Mary and Meghan, I went to the Mall. If you say that in Valparaiso or Vina, everyone will know you are talking about the duplex 4 floor shopping center, with a built-in movie theater and overlooking other mall and other movie theater, just begging to be included in its mass of consumerism. With that being said I purchased things, as a consumer does at a mall. At the mall I bought a pizza and a book.

Books are wicked expensive in Chile, WICKED expensive. We are talking like a mass printed JD Salinger paperback for a solid $20. But I had been looking for an inexpensive copy of The Hobbit to take with me in the States, and no cigar. Good thing because I have asthma anyway. So, after dropping $7.450 cp I am now the proud owner of, you guessed it ladies and gents...

EL HOBBIT


oh hey there webcam, you just happened to catch me reading, the hobbit no doubt!


the sweater is also new, thanks for noticing. 

But this is no ordinary tale of epic adventure for little Biblo, oh no, he is part of my metaphorical journey into another world. Other than the fact that there is no ring to rule them all, my 5 year old sister looks nothing like Gollum nor a dragon that swipes open my lock box and steals all of my pesos, my journey, in that sense, is nothing like that in the prequel to the LOTR (except my door does have the doorknob in the center of it). But it is a story of a girl, living in a comfortable world, that is suddenly pushed out into new, great and terrible adventures. I hope to record at least some of them as eloquently as JRR Tolkien but, cut me some slack. Plus there are no dwarves or elves in my journey, so that is an automatic deduction of 357 points. 

Also, note worthy about the pizza eating experience, we could not finish the last 2 pieces of the pie and I went up to ask the worker if we could have a small box. The conversation went a little something like this... (translated of course)

Me: Excuse me ma'am, may I have a small box
Lady: For the pizza?
Me: Yes please, we have 2 slices left (only here i think I accidently said 'pages' rather than 'slices')
Lady: Did you like the pizza?
Me: Yes...
Lady: *Starts to laugh* Did you love the pizza? Enough to want to take it home with you?
Me: Um... yes...

Apparently in Chile, no one believes in take out, you eat what you want and then you get the heck out of there. Those 2 'pages' of pizza that could have been eaten while watching a movie and writing a blog post... throw them away. Now. So mind your manners and eat up kid. 

More to post on El Hobbit, nothing more to post about pizza, 














eat up buttercup, 
rach

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Artist of the Day

usually I ignore youtube comments with gusto. I will not be sucked into their depressing chatter. but this first comment seemed apropos.
Thumbs up if an alien spaceship brought you here :D

I don't know how I found this artist of the day and apparently neither does this guy and the 7 people who liked his comment. All I know is that I typed in Mumford and So (I hit enter too early) and this video came onto my screen. And I watched it and never made it to the Mumford and Sons channel to relisten to their new song (which was my intent for the artist of the day) 



Life has a funny way of interjecting. 

I don't know anything about Sam Sallon, so neither should you!

all for now, 
sorry for being rude, 
maybe, 
rach

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Song of the (One) Day

At one time in your life, a song will hit you. And when music hits you feel no pain. One Day by Matisyahu (Matthew Paul Miller) is  Jewish rapping, reggaeing, hip hop, beatboxing master born in good ol' Pennsylvania. Just look at that beard. 


But more important than a beard, this man has integrity. He lives his life not for himself and not just for God, but for all of humanity. I had a conversation with a stranger on the train about religion and spirituality because they saw that Proverbs 16:9 and 1 Peter 3:14 was written on my backpack. We talked about the 'constrains' with organized religion and how people prefer spirituality because it is not as messy as religion. Living with people is hard, but living with religion is even harder. And maybe for that exact reason, religion needs spirituality. Separate they mean very different things, but together they can create an entity that is bigger than the world itself, and truly, isn't that the whole point of religion? 

So, back to One Day, this song has so many applicable moments to life and religion in general. I have decided to sing the 'song of the day' (I would never have the audacity to call myself an artist) but hey, art is life and I am living. Maybe we are all artists. The world is out blank canvass, and religion is our paint brush, but we make the strokes. 

video

let's thank God we are breathing,
rach

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Maximiliano with haunt me forever.

