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

lunes, 15 de septiembre de 2008

Mercedes


49th entry to the Colonel`s Scrapbook
Birthdates which occurred on September 15:
53 Trajan 13th Roman emperor (98-117), conqueror of Ctesiphon ,animal killer par excellence with his disgusting bloody circus1613 Francois duc de la Rochefoucald Paris France, writer (Memoires) ,read them,they are worth it1789 James Fenimore Cooper 1st major American novelist (Prairie), James Martin taught me how to enjoy his works, thank you teacher 1830 Porfirio D¡az soldier, president of Mexico (1877-1911) really a dictator1857 William Howard Taft Cin, (R) 27th pres (1909-13), chief justice , could have ruled a bit better1876 Bruno Walter (B.W. Schlesinger), Berlin Germany, conductor (NY),had a surefire magic baton
1890 Dame Agatha Christie mystery writer (Murder on the Orient Express, her spouse was so envious of her
On this day...
608 St Boniface IV begins his reign as Catholic Pope, ready to have double headaches1620 Mayflower departs from Plymouth, England with 102 pilgrims, who would spend their voyage drinking beer
1821 Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras & Nicaragua gain independence,if Orly figuratively
1916 first tank used in war,Little Willie, and there tank techniques would be born
1885 the loveliest elephant in the world,Jumbo,gets killed in Ontario by a stray train
1901 Mercedes Patria de la Rosa Aburto,great Nicaraguan chef,is born in Managua,my lovely,unique grandmother

