Tras haber creado mi anterior blog cecilmundo varias personas, muchos de ellos mis alumnos, me sugirieron que creara una secciòn dentro de cecilmundo para publicar mis obras de docencia de idiomas. Dado que la cantidad de documentos de explicaciones, ejercicios y exàmenes de inglès son muy numerosos porque tengo màs de 30 años del ejercicio de la docencia, preferì estrenar blog con mis alumnos a como ellos realmente merecen. En este blog planetcecil no solo iràn mis documentos didàcticos de inglès, sino tambièn la producciòn literaria de varios alumnos que se destacan en las letras. Tambièn darè oportunidad a aquellos que tienen excelentes obras pero que no han logrado publicarlas ya que en mi paìs Nicaragua todo se mueve por la marrana polìtica, y si una no pertenece a determinado partido no verà jamàs publicado su opus. Tambièn tenemos la desgracia de contar con seudoeditores quienes al no conocer verdaderamente de literatura se convierten en mercenarios de la imprenta solo para llenarse ellos mismo de dinero y fama a costillas de los escritores. Todos aquellos que deseen participar en este blog, denlo de antemano por suyo. Aunque lleve mi nombre en un arranque de egolatrìa, yo soy sencillamente vuestra servidora.Cecilia

Las alas de la educación

Las alas de la educación
La educación es un viaje sin final.

La lección de física

La lección de física
Casi aprendida

jueves, 17 de julio de 2008

the definition of power

July 16th and 17th, 21st entry to the Colonel`s Scrapbook

Born on a day like today

1723 Sir Joshua Reynolds England, portrait painter (Simplicity),considered done of the best
1872 Roald Amundsen Norway, explorer, discovered South Pole and before that, he discovered another man`s wife who found him too irresistible
Deaths which occurred on July 16:
1918 Nicholas II Russian tsar, his tsarina & their 5 kids executed by orders of Lenin, even the spaniel Jimmy perished there The ironic part is that these people are now saints of the Russian Orthodox Church!

1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa; end of Moslem power in Spain .The Spaniards drank the milk of knowledge and killed the cow. As usual, Spaniards…1439 Kissing is banned in England ,one of the most ridiculous laws1548 La Paz, Bolivia is founded, but no peace is there now
1927 Augusto Calderòn Sandino begins 5«-year war against US occupation of Nicaragua

17 of July

1979 Anastasio Somoza Debayle, last of the Somoza dynasty and dictator of Nicaragua, flees in his jet and leaves drunkard Urcuyo Maleaños sitting on a case of whisky to rule over the country torn by civil war. Before leaving he muttered,”Someday you guy will beg me to return, but it shall be too late.”
1505 Twenty-one-year-old future church reformer, Martin Luther entered the Augustinian monastic order, at Erfurt, Germany. He would live to rue that day when many years later he put up his 95 theses on a church door.