This morning, bright and early, I walked onto the metro feeling confident. I had finished my literature reading and discussion breakdown a few days before, leaving me time to read some supplementary texts. We were to read Huitzilopoxtli by Ruben Dario and then break the viaje  (journey) into thematic divisions, each was to have a key word to summarize the section. I was proud of my breakdown. My viaje was in 8 sections: an introduction, 6 out-of-body/shared experiences and a closing. The viaje circled around the theme of modern day Revolucion Mexicana v Leyenda Azteca and lived experiences v substance induced viajes. (If you happen to be doing your own analysis of  Huitzilopoxtli, please don't copy my story breakdown... *spoiler alert*... it's wrong!)
My Literature professor come crossed as a jovial great uncle, ready to quote Kahlil Gibran or Twain at any given moment; also looking a lot like Hemingway. But here is the catch (Old Man and the Sea reference intended) my professor looks at literature as if it were a mathematical equation... one answer only. The study of Literature has always been near to my heart and something I feel is accessible to everyone, of any subject. Mathematics however, there is little room for personal expansion and growth because formulas never change, there are multiple ways to arrive at the same answer, but there is only ever one answer. I would go as far to say that my he-shall-remain-nameless professor doesn't even believe in different paths toward the same end, the path is his and his path is right. 

So, the Dario story we read does not provide any sort of background information as far as the allusion to the title or historical setting for the Revolucion Mexicana. The fallowing information is the fruits of my own, out-of-classroom-time labour. 

Huitzilopoxtli- was an Aztec god of war, sun and sacrifice, also the patron god of Tenochtitlan. He had a sister who had intimate relations with their father while Huitzilpoxtli was still in his mothers womb. He became angry at his sisters sexual actions that he sprung from his mother's womb fully grown and armed, killed his sister, threw her head into the sky and created the moon and killed all of his other siblings (over 400 of them) and threw them into the sky to create the stars. 

La revolucion mexicana- started the 20th of November 1910 when the president of Mexico was Porfirio Diaz. Before the changes in power happened throughout Mexico's history, France invaded Mexico and placed Maximiliano on the throne as the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. During Maximiliano's reign, the country was left in political shambles and economic stagnation. Porfiro Diaz then took over and the revolution began. 

After reading and taking notes on this subject (this educational moment was provided by Westminster College) I was ready for the difficult questions my professor was certain to mumble at us. After making it clear that Huitzilopoxtli is broken into 4 sections and never into 8 and telling me that by calling the traveling journalist a foreigner, I missed the entire plot he decided to ask me a History question; "¿Cómo obtener su poder de Maximiliano en México?" (How did Maximiliano obtain his power in Mexico?) My answer was more concise than the paragraph above but my information was correct and I was sure proud of knowing the answer. 

But here is what my professor did... 

He laughed. And not only did he laugh but he swiped a hand motion that translates to "silly little gringa, of course she doesn't know anything about Mexican history" and he said that it was entirely the opposite. Then he had the audacity to REexplain exactly how the French appointed Maximiliano to power, etc. 

While talking yesterday to my man, I tried to explain to him how being here is a very humbling experience. I have to ask for help all.of.the.time. I have to ask people to talk slower to repeat themselves, or even ask them what a certain verb means "cachai?" But this was the first time I was not only humbled, but embarrassed, and frustrated, and downright angry. 

I wish I had a moral to this blogpost. Maybe something I have learned from this experience. But the more I think about it, this post has everything to do with the value of self-education. Even though I had a language and a close-minded barrier, I was still learning. Anyone reading this blogpost is learning. So I guess the moral of this post is to keep learning, especially when you the student find yourself at odds with the teacher. 

And because my professor doesn't quote Mark Twain, I will...
"don't let schooling interfere with your education" 

go be a student,
rach

Artista del dia


Anamaría Merino (1977) is better know by her stage name of Ana Tijoux. Along with her Chilean parents, Ana lived in France during the political exile of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. Ana's first language was French but quickly picked up Spanish when she moved back to Chile as a teenager.  She jumped into the Santiago Hip Hop scene and formed many bands, the most well known being Makiza or her collaboration with a Mexican singer/songwriter Julieta Venegas.

The change from her sweet and pop-like duet "Eres para mi" (translation: I want to tell you what I feel right now/ you are for me/ I hear it in the wind all the time/ you are the one for me)  is so tangible and politically charged that Ana seems to be a different person entirely, or at least wishing to express a different stage in her life. Her song that gained her fame in the streets of Santiago contain lyrics like this (from her song SHOCK)



Venom: your monologues,
your colorless speeches,
you don't see that we AREN'T alone,
millions from pole to pole!

