Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Starting the year right...with a series on "Gratitude"

There are many different possible "Beginnings" for this new year's post. I could've started with...

* new year's resolution
or with
*a deep apology for not posting for such a long time ( and I could've share with you the 1,001 things that happened in between)
or by
* sharing the books I've read during Winter Break
or I could...
*tell you about my awesome vacation in Paraguay with the family.

All these are great possibilities and I might just later on spend some time writing and sharing about all those topics. A writer has choices. A writer makes decisions every day. I repeat these messages over and over to my young ELLs writers during Writing Workshop everyday. However, today I make the decision of starting my 2012 blog with a post on gratitude. You see, there are many people out there that have helped me become a better person, a better teacher, a better writers, a better ME. I'm constantly working on improving myself, reflecting and implementing changes. However, there is no way I can do any of those things if certain people in my life has not shape me into the person I am today.

Today I am a learner. I love learning new things. I have many interest. I have fascination in a lot of topics. Big and small. The world is a big playground of knowledge and I love playing it in.

Today I am a reader. But you see, I didn't use to be one. I couldn't call my self a reader as a child. I didn't have a passion for books until....I was a teacher's aide in Paraguay (when I was 18). More on this story later.

Today I am a writer. I started learning English as a Second Language when I was 10. I didn't have anyone I could practice English with so I started a Language Journal where I had conversations with my child self so I could practice some English. Little did I know then that ever since language and writing would become a passion in my life.

Today I'm curious. I always wonder about things. I love to ask questions. On any given day, I have hundreds of "I wonders"in my head. There are times I wish I could play pause in this brain but it is part of who I am.

Today I'm in love with my mother tongue. I love Spanish and I have a different kind of appreciation for the words, the sounds, the poems, the writers in my culture.

But none of these could've happened without the support, encouragement, and love of many, many people in my life...some of them here in the USA, some of them in Paraguay, some who I met 10 years ago, others who I've met 3 years ago. Some whom I have share many dinners with, others who I've only had the privilege to share a small moment in life.

So the first person I want to dedicate this series on gratitude on my blog is a man I admire so much: my dad, my papa.

You see, my dad is a wise man. He is the main reason my mind is a curious mind. I have learned from my dad the art of asking questions, fetching information, pondering, and projecting. At a very young age, I helped my dad build our house in Paraguay. We would sit together at the dinning table planning our next move, talking about budgets, projecting and predicting. My dad and I built our house. Yes, we did. It is one of the most satisfying thing we've accomplished in life. I remember being 18 years old and discussing the architectural planning. My dad never made it to college but he carries more wisdom than any other people I know. Why? Because he has a curious mind that gets only satisfied with books, article, by listening to debates, and most importantly, by listening to the people around him. He was a restaurant owner for 25 years and he loves people. He loves listening to people vent, talk, debate. I guess he just loves words so much he always had the perfect ones at the right time.
My dear dad, the one who's getting old but wiser each day....the one whose memory fails him at times, the one who re-reads the same book over and over because he wants to absorb the words with each reading...the one who loves to sit under the palm tree in our house and watch the sunset settle down in our neighborhood.

to you my dad...my endless love and gratitude. Today and always.

Thanks for raising a curious mind in me. Thanks to you, today I wonder...I learn.