Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Official!

My class has a theme song. And no, it's not some awful Justin or Miley song. (As if I'd allow that.) It's an old one-hit wonder by Bobby McFerrin. Never heard of him? I'm not surprised. But I'm sure you've heard his song called "Don't Worry, Be Happy".

Anyway, it all started about a month ago. One of my kids got that song stuck in my head. I mean like seriously stuck. I was whistling it all day. And by the end of the day, a few of the kids would sing along with my whistling.

Fast forward to last Thursday during art class. I told the kids I'd bring in my iPod and we'd listen to music. Surprisingly, most of the students have really good taste in music. Okay, well the boys do. The girls prefer sugar coated pop songs. The boys? Queen, Rolling Stones, Green Day, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, and of course, Coldplay. So I set off to make a killer art class mix with a few Beiber songs thrown in to keep the girls happy.

Anyway, the first song I played was "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and I'm not kidding you, almost everyone in the class sang along. Well, to the chorus at least. It was super entertaining. I wish I had had my camera to record it.

In case you're not as fond of one-hit wonders as I am (my favorite is "Come On Eileen") here's the music video. And the awesomeness of the song is almost overshadowed by the seriously amazing acting and dancing skills of Bobby and his friends.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Las Montañas

Okay back in November (have I really been here that long??) I mentioned in a post that the view of the Andes from the teachers' lounge was incredible. I had planned on taking a photo to post on here, but it seemed like every time I had my camera with me, the mountains were covered in a thick layer of smog. 

Anyway, eight months later, not only was there no smog but the mountains were covered with snow. And! I had my camera. 

It's okay to be jealous.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I think it goes without saying that obviously I am writing a post about soccer, not football. Why is this so obvious? Well for starters I'm in South America, where soccer is like the major religion. And second, because American football sucks. 

People go a little (okay a lot) nutty here during football games. And now it's gotten even crazier. Right now we're in the middle of the Copa America. Which is basically a huge football competition being played by teams across South America, a few from Central America, and Japan thrown in just for fun.

Even if you can't make it to a stadium or pub you can still feel (and hear) the energy radiating from the city. When Chile misses a goal you can hear swearing and booing from any open window in the neighborhood. If they score, the cheers and car horns can be heard for a few minutes. And if they win, well, you better dig out some ear plugs because people will be screaming celebrating until the wee hours of the morning. 

I found this awesome post about watching football in Chile and I thought I'd repost it here for those of you who are interested. 

I  really wish I'd written the post How to Watch a Football Match in Chile.  But I did not, and I'm not going to take credit for it. But I think it's quite funny and incredibily accurate.

Okay I'm off to cook and clean before the madness begins today. We're watching not one, but two games. First up, Brazil vs. Paraguay (remember, my roommates are Brazilians) followed by Chile vs. Venezuela. The girls are making some traditional Brazilian cuisine. My contribution? Chocolate cupcakes with nutella frosting. We're expecting a fairly large crowd so it should make for one entertaining afternoon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bulletin Board

In my classroom I only have one bulletin board. At first I wasn't sure what to use it for. In the end, I figured it was the best place to showcase some of the amazing (and not so amazing) artwork of my students. Now it has become a competition among a few of them. They are trying to get as many pictures up on the board, so space is running out.

Some of my students are really quite talented. Take a look.

The whole board.

Love the colors.

A student showing some Coldplay love.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Parliament of Owls

Today my friends Mel and Ryan got married. (Congrats!!) Mel and I met our freshmen year of college, and were roommates for the next three years. I am totally bummed I couldn’t make it home for the wedding. But thankfully, with the help of facebook, a camera phone, and my personal photographer Catey, I was able to see all the big moments.

Almost married!
As I sat glued to facebook, hitting the refresh button every few minutes, I decided to (finally) write a post about what happened when I went to find Mel and Ryan a wedding present.

While my mom and Joe were here, we went to Los Dominicos, a pueblo artesenal located next to a church in Santiago. Los Dominicos is not an ordinary art fair. It’s an outdoor shopping center with dirt paths, exotic birds and small stores selling local goods. My one goal was to find a wedding present for Mel and Ryan.

