Abuelas are better than grandmas


This is Abuela.

She’s the one who is responsible for my Cuban heritage.

My espresso addiction.

My fiery bulldog ways on the soccer field.

The woman who inspired my sewing hobby

and taught me to sew a project for “10 dollars or less.”

The woman who will always greet me with,

“Hay que linda! ¬†Gina, you look like a million dollars.”

(Yes, even if I’m in workout clothes.)

Who told me to never leave the house without earrings

and a little bit of lipstick (or chapstick in my case).

She’s hilarious, thoughtful and you better believe she’s a good negotiator.

I had the best time sifting through old family photos with her yesterday.

We belly laughed as we shared stories

and passed back and forth, “Remember when?”s.

Brought me back to the days I’d visit her in Miami

on my Spring Breaks in college.

While my friends would visit the beach or go on some crazy college group trip,

instead I took a flight to Miami to spend time with Abuela.

She and I would shop and take in movies,

and come home to eat Cuban food with Abuelo.

We’d practice speaking spanish.

We’d drink¬†cafe con leche.

To me, those were the best Spring Breaks ever.

Though I really do miss my visits to Miami,

I’m pretty happy she’s here in California now.

Because now I don’t have to wait for Spring Break

just to hang out with her.


Club de Espanol

So there are several cool things about this school year:
First and foremost, I’m teaching 5th grade, which is one of my favorite grades to date.  4th was pretty good, but 5th takes the cake easy.
-About 14 of my students of mine were in my class last year.
-This year, we get an afternoon recess.

Now, the kids are usually the ones excited for recess, but I’m pretty excited about our afternoon recess this year because I’ll have a little time each day to see my kids as kids, rather than my college-bound students.  I hold them to pretty high expectations in the classroom, so it’s nice to take a break from that and chat with them as the normal human beings they are.

Last year, I had this idea that I never fell through on.  The idea was that once every so often, I would invite the kiddos to my classroom for lunch and we would have a Spanish Club.  The hope was that we would pick a topic to discuss and the students would only talk in Spanish, so that I could learn (along with any other students who wanted to learn Spanish).  I selfishly wanted to start this mainly so I could learn Spanish.  I’m a Cuban girl, and I only know a handful of words and phrases, so who better to teach me than my students!  The sad thing is the year got busy, our schedules were crazy, and I’m not going to lie, I would just plain forget.  So we never did hold 1 Spanish Club meeting…

However, this year, now that we have the gift of afternoon recess, our Spanish club is now outside.  It began very impromptu.  I told 2 girls that I had last year that I really wanted them to teach me Spanish this year.  So they began to teach me.  We started with what we like to call “Question of the Day.”  They ask me questions (easy ones, thank goodness!) and I see if I can answer them using the little Spanish that I already know.  If I don’t know, they simply teach me what to say, and I repeat it back.  Or I try my best and say, “Como se dice….?” and they help me out.

There’s 3 great things about this little Spanish club that has randomly formed:
-I learn Spanish
-My kiddos feel excited to teach their teacher
-And, I get to bond a little more with my students.

Let me say it again, I LOVE FIFTH GRADE!