Mi Familia–or why family conversations are the best!

Mi Familia–or why family conversations are the best!

Me:  Hey, how are you? 

Her: Fine, why?

Me:  Because mom say she’s been thinking about you and she has a feeling you’re in the hospital.

Her: I am, in Admitting.  Do me a favor?  In the future, don’t tell me when she says stuff like that.  She always does stuff like that–thinking about people and hospitalization–right before they die.

Me:  But you’re ok?

Her:  Yeah, doctor says I’m perfect.  Tell her to stop doing that, it creeps me out.

Me: Ok, and you’re not perfect.

© Laura Genao 2007

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Desert In My Backyard

Desert In My Backyard

Gray and gloomy mornings gave way to beautiful, mid-70 degree afternoons all weekend.  That meant, NYT crossword puzzle by the pool, throwing the football around at the Rose Bowl, and a nice walk around the neighborhood.

For those who think they couldn’t ever live in California because it doesn’t have a spring, look at how things are blooming.  Oh, and the creatures that are reminders that it is a desert out here (see if you can find the lizard).
Desert In My Backyard

© Laura Genao 2007

La Profesora

La Profesora

I recently participated in an enrichment program for high school students.  The point of the program was to teach teenagers a little about what lawyers do and to answer their questions about college. 

We got some thank you letters back from one class of kids recently and I was touched by some of the things they said.  A good number of them called me out for kudos.  Some thought I was funny.  Some liked that I taught them about the importance of word choice in written communication.  One of them said something like “its nice to know that someone from a background like ours can go on and become a lawyer.” 

I was thinking about their words today and about the importance of teachers in my own life.  It made me think about my Abuelita Nena. 

She was a “profesora rural” in northern Mexico.  That meant she was responsible for teaching in an one-room adobe school house.  During the day, she taught the kids that were too little to help on the farm.  At night, she taught the adult farmers.  She taught everything–astronomy, history, math, calligraphy, singing, reading, art, etc.  My mom kept her lesson books.  In handwriting more perfect than anything I’ve ever seen were lesson plans, drawings, thoughts on her students, and the lyrics of the songs she sang with her students.  When I review those school books, I imagine her writing them out by the light of a lantern.        

Teaching then, as now, didn’t provide much in the way of riches.  My abuelita lived in a simple adobe house for her whole life and never knew what it was like to live in a house with running water.  Nevertheless, she was proud that she had had the opportunity to contribute as “la profesora.”  I was proud of her too and glad that some of her skill is in my blood.

Abuelitaprofesora

© Laura Genao 2007

Los Güeritos

Los Güeritos

güerito
I saw this today. I can’t decide if it’s a happy or sad thing. Happy because it means I never have to suffer through a bland rubber-chicken dinner again. Now I’ll have güeritos in my back pocket, literally. Sad because it means that the chiles have been separated from the giant vat they used to call home.

© Laura Genao 2007

Smog Sighting

Smog Sighting

When I was a kid, on warm summer days, the school would tell us we couldn’t play sockball or tag during recess or lunch because of “Smog Alerts.”  I didn’t live close enough to the hills or the ocean to see the smog, so I didn’t quite understand what they were talking about. 

I was on my way to an Oingo Boingo concert in the early 80s when the car I was in went around a bend in the freeway and all of a sudden we saw a giant orange dome of smog hanging over the valley basin we were headed into.  I was 14-years-old and that was the first time I saw dirty air.  I saw it later every time I came home to L.A. from my east coast college. 

I flew to and from San Francisco today and flashed back to all those smog sightings while looking out the airplane window.  At least today you could see the Hollywood sign.  Some days, there is no sign that hills surround one side of the city.

Hollywood

© Laura Genao 2007