Cadence

I’m again in united States, trying to practice and learn english. I had the the idea that I handle the language after my English course in Illinois, but then, when I have to face the daily conversations, I  realize that it is not true.

When I was in my school, I studied english every day, I read some books and used to write small essays. I’m grateful for these time, because  they give me now some of this abilities  that bloom when I have to write a text or to maintain a conversation.

However, I have to say that I’m loosing my communication skills.  And I’m not talking just about the words, vocabulary and grammar. I’m talking about the ability to speak with somebody about any topic that I have in mind. Even in Spanish, my mother tongue, I have problems to express the feelings and thoughts. That is the reason why I decide to open again this space (blog), and tell you in English some of my thought of each two or three days. To the grain, my first idea:

To learn how to listen and understand the others, you have to understand gestures, movements, the voice tone, the sentence stress and the cadence. This dance that each voice select when you are talking.

Since I came to Boston, one month ago, I was surprised for the kind attitude of the people. Everybody smile and act as if they are interested in what you are talking about. They never say that you are doing something wrong, just try to “justify” or “accept” the reason why yo do something. May be the idea is still too vague and it is necessary to make an example: When we were choosing our home, many people advice us that was better to select a place in Brookline, because  there is the best school system. However, we didn’t find a good commute between the house we chose and our job, so at the end we decided to live in Boston, close to NU (Northeaster University). This decision sacrifice our son school.

When we talked with the people who advised us to be in Brookline, they said: wow!, congratulations, is a good idea to be close in the university, and you son will learn english too! After I heard this response, I thought for my self: aren’t  the people engaged with them advise? are they answering just to be friendly?

I didn’t have an answer to my questions. At the end,  the language is a barrer to meet and read the people. If you don’t understand how they use to answer or what is the correct behavior, or the usual for them to response, is difficult to discover their motivations.

The last week, I was buying some tea for our home, and the girl in the store was smiling and always answer to each of my questions: yeahhhhhh, sureeeee, with that special  “kind cadence”. So, was natural for me  felt as everybody is a lier, everybody is masking the real thoughts with that cordial behavior that get me nervous. How much of all you listen is true? I felt angry, sad, and far of everybody.

However, always the epiphany comes. Always ,when I’m  walking, taking the shower or just in a silent moment.  The epiphany was: I was who was wrong. the people is not a lier, in contrast, they always try to see the better side of the situation, try to see the right side, the bright face of the moon. They try to rescue the positive aspect of each situation. They are dancing with the language to the happy side of the river. Or are least, that is what I’m guessing about their voice rhythm. And if you are in this side, is more difficult to get angry or uncomfortable.

After this understanding, I noted that  I’m not just learning the language, the word pronunciation, the stress of each syllable.  I’m learning a moral teaching  throw the dance with the ‘kind  cadence’.

 

 

The point of view

In the reinassance by the 15 century, Fillipo Brunelleschi demonstrated the geometrical method of perspective [1]. The perspective consist in a representation of the reality on a flat surface through lines which are drawing from one point to the represented space in the space. This points are called vanishing point, could be one, two or three. While more points you use, more richer the picture is.  

The vanishing point are really point of view, the same in painting the same in writing. In the literature, each narrator tell the story from his point of view, drawing each scene with the perspective that his/her life have given to him/her. 

In these terms, it is difficult to make an opinion to change an art piece of an artist. Each one has a reason to say and a reason to express things in a specific way. Based in this point, I cant change a book. somebody can found it interesting, somebody no… this is my point o view 🙂

The Culture Of Fear

The last saturday we went to Chicago during a relaxing time planned by the english course. When I was there, I remembered one of my favorites writer: Eduardo Galeano.  Just at the beginning of the summer, I read an Eduardo Galeno’s essay which talks about the history of the workers who were shot in front of the Mc. Cormick factory in Chicago on May 1, 1886.  There was a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day in the Haymarket Square [1]. During the rally  an unknown person threw a bomb to the policemen killing seven of them. The policemen shot to the multitude and killed a lot of protesters. Then, some of the workers were sentenced to death by hanging for anarchism.

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In the essay, Galeano told us that when he was in Chicago, he was surprised because he didn’t find “any statue, no monolith, nor brass plate or anything in memory of the Martyrs of Chicago just in the Haymarket square” [2].

