Today Martin Vizcarra, president of Peru, made the decision to close and/or not open schools until March 30, 2020. Most private schools in Peru had already begun the school year (my school had already begun the second semester); public schools were scheduled to open in Peru on Monday, March 16, 2020. This is to say that my middle schoolers will not be coming to school tomorrow as the teachers move classes online for the next two weeks. If the situation warrants it, I am sure that schools could remain closed.
Is this a good idea? Perhaps an over-reaction? In Peru there are now 17 cases of coronavirus. Considering population of almost 33 million, 17 cases seems pretty small. The problem is that not all schools have the conditions necessary for students to stay virus-free. According to one article, 10% of the schools in Lima do not have water. If students cannot wash their hands, the virus spreads more easily. Such a statistic begins to explain the decision.
While I would much rather have students come to school, I understand the decision. So, I will look forward to learning more about online teaching as I practice it for the next few weeks. I completed my M.A. in Teaching Writing from John Hopkins online; I have some experience as an online learner. Three years ago school was closed because of the huaicos in Peru so I had the chance to get my feet wet in online teaching. This time I will only get better.
If you have any suggestions for online learning, please let me know.
My ID card (DNI) with its sticker indicating that I voted.
It’s election day in Peru!
This congressional election was called when the current president, Martin Vizcarra, used his constitutional authority to close congress after the congress took actions that allowed the president to close the congress. It’s rather complicated, and someone else can explain it better than I. Vizcarra became president when PPK was forced to resign.
The importance for me, personally, is that it is my first time voting in Peru. Now that I am a Peruvian citizen, it is my obligation to vote; I have to vote or pay a fine.
When you vote in Peru, you vote for a party. There are 21 political parties on the ballot today. After you choose the party, you can, if you want, choose two candidates by number. What you cannot do is choose candidates from different parties. Using the electronic voting machine, it is impossible to choose candidates from different parties. (I used an electronic machine at my polling place.) Using a paper ballot, choosing two parties makes your vote null.
We should know by tomorrow some of the results.
By the way, alcohol cannot be sold from 8:00 AM on Saturday until 8:00 AM on Monday during weekend elections, which are always held on a Sunday.
In August of 2018 I became Peruvian. Yesterday, I received a message from Migraciones saying that I needed to update my information because I was a foreign national. The only problem? In August of 2018 I became Peruvian. Yesterday, I received …
Resting by the door,
Ouch! I trip once more.
As I teach my 6th graders, I will sometimes create in the style that I am teaching. When teaching limericks, write limericks!
Lorenzo he searched for a book.
“I wonder which one of you took
The book that I had
And made me feel sad.”
Saw Ian and called him a crook.
Said Emma to Luke here’s a dare:
“When Erick sits down take his chair.”
But Erick was wise
To the not-nice surprise.
Said Luke, “It’s not fair you’re aware.”
Miranda thought, “Class is a bore.
“I can’t stand to sit on floor.”
She talked and she sighed
And she shouted with pride.
So Finlay he showed her the door.
The first sound is never the birds
Neither the coo of the pigeon in the palm
Nor the call of the scrub blackbird
Trash truck sounds first
Diesel motor idle roar
Of tired haulers
(Car alarms activated)
Fresh bread morning whistles
Ice cream tricycle kazoos
Old Marta shouting, “Ta-ma-le-ta-ma-le-ta-ma-le!”
(The first time I listened late and heard ma-le-ta [suitcase] not tamale)
Pounding, drilling, sanding, scraping
Eleven million vying
Relax and respond
Never the first, never the last
Yet always the soothe in the din-
Awareness revealing the bird-song
For the coo of the pigeon in the palm
And the call of the scrub blackbird
. Lima, Peru 2019
I hate that my dog’s barking
is disturbing peace with noise.
I thought that when the kids moved out
I’d finished shushing boys.
To shush him up I shout right back,
my loud voice, stern and grim.
Then the neighbor shushes me
’cause I’m disturbing him.
Eyes opened to the morning
The faint, pre-dawn glow
Colors of the quilt
Beige walls, wood floor, shock of art
The S curve of my side sleeping spouse
Bare feet on a cool floor
Elastic waistband presses less than the night before
Warm water soothes the aches
My daily baptism cleanse
Black, hot coffee
Tastes of valley slopes and worker’s hopes
Perhaps a hint of chocolate
Acidic blueberries tamed with cane sugar
Salty bacon, cured with honey
(I’ll exercise tonight- promise!)
Click of the door
Vrooom of the motor
Hurried honks drown the bird song
Mozart to motivate
Rundgren to ruminate
Inhale the baking bread roasting beans and the subtle (?) geraniums
Mix in downtown’s exhaust and the damp concrete
I am, therefore I feel
On a recent trip to Minnesota, a friend and I met for coffee and conversation. As part of the conversation we, as we often do, discussed our reading and writing. We shared suggestions for awesome reads, quick reads, reads to avoid, … Then we discussed writing.
To make a longer story shorter, we came to an agreement: In one year we will return to the same coffee shop, each one with a manuscript for the other to read. Yep, we’re gonna write some books!
Why am I telling you this? It keeps me honest and helps me with accountability- if I tell the world I am going to write a book then I will, most likely, write a book. Now, just so you know, there was no agreement as to length or quality; we did not discuss genre or publishing. One could write a 700 page fantasy or a 30 page poetry chap book. And, if for some reason we don’t write, we will still meet for coffee and conversation.
So, the game’s afoot! Pen to paper!
Yesterday’s low temperature in Minneapolis, twenty eight degrees below zero (-28 °F), is outside my comfort zone. I believe that most people would say the same. At the same time, many people braved the frigid temps to get to work or help a neighbor while others lowered the thermostat in their house so that there will be enough natural gas for all. Again, outside one’s comfort zone.
Today, a friend of mine continued the process of applying for his post secondary education as he set up an interview at an area college, rescheduled the interview because of the cold, and then attended the interview. While I have been supporting him in the process, he is the one moving it all forward, stepping outside his comfort zone.
So, be brave. Take a positive step outside your comfort zone. Try something new and see what happens. Begin that dream journey with a single step, even if, especially if, it’s outside your comfort zone.
Remember though, dress warmly if it is -28 °F.