Posted in Bookworm

Charlotte’s Web

I remember watching this old classical movie when I was a child and repeating the words as well as singing along with the characters.  I just finished reading the book, and I would like to share a brief summary of what the book is about and why you should read this book.

The book is about a pig by the name of Wilbur, who is about to be killed by Mr. Arable but all of a sudden was saved by Fern’s determination and persuasive.  Then Wilbur is moved to Mr. Zuckerman’s barn, where he encounters more barn animals. He learns that he will probably be killed again for food until the itsy bitsy spider by the name Charlotte comes to the rescue.

I don’t want to create any spoil alert about the ending, but as you can tell it is a children’s book which talks about the meaning of friendship, life and death.  There are two movies where one is a musical animation and the other a live-action/animated movie.

I will write more posts on books that I have read and enjoyed.  Please share any children’s books that I would enjoy by posting the comment below.

Pax,

Lupe

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Posted in Bookworm

Comfort Prayers

Wow, it’s been a while since writing this blog.  I have gone through many changes:

I am in my third semester in university (obtaining a master’s degree in Special Education)) I am living and learning through my mistakes.  This is best type of learning from what I have been told.

I went through many difficult moments (still am), which is what has kept me from writing my blog.  I went through tears, anxiety and stressful moments.  Being a teacher is a rewarding occupation, where you make an impact in a child’s life.  As a teacher, there is an element of vulnerability too.  You are centered stage, the facilitator, the conductor, the role model.  Most of the time, you see your own weaknesses as well.  You put yourself out there for all to see.

I went to a store the other day, and I brought a book entitled “Comfort Prayers: Prayers and Poems to Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire” by June Cotner.  The instant I opened the book, I knew it was for me.  I end this 1st blog of 2015 with this

Changes by Sharon Hudnell

Storm settles into quiet,

Darkest dusk leads to a dawn,

Bleak winter melts to springtime,

And the tide turns-

Hold on.

Posted in Bookworm

The Bilingual Edge

I wouldn’t say I am fluent in Spanish or even native-like.  I stumble upon some grammar, vocabularies and listening skills in Spanish.  However, I can get by and people appreciate that I try.  On a scale of 0 to 10, I would put myself at 6 or 7.  I was born with a speech impediment.  At the age of 5, I was doing some sign language when I wanted a banana or ice cream.  My mother took me to a certain school to take a specialized test.  In a nutshell, the results came out that my verbal skills were horrendous and my non-verbal skills – I was a genius.  As a result, I went to see a speech therapist to work on my communication skills and English.  The speech therapist was bilingual, Spanish being her first language.  My mother and the speech therapist came to the conclusion that it was better to learn English only because I was falling behind in school.

When it was time to decide what to major in college, I choose Spanish in order to learn the language and culture that my parents came from.  I had to learn how to write an essay in Spanish (I never did 10 pages in another language before), and reading Don Quixote in Spanish (I needed cliff notes in English to understand).  It was a challenge but I worked extremely hard probably 10x’s more than the rest of the native speakers in my class.

When I taught Spanish and English to preschoolers, I felt like I was coming in full circle like everything made perfect sense.  Maybe, the difficulty that I had with languages and speech made me appreciate even more the importance of storytelling, reading, and speaking.

I was reading this book called The Bilingual Edge, and I would highly recommend it if you want to teach your children a second language. We are living in a world where communities are getting even smaller due to the advancement of technology and transportation.  We are living in a diverse culture that nothing is new under the sun. I am just going to sum up chapter 1- why it’s beneficial for a child to learn another language.

1) The Cognitive Edge: Bilingual children have more “metalinguistic awareness, creativity, and the ability to control linguistic processing” than monolingual children.  This can inspire children in the areas of writing and storytelling.  You don’t have to look any further for examples: J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, majored in French and the Classics.

2) It enhances cross-cultural understanding: It is hard to understand a culture without language. Children that learn a second language have positive attitudes toward that community. They are also able to make friends due to their social skills and understanding of the culture.

3) It enriches family life, culture and communication: If your family came to America from another country, one would want to continue the cultural traditions.  There are parents that want to maintain that cultural link with their children by celebrating the festivals and holidays.  It also is important for the family to know their heritage and identity.

4) Educational and career edge: There is a demand of bilingual professionals in almost every field or sector. It is motivating that knowing another language could pay off in the job market. Schools are jumping in the action on the multilingualism market. Many elite and private schools have immersion programs such as Bilingual Buds (Long Island, NY) and Avenues, The World School (Manhattan, NY).

Thanks for joining the second book review on The Bilingual Edge.

Posted in Bookworm

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Once I saw the movie, I wanted to get my hands on the book.   Once I read his life story, I truly felt admiration for the man of faith.  He grew up in a single mother’s household in the inner city.  With his mother’s determination, faith and positive thinking brought him in the world’s stage as a sought out neurologist.

Lessons  we could learn:

1)      A mother’s word

Ben Carson’s mother pushed him whenever she could.  She would often tell her boys

“You weren’t born to be a failure, you can do it”

“You can do it. Don’t you stop believing that for one second”

“If you ask the Lord for something and believe He will do it, then it’ll happen”

2)      Mother saw potential.

When Ben Carson brought the mediocre grades home, she knew that her son could do better.

“You can’t go outside and play until you learn your times tables.”

“You boys are going to go to the library and check out books.  You’re going to read at least two books every week.  At the end of each week you’ll give me a report on what you’ve read.”

3)      Conquering anger

Ben Carson’s anger got the best of him and he almost killed his friend.  Luckily, the blade of the knife fell due to his friend’s strong belt.  He saw in a flash how his temper could have ruined his life as well as having murdered his friend.  Ben ran to the bathroom and said “You’ve promised that if we come to You and ask something in faith, that You’ll do it.  I believe that You can change this in me.” In that moment, his anger ceased.  To this day, the Bible is the first thing he reads in the morning.

Here is the movie, I hope you enjoy it and read the book: