Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Person of the Year

Since the beginning of the year the 7th grade has been having a big contest called Person of the Year (since we call ourselves a bilingual school we have many activities and clubs with English names; our soccer team is called The Sharks). This has been a series of contests between different teams of students. Our class has been broken up into 4 teams. The contests have been:
  • A writing contest
  • A bike race
  • A pumpkin carving contest
  • Highest grade point average
  • A singing contest
  • A basketball tournament
  • A kickball tournament
We have had about 1 contest every month and the scores are tallied up at the end. My team was lucky enough to win and as a prize we got to take a day off from school and go to Legoland.

We made the trip last Friday and I had a pretty good time. Legoland itself wasn't the best, I mean it's cool that everything is made out of legos and stuff but it's all for younger kids. There are some slow rides, and a few "rollercoasters" that were pretty lame. Nonetheless I had a great time hanging out with my group and not going to school. The drive up was especially fun. 2 adults and 5 kids in a van for an hour and a half, it was great. We listened to music, talked, goofed off (mostly me cause I'm a little mental sometimes) and made some prank calls to telephone numbers on random billboards in Tijuana. (One of which was a conversation with a women in English to my fake girlfriend named Monica to whom I was apologizing for something that had happened the night before, I told her that I hoped she forgave me and that I loved her.) It was pretty sweet, the lady was pretty confused.

As I said I was goofing off cause I was in a really good mood so just a day of running around, hanging with friends, and starting up random conversations in Spanish with the confused gringos was very good to have.The claw, that's me with my friend Mario, better known as Puga
Me and my classmates

I am superman
on the right we have the principal of the middle school and on the left we have one of the three directors of the school
Oh baby, that is beastly

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today I got a homework assignment for math that said I had to go to a glass cutter and buy some mirrors in some specific dimensions (along with some other supplies) and they are due in 2 days. One of my geography teacher's previous assignments was to bring specific colors of tissue paper, poster board, markers, and hot glue to school. We had one day. I've also been asked to make a paper mache pig at home. Now think about it; would anyone ever ask you to do that for homework in the U.S.?

Mi cochinito teletón

Sure I mean you might make some paper mache in class, but not for homework where you have to provide all the materials yourself and pay for them. And you might do an activity for math with mirrors, but the mirrors would be provided. Or, if you did need to provide the material you would get more than 24-hours notice.

I've also been asked to make a math geoboard at home. I didn't do it (because we didn't even have a hammer at that time), but that's beside the point. I just took a low grade on that assignment.

A lot of times here you're supposed to pay for and provide materials for school activities, simply because our school doesn't have any school supplies for the students, we have to provide ourselves with our materials. The weird thing is, is that the school has the money to throw these huge parties, or give their students big expensive prizes for contests, but they can't provide pencils for the students, our places to store school supplies. We have to bring all our materials to school everyday (and if we forget something you might get in trouble with some of the teachers). For me, being pretty disorganized, it's hard sometimes, and I miss having all the materials at school ready for use.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration

Today as you all know, was the inauguration of our nation's first black president. A very historic day for the United States but also for the rest of the world. Today as our principal addressed our school she talked about what an important day it was and talked about racism and how this is part of the fight against it. Later at 9:00 our time they suspended classes for 4th grade and up, and we all crowded into our small library and watched as Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States. The internet wasn't very good so the live stream we were watching was stopping and starting so it was very hard for the non-english speakers to understand. Nonetheless they were clapping for him, and all stood for the national anthem.

After school we went to our landlady's house to pay our rent and she was watching the parade. She told us what an important day it was for the world and how happy everyone was. She also told us that this morning she was praying with her Virgen de Guadalupe (like the Mexican Virgin Mary) for Barack Obama's safety and hopes that he will be able to support the weight of the task, that as of today, has been placed upon his shoulders.

Today was a historic day for everyone.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Today was a weird day with friends. After having an okay day, I overheard the people who I consider my friends saying that they were going to the movies together. This made me feel bad because I wasn't invited. So, it made me feel like I didn't have any real friends at school. It is really hard to make friends here because conversations are all in Spanish. Even though I know a lot of Spanish I can't communicate everything I want to say, which makes it hard. I was becoming friends with these kids, but being excluded really threw me off. It may have been that one of the moms organized everything and didn't know to invite me. Or, maybe they thought I wouldn't be able to understand the movie (but I would because I understand just about everything now). Or, the worst case scenario could have been that they just did not want to invite me. The good news is that I went to gymnastics practice instead, and I had a great time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I was sick this weekend with a bad cough and fluid in my ears. I missed school for two days (which isn't all that bad). With my ears clogged up it was like my ears had to pop but they wouldn't. Plus with me not being able to stop coughing my mom brought me to the doctors office. We just walked right in without an appointment and sat down. It was just a tiny house made into a doctors office. It had everything a doctors office in the states would have except it was tiny. I met with the doctor and he gave me some medicine. He gave us his card and he said we could call him directly on his cell, work, or home line and we would be able to talk to him. So now I am feeling better and amazed how easy it was to go to the doctors office.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Culture of Alamos

During vacation we packed up our bags and decided that we should travel to "real" Mexico. We drove from Baja to Alamos, Sonora. When we arrived we we were happy cause it was exactly the place we wanted to go to. The streets were small and quaint; the two plazas bustling with activity. It was great. As we got to know the city a little more we compared it to Ensenada. We discovered that even though the city was cooler, the food wasn't as good and there wasn't a good selection of restaurants. We found a couple (probably some of the best enchiladas of my life) but the food from Ensenada is much more delicious and there are more options.

Everything seemed much more Mexican, and in the obvious way it was. There was a traditional market, it was a small town with small streets, and it had a main plaza like most Mexican towns. But, as Theo observed, Alamos is really more American then Ensenada. Though the raw population of Americans in Ensenada may be higher, in terms of percentage Alamos has more. There are about 350 American families, mostly rich old ladies, that live in Alamos, and they have a big influence over the community. Much more than in Ensenada. The Mexicans even have to turn down their music when the Americans arrive in the winter. Though Alamos wasn't as "real" Mexico as we thought we still had a great time.