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Learning Castellano Spanish, cooking Merkén Chicken, and teaching English. All in a days work of La Erudita Visitando.
So today marked the beginning of another phase of my Visiting Scholar experience at the Universidad Católica del Maule. I met with Profesora Pilar Vivar of la Escuela de Lengua Castellana y Comunicación (the School of Catellano Language and Communication). As I am going to be assisting her in English, while also learning the Chilean form of Spanish (Castellano). I think I mentioned it before, if not here certainly on Facebook, and that is the Chilean form of Spanish is among the most difficult to learn. In part because 1) Chileans speak very rapidly, and 2) there are so many common words and phrases you never learn in traditional US college courses in Spanish.
Castilian Spanish is a term related to the Spanish language, but its exact meaning can vary even in that language. The Spanish language term Castellano (Castilian) may refer to the Spanish language as a whole, to the dialects spoken in central and northern Spain, or to the medieval language which was a predecessor to modern Spanish (Castilian Spanish, n.d.). Thanks Wikipedia!🙂 So I’m really excited about starting this aspect of my scholarly experienced on this Friday.
Also, I wanted to post a picture of my lovely dinner tonight (see above picture). I have finally become more familiar with where things are in the grocery store so a sistah got her “cook-on” this evening. The flavor of Merkén comes from a Chilean style smoked chili pepper and is among one of my favorite seasonings that I discovered when initially arriving to Chile. Above is a picture of my dinner and the “Georgia-style Fried Merkén Chicken”© I prepared. My recipe doesn’t really have copyright. I just wanted to use the symbol as I wish had time to legally claim this as my original creation. 😉 Nevertheless, it was delish!!
Finally, I must mention that some bad habits have followed me all the way down here to Chile. Most of my professors know that I typically leave coffee mugs (and other valuables) all over campus (particularly in their offices) like the story of “Hansel & Gretel” and their breadcrumb trail. Well yesterday was the first and last day of ownership for my preliminary new coffee mug. I brought it to campus with me on yesterday and have no idea where I lost it. Somewhere between my office and my Body Attack class that evening (I can only imagine). Nevertheless, I found this beauty (pictured below) today and please notice the lovely UGA colors. I am going to try very hard to make this particular mug stick around a lot longer than its predecessor.
Castilian Spanish. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2013 from the Castilian Spanish Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castilian_Spanish
Friday, September 27th
My first day in Spin Class after not having attending a class for about 2 years. I sacrificed bike riding class for more Zumba and Body Pump courses. I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow.
My makeshift cushion (sweater) that I used to protect my “bum” during Spin Class today.
Today also was my first day assisting Profesora Pilar Andrea Vivar Vivar in her Castellana Language and Communications Course. We both noticed very quickly that she was a little bit shorter than me. 😉
Today I am testing my equipment in order to do a trial run of my video/audio recorded focus group with graduate students from Universidad Católica del Maule and Universidad Autónoma de Chile here in the Talca area.
I was very happy to be back in session at UCTalca today, following a week-long closure of the university in honor of the Chilean Independence Day (September 18th). I wanted to ensure that all of my equipment would function properly and record both my video and audio data effectively prior to my traveling to Santiago in a few weeks.
I am excited about conducting my initial focus group trail with graduate students from the Talca area prior to conducting my data collection at the Universidad de Chile (UC). My plans include participants at UNIACC, which will serve as my private for-profit institution, and UC which will be my public Chilean university. Both institutions are located in Santiago where my research has shown the probability of my including participants with high ETS TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are relatively good.
Although the survey instruments are going to be initially tested in English and Spanish, the focus groups will largely be conducted in English. At this point, it’s believed that the use of the Spiral Dynamics framework with the focus groups would be more manageable for me as the researcher, due in large part to the fact that my primary language is English.
Let’s get those Civic Engagement levels measured and described mixed methods style! 😉
An Afternoon with Felipe, Mercedes, and the Kite
Hoy Mercedes, quien es la secretaria de la Directora biblioteca, me invitó a ella casa por la cena con su familia. Después de comiendo nosotros íbamos a el parque permitir Felipe (ella hijo) a demostrármelo cómo volar su volantín. Como nos caminábamos yo veía, para el primero tiempo, un árbol de anaranjados.
Today Mercedes, who is the secretary of the Director of the Library, invited me to her house for dinner with her family. After eating we went to the park to allow Felipe (her son) to demonstrate how to fly his kite. As we walked I saw, for the first time, an orange tree.
Los volantínes son un pasatiempo importante en Chile.
Kites are an important pastime in Chile.