And Galeano was right, because this saturday I didn’t’ find there any sculpture. Only one person told me that there is a memorial monument located at the Forest Home Cemetery. In its base is written the epitaph

“The day will come when our silence will  be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today” [3].

And as there is not any monument in chicago there is not memory in the country. While the whole world celebrate the annual May 1 International Workers’ Day , in USA May 1 is  a non commemorative day although the  workers protest was done in Chicago. So, I can conclude that the fear culture can be a way to let us without memory.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site_of_the_Haymarket_Tragedy
[2] http://www.memoriadelfuego.org/2013/05/la-desmemoria4.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haymarket_Martyrs%27_Monument

The segregation is in my/your mind!

The segregation is a natural attitude of all humanity. You would think that I’m justifying a great number of bad actions that the humans have done, as for example the inquisition, the kukusklan, the facism and other kinds of extreme responses. However,   I’m  not justifying the extreme acts where anyone annuls to another person. I am  saying that the reason why people segregate  to other people is natural. The reason is no more than fear. Panic to a new experience. It can be called Neophobia (fear to new things) or Cenophobia (Fear to a new ideas).

amygdala-prefrontal-cortex

Every human being is affraid about something they don’t know well or something or somebody who have a behavior that they can’t predict or control. This fear happens unconscious in the brain. The Amygdala is the main gatekeeper of fear in the human mind [1]. Then, when we get nervous, there is a discharge of responses that are physcally evident.

This biological response of fear can be regulated by means of social education (or brain correction as reward-punishment). This is the work of our parents, schools, Jobs and communitie activities. Despite a great effort, the biological nature win in some cases.

For example, it is common that people conform determined ghettos when ther are indentifying with a music rythm, a sport team, a political view, or a religion. When they find something different, the first reactions is to keep it far away and the reason could be the panic to face an unexpected or uncomfortable situation.

As I told you, I think It is possible to intervene the biology with a new stimulus. That is why today I will train your mind with some questions in a specific field: the people with disabilities. And I want to do this because is the people whom I work for. How would you feel if your kids have to share the same school with a blind or a hearing loss people? Will you have in the deep of your soul any strange feel of discrimination? To realize how the people is segregated by disabilities, One colombian group developed the segregator Project [2]. I left you a video just for thinking about it…

I know It is difficult to live in a body with physical limitations, more difficult live in  a world with many physical barrers but the worst is live in a world of people with a great wall in their mind: human Segregation!!

References

 [1] John Riehl, Richard Lewis. Human brain is divided on fear and panic. New study contends different areas of brain responsible for external versus internal threats. IowaNow. 2013.

[2] Segregator Project. http://www.segregatorproject.org/english/publication/index.html

The Wayuu’s Mochila Bags

This traditional object is today  almost the most common fashion accesorie in Colombia. It could be made of different materials depending of the country’s region. One of this region located in the North of Colombia is La Guajira, a place where the dessert is extended until the sea. In this area live the  people of the Wayuu, recognized for their art  of knitting colorful mochila bags.

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The wayuu women are the responsible to practice and mantain their ancestral knitting heritage. When girls are near to the seven years old, they learn by watching their mothers moving the wool between their fingers. When the girl becomes in a woman (after the menarche), she is enclosed during one year. This is time enough to learn how to be a good wife, a good housekeeping, a good woman and a good knitter who could braid her future. When the preparation period ends, she presents her Mochila bag to the Mamo* in order to be approved  as a member of the  community, and to promise she will transmit her knowledge to  the next generation.

Each woman creates it’s own mochila bag with some figures that represent either her  caste, the people, jerarquies as well as the the nose of a cow or the color of a boa snake. But in general, the mochila bag is an abstraction of the world.  Each thread of wool, remembers the vibrant colors of some animals,  flowers and sceneries. In general, the splendid nature which is around to the Wayuu town.

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All this colors are combined in a weave that tell a story  by means of the knitting of many figures.  This geometrical forms were displayed to women during her dreams.  The knitting starts in a point: the middle point. As the real life that has its starts in the conception, the Mochila bag begins in a point which spread in a circular manner until create the mochila’s basement. It represents the place where all the foundations are built, where all will be supported in the future. It represents the society’s values.