NO nations, only corporations,
who has more, more actions,
fat slices, powerful decisions for very little.

Pinochetan constitution,
opus dei rights, fascist books.
Guerilla disguised as a pardoned elitist,
the drop falls, the stocks fall, the occupation takes the broken machine.
the street doesn't keep quiet, the street scratches
the street doesn't keep quiet, as wide as it is.

The Allende v Pinochet debacle of '73 is still a very relevant conversation that is held by Chileans young and old. No person seems to have the same viewpoint about what happened on September, 11th and everyone talks with a grain of salt, not wanting to severely offend. I commend Ana or Anita (she goes by both) for not only singing about such strong topics but bringing her message world wide. 

Whatever your opinion is, share it,
rach

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

song of the day

"some nights" by fun.



this is a good summer anthem for those nights where you don't understand anything...so you get in your car and drive to dunkin' donuts at midnight to get an iced caramel coffee. well, that's what i do when i'm feeling restless anyway...totes makes the insomnia 289349374 times worse! fun. became a huge hit this summer even though they've been around for a few years, and before that, The Format existed.  fun. is definitely more "pop" material, but at least they are bringing decent music to the pop scene.

my fav lyrics:

Well, Some nights, I wish that this all would end
Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I'm scared you'll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win...

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don't know... (come on)


The other night, you wouldn't believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up, but we'd both agree
It's for the best you didn't listen
It's for the best we get our distance... oh...
It's for the best you didn't listen
It's for the best we get our distance... oh...

love,
hill

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mi familia chileana



My Chilean Family
Claudia is married to Jaime
Jaime does not live at the house
Jaime lives with his mother (she has Alzheimers)
Claudia father, Carlos (91yrs) lives with us
Claudia and Jaime have a daughter, MariaJose
MariaJose loves cats, frenchfries and the game "Uno"
Claudia was married before and has two other kids
Vicente lives downstairs and I never see him (but he has a great taste in music)
Vicente eats his dinner at 12pm, he is 21 and maybe a Communist
Alanza live somewhere else, is 19 and plays on her iPhone and with Maria Jose
Sole and Jaime (different one) are a precious couple who always come over to eat
Jaime sang me a song called "Raquel" and we are now best guitar playing friends
Brenda is our maid and makes delicious carrot bread/cake, baked apples and lasagna
Alejandra was the ISA student who lived here before me
Rosita Manchita is the orange tabby cat who lives outside of my window

Also worth acknowledging, Pablo Neruda is everyone's adoptive Abuelo.


poetry (tilt of the head),
Raquel

Friday, August 3, 2012

running down a dream



Running is my new thing. You can laugh at this statement because running was never my thing. I would honestly do anything to get out of running when I was involved in sports in high school.  I made lame excuses for skipping summer soccer training practices, I would walk when no one was looking, and I used my exercise-induced asthma as an excuse to stop running.  Now that I've taken a 2 year hiatus from physical activity (as in actually doing work-out, work-outs) I decided that it was time to do something good for my body.  I'm not trying to lose weight, I just want to be healthy again, especially since college food makes me feel like crap.  Alas, at the beginning of this summer I started working out at least 3 times a week. And let me tell ya, I've never felt so great! I have so much more energy; going for a run helps me feel active even when i spend the rest of laying outside reading a book.  I don't feel guilty about eating two bowls of ice cream, I actually don't mind putting on a swimming suit, and I'm even more motivated to do other things around the house like cooking, cleaning, crafting, re-modeling my room, and running errands.  It's all around positive and I'm so glad I got over my 'no-exercise' phase. Exercising is the best stress reliever in the world; it's the only time i don't think about anything else but what my body is doing: my breathing, muscles, & strokes.  I love how exhausted I feel immediately after a run, but how refreshed I feel after the adrenaline has died down. Nothing else in the world makes me feel like that.

Pearson park has a great trail for running-it challenges you with hills and is marked by the mile so you know how far you've ran.  It's also never too busy so I usually get the whole trail to myself. It's shaded so I don't have to worry about the sun slowing me down.  It's the perfect place to go running any time of day because of the shade! 
^^^I've had my eye on these shoes for the past 3 months, but $70 seems way too steep.  I haven't bought a new pair of running shoes for 3 years though, and I think the awesomeness of these will keep me active while in Scotland. It's probably smarter of me to spend $70 on these as opposed to a new pair of heels. 

stay active,
hill


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Define Culture

It all started with an insane downhill bike race in Valparaiso, Chile.