Le pedí Felipe si él fue un profesional con barriletes y él me dijo, “Mas o menos”, yo reí. 🙂 Mercedes ayudó su hijo preparar para el vuelo.
I asked Felipe if he was a professional with kites and he told me, “More or less”, I laughed. Mercedes helped her son to prepare for the flight.
En el principio, todas estaba bueno pero desafortunadamente, el volantín desplazado demasiado lejos y estaba atrapado en un árbol. Yo estaba feliz que yo podría obtener el barrilete fuera del árbol por Felipe, pero el próximo evento estaba malo.
Se me rompió el volantín con mi dedo en el viento muy fuerte como caminamos volver a la casa. Porque lo estaba hecho de papel y se rompió fácil. Felipe me dijo no preocupada. Yo sentí terrible. Yo le pedí el precio y más tarde en el noche dárselo dinero desde los EEUU, como un regala, pero también pagar para el destrucción del volantín. Yo supe que no fue necesario pero ayudó me sentir mejor.
In the beginning, everything was good but unfortunately, the kite drifted too far and was trapped in a tree. I was happy that I could get the kite off the tree for Felipe, but the next event was bad.
I broke the kite with my finder in the very strong wind as we walked to return to the house. Because it was made of paper it broke easily. Felipe told me not to worry about it. I felt terrible. I asked him the price of it and later that night I gave him money from the United States as a gift, but also to pay for the destruction of the kite. I knew it was not necessary but it helped me to feel better.
Cuando nos volvíamos a tomarme a mi habitación, hay un hombre en la calle que estaba entretenido los conductores con palos de fuego.
When we returned to take me to my place, there is a man in the street that was entertaining motorists with fire sticks.
Human beings are not chemical reactants that if placed in a petri dish, and through the shear process of time (or osmosis), develop meaningful relationships. On the contrary, we are quite complex; and I would argue more complex than and unique from animals. We through acculturation bring our values, tastes, minds, emotions, and spirits, to a process whose logic stream in not always easy to follow. In spite of all of that, people are awesome with tremendous power for development or destruction. I hope my scholarship speaks and contributes to meaningful creative outcomes that help us to better understand each other. ~Sigh…sometimes I just be thinkin’ ’bout stuff. 🙂
Musings of Lisa R. Brown 9/18/13
9.18.13 Almuerzo (lunch)
Saludos in relations to Chilean Independence Day today. 🙂 I’m not really a very adventurous person when it comes to trying new foods. I’ll make the attempt but if I don’t like it, that’s pretty much it for that particular food. So when recently grocery shopping a saw this bag of frozen Papas Duquesas (Duchess Potatoes) that were to be fried then served. So I said, what the heck let’s try ‘em. Come to find out from Google that Papas Duquesas are actually a French invention very similar to what you might find on the inside of twice baked potatoes. Perhaps the little ball-shape fritos version I enjoyed were more Chileno style. Nevertheless, they still ended up being a very tasty addition to my afternoon lunch today.
Mi Nueva Amiga “Pia” Rescatado mis Uñas Hoy.
Yo sé que es importante ir a fuera de la casa y estar abierto con reunirse con otras personas. Es la manera mejor que se puede aprender cómo hablar en español y reunirse con gente nueva. Por lo tanto, yo empiezo mi día con un viaje a la Plaza de Maule y la Superbodega. Después de que he terminado mis compras, estaba claro que necesitaba tener mis uñas reparados.
Así yo caminaba en la plaza de Maule, hasta yo vi una tienda pequeña con un anuncio en la ventana que decía “manicures”. Esto es cuando yo conocí mi nueva amiga Pia. Ella trabaja en City Hair Peluquería y Estética. Ella hizo fantásticas mis uñas porque eran muy malas. No sabía que las otras mujeres en Athens habían usado un esmalte permanente en mis uñas y era muy difícil para la separación sin ayuda. Ella hizo mis uñas hermosas de nuevo. Nosotros hablábamos en el estilo Chilena de español (i.e., castellano) por más de una hora. Yo aprendía nueva palabras y frases. Pia era claro conmigo sobre como la lengua español era diferente de otras piases latino americano. Le dije que cuando he terminado con español chileno, seré más sofisticada cuando vuelo a los EEUU. Todos nos reíamos, estaba una experiencia que buena.
