School.

 

Graduation Day at SDSU

Graduation Day at SDSU

The length of time it has taken me to finish school is just unbelievable. But I did it. After getting an early start—as in, took my first class as a senior in high school—and taking huge breaks in between having three kids, I finally graduated. It took me over TWENTY YEARS, but I buckled down and got it done. I have doubts as to whether I chose correctly, but the result of all those years and all my hard work and stress is a B.A. in Spanish, a B.A. in Linguistics, and the TESL certificate. I chose to major in Spanish so I could teach it eventually, but I won’t be able to do that until I get my teaching credential… something I’m not keen on doing right now because I just need a flipping break! I love linguistics and I love to travel, so I thought the TESL would serve me well should I be able to pick up and go at some point in my life. Of course, I can teach ESL here, which I like the idea of very much. I think I’d probably fare better teaching mature, willing adults versus bratty disobedient kids, anyhow! So hopefully I’ll be able to do something with what I have so far, because honestly I’m not sure how much more school I can take. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to classes and learning, but I’m pushin’ 40 for cryin’ out loud. Anyway, I’m grateful for all of the friendly, helpful people I’ve encountered along the way at Mesa and City College, and San Diego State. I’ll never forget you!

To blog, or not to blog, that is the question…

Well, it’s been over 3 years. And it seems like no one really blogs anymore. Where is everyone? Busy living their lives, busy raising kids, busy building a successful business… and most likely all over Instagram. I always wanted to be one of those popular bloggers who had a beautiful site that inspired, or made people laugh, or brought in money somehow. People also do that on Instagram these days, obviously, and some people make it look so easy. Which just makes you jealous and envious. No? Just me? Ok.

I realize social media and the Internet can be negative influences if you let them, and I know that personally, I want to strive for my family to spend more time doing worthwhile things in real life. But I also still kind of wish I was one of the “cool” kids. I know my blog will never reach that kind of status, especially since I have no real, marketable talent. So I’m ok with it just being my own little corner of the virtual world, a place where I can write down my thoughts and experiences, and maybe be a part of some sort of community. Maybe even spread some good, some wisdom, some beauty. Yes, sapientia et venustas. Wisdom and beauty.

XOX,

Diana

Cultural Activist Mini-Assignment for Women’s Studies: Shakira’s “She Wolf”

Being that I rather enjoy Shakira’s song, “She Wolf”, the following essay may be biased, but nonetheless I will attempt to respond to the song’s meaning critically.

 

Portraying the woman as an animal with guaranteed prey may bring to mind the concept of Latina women as being man-eating “brujas”, capable of ensnaring men with their magic and wiles (or in Shakira’s case, “a special radar”), but I will posit that it is simply a case of reacting to and revolting against being burned out by her oppressed, over-worked, under-appreciated station in life. Shakira says this plainly in the lines:

 

I’ve been devoting myself to you Monday to Monday and Friday to Friday.

Not getting enough retribution or decent incentives to keep me at it.

I’m starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office,

so I’m gonna go somewhere cozy to get me a lover and tell you all about it.

 

One could also argue that Shakira is attempting to subvert the largely upheld belief in the good woman/bad woman dichotomy. With the following lyrics:

 

S.O.S. she’s in disguise.

S.O.S. she’s in disguise.

There’s a she wolf in disguise,

coming out, coming out, coming out

There’s a she wolf in your closet.

Open up and set her free.

There’s a she wolf in your closet, let it out so it can breathe.

 

she is trying to make the listener realize that women are not only “good” (‘domesticated’, submissive, adhering to all white male societal rules) or “bad” (disobedient, antagonistic sluts)… but that most are somewhere in between, or have the potential to be – if you would just “let them out”.

I also believe the song speaks to our need to re-examine the constructs of body vs. mind and flesh vs. spirit. In it, Shakira expresses the desire to have “a very good time and behave very bad in the arms of a boy”. The song may seemingly betray feminism’s attempts at rejecting the centuries-long held belief that women are strictly “natural” (read: sexual) and never “spiritual” or of sound intellect, but I believe it underscores the fact that women are all; body, mind, flesh, and spirit. Not only must we accept that women are all, but we must nurture them all. Yes, women can be intelligent and successful in normally male-held professions, but we must not ignore our other aspects. We must take care of our “bodymindspirits” — otherwise, according to Shakira, you may get a she wolf coming out of the closet. And she will definitely get her way.

A KitchenAid Coffee Maker Giveaway!

