San Antonio Sabbatical

Newcomers, Book Club, and a Movie

Posted on: October 22, 2010

  • In: Diversions
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Yesterday I attended two activities, a Newcomers of San Antonio coffee and tea at 10:00 a.m. and a San Antonio Public Library book discussion at noon.

Every month the Newcomers group has a “Coffee, Tea and YOU!” gathering at a member’s home.  Members take turns hosting this social event that allows time for casual mingling with each other while snacking on tasty goodies (the coffee cake was delicious).  The general membership meeting is also held during this time.  The October “Coffee, Tea and YOU!” took place at the house of the Newcomers of San Antonio president, Donna Lee.  I got to see a different area of San Antonio and had conversations with several people, including a few other new members.  (Side note:  I am officially a member now; I joined and paid my dues after attending the monthly luncheon earlier this month).  There were 41 attendees yesterday.  This is such a diverse group of women with interesting backgrounds.  A common theme is moving to San Antonio after their husband received a new job or job transfer.  That’s not my story so I’m unique in that sense.  After about an hour of mingling, we gathered in the living room for the general meeting.  The group was welcomed, members were thanked for their participation and assistance, a list of upcoming activities was reviewed, and new and prospective members were asked to introduce themselves.  Once the business items had been covered, there was a prize giveaway in which the winner was the person with the closest guess for the number of candy corns in a jar.  Then, there was a fun activity in which members had to guess the name taped onto their backs by asking only two yes-or-no questions.  Although this seemed like fun, I didn’t stay to play because I had to get to my next meeting.  I enjoyed this second opportunity to chat with Newcomers members and learn more about the group.  I’m looking forward to attending November’s luncheon and coffee/tea session.

I drove to the Cody Library for the monthly Thursday Book Club.  Upon nearing the parking lot, I was surprised to encounter a sea of political campaign signs on the lawn.  I also had difficulty finding a parking spot.  This all made sense when I learned that the early voting was taking place at that time inside the library (mid-term elections will occur across the country in early November).  Anyway, once I arrived at the book discussion — I had e-mailed the group leader ahead of time to inform her that I would be a few minutes late — I listened to some background information on the author and his book, Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (an autobiography).  This month’s co-leaders presented this summary and then the group offered their opinions.  I found out that I wasn’t alone in my feelings about this controversial book.  While most of us appreciated the exposure to social issues regarding bilingual education, affirmative action, and class issues, we had a hard time reading this book because of the author’s many internal conflicts and awkward writing style.  Seventeen members were in attendance — a good size for a lively discussion.  A few members discussed the public education system in Texas and Europe as contrasted with California where Rodriguez was educated.  This book selection and the related discussion gave me some things to think about.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend our November book discussion due to a schedule conflict.

This afternoon I went to the movies again (AMC Huebner Oaks 24).  I saw the recently-released movie, “The Social Network“, a comedy/drama about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the popular social networking website Facebook.  I’m not on Facebook, but several people are and this includes the college students with whom I work.  Since I had little previous knowledge about the invention of Facebook, this movie was informative.  Social networks of various types exist and they are common sources of relationships.  In fact, I wrote an article about this a couple of years ago.  It’s called “Expand Your Social Support Network” and was published in the December 2008 e-newsletter of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.

That’s all for now.  I have a few cultural posts planned for the coming week.  Stay tuned for these educational posts.

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