Estaba muy feliz tener una nueva amiga y aprender más cosas sobre Chile, América del Sur, y la cultura de Chile en general. Mientras ella y yo hablábamos, algunas otras mujeres habían venido y unirse nuestra conversación. Ellas me decían como obtener una forma menos costosa de viajes llamado “”El Collectivo” y me daban el número. El Collectivo parece como al “Jitney” cual es una forma de menos costosa de viajes en las ciudades grandes que yo conozco, como Pittsburgh y Philadelphia en el estado de Pennsylvania. Ellas me decían que este era más seguro que el autobús, particularmente si yo llevo una bolsa conmigo.
Finalmente, me encantó hoy y estoy entusiasmada por las próximas experiencias que tendré en Talca, Chile y más allá.
This billboard was advertising for new and safe luxury condominiums that I am assuming will be near the construction site I photographed earlier during my walk. Isn’t it cool how the clouds on the billboard seem to mesh perfectly with the real sky? I just noticed that in the pic.
This was a listing of current movies at the theater. I really don’t stay up much with popular cinema (I’ve become more of a Netflix kinda person) and I didn’t recognize most of these movies. I did notice that Marlon Wayans was present on one of the movie posters, however I had no idea he has a movie coming out (or currently out) that wasn’t a comedy.
Roadside vendors are very common here, these folks were selling flags (Banderas). A man who was a little further down the street was selling what looked like really fresh and juicy tomatoes. Unfortunately, I had already completed my shopping for the week and had to tell him “No gracias“. 😦 There was also a man selling a bag of what looked like giant oranges. I need to investigate further how safe it is to buy roadside produce as I really wanted that bag of oranges.
I had to purchase some office supplies to furnish my new office space. I also needed some cleaning products. I bought this purely because my name was on the packaging. It translates as: “Try the new no scratch Lisa.” Hum! They don’t even know me like that! Hah hah 🙂
Oh my word, this was the best pizza. I had been looking for some good pizza and now I am happy to know I’ve found me a spot in the mall. Unfortunately, I got distracted in another store and seemed to have departed without my leftovers. The “Clumsy Gene” strikes again!
My awesome manicure from Pia today. (Doing the happy dance right now). The highlight of my conversations with Pia today was when we both started to talk about US and Latin American actors and musicians that we liked. She had me so tickled when she told me that Chileans love both Elvis Presley and Micheal Jackson. That was a combination I didn’t expect, which left me cracking up laughing in my chair as my nails were drying. 😉
Mi tostada estaba triste porque lo sabe qué pasará pronto (My toast was sad because he knows what will happen soon). 🙂 Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my third week in Chile.
Mi desayuno en ambos estilo de modo Chile y EEUU (My breakfast in both the style of Chile and the United States). Saturday is my best day to do my graduate assistant work. I’m enjoying a project right now were I am helping Dr. Sandmann upgrade her PowerPoint presentation with an effort to make it more “Zen” (i.e., more minimalist). I started working and didn’t realize that it was almost 6pm. So this is a combination breakfast lunch meal I made for myself. Yummy!! Now I feel more motivated to return to my work. I look forward to what week three is going to bring relative to my experiences in Talca, Maule, Chile. Next week is Independence Day and the University is closed for a week. So no access to the biblioteca research participants, or that little cabin outside the library that has WiFi and outlets. Sigh… I’ll just have to survive working from the house. 🙂 P.S. It’s still very cold outside down here.
My greatest fear about coming to Chile was that I would have a difficult time adjusting to different food. But fortunately, that has not been a problem for me. I think that’s in large part because I’m a somewhat descent cook. I have really become almost addicted to the pitted olives here. I put them in all my salads and eat them for snacks. This is the beautiful salad I made for dinner before my “clumsy gene” struck. Yes, I am convinced that a clumsy gene exists in my hereditary pedigree.
For example, I trip over seemingly invisible objects, bump my head at the most geometrically impossible angles, and will spill a drink on my table with an amazing level of frequency. I share all that to let you know that this is a pre-photo of my delicious salad today. I was too embarrassed to take a picture of the post-salad victimization caused by my clumsy gene. Me encanta pimenta negra en mi ensalada (I love black pepper on my salad). I didn’t realize I had opened the pour versus the sift spout on the black pepper bottle as I began to dress my salad. That didn’t turn out well for me nor as pretty as the picture above. Nevertheless, I giggled, shook my head at myself, and enjoyed my hot salad. ¡Ándele! Vamos a comer. 😉
Christianity is the dominant religious form in Chile with almost 70% of Chileans being of the Catholic faith tradition. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see religious representations displayed in homes as well as in churches. I found this piece interesting as I could not determine if it was made of wood or plastic. I was too afraid to touch and inspect it too closely considering my “clumsy gene” and all. 🙂