I’ve been entering giveaways like crazy lately, including Twitter parties. What else can I do while I’m at home and not making any money? It couldn’t hurt, so why the heck not? I’ve already won a few things, and I will admit, it makes me greedy for more! Especially seeing how VERY OFTEN others win. Seriously, there are some individuals who win prizes almost daily, even multiple times a day, at different Twitter parties! Sigh, but I digress. The point of this post is to share the KitchenAid coffee maker giveaway hosted by Baby Loving Mama. Who wouldn’t want to win this snazzy set? Then we wouldn’t be limited to the 2 cups of coffee we get from our French press. That would be awesome.

Best-Tasting Cereal Bars | Real Simple

I came across this in my Twitter feed, and felt compelled to read it because we just recently started buying cereal bars again, after a friend introduced us to a yummy -and inexpensive!- one: Trader Joe’s “This apple walks into a bar…” Or the strawberry flavor, “This strawberry walks into a bar…” Get it? LOL. He’s a clever one, that Joe. I’d say they are a near-perfect clone of Nutri Grain bars, and at $1.69 a box, cannot be beat. The perfect solution to our everyday school snack dilemmas. What a godsend!

Read Real Simple’s cereal bar consensus here:

Best-Tasting Cereal Bars | Real Simple.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

My kids had their Spring break last week, and while we weren’t able to go out of town, we did manage to do something fun with them. Every native San Diegan visits the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center during their school years, and that’s exactly what comes to mind every time it’s mentioned. I’ve only been there a handful of times since, and I think that’s a pity. I mean, it’s always been interesting, given that they’ve always had hands-on exhibits of some sort. But it just never struck my fancy in a way that would warrant repeat visits. I took my toddler last year, on “Free Tuesday”, and visited their “Kid City” for the first time. I wasn’t aware it existed. It would have been nice to have known about it before then, since I was a stay-at-home mom with little ones. Which I still am, only my little ones are not so little any more (Kid City is only for up to age 5).

However, before I digress any further, I must say that this time around, I grew quite enamored with it! I don’t know what it was… I mean, it was still crowded, and I did have 4 kids to supervise (my 3 + a niece, with my husband’s help), but I just wasn’t as stressed out as I think I normally would be. And I really enjoyed their exhibits. One thing in particular, where my son and I spent a good amount of time: the high-sided table downstairs (there’s one upstairs as well, which I wish I’d known about, because then we could’ve been close to my daughter who was playing with the building blocks with dad — must go back to spend a good long while with my son doing that!), with the huge metal spinning disk in the middle. It has smaller, plastic/resin disks that you spin onto the metal one, which causes all sorts of cool reactions. The smaller disks would either spin straight across and right off the other side, or fall flat and shoot off, or, if you were lucky, the wide ones would spin on their flat side, and sort of do a dance across the thing, sometimes even with one side slightly raised! It is the coolest thing. The wind storm and vortex displays are cool too. Then you have your old standbys, like the “whispering secrets” one, where you sit on one side of the room and whisper into a giant red concave circle, and the person in front of the other one clear across the room can hear you. How does that work?? Pretty cool.

So, in conclusion, now that we have a membership-AND IT COVERS UP TO *SIX* KIDS!-we will be visiting a lot more. $53 for a year’s admission to the science center (which does not include the IMAX theater, but that’s ok), for 2 adults and 6 unspecified kids is a damn good deal! That means I can bring 3 extra kids if I need to, or 5 extra kids if I only bring my son, while the girls are in school, for example. My mind is reeling! I’m such a dork! But seriously, Kid City is pretty cool, and I’m excited to be able to take my son whenever he wants. The poor guy doesn’t get out much. We should’ve become members long ago! He’ll be 5 in June, and that’s the age limit for Kid City… not that I foresee us getting kicked out or anything, but you get my point. There’s a Fire Engine! And a car that seats us comfortably! It feels like a Mini Cooper, kinda. Not that I would know what a Mini Cooper feels like. So go forth, and visit the science center! I highly recommend it.

Please excuse the blurry iPhone pictures:

A hair-raising experience!

Boys & steering wheels

The Ultimate Blog Party!

Why did I not know about this?!? This may be just the kind of thing my blog needed… my poor, lonely, anemic, unpopular blog. Or maybe it’s my content that’s the problem? Or lack thereof, LOL. Ahh, well. Onto business:

The lovely ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom have been throwing the “Ultimate Blog Party” this week, and as usual, I’m terribly late. But I don’t think it matters! They’re taking entries until 11:59 PM Eastern, Friday April 8th. And the prizes are PLENTIFUL! This party is epic, people. It’s kind of mind-blowing. So check it out. Or don’t. Whatever. More chance for the rest of us!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011