Attn: Zenouchy

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kholmes, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Hi, Erika.

    I like the nickname you came up with, "AlbaQQ."
    I'll bet your mom's art seminar in Santa Fe was wonderful.

    Do you like Austin? I've heard great things about it. A number of my former students have gone to UT over the years. My masters is in film, and I thought seriously for a while about attending UT.

    I taught Navajo students over a period of about twelve years: 5th and 6th grade; GED students; and then high school students at a student for college-bound Navajo kids. The high school, where I taught for nine years, had the cream of the crop of Navajo kids in the Four Corners area, so they were great kids for the most part. Some were very bright, and went to Stanford or Dartmouth, but some were not so bright. They were well-behaved, although there were some bad apples in the bunch, as I suppose, is true for every school. I learned to speak some conversational Navajo, and I got to lead some interesting trips over the years, to the Olympics in Salt Lake one year and to Siberia, of all places, another year.

    Some of them have kept in touch with me, and I had the chance recently to talk to a class via telephone and speakerphone recently about a book the whole school was reading.

    Kholmes

  2. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hi K,

    Just saw your interesting note. I'm falling asleep here and will respond to ya tomorrow when I'm at least semi-articulate!

    All the best, Erika
  3. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Your teaching jobs sound so interesting. It's really rewarding to work with kids who come from humble backgrounds and watch them struggle, learn and then really "make something" of themselves. That's putting it in such simple terms. Being part of that process though really is satisfying. It's neat to be able to teach kids and in the process, we learn so much from them too. It's so cool that you've learned some conversational Navajo and took some trips. The Olympics sounds so great! I'm officially jealous.

    When I was able to work full time, I worked in the high-tech industry. It was very challenging, grueling and interesting. But not so rewarding. When I got too sick, I "took a break" (what a joke!) and started teaching part time.

    I tutored kids during school hours who were really struggling to keep up in their classes either "on the spot" in the class itself, or I would take them to the library for extra help. These were kids who came from very underprivileged homes. Many lived at or below the poverty line in tough neighborhoods, and for a lot of them, Spanish was their native tongue.

    When I told friends which high school I was working at the reaction was "Wow, that's really in the hood, are you safe?" While it wasn't THE safest place to work, there were much tougher schools that I absolutely would never work at.

    I had to learn how to relate to theses kids as people before they would even consider the thought of letting me help teach them. Speaking of a challenge! But it was amazing. The students were a mix of White, Asian, African-American, and Hispanic. I LOVED the diversity (I've always loved it) and the challenge of figuring out what made each student click.

    It was very hard sometimes because a few kids were really stubborn and some really tried to intimidate me just for the sake of it, but when I could see a lightbulb turn on and figure out just the right thing that would click with a student (A LOT of trial and error), it was amazing and most of the kids learned a lot after we taught them how to focus and study.

    After they got to know me well, I would get lots of high-fives from the guys and hugs from the girls...I can't believe how close I got to those students who at the beginning put up such huge walls. They really had tough home lives, so it was understandable.

    I'll tell you about Austin in my next post since this one is already pretty long.

    Erika
  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Yes, I read your profile. Are you Scandinavian? What day is your birthday? What day of the year is a military command?

    How about posting some of your impersonations.
  5. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    So curious you are! :) My mom's birthday is the day before yours actually. I don't like to post my actual birthday; a little mystery is always good, but I will tell you I'm a Pisces (not all March b-days are), so that narrows it down a little bit.

    Impersonations, gosh! There are just so many and so little time. I think I get intrigued by the intonation of voices, and it's really fun to attempt to imitate them. Past impersonations: classic Saturday Nite Live stuff. Dana Carvey imitating George Bush, Ross Perot, any Dana Carvey. Eddie Murphy. If I hear someone funny on TV, the comedian in me wants to imitate it. Pretty annoying, eh?

    I have memorized lines on Seinfeld (without even trying, or perhaps because they amused me so much) and said them back to people when the situation fit. I can be a comedy junkie sometimes.

    It doesn't come out on this message board at all though because it's really hard to translate comedy in a written way to people you don't know, and you don't want to risk offending someone. Plus, people here really need a lot of extra sensitivity so I try to give them that. Comedy is GREAT THOUGH! Glad you asked.

    I've also memorized lines on Will and Grace. Kind of embarassing to be so addicted to a show, but it's SO CLEVER & FUNNY! Ever watch it? For the most part, it's brilliantly written and the actors are amazing! I will throw the lines out at my family when they aren't expecting it and crack them up. My mom loves the show (and she's guilty of getting me to watch it), and when we're on the phone, we sometimes talk to each other like Karen (which is a challenge because her voice is so distinctively high-pitched). If you've seen that show, I'd LOVE to talk to you about it. It's TOO GOOD!

    All the best, Erika
  6. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I greatly enjoyed reading your description of your teaching. I can see that you are very proud of your teaching at your school. I experienced the walls and closeness that you spoke about. When I learned to speak some Navajo, that cracked a barrier, and when I left the school, it felt like family. Many of my Navajo students were from rough backgrounds, too. I treasure my almost ten years of teaching there.