September 15th

The patriot in me could afford to get sentimental today over the birthyday of our 5 Central American nations, particularly Nicaragua where I had the enormous blessing to be born, but the truth is that besides celebrating our rather fictitious independence that is so often misrespected by foreign powers, I have a reason to write today. In 1901 one of the most beautiful and talented women of Nicaraguan history was born but also on this day 1885 the most beautiful elephant of history was killed. The lovely woman born in 1901 introduced me to him when I was only four years old, describing him in her stories as the most profitable creature on earth. The exquisite lady was Mercedes Patria de la Rosa Aburto, my mother`s mom, and one of the foremost chefs of all Central America. One day when my parents were travelling in Europe and I was in her tender care, she took me to her huge iron bed and although both of us were frightened by the thunderstorm, she spoke to me about th Most Profitable Elephant in History. That bed became a magical place that night, my cat Torta,my grandmother and I. What a trio!
Mercedes told me Jumbo had been born in the Frenchpart of Africa that is now Sudan, and had been taken first to Paris,then to England,where the kids,including the child Winston Churchill, fell in love with him. Queen Victoria, who had good taste in men and animals,but a louse temper,also fell under his spell and often sent him a good bottle of her own whisky to keep him warm from inside out. The villain of the story was American capital,and as usual dollars barked loud whn Phineas T Barnum decided to take the elephant from London to have an American Dream that would end in nightmare. The circus entrepreneur paid a king`s ransom for the poor animal,who had to be put into a drunken state so he could be loaded onto the ship that would take him to stardom and death. Once in the United States,capitalism made him a star.When he arrived at New York, the usually bombastic Americans waited for him with their noisy bands, crowds and cheerfulness. Then he became the equivalent of our rock stars. Everyone wanted to see him,he was Jumbo,supposedly the biggest elephant on earth. He certainly ended up reaping so much money for Barnum. He was definitely the most profitable elephant in history,more even than the one Charlemagne had had as a pet. The circus was in Ontario,Canada, that fateful September 15th,1885 when death also fell in love with Jumbo. As a woman in love,she couldn`t allow him to stay out of her reach, so in the afternoon, a stray locomotive came out of nowhere,and banged into Jumbo`s fabulous presence. He died in great pain,and by the time my grandma told me this two of the three females on that bed were in tears,my cat soundly snoring. Jumbo died at a train marshalling yard in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, where he was crushed by a locomotive. A life-size statue of the elephant in St. Thomas commemorates the tragedy. Many metallic objects were found in the elephant's stomach, including pennies, nickels, dimes, keys, and rivets. Barnum afterwards told the story that Jumbo died saving a young circus elephant, Tom Thumb, from being hit by the locomotive, but other witnesses did not support this.
Jumbo's skeleton was donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The elephant's heart was sold to Cornell University. Jumbo's hide was stuffed by William J. Critchley and Carl Akeley, both of Ward's Natural Science, and the mounted specimen traveled with Barnum's circus for a number of years,which was the utmost lack of respect. In 1889, Barnum donated the stuffed Jumbo to Tufts University, where it was displayed until destroyed by a fire in 1975, coincidentally a fate that befell many of Barnum's exhibits during his own lifetime. The great elephant's ashes are kept in a 14-ounce Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar in the office of the Tufts athletic director. A statue of "Jumbo" was purchased from an amusement park and placed on the Tufts campus after the fire. Jumbo became the university's mascot, and remains such to this day.
As a result of Barnum's publicity the word "jumbo" is now synonymous with "large" or "huge": a large hot dog sausage may be called a "jumbo hot dog"; the Boeing 747 is known as the "Jumbo Jet",as my wise grandmother explained. Soon the thunderbolts had lessened and she told me that somewhere in heaven,Jumbo was sleeping tightly and was happy that we still remembered him with love and respect.
My grandmother Mercedes was a unique person,and I also learned from her to be an animal lover. When she had eloped with my grandfather,Castulo, who was one of the sexiest men alive at that time, she took with her the two Angora cats she had as a teenager, jumping out a balcony with the two animals shut tight and meowing in a basket. As soon as theyw ere married and they reached the marriage bed, Castulo was to receive the most scandalous session of bites and scratches when the cats were let out of the basket, but he was too excited to mind. He had other things to do than worry that his ofrearms had been reduced to mincemeat by the angry furry darlings belonging to his new fifteen-year old redheaded bride. Mercedes had protagonized a sound scandal by running away with the dark handsome barber my grandpa was. Nothing fit for such a prissy miss that she had been raised to become. Mercedes and Castulo loved each other fiercely all their life,producing a brood of 8 kids. She became a great chef and he was the most elegant barber of old Managua, patronized even by presidents. A stroke ended all that felicity and she was left a rich widow who refused to marry again, although she was still sexy in her maturity. Defying conventions about what a matron should be, she learned French with a private tutor who was a renegade Jesuit, became great friends with the national actress Pilar Aguirre, and traveled to several exotic destinations like Egypt and India. And became the most eccentric and doting grandmother I could have ever asked for.
So it was a tragedy that she would end up assassinated by one of her own daughters. In her sixties she had been diagnosed as diabetic, but as age advanced her complications grew worse. When she started having neuropathies in her 80s, only my mother paid any attention to her.All the other sons and daughters,sought to rid themselves of her. Her neuropathies landed her in a wheelchair due to lack of care from her abusive children, who were swift to take her money but slow to ever care for her. Despite my duties in the army,I tried to spend the most time I could with her, making her favorite meals, playing piano for her and just plain yarning about her memories. Some of my artist friends would come to cheer her up,among them Pablo Martìnez Tèllez-an excellent singer composer of working class extraction-and the poet Silvio Alejandro Cortez. When she came to live with her daughters Elda and Merceditas, her ordeal began. Shew was often hit and pushed around when I wasn`t around,and blue welts appeared on her back,belly and legs. Her long hair was chopped off by her namesake daughter, one of the most aggressive and nasty people I have ever had the misfortune of knowing. My grandmother wept bitterly over her lost tresses.
My grandmother had always kept a bank account in a foreign bank. In order to garner some indulgence from the two daughters who were taking bad care of her, she had mentioned that she would leave all to them when she died. This only whetted her eldest daughter`s insatiable lust for money, and one afternoon,June 21st 1988,while my husband and I were at the market (we began our married life living with my grandmother,who was crazy for my spouse and adored him as if he were her own son), my grandmother was killed. A pillow had been used to snuff out her last breath while she took a nap.Nobody else was in the house. When we returned from the market,my husband and I heard Merceditas-her eldest daughhter-screaming in the porch,”hey,swear to god I didn’t do it,she just died in my hands,she died!” We rushed in and there was my grandmother on her bed, with an expression of pain on her face,her lips blue,her eyes still open but glassy. A sorry sight. The other daughter who supposedly cared for her was called from her job at the National Socoal Security Institute. Neither of them wished to dress her up.My husband decided to do it while I asked a doctor to come so the death certificate could be drafted. An unscrupulous endocrinologist by the name of Bolaños, a complete sot and corrupted imbecile, was called, bribed to put that she had had a heart attack,and gotten rid of soon. I was two months pregnant expecting my daughter Elizabeth and superstition held that if I dressed her I would lose the child. During the funeral,scandal broke out when my aunts-the killer included-forbade my mom and dad to be there during the wake. I was sent to the kitchen to make coffee and the following day we buried her. No autopsy was allowed,although my mother and I demanded for one. The killer was sorely disappointed to find that she had killed her own mother over nothing,because the bank account she longed for was already empty and there was nothing but a silver bracelet which lacked several links.
The pain was too great for crying. My grandmother had always considered me her favorite grandchild,and now she was gone. A sense of guilt,that I should have done more for her, overwhelmed me. The house was so empty without her. Even Chingo, the Manx cat I had back then,missed her.He would go to her empty bed and meow piteously for her. I would think of what it would have been like if she had lived long enough to see my baby born. Life had been cruel at the end to this grand lady who had once been a great matron,a wonderful chef and the most original grandparent anyone could ever ask for. Even now,20 years after she was murdered, I cannot bear to see her killer,who went scot free and still lives in Managua. She is a presence in my life,in every moment that I have lived trying to learn her lessons. Mercedes Patria,who was also a patriot like me and had refused to kiss Lindbergh when he came here to Managua, has been the rose,as her third name was, to perfume my memories of what being a happy child was like. She introduced me to the sound things of life, to good food and good taste, to Jumbo and animals she loved, to Verdi operas and guitar playing. I want to become a believer for her, and think that Saint Peter asked her no visa or passport into heaven. But I guess that although her poor remains are ina grave at the General cemetery in Monseñor Lezcano here in Managua, she will be forever inmortal in my heart because in reality, I have never even thought of burying her in forgetfulness,which is the last frontier of oblivion where we remit our dead.