This is how our professor introduced our class, Chilean Communication and Culture. He said that this video is a metaphor for us studying abroad and being figurativly pushed down the hills here into the whirlwind that is Valparaiso. I think the most symbolic part is almost hitting the dog. That is a literal translation. The dogs are everywhere. I have 7 that live on my street. They are so mellow and friendly. But anyway, this video is just insane. And also proof as to why Chileans are not obese.

My professor, Carlos, reminds me of Robin Williams in Dead Poet´s Society and Jack Black from School of Rock all twisted up into one. Some key phrases from our first class (translated obviously) consist of...
"let us take a moment and thank Allah for youtube"
"for our final, we will be writing a paper with pictures. a mural of sorts"
"to get your packet of photocopies, it will cost you about 2 beers"
"I will teach this class with the ideas of the hippies"
I like all kinds of music except that stuff you call... doom metal?
sometimes I feel like I am swimming in the avacado here

We also listened to Chile´s most famous band, Los Tres (too bad there are 4 members...?) And Carlos sang along to this song.

We also listened to a modern philosopher, Slavoj Zizek discuss the Marxist controversy of, ¨Why be happy when you could be interesting¨  needless to say, it was interesting. I suggest you watch him talk about it on youtube (I am not going to post it because I think it is a bad idea to start pushing Marxist forums at you) but if you so choose to look it up, just know that he is heavily addicted to cocaine. I find the strange urge to put a sicker of Che Guevara on my tea mug, oh wait... Carlos beat me to it.

Then we spent most of the class talking about our interests and bonding over reading and music and such. Our homework was to observe and record Chileanisms. We are going to discuss the Chilean language in our next class but some of the term we talked about are...
  1. Chileans don´t speak Spanish. The Chilean lanugage is the most difficult to learn (says someone important in the Spanish language world) because it is so full of coloquial slang (smart man says more than Mexico)
  2. The reason for that is Chile´s geography seperates the culture and language from being exposed to other South American countires. (After the building of the Panama Canal, Valaparaiso stopped being such a major sea port and immigration declined)
  3. Chileans use voseo (a form of the Vosotros (singular) = tú (you) This is combined into the phrase Tú vosos mi amiga. or Tú vos sois mi amiga. Translating to the standard Spanish of (Tú eres mi amiga) You are my friend.
  4. Aspiraciónes de sonidos happen in 2 major parts of Chilean speak. 1. dropping the final s of a word, los dos becomes lo do and 2. d intervocales cansado becomes cansao, pecado becomes pecao
  5. The diminuitive. Everything is little this or little that. Sometimes is represents the size of something, gato v gatito (cat v kitten) but most of the time it is to show affection such as Raquelita la gringita bonitita rather than Raquel la gringa bonita. (sorry for calling myself beautiful)
  6. The suffix poh is added to everything for no apparent reason. sípoh, nuncapoh, yapoh
I will stop you here so I do not overwhelm you with language knowledge. To wrap it up (because I have to go to salsa class... listen to me, have to go...) I am enjoying this Culture and Communications class and feel as if it will be my saving grace from other classes such as, oh, I don´t know, Advanced Grammar.

Chaopoh,
raquel

la yerba man...

the other day i went over to la Meghan´s casa to meet her fun little family but mostly to play with Fragula, the pregnant French Bulldog. Fragula, for all of you readers out there, is Italian for strawberry and I was just informed that yesterday she was wearing a nice knit sweater emblazoned with strawberries.

also, i had my first taste of Yerba Mate, a native drink to South American countries including, Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. The Guaranui people were the first to cultivate Ilex paraguariensis that begins as a shrub and grows into a tree, refered to simply as yerba. the caffeine content is more than black coffee, only if you can choke it down. i must say, despite the really cool mug and straw aparatus, the steeping leaves and twigs end up tasting like fermented celery and brocoli with some sweet pungent brine liquid. i am glad that i tried it, but it is not for me. 5 sips and i had to pass it on. at least it was 4 more sips than the host mom.


while we are on the topic of drinks, tea is the beverige of choice. and next comes Nescafe. they should honestly take cafe our of the the title. it is just water and brown food coloring. with milk and sugar. if you order a coffee in Chile, you must order a `cafe cafe` if you want black espresso like coffee, if not, the standard `cafe`is cafe con leche and sugar. i would reccomend sticking just to tea.

eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,
rach