San Antonio Sabbatical

Three Days of Activities

Posted on: November 19, 2010

  • In: Diversions
  • Comments Off on Three Days of Activities

The countdown begins.  In exactly four weeks from today, I will be leaving San Antonio.  At this point on my journey, I am scaling back on my club activities so that I can have more free time to explore the area.  I still have 3 or 4 tours I hope to do in the remaining time.

Wednesday afternoon was spent observing the other Spanish Team at the clinic.  This team is supervised by Diana Lincón, MA, LPC, an OLLU graduate.  I observed her team two weeks ago and enjoyed the experience so she invited me to return.  We had a full caseload that day — six clients (two each hour).  As with my Tuesday Spanish Team, the Wednesday Spanish Team (different bilingual student trainees) has interesting cases as well.  I’ve been discussing my clinic experiences in my journal entries for Classroom Professor.  After Wednesday’s clinic, I went to SEFLA for my ninth Spanish lesson with Elvia.  These Spanish lessons have been great.  I have only one more left.  For dinner that night, I returned to Las Palapas, a Mexican fast food restaurant, and ordered a meal to go.  This time, I tried “Steak a la Mexicana” (spicy grilled beef with peppers, served with beans and rice and warm tortillas).  It was flavorful (“poco picante”) and very good.

On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., I attended my monthly Newcomers of San Antonio “Coffee, Tea, and YOU!” at Bea’s house (located in a really nice section of San Antonio that I hadn’t been to before).  I met a couple of new people and chatted with others whom I knew from a previous coffee session or luncheon.  I mentioned the Studio Art Tour I did last week, and how I’m wrapping things up in preparation for my move next month.  There were 27 members at this social event.  People were friendly and welcoming.  We snacked, talked, had a meeting (conducted by President Donna Lee and during which there was controversy over a proposed bylaws change), and played a fun game (Scavenger Hunt in your Purse) in which my team tied for first place — we found 30 out of 50 listed items in our purses.  I left the meeting almost three hours later and headed, for the first time this fall, to a mall.  On the way there, I stopped at Staples and bought three boxes of holiday cards (is the year really almost over?) and a couple of other things.  Then, I headed to The Shops at La Cantera, a cute and popular shopping area.  My first stop there was to Bravo! Cucina Italiana for lunch.  Italian food (minus the cheese) is one of my favorites — I love pasta and bread!  This was my first time at this restaurant; I stumbled upon it because it was the closest eatery to where I parked my car.  Good thing I did, because I absolutely loved my Pasta Bolognese (“fresh egg fettuccine tossed in our signature Bolognese sauce”) and iced tea.  As usual, I took the leftover portion home and ate it for dinner.  Next, I went to Dillard’s (we don’t have this store in Pennsylvania or New York) and purchased a pair of earrings and heavy pajamas (I was surprised to learn that it gets cold at night in San Antonio).  Then I walked around and browsed.  Of course, I had to stop in Barnes and Noble as I passed by it; fortunately, I limited myself to purchasing only two magazines (I didn’t dare go back into the book section).  I finished my three-hour mall trip with a stop at Godiva where I purchased one small piece of chocolate.  I knew that Godiva chocolates were expensive, but imagine my surprise at paying almost $3.00 for one small gourmet candy.  When I inquired about the price, the cashier informed me that the chocolate costs $48.00 per pound!  Luckily, I got an additional piece for free by giving my e-mail address in order to join their loyalty club.  What a lovely day — nice weather and several of my favorite things (Italian food, books, and chocolate) all in one afternoon.

Today (Friday), I rested a little, ran a couple of errands, and then went out with Donna Lee of Newcomers of San Antonio.  She invited me for dinner at Soluna restaurant (I had beef tacos and iced tea) followed by a 6:00 p.m. Spanish conversation hour with her teacher (Oralia) at Instituto Panamericano.  Donna Lee has recently begun her study of Spanish.  This conversation practice was something new for her.  When we arrived at the school, Oralia was reviewing stories with a few children and their parents; five minutes later we moved to another room and began our conversation.  Donna Lee introduced me and we spent the hour talking.  Oralia read to us one of the stories she wrote that she based on her own Mexican family.  I appreciated this opportunity to spend time with Donna Lee and to practice my Spanish with a native speaker.  At the end of the evening, we exchanged contact information so that we can keep in touch.

During the week, I’ve been practicing my Spanish and learning more about Hispanic/Latino culture by reading Spanish children’s books that I borrowed from my local public library.  This is a great way to expose myself to a variety of issues via stories written for a novice reader.  Even though these books have children as their primary audience, they sometimes challenged me — an adult — with unknown words, regional dialect, and creative sentence structure.  But, I got through them and enjoyed them.  Recently, I read seven books:  (1) Hairs-Pelitos (bilingual) by Sandra Cisneros and Terry Ybáñez, (2) Mi primer libro de dichos/My First Book of Proverbs (bilingual) by Ralfka Gonzalez and Ana Ruiz, (3) Too Many Tamales (in English) by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez, (4) My Very Own Room/Mi propio cuartito (bilingual) by Amada Irma Pérez and Maya Christina Gonzalez, (5) Tu cuerpo, de la cabeza a los pies (in Spanish) by Núria Roca and Rosa Maria Curto (Barron’s Educational Series), (6) Gracias, El pavo de Thanksgiving (in Spanish) by Joy Cowley and Joe Cepeda, and (7) My Name is María Isabel (in English) by Alma Flor Ada and K. Dyble Thompson.

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