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After that,  the knit grows upwards creating a close container. While this Jobs is done by women who biologically contains the pregnancy, the gaza strap is done for men, because the are who support the life as the gaza support the Mochila bag.

Wayuu women know that their job is knitting, either a mochila bag or a hammock, either her life or the Wayuu people’s history. It will be her daily job until her death. It is the job that join her to the community and with the universe. As the spider sculpting circular tales in its web Wayuu women knit the hammock that swing all dreams and the Mochilas bag which carry on the life of their culture.

*Mamo: He is the central figure of the Wayuu’s culture. He represents the sacred law.

IS THERE A RECIPE FOR RAISE UP A CHILD?

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One morning  in my english class, our teacher asks us about the difference between the rules or ways that we have to raise up a children in each culture and Its comparison with the American’s culture.

I have to declare that It wasn’t an easy assignment due to my scientific mind. I couldn’t take off the idea that I don’t have the enough material to do an objective comparison: I haven’t read enough;  I don’t search  in specialized papers; I don’t interview a representative statistical simple of parents of different cultures, then all I can tell will be just speculation. For this reason,  I have desisted.

However,  in this blog, I have the opportunitie to tell you about an important question I did when my son was born: which is the role of women and men during the child raising?

And when I say child raising, I am referring to all the stages beginning in the moment  when that the mother becomes pregnant. There is a common phrase  that said “The father begins to be father when the child born, no before”. Although a big deal of fathers share some moments with their wives or couple during the pregnancy, they don’t feel the sensation of a child growing in the  belly, as the mother feels.

Huggies, the diaper company  has crossed the barrier of senses developing a device that links the movement of the baby in the pregnant mother’s belly with the father belly. Thus the father using a kind of bandage around his waist can feels and sees how the child is moving inside the mother belly. through different sensors and colors . It is a good example of  how the technology can be a tool for tight the father-child relationship before the baby birth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6ptZGFKXiI

In the next stage, when the child has born, the father can hugs, kiss and feels his baby. This is the moment when the father realize that the new creature is there, in his arms being real. But after that, what is the rol of the father?. “Traditionally, men have worked outside the home and served as the sole breadwinner for the family” [1] , therefore, he has to go to work in less than one, two or three days, depending of the country law. So, the role of the father in the first months is reduced to give the economic support to the family. But is his love, or his time, or his help less important than the mothers ones?

Actually in the globalized society, we suppose the mothers are more important than fathers for the baby, supported by the biological fact that mothers are in charge of  breastfeeding the baby (This will be the next post in this blog. The amazing, magic, and gorgeous act of breastfeeding needs another chapter). However, the needs of the baby is not just eat. During the three or four hours between meals, the baby needs to sleep,  diapering, take a bath, be caress and stimulated. It could be a precious father-baby moment .

Most women complain because their husbands don’t help in home. The women’s lib has incremented the work of women as in the jobs as in the house . In spite of some feminist comments, I consider that part of this situation is related with the power of  women in home. Have you ever wondered if the women let or invite to their husband to make work from home?

One day I saw a woman, doing everything in the house: cooking, cleaning and attending the baby meanwhile her husband Works. At the night she was so tired,  loading all the responsability of the baby care at the same time she was making the home activities.  However, when her husband wanted to bathe their child,  she didn’t let him because she thought he didn’t know how to do it and of sure she does it better than him. Eureka!! That is the reason! We, the women need two things: a)Be the people who knows how the things are done, and b) we want to be needed!!

Reflecting on this fact and trying to cut this historical thread, I change may behavior  inviting my husband to share the everyday moment with our son. I realize that the role of father an mother can be as equal as you want.

Afer that, he became in this type of guys who bath to his son every morning, who knows how to change his diaper, to cook his soups, to play in the park.  I felt a great relief in my dalily activities, and we were more joined. And now, he is proud about him self, because among all coworkers, he is the one that has a unique relationship with his son, knows how he cries, how he eats, how he gets sick, and how was his kisses taste when he was a baby.

For this reason i’m here, studying english, while he can be in Colombia taking care of our son. I trust in him as a good father, He trust me as his wife, and we can grow as a whole family.