    Also enjoyed reading about your love for comedy. My wife loves Will and Grace. Are you a Boston Legal fan, by any chance?
  7. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    You can tell I miss the teaching. (As I'm sure you do too.) I don't teach "in the hood" anymore. The tutoring situation was a uniqe set up designed to help the kiddos through graduation. They're in college now, so the program is over with. Any teaching I do now (which has unfortunately been minimal, but hopefully that will change) is substituting in a different school district which is considered "nice". Although this school district has it's problems too!

    Changing the subject, I do like Boston Legal. The more I watch, the more it seems to grow on me, although sometimes I forget when it's on. It's similar to Will and Grace from the standpoint that it's very irreverant. I've always liked James Spader's acting, and I think he meshes wonderfully with William Shatner.

    I really enjoy how Shatner stays in his character but makes references to BL being a TV show. Have you seen him do that? Such as when two new characters came on the show, he said something like: "Well, you can't be all that important because you weren't even here for the first few episodes." You NEVER see a TV character make dialogue about the TV show itself. I hope that makes sense. It's very clever writing. I assume you're a fan?
  8. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I hope you get to do more teaching.

    I am a Boston Legal fan. James Spader and Candice Bergen are wonderful, and Shatner has created his most interesting persona in years. I like David E. Kelly's irreverence and the show's self-reflective writing.

    I also like Studio 60 quite a bit. The first three episodes have been excellent. Aaron Sorkin is remarkable, and I wish I had caught more episodes of The West Wing.

    Rounding out my evening TV shows during the week are Lost and House, though I miss episodes all of the time, if something else is going on (i.e. the World Series).

    I also confess that my former students got me started on The OC, an awful show, but a guilty pleasure.
  9. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Studio 60 is great! Sorkin is doing a great job of developing the characters. Each episode is a little better than the next. For some reason though, Amanda Peet's acting isn't that convincing to me....although everyone else does an outstanding job.

    I have to also confess an addiction to reality TV shows....like Survivor, The Apprentice, Last Comic Standing, Big Brother....cheese at its finest!

    Gotta run for now, but I'll talk to you soon. I still owe you my opinion on Austin....it has many good and bad points! What do you like/dislike about "AlbaQQ"?

    Erika :)
  10. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    You're right about Amanda Peet's acting, come to think of it. She's not very convincing, is she?

    I read that STUDIO 6O's ratings have dropped and it may be cancelled. I hate getting into a show and then having it cancelled. That happened with REUNION and BOOK OF DANIEL, shows that hooked me for a while.

    Looking forward to reading about your take on Austin. Though I've never been there, I have images, very likely cliched, of Lance Armstrong, a river flowing through town, the university, a great music scene, and of course, the City Limits.

    I don't get out to do much, but I love a lot about Albuquerque: its history, the climate; the Sandia Mountains, Old Town (though it's touristy); the mix of Anglo, Hispanic, and Native culture; the mesas and volcanoes to the west; the University of New Mexico; the Balloon Fiesta; the sleepy little historic town of Corrales, along the Rio Grande; the parks...We're also lucky to have a Wild Oats and Whole Foods within a few miles of where we live.

    I also like the fact that Albuquerque is nowhere near as expensive as Santa Fe.
  11. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hey K, Studio 60 IS cancelled! I'm ticked! It was just starting to get really interesting. I say we email NBC and ask them to keep it on. A few shows have stayed on due to strong letter-writing campaigns from viewers. Party of 5 and Star Trek being two examples. (My hubby is a major ST geek! Help!) Supposedly they have taped 3 more episodes, will air them and that's it. I'm going to email NBC. It will take all of 5 minutes. Supposedly, the show was competing with CSI Miami which has 18 million viewers, and Studio 60 had "only 7 million" viewers. I guess that wasn't enough. Emailing is a hail mary attempt, but if enough do it, ya never know. It's worked for other shows.....

    Austin is a really interesting city. I'll have to describe it to you in a few posts. Many positive and many negatives to it. You are right on re: the cliches. I've lived here since 1990, so I've seen just unbelieveable growth. It's probably doubled in size. Literally. And that's both good and bad. There's a lot more to do, but so much more traffic, congestion, and "urban sprawl".

    Also, housing prices have just skyrocketed like you wouldn't believe. There's a huge mix of people who live in Austin now, and that's made things really interesting! We have lots of folks from California who think that home prices here are a steal compared to their prices, lots of New Yorkers and everything in between. We've kind of become a melting pot because we're centralized in the US, even though we're in the southern part of the United States.

    We have no state income tax, so that's a huge plus, and our housing prices are relatively cheap compared to where folks came from, although that's really changed in the last several years (at least to a lot of native Texans!).

    There is a lot of neat stuff to do. Lots of fun festivals, music galore, restaurants, art, etc. The music is neat, but a lot of it is played really late at night in smokey bars, although they've tried making a lot of places smoke free, which is really ticking off bar owners. It's kind of interesting watching that play out. There's lots of great restaurants. There's a particulary neat one where the owners have a big garden right next to the restaurant and serve the fresh stuff from their garden to their customers. It's yummy!

    More on Austin later. AlbaQQ sound neat. I'd LOVE to see the hot air balloon festival. Whenever they show it on TV, it looks so gorgeous and colorful. NM is in a really neat part of the country.