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

sábado, 9 de agosto de 2008

Our everyday angels



35 th entry to the Colonel`s Scrapbook
August 9th
born
1776 Amedeo Avogadro Turin Italy, 6.022 x 10 ^ 23 (Avogadro's Law), I had some of the worst migraines in life due to this chap and his blessed law
1896 Jean Piaget Switzerland, pioneer developmental psychologist/zoologist, some people say he finished screwing up our minds 1896 Leonide Massine choreographer (Diaghilev Ballet Russe 1914-20)one of the greatest choreographers of history, impressing in The 3Cornered Hat
1902 Zino Francescatti Marseilles France, violinist (NY Phil-1939),this guy could charm lions into eating vegetable soup with his playing
Deaths which occurred on August 09:
1896 Otto Liilenthal killed during a glider test,we owe him the helicopter, he just went splat on the ground but since he had no exoskeleton like arthropods do,he did sound splat
1969 Sharon Tate actress, killed by Charles Manson's gang, poor girl was pregnant,they didn`t even take that into consideration

Events
378 Battle of Adrianople, Visigoth Calvary defeats Roman Army, what a mess.That is how the world ends,not with a bang but with a whimper said TS Eliot and with that whimper the Roman Empire started hiding its head like an ostrich 480 -BC- Persia defeats Spartan king Leonidas at Thermopylae, the things we do in the name of heroism
1778 Capt James Cook passes through Bering Strait ,should have stayed there.Little did he know that less than one year later he was bound to be eaten for unch by the natives of Hawaii on Valentine`s Day1786 1st ascent of Mt Blanc, how many people had scraped their asses raw before?
1854 Henry David Thoreau publishes "Walden", one of the books everyone should read
Japan 1945: Nagasaki receives US`s second gift of a bomb, Hiroshima had been destroyed three days before
CATS
On a day like today my cat Nagasaki was born,and he took his name to honor all those lovely cats who had died along with their humans when the United States threw the second bomb over Japan. Through the years that have passed since I lost him, I can never forget his bright green eyes that saw through me into a soul I didn`t know and still don`t have any idea that I have inside. It`s curious how you choose to remember the things that you hold as true about things,people or animals that have been so important in your life. Life is as you remember it, not as it was, says Colombian writer Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez in his autobiographical work Live to Tell. I shall never forget my faithful Nagasaki waiting for me under the front porch until I came home from the job. Then,waving his fluffy grey tail, he would escort me into the house. Cats! Oh cats! I have always thought that if god existed,he should be a cat. Only a cat spells perfection.Cat is poetry and prose all wrapped into paws,whiskers and fur. Like French composer Claude Debussy, I cannot live without cats.
I have been blessed from infancy by the presence of cats. I was a sorry sight when I was finally born after the doctor almost killed me extracting me out of mom with forceps at the premature age of six months and 3 weeks ofpregnancy. I was expected to die. Canned into an incubator for one month, for days I was touch and go. When finally extracted from the incubator and taken home by my parents(who might have wondered what they did wrong the night they made me, because I was so ugly and small), I had the best welcome committee I could ever hope for: a round, fat,hairy Persian cat named Morpheus(after the god of sleep) loudly purred and accepted without qualms. As soon as I was put into the crib, in went Morpheus to warm me up.My living pillow. Could there be any stronger bond than that? He was my first nanny. Perhaps the only one to be considered as such. It was a blind(he must have been somewhat short-sighted not to notice what an ugly little leprechaun I was), passionate and everlasting bond. Mutual adoration. Morpheus was there when the fat baby I was finally took the first steps. If he laughed at my stumbling steps or sound landings on my fat ass, he was discreet enough to do his laughing beyond my earshot. He applied that powerful axiom mentioned by the great bard Jean Aleixandre de Normandie,”If your cat falls out of a tree or ridicules himself in public in any way whatsoever, make sure you laugh at him but far away from him.” Morpheus had time for ridicule and for love ,too.When I was two and a half years old, he paid a courteous visit to an orange Abyssinian queen who lived close to us, and as a result of this, he sired three lovely kittens. The grateful partner of the mother cat gave us the pick of the litter, and that way Morpheus had his daughter Eleanor of Aquitaine come to live with us when she was finally weaned. Mind you, we never called her by her standard name, it was only something that went on her vet`s control card. Deliciously auburn, we named her Torta or cake. That name was to remain with her forever.
Somewhere between my first steps, my music listening sessions with Morpheo and his daughter next to me on the sofa, but before getting smacked in the most useless and expensive school of Nicaragua, Morpheo`s health started to fail. During a rainy season, he almost drowned when he had been out and the heavy currents rolling down the gutter almost took him to Lake Managua,where the sewers unwisely empty. He was fetched by an anxious neighbour who knew how beloved the cat was. Cold after cold ruined his health and one day, his daughter, my mom and I had the sad occasion of burying him under a fig tree with full military honors, Chopin`s Funeral March playing on our stereo, and I howling like a speeding ambulance. For months,every time it rained I would hear Morpheo meowing in the rain.I guess he came from Nevermore to remind me he was guarding over me. I was the only one at school who had the dubious distinction of having a black cat as a guardian angel, devil custodian or both. I sought refuge in my redhaired Torta and I sure did find it. Whoever tells you that you can replace one pet with another is undoubtedly stupid, because Morpheo still lives in my heart and mind, unsusbstituted by none of the many cats who have owned me. Torta and I became true comrades as only two females can, understanding each other with something akin to sixth sense.
