Friday, February 26, 2010

One person makes the difference

I was waiting for the bus at school last week, and I saw a lady with a stroller trying to get in the bus. As fifteen students or more stared at her, she struggled to lift the stroller up. What shocked me the most, is that everyone was watching and no one was helping. Not even the bus driver. I was at the end of the line to get in the bus, so I went to the front and helped the lady lift the stroller up. I was disappointed that no one else came up. Three other guys and I got in the same bus. I went to the very back, and watched, once more, that when the lady was going to get out, no one stood up to help her. So I did the same thing I did at first, I helped her to carry the stroller. I almost wanted to tell the other three guys something. What was wrong with them?? I mean, they were three strong, men students! Not one was even gentlemen enough to help.

Anyway, it made me think about my psychology class, when there was a chapter in the book about responsibility. I don't remember the author of this certain responsibility theory, but it stated that the more people present in a situation, the less responsibility each one of them felt. So probably everyone at the bus stop and in the bus was thinking: "someone else will help, there are so many people to do it". Because of this, I should not misjudge them. But I still have something to say: If you are in a situation like this, it doesn't have to be an accident or something caotic, just every day things, stand up. Do something. Because one person makes the difference.

One of the best things about helping (but shouldn't be the only reason why you do so) is when the person you helped says thank you. It really makes you feel better. Even if the person does not say thank you, you still feel like you've done something right. I assure you, with one little action, you can change a person's life. You can change a person's day. I wonder if the lady, after leaving the bus thought to herself: "I'm glad this person helped me", because I know, when I was a nanny in Germany, that I felt the same way when someone helped me carry the stroller up the bus. And that person would make my day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods Apologizes

I remember when Tiger Woods started getting famous when I was a kid, because my sisters would always buy magazines with the famous golfer on the cover.

I don’t know if you are all aware of the rumors that have infested the media these last months, about his infidelity and personal problems. The rumors are that he cheated on his wife, and that there had been an incident between the two in November. Woods crashed his SUV into a tree outside of this house and there were rumors that he had been in fight with his wife and she ran after him or something crazy like that. The truth is, we don’t really know what actually happened. A lot of people are disappointed of him; even brands like AT&T ended their contracts with him.

It happens all the time with famous people:  when they make a mistake, everyone shouts the news. Then it becomes worse, because it isn’t enough to divulge their wrong doing, so the media starts adding crap that isn’t true to make it more interesting.

 It must feel awful for the stars, to hear and read all the things people are saying about them. Is it just because they’re famous that they’re not allowed to make mistakes? How would we feel if everyone talked about our bad decisions? I don’t agree with that. It’s true, unlike other people, they have more responsibility to be role models, because they have so many followers. But let us not fool ourselves, they’re not God and they’re not perfect. So let’s just give them a break, they’re human like each one of us. It isn’t fair to criticize them as if we were perfect or something.

When I first read about the rumors, I didn’t know if to believe them or not, but I felt kind of sad about him, because I thought he was a really good guy. How would I know, right? I’ve never met him. Today I was surfing through the net, and I found an article about him apologizing. Something about Tiger Woods really impressed me. Unlike other stars, he acknowledged what he had done wrong. Imagine that: confessing for thousands, or even millions, of people, admitting he was wrong, promising to be better. I don’t think I ever remember Michael Jackson admitting he molested children and was sorry for it (I know it’s a different case, you don’t go to jail for cheating, but still). It amazes me too, that he admits he had fallen away from this faith, he recognizes that it was a mistake to forget about his faith and his family. So, hurray for Tiger Woods who was brave enough to defy millions of people with his confession; to fight to keep his family together, even as hard and painful as it would be; to swallow the pride and be willing to start over. For the people who love him. For the people who admire him.

Here is the article and the video where he confesses. The video is amazing, it must have been really hard for him to do this. Imagine yourself doing that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Aaronini!

Happy Birthday to youuuu

Habby birthday to yooooooo

haby birdday deer Aaroooooooooni

habe a birdday todaaaay

I hope you have a great Birthday Aaron!! Have fun and take care!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Go for your dreams, even if they are far, like Germany

Ten minutes before my flight I was racing across a terminal in the Frankfurt Airport. I ran in a straight line, but the hallway seemed like a labyrinth before my eyes. My heart thundered, scared that I would not get home after being exactly one year, one month and one week in Europe. Memories about this adventurous, enriching and long year went through my mind. I hear the clock ticking in my head. I felt like play-dough, as if I was being shaped in so many ways, feeling my head was being squeezed between a thumb and an index. I had this one last test to pass before going home. Did I make it? First, I will begin with how I got there.

I started learning German when I was 15. It was a small class, taught by a lady from Northern Germany who transmitted her love toward her Fatherland. I soon fell in love with the country, with an organized an specifically structured language, a breathtaking history, an amazing landscape, a modern infraestructure, a unique culture, and incredibly disciplined people. Aside from the private German classes, I was taking French at school, and although this made it more challenging, I always thought an exta language could do no harm. Of the two, German was the hardest and if I ever wanted to be fluent, I had to learn it firsthand.

