Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Day of The Dead, A Mexican Tradition

My name is Judith Garcia. I have lived in San Francisco for 20 years. The first day I arrived in San Francisco was Halloween night. The Castro District was celebrating with an amazing Halloween party. I was a very excited that night because in my country, this type of party is not unusual for this day, this time of year. In my country, Mexico, on November 1st and 2nd, we always celebrate The Day of the Dead. But it is very different from Halloween. On The Day of The Dead, people usually go to the cemetery and leave flowers, candles, and some food for the deceased. This food is the kind of food he or she liked in life. Some people say this practice is silly, but it has been our special holiday from ancient history, since the time when the Aztecs ruled Mexico.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Diego Ruiz Valdez, "Electronically Charged"


Diego is writing! So, you'd better read this!

I am 30 years old, and I was born in Mexico city on August 16, 1979. I am the oldest of two guys. My sister is 25, married, and is about to have a baby in the next few months. I studied at a little elementary school in my neighborhood. The next 6 years, I was in a Catholic school in Mexico D.F. After the big earthquake in 1985, my parents decided to move to Purepero, Michoacán. Then, I studied the next six years of my elementary school in government schools. I attended the Instituto Tecnologico de Morelia. I enrolled there in order to get a degree in Business Administration, but the first passion in my life trapped me, the drunkenness, etc.

My parents got divorced in 1997. Since that time I really have begun to grow. I‘ve been clean since 2000. At that time, I started my own business “Bloquera de Purepero.” That business consisted of making prefabricated concrete. At the same time, I found a new love in my life that really made me stronger than ever, and I am talking about The Electronic Music and its world scene. I discovered this topic in my first electronic party in Monterey, Nuevo Leon. Immediately, during the next 6 months, I organized the first "rave" party in my home town in Michoacan. In 2005, my little business was in the highest size of its history with 4 employees and with sales in the surrounding villages. The local electronic scene was doing very well. I started a radio show and our listeners were composed of 3 nearby cities, and some privileges were given for being a member of the ruling political party. But this big love took me further than I could think “Ibiza”… During the radio show “DANCE ESSENCE, diffusion electro-festiva” I realized that there are a deep and a strong electronic activity in that Balearic island, and I thought that that is the perfect place in which to die.

Now I am here in “the states” (U.S.A.) enjoying of its culture, in the vibrant city of San Francisco in California, a beautiful city. I'm growing in a new life as an English foreign speaker, being educated in a magnificent place: City College of San Francisco. I would say that if THE LANGUAGE LAB of City College didn’t exist, the dream of my life would be a lot more difficult to achieve. Thanks to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, thanks to the wonderful and friendly people of that magical city, my dream is getting closer and closer every god damned day.

Music is my unconditional partner

Music is unconditionally there forever, anytime I want it, any time I need it, any time it needs me, I am going to die for it.

I fell in love in 2000 after the first party in Monterrey, Mexico. The town of Skizzo was the window towards the other side of this universe. I was hooked by the vibrant atmosphere that loud, fine music and unhappy people release when they are fused after midnight. Even though everybody knows we were unhappy, we tried to reach the real happiness at least for that night, no talking much, no posing, no pretending, no synchronized dances, and we did it. The results, only smiles and a real feeling of dancing were there.

This music is the simplest availability. I don’t have to take it out for dinner, I don’t have to be listen to it I don’t need to say anything to it, It will never get old, and it is always in a perfect mood, and the best thing: it never will make me feel bad. The only one thing that I have to do is press the play button. When I realized all that, I couldn’t even believe that it was happening, and why that was happening, and I still don’t understand, how this music was created, not only my music, I am talking about all kinds and styles of music. Everybody agrees this is the XXI century, and the human species has been here for 6000 thousand years, and I don’t think that it has been enough time for humans to catch up to these levels of musical refinement. I think it is too much for these days, I think the music has evolved very much.

I was a former member massman of a band, and we were playing Molotov, Control Machete and Caifanes, and these experience helped me to recognize how difficult and complicated is playing an instrument, a lot hours of practice if it is only a hobby, but when I am talking about an “artist”, I know that there are too many years of study and spiritual refinement, and then I look at the instrument, and the I can’t believe how the human created, instruments that play music, that play that great music, that play energy, that play life.

Now we only press "play" in an mp 3 player,

That’s it!

