Monday, March 12, 2007

First Birthday

I will have to try and get some pictures up of Nicolas and his first birthday. We had a small party and he received some cute gifts. Of course, big brother monopolized the gifts and is having trouble using the word "yours" and not "mine" with them, but after the novelty wears off I suppose it will be easier. It is so hard to teach kids to share. I need some of your advice. Do I take the toy away and give it to the other one? Do I take it away and give it to no one? Do I force big brother to play with little brother and possibly get pushed or something else if little brother plays with the "wrong" toy?

In the meantime, I am enjoying the fact that the two are actually old enough to fight. I don't like seeing them grow up so fast, but it is fun watching them interact like little people.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Being a woman means being

invisible. It happens to me on a daily basis, mostly at work. I am the Academic Coordinator, responsible for the curriculum, teacher training, screening new teachers and deciding in the hiring process, creating materials, writing exams, and fielding students’ academic complaints. The sub-coordinator, who works beneath me on a mostly administrative level, is a man. When people come (especially men but also women, for that matter), they ask for him. They don’t believe me when I tell them that I, actually, am the one they want to speak with. They look at me suspiciously and then say, “Yes, very well, but I would feel more comfortable if I spoke to HIM (insert sub-coordinator’s name) directly.” And I am promptly ignored.

Today a gentleman came in looking for a job. I was with the sub-coordinator, and as I tried to help him with his questions, I noticed that he was not paying attention to me. Whenever I answered a question, he would look at the sub-coordinator and then respond. I would say it again, and he wouldn’t even acknowledge my presence. This often happens with Ecuadorians, although they are not always so rude as to not even LOOK at me as I speak. This gentleman, however, was from South Africa. Are men from South Africa known to be like this? I don’t want to generalize, but maybe there is something cultural that I am unaware of.

Whatever the excuse, it really annoys me. About a two years ago I refused to wear the uniform anymore because I was treated with such bias - like a “lowly” secretary, or someone that people could yell at and treat badly. (Of course I quickly learned that secretaries are anything but “lowly” having to put up with so much arrogance from others.) I would get a look as if to say “silly girl”, and a “A ver, mijita…” or “A ver, niƱa…” when I try to help them. They’d call me “little girl” or “little daughter” (already sexist terms), using a patronizing tone, as if I were someone of no consequence. Once I stopped wearing the uniform , the snide, rude, sexist remarks stopped.

It is bad enough that this happens with students and prospective teachers, but it also happens within the organization. It has been two years since we switched directors, and since then I have requested various times that I be put on the list of coordinators (a very important list in which all the important information such as meeting dates, etc. is communicated), to no avail. I remain off-list and yet am responsible for knowing the things which have been communicated through the list. How? Through ESP I guess, since I have asked over 6 times that my name be added to the list, and it never has. (I am the only female on the list, needless to say.)

This university is definitely an all-boys’ club. No room here for those bothersome women. And what are women anyway, but maids, secretaries, someone to go run off a copy or fetch a cup of coffee for you. Certainly not a peer. Definitely not someone with a higher position.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women and Sleep

This seems to be a common theme today. I've seen two posts about it already, without even looking for it. Blogging baby had this to say about the subject, and one of the funniest blogs I read, The Sarcastic Journalist, had this to say.
What do I have to say? I have to say, I can relate. I am so tired all the time. I feel like I haven't had a decent night's sleep since Agustin was born. Even if I go to sleep at 8 pm, I am woken numerous times during the night. Often I have to sleep with one of them in order to get any sleep myself. I have tried letting the little one cry himself to sleep, and he does sometimes, but anyways my sleep is interrupted. When I do get a full night's sleep (once in a blue moon, like once every three months), I am so unused to it that I sleep like a brick and don't feel rested at all. Any advice out there?

More pics

Cool Slideshows

Another blog in the blogosphere

I've been largely absent on my blog lately. I've been really busy at work, which is the only place I can post blogs from, since Blogger doesn't like Safari much. I've also been working on the CEC blog, which I've created for CEC students but which could be used for English students in general. Here's the link. Check it out and leave a comment. It is a team blog, but so far (as you can see), I am the only one posting anything. I'm having a ball with it though as I learn how to embed youtube videos (easy) and other widgets like that cool Hangman game. Plus, I "get" to read books frm our library and post reviews, which gives me an excuse to read. And anything that gives me an excuse to blog, of course. Blogging rocks.

Nicolas recently had his one-year birthday. We will be celebrating this weekend, but we did have cake and a few presents on the real day. Here is the birthday boy now.

and another one:

and we can't forget his big brother...