My dream has always been to travel. When I turned 16, I discovered it was not impossible if I had the necessary tools. Knowing that my parents would not be able to pay for my trip, I worked every summer to finance my adventure. I did some research and found out I could go as an Au-pair, or nanny. This way, I could learn German in the mornings and work in the afternoons. At the same time, I would immerse myself in the culture by living with a native family.

Germany gave me the opportunity to rediscover myself. I was too busy during high school, that I had left my hobbies behind. In Frankfurt, I went back to writing poems and short stories, and to reading books for the pleasure of it, something I had not done since junior high. The year went by much slower than my high school years altogether. It was worse than I expected, yet better than I could have ever imagined. Worse, because I experienced loneliness the way I never thought I would. I missed my family and friends even when I said I would not waste my time doing it. Better because each day was so unforgettaby vivid. Everything was beautiful. The friendship and love I experienced were so real, they were incomparable. Both good and bad experiences struck me intensely, and at the end of the year I realized loneliness and people were the two things that taught me the most.

I remember trying to learn how to ski in the Austrian Alps; drinking coffee at a Dunkin Donuts, the most familiar place to me in the city of Duesseldorf; walking by the port of Hamburg, which reminded me of my home port city; gazing at Berlin's museums, seeing through my own eyes these things of which I had only seen pictures in my history books. All of these things I did alone. For some reason or another, the friends I made could not make it to any of these trips. I spent weeks surrounded by people, yet having no one to talk to. Nevertheless, this gave me strength and peace, and made me think about my future and my dreams. I learned loneliness is precious and inspiring; it made creative and allowed me to listen to my heart.

Germany was a dream come true, full of great surprises as well as unpleasant ones, like missing trains and flights, or being trapped in a subway on a New Years Eve in Paris. Each day was an adventure, and the last adventure was coming back home. So did I catch my flight? I made it exaclty on time, after having to buy a new ticket. How? This is where the people I met made an impacting difference in my life. There is an old saying that says you should count your friends with your fingers, meaning that there are only a few people throughout your whole life that will be your true friends. My friends took me to the airport that day, and they paid for my ticket when I was told my original one was invalid. They were at my side during my last adventure and if it were not because of them, I would not have made it.

I am an adventurer and a dreamer. I dream about traveling, learning languages and understanding cultures. Even when others do not believe my dreams will come true, I have to believe in myself. Many did not believe me when I said I was going to Germany, but I was determined to make it, as unreachable as the dream seemed to be.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What to give on Valentine's

One of my five brothers, the oldest one, just started dating someone. I think it's his first, so he asked me if he was supposed to do something on Valentine's. The answer is: Yes! The real two questions are what to give and what to do. Here are my tips:

Don't Overdo.
Doing something "special" or "original" is great, as long as you know the other person well enough to know they will like it. Something too extravagant (like covering your Valentine's room with rose petals, or serenading them) might be just a little too cheesy for some people. You might want to ask your Valentine what they find romantic before doing something that could make him or her feel uncomfortable.

Go for the classics.
Chocolate, flowers and cards are the way to go. Unless the person is trying to be on a diet, chocolate is a good Valentine's choice. There are only a few people on this planet that don't like chocolate. Flowers only for girls, please! I've asked guys if they like to receive flowers, and no, they prefer something they can eat. What are they supposed to do with flowers? Decorate their room? I don't think so. The most classic Valentine flower is the rose. Everyone likes them , so no one will get mad or disappointed if you give them a rose. Cards are important too, especially from a guy. Girls love to receive letters. It's great if you TELL them you love them, but nothing compares to how special it is to see your guy's handwriting expressing romantic words. Girls like to go back and read their letters later over and over again. It's breathtaking.

What to do is not so important.
The important thing is to show the other person that you love them. This may sound like a cliche, but it's true! I don't mean it's not awesome to go see a romantic movie or dine at a fine restaurant. But it will be packed, because that's what most people do. You might not really get a chance to spend quality time with your date or might not be so comfortable crowded with everyone else. Try something like making a romantic candle dinner at home, go for a nice scenic walk (if it's not too cold), or watch movies together. Another good idea is to talk about how you met or why you love each other. This will be much more personal, unique, romantic, and not so expensive.

Candy is allowed, but it's OK if you're NOT that SWEET.
I always get a bunch of candy and I don't eat a twentieth of it. If I can't get rid of it by giving it to someone else (they probably don't want it either) I'll end up throwing it away most of the times. Personally, I prefer 100 times better to receive a card. When I'm through reading it, I can choose to recycle it or keep it. And if you want to be greener or not spend money on cards, there are always e-cards available.

What if you don't have a date?
Just hang out with your friends! Do something you like in common and remember to keep away from restaurants and cinemas. Something as simple as playing video games or board games works. Even if you don't actually buy your friends something, remember to give them a letter, card, or e-mail saying how much their friendship means to you. Appreciation and sincerity is far better than too much sugar.

Have fun and Happy Valentine's!

First Day! Valentine's!!!

Hello Everybody!

I'm so excited, this is my very first post!! I don't know what to write about right now, so all I'm gonna say is :


I hope you guys are enjoying today and having lots of fun with your dear ones.

Special greetings to my family, and to my 12 very best friends: Aaron, Michelle, Jerry, Pepe, Hana, Jacqueline, Christine, Chiara, Suat, Diego, Liz, and Nilo.

All my love to you


(Hugs and Kisses)