A Prisoner of this Universe.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Aura Pineda's Airport Problem

In July of 2001, I took a trip to my country with my kids. We visited our family and celebrated my daughter's second birthday with them. I had already had our reservations when I went to the agency to get our tickets. The agent didn't tell me we had to show up at the airport the night before we left. When we arrived at the airport, the airline agent told us that our flight had already left. After the airline agent told me this, I was very angry at him. I asked him what I should do. He told me to come the following day. After that, I called my relatives and told them we had to reschedule the party until we arrive.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Arturo Mocino

Here is another great article from our own literary, film,
and art critic, Arturo Mocino.

The best Coen's movies

By Arturo Mocino

Have you seen "No Country for Old Men"? "The Big Lebowski?" "Burning After Reading?" Well, don't wait any longer because these movies are amazing and very funny, especially "The Big Lebowski", my favorite. These movies were made by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Joel and Ethan are brothers and Jews and filmmakers, and, of course, readers. "No Country for Old Men" is inspired by a Cormac McCarthy"s novel. Last year this movie received three Oscars: Best director, Best adapted screenplay and supporting actor. The story is simple: Sugar, a Mexican killer played by Javier Barden, had a mission: to recover stolen money. Barden is a silent assassin, very professional and bloody. He crosses the border and finds the money in a little town in Texas. Nobody stops him. Well, it's not true, but you need to see it because I hate to tell the film's ending.

"Burning After Reading" is very different from "No Country for Old Men." It's a movie about spy games. Brad Pitt, George Cloney and John Malkovich fight for top secrets and dark menaces. It's a parody of all fears of American administrations. Again, I can't tell you the end but I promise, it's very ridiculous.

"The Big Lebowski" was filmed around 1998 in Los Angeles. When I lived there a couple years ago, I discovered Coen's movies. This movie is full of jokes because it sketches the madness of LA: passion for bowling, for marijuana, for fighting over nothing, for living unemployed. I recommend you see this movie. Have a good day. See you later alligator!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sonia Izaquirre's Strange Allergy


Hi, teacher I hope when you read this story, you will like it.

My name is Sonia Izaguirre. I've been living in San Francisco for 5 years. I live with my mother and brothers. There is a funny and true story about the apartment we live in.

It was August 2008 when my body started to have some kind of allergy. I didn't know how I got it because I had never have an allergy in my life. Then, I went to the doctor to see what I had. He didn't know and he gave me some medicine. He made an appointment to see the specialist, a dermotologist, who could tell me what kind of allergy I had. Since that time, I have that problem all night. Finally, I went to see the specialist. What a surprise!!! It wasn't an allergy in my body, it was the famous bedbug. The specialist explained to me where they are and how they came to the house. After I saw the doctor, I got home and I explained it to my mom, and you know, teacher, what she did? She threw out my bed. That night, I slept on the floor. She didn't wait for a different solution. So what could I do? She was upset. This story is true, and that's why we have to check everything over before we buy a new furniture.

Alma Elias

Hello. My name is Alma Elias. I was born in El Salvador and grew up in that country. I studied Business Administration in the university . I worked as an auditor in Sherwin Williams Company. I moved to this country when I got married in October 2001. Right now, I have two kids: a boy and a daughter. Mark is six years. He is in first grade. And my daughter Hannaiz is four years old. She is in pre-school. They make my life very happy. In this country, I never worked because I had to take care of my kids. Now, I need to learn English and then I'll get a good job. Well, I work at home every day. I have to clean, cook, and do the laundry. The last seven years have been very hard for me, because my life has been completely different. I pray to God that my life can change when I get job. My husband works as a painter.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Martha Perez

I am Martha Perez. I am from Mexico. I have been here for 12 years. I am very happy in your class because you have lots of patience, and you motivate us every day so that we can learn. I do not know how to use a computer, that’s why I haven't done my homework. You told us to do it on the computer. Also I have more classes, and I want to learn the GED. I work a few days a week. I clean two houses and take care of one kid. I have two kids of my own. One is ten years old, and the other one is eleven years old. They are going to school.

Fidel Garcia

Left to Right: Martha Barrios, John Robinson, Fidel Garcia, Rosie Romero

Hi, Mr. Robinson.

I hope you're OK. This is my short story. If my grammar is bad, please let me know because I need to practice my writing more.

