Sunday, August 28, 2011

Se Hábla Spanglish

There's a difference between speaking English and Spanish and speaking Spanglish. The first option involves speaking two languages and the second involves mixing the the two.  Spanglish has really become its own new language, with its own set of vague, weird rules. Spanish-speaking Americans have created an entire sub-culture. And some things that we say can only be interpreted by Spanglish speakers themselves.

Sometimes it's taking an English verb and putting them into Spanish grammar:
   * "Voy a 'catchear' el bus." (I'm going to take the bus.)
   * "Vamos a 'tanear'."  (Let's tan.)
   * "Tenemos que 'parquear' ahí." - (We have go park there.)

Or a sudden switch of language.
   * "Pero take it easy, no te estreses mucho, you can do it." (Text from my mom.)
   * "Quiero watch un poco de TV."
   * "I'm going to ir a la escuela."

Excerpt from Stavans' book.
My question is (in true Spanglish style) ¿Porqué do we do this? Ilan Stavans tries to answer this question in his book, Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language. It all has to do with retaining the hispanic identity, adapting to a new one, and simply making life easier. Most of the made up words and frases result from our brains picking out what is easier to say. 

NPR produced a very interesting piece called "Spanglish, A New American Language" in 2003 about Stavans' book. My 'favorito' part of the story is a quote from Stavans: "Latinos are learning English. That doesn't mean that they should sacrifice their original language or that they should give up this in-betweeness that is Spanglish." 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

'Hella Old' College Students

UF campus.
It's back-to-school time again, and yesterday marked my first day back for another semester of grad school. When I spotted some the anxious faces walking around campus, I vividly remembered my first day as a college freshman. I was petrified, but at the same time so proud to finally be in college with all the big kids.

Even though it was only four years ago it feels like it has been decades. When I saw all the new freshman I suddenly felt older than ever... even though I probably look just as young and I'm only a couple months out of undergrad. It got me to thinking about the adults who go back to school and have to put up with the annoying, immature freshman in their classes, and when their own kids could be just as old as their classmates.

In a California publication called Mercury News, Tony Hicks writes about his experience as 44-year-old in college. His article titled "Apparently, I'm 'hella old'" is probably one of the funniest pieces of journalism I've ever read. Frankly, I feel sorry for Hicks. It's already hard enough as it is to be a regular-aged college student; people get bullied all the time. But for a grown man to be bullied by a bratty kid? Plus, what kind of person still says the word 'hella'...? Seriously, aren't you supposed to be in college? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Amnistía Internacional Uruguay: Video de los 25 Años

Hace más o menos un año, tuve la maravillosa experiencia de trabajar con Amnistía Internacional en Uruguay. Con un gran equipo de personas, produjimos este video para celebrar los 25 años de existencia de Amnistía Internacional en el Uruguay. Esta organización mundial sigue con la misma misión: crear justicia y paz en el mundo. Espero que este video no sólo les muestre lo que es Amnistía Internacional, si no que también los motive a unirse a esta causa tan significativa. 

More than a year ago, I had the wonderful experience of working with Amnesty International in Uruguay. With a great group of people, we produced this video to celebrate 25 years of Amnesty International in Uruguay. This worldwide organization still has the same mission: to create justice and peace in the world. I hope this video will not only show you what Amnesty International is, but also motivate you to join this significant cause.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cleaning the House, 50's style.

In the good ol' days, beautiful housewives would spend the day cooking a scrumptious meal and cleaning to make everything in the house shine, and still look gorgeous while doing it. After a day of working like a slave, they would greet their husbands with a big smile and a large glass of whiskey. Where are these marvelous, flawless women now?

First of all, I doubt these women actually existed. Sure, perhaps there were some ladies that cleaned in super expensive clothes and heavy makeup, but I'm pretty positive that this image is only a figment of the media's imagination. 
The formula for happiness: cake and ice cream
for your husband.
As untruthful as it might have been, the picture of the perfect housewife is still prominent. Except for these days, the housewives people idealize are the lazy, raunchy reality TV stars. Popular shows, like Housewives of Orange County, are now making it seem like it is normal to be catty, have too much plastic surgery, and ignore their children. Honestly, I'd rather the media have a skewed yet innocent image of women, than a skewed yet impure image.
At what point did society make it acceptable for
a 40-year-old woman to be so gross?
I'd rather her be my mother than one of those
Orange County reality stars.
Anyway, how great would it be if we could look beautiful while still doing housework? Sundays is cleaning day in my house, and instead of wearing workout shorts and an old shirt, one of my roommates opted to do her dirty work in a fifties-inspired dress and heals. 

Beatriz, vacuuming, a vision
in yellow.