I love this photo!

A hidden pig for Nicole!

At the entrance to Los Dominicos there is a bevy* of peafowl in a pen. What’s a peafowl? Well apparently that the name of a mixed group of peacocks and peahens. And all this time, I thought they were all called peacocks. (In case you’re curious, baby peafowls are called peachicks.)

After looking through most of the stores, I decided on buying a painted tile. There was one store that sold only these so I went in to take a look. I should mention I was being a total tourist and I was taking pictures of everything throughout the fair. But the tile shop owner was strongly opposed to me taking pictures inside her store. How did I find this out? With a stern jabbing of her finger on my back as I took a picture of a tile. When I turned around to see who it was, she proceeded to scold me (in Spanish, of course). She was furious I took a picture without asking. And she went on and on about how rude I was and blah blah blah. Well woman, if you have such a huge issue with people taking pictures in your store, why don’t you post a sign saying “I’m a super huge bitch, please don’t take pictures inside my shop or I will personally jab my pointy fingers into your back”. You know, or something like that.  (I’d like to point out that I took pictures in other stores without anyone complaining.)

Here's the photo I took before I got poked. 
And the only reason I took it was because I thought the river 
looked like a log ride at an amusement park.

Anyway, my mom wanted to leave the store. Immediately. But I was still determined to get a painted tile for Mel and Ryan. Begrudgingly I left the store without a tile. Luckily for me, there was a store a few doors down that sold the exact same tiles. After I bought the tile from the second store, I had to suppress to urge to go back into the first tile store and flaunt my purchase.

As we left Los Dominicos, we walked past the same ostentation* of peafowls. And one of the peacocks expanded his feathers and it was insane. I’m pretty sure that is the first time I’ve ever seen that in person. And I got a picture!
So pretty!

Just in case you wanted to see a peacock's butt, here you go.

*Okay I looked everywhere and couldn’t find a consistent answer as to what a group of peafowl is called. You know, like a gaggle of geese or a troop of monkeys or a tower of giraffes or a prickle of porcupines…. I could keep going but I’ll stop. Anyway, there were many options for a group of peafowl so I just chose two at random. 

And really, a prickle of porcupines? Love it.

And here's a photo of my beautiful friends with the beautiful bride!

Look what I made!

All year I've been taking pictures of my kids. At the suggestion of my boss, I made an iWeb page so my kids and their parents could view the pictures online. So go on. Look at it here. But make sure you click on the tab for 5B.


Saturday, July 2, 2011


Spanish lesson of the day: burbujas = bubbles

Last weekend I went to the MIM. That’s the acronym for Museo Interactivo Mirador. It’s a science museum for children (and adults that like that kind of stuff). I went with my Spanish teacher Alejandra, her boyfriend and one of their friends.

Seeing how it was a Saturday, the place was filled with a plethora of headache-inducing children running amok.  But then again, it’s a children’s museum, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything different. There were several rooms, each with a specific theme, ranging in topics from optical illusions to the weather.

I should probably add a side note here. Growing up outside of San Francisco, my family and I frequently visited the Exploratorium, an amazing, hands-on science museum in the city. They had an exhibit where you could make huge bubbles. There was a table filled with a soapy solution and huge metal rings that would produce gigantic bubbles.

Well, the MIM one-upped the Exploratorium, much to my delight. They had a whole room just for bubbles. There were at least six stations to make giant bubbles. It was definitely my favorite part of the whole museum. No, seriously. I would totally go back just to play with the bubbles. It was that much fun.  

Alejandra in a bubble.

I'm in a bubble!

Seba in a bubble.

(Gabriel was in a bubble too. But it popped before I could take a picture.)

Now for a few non-bubble related pictures. Really just to prove the museum had other things to do besides playing with bubbles.

Seba, playing a game very similar to Operation. 
I've always loved optical illusions.

While writing about all the bubbles, I couldn't help but think about a certain fish from Finding Nemo. 

We feel the same way about bubbles.