My name is Fidel Garcia. I'm from Mexico. Now I live in San Francisco, CA. I'm married, and I have two daughters. My first language is Spanish. When I came to the USA, I had a big problem with language because my English was very poor. Then, I started to study English for a few weeks because I had to learn how to communicate with other people. Nowadays, many things are different. Now, I can speak a little, but I need to improve my speaking. I've been learning English with my teachers. I hope I'm going to learn how to speak and write in English well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maria Rosario

Hi, my name is Maria Rosario

I am from Mexico. I was born in Puebla. In 2001, I decided to come to San Francisco on vacation, and I started to come to Mission Campus. Two years later I met my husband in the same campus, while I was learning English. We decided to go out on a date. We had so much fun together because we spent most of our time learning from each other. So that's when we decided to get married, and later our son was born. He is a handsome young baby. He is almost 3 years old, and he is very smart. He is the reason that inspires me to improve my English. Now I'm in level 7/8. It is kind of hard sometimes, but I know that it is for my own good, and that I can count on my friends to help me out sometimes. Mr. Robinson, my teacher, is really nice, and he tries to make us learn as much as possible!! I'm trying my best to improve my English because I want my family to be proud of me. I want my family to always stay together to never fall apart. I love my family the most.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Elisenda Pastó

The Strange Story of My Left Foot

A Surrealist Tale

Yesterday, my left foot decided to take one day off. When I woke up, I felt something strange at the end of my leg. And I saw that my left foot was gone. “He didn't even consider writing me a note!”. I had a lot of things to do. “What I could do now?” I was thinking how to do all my stuff without my left foot. I decided to go to work as always, walking. My work is near where I live. When I arrived at my office, I was so tired because I was jumping all the way until I got to the office. When my boss saw me, he ordered me to leave for home. I got back to my house really really exhaaaaaaaauuuuuuusted.

So, I thought that I needed to get used to my new body, or to do something about it. So, I started to make a model of a new left foot with flour and water. I've never been a good artist, but I did my best. I baked my new left foot, and I was ready to run..ahem..or better not.

At that moment, I was starving and I went to that restaurant, just on the corner. When I tried to put on my shoes, I realized that I made the foot too big! In spite of that, I put on a thick sock and I went to the restaurant. I went out to the street, but someone was hosing it off, and my sock wasn't thick enough to stop the moisture. My new left foot was wet and withered. So, I came back at home starving and angry with my left foot. But I had a BIG surprise when I saw my beloved first left foot waiting for me in the front door. Since then my life took on a new significance. Now, I take more care of my entire body. You never know when some part of it will decide to take a day off.

Sandra Rocha

My name is Sandra Rocha. I am from Goiania, Brazil.
I have lived in San Francisco with my family for almost two years. I love this city! In this country, there isn't a better place to live. My favorite season is summer because the weather is warm and sunny. I feel so happy on sunny days. It reminds me my country.

To have a better life here, I need to learn English. City College, gives us this opportunity for free, with excellent teachers. So, I am here to enjoy it. I began with level 2, and now I am in level 5 to 8. I like to study English, and I am learning Spanish too. I like to read and to listen, but I am not a good speaker. I want to speak more. I am going to concentrate in this problem.

Irvin Marquez

My Biography

I was born in El Salvador twenty years ago. I'm the oldest of three children and the friendliest, too! I grew up in a city with my grandmother and my grandfather. When I was young, I liked to go to buy an ice cream with my friends. I didn't like to iron my uniform and go to the dentist because I guess I was shy. I liked to play hide and seek with my cousins and friends. I didn't like tomato soup. As a matter of fact, I hated it, but I ate it anyway.

I went to school in my country for fourteen years. In El Salvador I finished high school, then I attended "Academia Europea". I was learning a little bit over there. I stopped going to the University because I came here to U.S. When I got here I went to adult school (CCSF). I can remember when I was a child I went to Honduras to visit my grandmother's sister. It wasn't a good trip because I had a terrible accident. I almost was going to be in a wheelchair because of that accident.

When I was 6 years old, my dear mother bought a cool bicycle. I learned how to ride it as soon as possible!

A couple of years later, my mother had to leave because she came here to be with her parents. I was very sad about that, but in spite of it, I had to face it. I couldn't do anything, I guess!

Now I live in Daly City, CA. I'm student. In my free time, I like to play soccer, basketball, tennis, FIFA09, Rock Band 2 etc. By the way I enjoy playing xbox360. It's amazing LoL (an acronym meaning "Laughing Out Loud.")

In the future I'd like to travel to London and watch a Chelsea game.
My sister says it's craziness, but I don't think so. I hope to get a driver's license.

I like my school, CCSF. I think it's one of the best places to learn English.