The helicopter Vercingetorix 325 shakes and churns in the middle of the storm. We are almost on top of the Mining Triangle, where the gold mines of Siuna , Rosita and Bonanza lay covered with a thin shawl of mist, like a poetic trio of women gliding into the green jungle. Curled up like a fat Angora cat, only wearing camouflage, I peck at my laptop while I eat like a squirrel. Or a pelican, because he is funny and imagine carrying your own fridge on you. I never get airsick. My strong and sturdy body, like that of my aboriginal ancestors, only knows health. My diabetes is only a minor flaw on the smooth skin of my health. I have fenced with death so many times and I am still here. Up here in the clouds, even when the storm is like an angry ocelot clawing at us, I feel safe.And powerful. But I have to postpone a definition of power, because one of the military advisors gets airsick. Violently.
He and his partners, from an eastern country, were appalled from the first moment of having to deal with a female colonel.For them a woman`s place is in the house, barefoot, pregnant, aproned and preferably nothing underneath the apron. And they have been commenting so many things about me in Italian, believing I might speak their own native language, so they have decided to play it safe. They don`t know that I speak Italian. They have speculated on everything I do, from their sexist point of view. And protocol demands I stay quiet. But when we approach the storm and it hisses,buffets,shakes and scares us, does this guy have to toss his cookies? All anger is forgotten. Right now the mother in me takes over, with all her power. After everything is over, he will just stare at me without saying anything. After the mission is over,after we have gaped at the beauty of the tropical jungle,seen the delta of the Coco River at Cape Gracias a Dios and a doctor has checked the guy who got sick, I take them back and when I say goodbye I do so in perfect Italian, to their amazement. My father would have said,”Kitten, that is power. Le pouvoir.”
Power, such a fantastic word. People lust for it,crave it like a diabetic wants sweets, like a film star desires eternal youth, like a beggar wants a bag full of coins. It was none other than my dad who taught me the value of power,perhaps because he knew how to wield it.
When he became the general manager of a cement and block factory,the first thing he did was tear down the door to his office. He told his surprised assistant, Elizabeth, that any worker was welcome to come,have a cup of coffee with him and then,when he left the office that worker would sure have a satisfactory solution for his problem from him. Contrary to most administrators, he promoted the creation of a union, it was his idea to make the workingman`s sports league and he opened a special kind of supermarket where the 3 thousand workers of the factory could buy their staples at wholesale price. He contacted union leaders from the FO, Frente Obrero,Workingman`s Front. Then he participated in the sports league by playing catcher in his factory`s baseball team. He was a real baseball lover, a fan of the Boer team. Then he asked me,already a teenager, to serve as coach for the basketball, track and field and weight-lifting teams.
It was no surprise that when my dad died in a plane crash, all his workers came to grieve at his funeral. The love they expressed for him was so tangible you could almost touch it. Even after he died, he still had power,that magical word that politicians so crave.
My father often said that if power wasn`t used to favour the needy, it was not power but raw and ruthless control over people. He genuinely worried for his working people and when the military draft was imposed in Nicaragua, he began to see the danger of it. He had highly qualified labor force, people who had been trained for years and could not be easily substituted. With the first guys between ages 16 and 22 to be drafted, panic gripped my dad, for in less than two weeks he lost 7 of his best young workers. Every time the recruitment orders arrived, he would get nearly sick with worry.
One night while my mother was out on a business trip to El Salvador, we were dining together with our driver-gardener-messenger,old don Alberto,at the round table in the kitchen. We had just started eating our dessert when he looked at me and said,”Kitten?”
I knew that when he called me kitten and not lion as usual,he was going to ask for something. He mentioned the case of a mixer bowl operator who had been caught by the draft. He had tried to unhook the worker, but the officer in charge of recruitment had asked for money as graft. Once my dad had been willing tio pay the sum, the officer changed his mind and asked for another quantity,this time something like a king`s ransom.
So he spoke to me of a bright idea.There were many construction companies and building outlets in Managua. Most of these people were highly skilled, some would be taken into active service for two years if they were between 16 and 24. The ones over 25 were to be drafted into the army reserve and would get sent to the dangerous zones too. Wouldn`t it be better to put them all together in some brigade or battalion, mobilize them with their gadgets and trucks and everything, and put them to work at social works, like building of bridges? I realized that my dad and my gardener were speaking to me in a different tone.
There was reverence, a different kind of respect. My dad had realized that due to the position I now held I had power in my hands and it was wise to court me so I could use that power in benefit of the people. I told him to write the idea down and promised to present it to the top brass.
Shortly after this dinner table talk, the 3 battallions of engineering machines were born.Since the 6 enterprises were all located in Managua, the new units were put under the Special Region of Defense for Managua,and three sturdy officers were sought to fill in the boots of the battalion commanders. I had the task to oversee them and report their work to the top brass. Of course, howls were heard by the top recruiting officer who had asked my dad for an elephantine bribe. Now I had to meet the workers from different companies like the Ministry of Construction, Cementera Canal(the mother company of Mayco.S.A. where my dad was the manager), the Housing Ministry, Andres Cstro Building Company and Sovipe Engineers. I was already familiarized with each and every one of the workers from my dad`s factory,which made things easier. At first the elder engineers and architects had a laugh at me, since I was in my twenties. First they were ordered to build the convention center that would have the name of the Swedish statesman Olof Palme. They would work on weekends only. They came with their tractors,machines,shovel, the demolishing ball on which I loved to ride like a clinging cat when the guy with the crane was willing to swing me around. As soon as the workers from the factory and its mother company were given the slip to go to military service, I caught them and placed them in a battalion. Many valuable technicians, engineers, architects and other construction workers were saved from uselessly dying in the battlefield. I found several friends whom I still remember with special fondness, like Julio Miranda from Sovipe Engineers. Once, when the first battalion cook`s mom died, I cooked for them and it was an honor to do so. Watching all those sweaty, hard working males wolf down the food I prepared gav me an inkling of what a delight it would be to have my own children. Well, I only had one,years later, but that was a tasteof power I never forgot. Power to the people,for the people,in benefit of the people. I wanted to follow Lincoln and Kossuth and other patriots who really knew how to usepower for something good.
That was the power that a stiff weakling like Tsar Nicholas II never knew how to wield, and it cost him dearly because his wife cuckolded him with the bearded pseudomonk who even predicted the fall of the dynasty if he was killed. Not even the poor Cocker Spaniel pet was saved, and out of the slaughter of the reigning family of Rusia sprang the tenuous myth of Anastasia`survival as Anna Anderson. At least they,after death, had thepower to give us circus and subtle entertainment.
Did our own Augusto Calderon Sandino,illegitimate son of a planter and a streetwalker,ever have real power? He began his struggle against US invasion after he had flirted with the idea of a military intervention by gringos when he was younger. He had enough power to get assassinated by Anastasio Somoza Garcìa, the pompous fatso of whom wheelchair-ridden FDR said,”He is a son of a bitch but he is OUR son of a bitch.”
Power, most beloved of readers, power like the one that makes a heart jump in someone`s chest, or thepower to build a nation out os craps of dignity and threads of patriotism.Yes,sir. Power. I will always opt for power, not because it is an aphrodisiac too, but because it is what the people need in order to step firmly into the future.

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