She was my unconditional accomplice. My mom, always frightened because I had been born premature, always worried and fretted over my health. My doctor had recommended that she give me an awfully oily and foul-smelling tonic called Scott Cod Liver Oil Emulsion, never will forget the illustration on the bottle with a guy carrying a huge cod over his back. I hated it when my mom would call me in her drill sergeant`s voice,with a huge spoon ready to fed me the ugly potion. Torta would watch the whole ceremony, commiserating with me and probably envying that I got to drink liquid fish and she wanted some for herself. So when I tricked my dad into ordering my mom to trust me,that I would take the medicine by myself without any prodding, Torta reaped the benefits of my deceit. My mom saw the level of the liquid in the bottle go down,so she assumed I drank my everyday dose. The reality was that I would take half a cup of cooked rice, or freshly baked bread, dip the thing in cod liver oil, and feed it to the overjoyed cat. This ploy wasn`t known by my mother until once,during a heated row I had with her at age 25, I finally confessed that Torta had swallowed all the cod liver oil meant for me. She said that no wonder the cat was so fat and healthy.
Torta was an essentially mischievous grande dame. Conscious of her great beauty, she loved to pose. I would study with her draped over my belly. Her genius for pranks knew no limits. She shared my same taste for classical music but neither of us were Beatlemaniacs.
Butter was great,chocolate was wonderful and pork was a no-no. She used to sleep on my bed, or behind the toilet in my bathroom. The whole bathroom was carpeted, and the toilet top had a carpet-like fake fur covering,which made my bathroom look like one you could find in an expensive Parisian brothel. Usually the lid of the toilet remained closed,so Torta could sleep on this as if on a platform. My sister carelessly left the lid open one morning and suddenly, my cat, used to the lid being always closed,didn`t check,took a mortal leap and landed splashing into the blue water of the impeccable toilet. She was struggling not to drown, so I pulled her out and was about to towel-dry her when she just shook me off and now dove under my bed. She spent the whole day mulling over her shame,and I was about to pull her out by the tail to get her to the vet when my dad explained to me about the cat`s sense of pride.Although not as big as lions, they had an ego the same size. At 7 pm the lady meow finally felt her stomach on fire,and swallowing her pride,now totally dry, she went to the kitchen to wolf down her food. It was not the only time her mischief landed her into a disastrous fix.
My dad had brought an old cuckoo clock from his native Normandie. He cherished the old thing . But Torta had declared war on it. It was the enemy. It had to die. She hated the birdie that came out emitting a musically silly cuckoo. Torta planned her attack carefully. Not even Hannibal the Carthaginian,combined with Queen Nzingha of Ndong and Matamba and Araucano chieftain Lautaro could have been more strategically clever. She observed the little birdie for hours,days,and weeks. Finally she calculated from which easy chair would the attack be more exact and one morning,when the birdie came i¡out it was his swan song. The enormous structure of flesh,bone,fat and hair that was my lovely cat flew through the air,pounced on the birdie and fell to the floor with a loud crash,grabbing the birdie in her mouth. The clock immediately followed after. Torta inmediatelyu got up and started slapping the birdie on the floor, while the clock`s mechanism got stuck and a series of hysterical cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo continued loudly sounding. This brought my parents to the living room while Torta insisted on slapping the dead birdie. The pieces from this wreckage were promptly carried away by my mother while my father just glared at my cat.
The satisfaction on Torta`s face was so real that my poor dad had no choice but to laugh raucuously.He picked her up,kissed her soundly on her forehead and said,”A great markscat,truly a sniper.” The clock got repaired, but the cuckoo was gone forever.It would be a very precise clock for more years, but Torta had made her kill. She got to keep the dead birdie as a trophy,and she often played with its painted wooden corpse.
Torta enjoyed a great longevity,bearing only two kittens. She died of old age in 1976 whn I was a teenager. I wore black for her for one full month. She was buried in our back yard with military honors like her father, and with the beautiful Emperor waltz by Johann Strauss playing from our record player as a farewell. She had always loved waltzes.
After Torta, many cats have honoured me with their presence. I have been owned by some of the most beautiful and charming creatures that nature has laid to walk on earth. Bcause you don`t own cats,they own you in body and soul and breath. You are their loving servants. You call them,they take the message and call you back if they feel it is fit to do so.
But when a cat gives you its heart, the gates to heaven are freely opened. No friendship, human or otherwise,will ever compare to the infinite sweetness a cat can add to your life.
Although I know there is no afterlife when we die, I wouldn`t mind to be proven wrong, and my ideal paradise would consist of a long valley filled with all the cats I have ever loved,waiting for me, with my adored Antonio Vivaldi conducting an orchestra made up of cats. All my cats will have arrived by means of a rainbow bridge,and we would eternally be together,romping and playing and listening to classical music.
Erica JOng in a poem once said thyat all the dogs who had ever loved her carry her coffin.I love dogs,my I must have been the Egyptian goddess Bakst sometime ago.Cats are really the angels that life intended us to have all along, and those who don`t realize this will reincarnate in mice and be chased by an angry mischievous cat like any of the beauties that have made me their ever willing slave forever.