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, 24 de enero de 2009

monarchs to ourselves

88th entry for the Colonel´s Scrapbook
Birthdates for January 24:
0076 Publius A Hadrianus 14th Roman Emperor (117-138)m the lover of Antinoo, animal assassin through his circus shows, oppressor of the Jews 1705 Farinelli "Carlo Broschi" Andria Italy, castrato, favorite of King Philip V, whose melancholy his voice drove away1712 Frederick II (the Great), king of Prussia (1740-86), the perfect man, great historian,soldier,philosopher…too bad he left no issue 1732 Pierre de Beaumarchais France, playwright (Barber of Seville), a man of great wit 1746 Gustav III king during Swedish Enlightenment (1771-92) Gustav was assassinated by a conspiracy of noblemen.Gustav III was a benefactor of arts and literature

Deaths on January 24:
0041 Caligula [G C Germanicus], Roman emperor (37-41), assassinated at 28 ,he got stabbed in the balls,and he was the guy who named his horse Incitatus consul of Rome0661 Ali ibn Abu Talib kalief of Islam (656-61), murdered, was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who ruled over the Rashidun empire from 656 to 661

1328 King Edward III of England marries Philippa of Hainault, but in her old age he would yank her jewels away to have them worn by his mistress
1568 In the Netherlands, Duke of Alva declares William of Orange an outlaw, because for Spaniards back then being a patriot was a sin


One of the men I have most admired in history is Frederick II of Prussia, the Great, the enlightened despot, my Fritz. Once he told his friend Voltaire that we all had a king navigating inside our bloodstream, and that once or twice in life the ordinary man or woman were liable to feel the weight of this kingship. After many quarrels between monarch and French writer, after time has not totally faded the memory of those deeds left behind by this extraordinary king, I tend to agree with Fritz. His kingship went unhampered until he died, but before that he had lots of ways to show what stuff he was made of.
I sit alone at my PC, where I should always be left alone as a matter of elementary decency and respect for the privacy I am entitled to as a living creature, and meditate over my kingship. I remember another sovereign, Louis XIV th of France, who managed to keep his sense of monarchy even when surrounded by courtiers and cronies who would pester him even when he was grunting at the chaise perceé. Hoe many papers can you sign when you are having trouble relieving yourself? How valid is it when someone says he is going to the place where the king goes alone? The toilet? Was Louis ever alone there? Is kingship a trap like any other, stifling like marriage when your body doesn´t seem to get rid of the hormonal Alzheimer and continues feeling after you should be decorously indifferent? Is it like being a pillar of society, a stout matron who shouldn´t be wearing miniskirts after she removes her work clothes? Is it like a ball and chain similar to the married name, furthermore stifling when you have become famous under the husband´s name, the scar on the Miura bull ´s shoulder pr haunch? Atrocious, dearest reader, the Miura bull goes to the bullfight where it shall die with that mark, drowning in his own blood while only one person in the crowd-me-cheered when the bull drove his horn into the matador´s ass and nearly sodomized him in public. Silently my husband´s cat comes in to this room where I write to you, and he passes his tail over my legs. He doesn´t poke his head into the PC as others do. He sits amiably next to me and he starts washing, grooming, cosseting himself. He is a sovereign unto himself. Is he also seeking refuge from the loud invasion of cheap ranchera music that invades the living room, violating our exquisite taste for Vivaldi and Shankar? Kingship has often been raped and mutilated, in everyday ways and greater ones too. Remember the iron hot rod pushed into King Edward II of England´s ass? Or the imprisonment of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine? Or poor widowed and white-haired Sha Jehan imprisoned in the Red Fortress by his son Aurangzeb? Kingship has its own inbuilt trappings. Being a public figure runs the same way. It is a cage. No way out, not being able to fart silently while walking on the street even though gases may be killing you.
Kingship is funny. It teaches you to play god until you become addicted to the practice, unless you are wise enough to stop the jump midway. It is a mortal jump. Sometimes you are already mid air when you realize there is the abyss that pride always lays at your feet for it to swallow you alive. No net below, you kill yourself instantly. Overbearing helps you jump over the cliff. The blows and bruises I have gotten over time have shown me you can never be too stubborn. There are never higher walls than when you build them around yourself, and the first thing you must know is that if you built them from inside out it will be worse. We often paint ourselves into the corner, and we don´t always have the wings to fly way above our footprints of mistakes.
Kingship is not for everyone, which is perhaps a rather harsh thing to say. Kingship is not the same as the condition that leads someone to be a tyrant. Being a dictator is the utmost vulgarity that can exist. Nicaraguan men have a strong proclivity for this, although they would rather die than confess to it. They still mistake kingship for dictatorship. It is throwing the soup into their wife´s face because they wanted a masculine meal with lots of cholesterol and animal death in it, a meal “fit for an engineer” as rudely expressed by my stupid maternal uncles to my weary grandmother when once she had the temerity to serve delicious spaghetti. It is imposing rules with no sense in them, or trying to control the economics of a household even when they are not the main breadwinner. Not kingship, sir, only dictatorship, and we all know how dictators end up, pathetic shadows like the sad finale of Fidel Castro or Nicolas Ceaucescu, echoes of their worst times shitting into a colostomic bag. Only kingship can dignify most decisions, dictatorship alone demeans us.
Kingship is rising above our nimious details of everything suffering, shedding the old dry skin of past complexes, dusting your mind freely without being able to run scared from your own mistakes. Kingship gives a crown to our most minimal intentions,a nd puts us apart from all the miseries we have as a natural burden. Kingship is not god given,we snatch it from kismet´s hands and wear it as a crown.If the crown has thorns, well, it is up to us to goldplate them.

domingo, 18 de enero de 2009

On Daríos birthdate

87th entry to the Colonel´s Scrapbook
Birthdates which occurred on January 18:
1641 François Michel le Tellier French statesman (Marquis de Louvois) was the
French Secretary of State for War for a significant part of the reign of Louis XIV. Louvois and his father, Michel le Tellier, would increase the French Army to 400,000 , an army that would fight four wars between 1667 and 1713.Classy warmonger-wasn´t he?1795 Anna Paulowna Romanova daughter of czar Paul I really as useless as her dad
1841 Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier France, composer (Le Roi Malgré Lui,España Rhapsody)pre impressionist composer
1867 Rubén Darío national poet (Nicaragua),born on an oxcart befote arriving at Metapa, now named alter him Ciudad Darío
1486 King Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV, together they would manufacture Henry VIII
1535 Francisco Pizarro founds Lima Peru, he was the guy who got Atahualpa killed
1644 Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston reported America's 1st UFO sighting, at least they didn´t believe it was Jesus landing with buckles
1943 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto begin resistance of Nazis, was about time


As sweat pours down my back like the rapids of the San Juan River-I am not allowed to use fan anymore in my writing room, words shall pour out in sweat because being a writer shall be hard work-I sit down to write this entry about the difficult path a writer follows. It is January 18th, and our national poet Rubén Darío made his entry into this world on a day like today. He was born on a oxcart, and legend has it that his parents were having one of their usual quarrels when sir hit the lady on the belly and hurried Felix Ruben García Sarmiento into this valley of tears before it was his time. Of course, later on it was said that he had been born in an old adobe corner in Metapa, the first city where Rosa Sarmiento-his mom-stopped after delivering him. Not convenient to mention those sordid details about an author coming from such a dysfunctional family. White wash everything, dearest reader, don´t mention sexual transgressions or divorces, it gives a bad read! Rosa disappeared from Rubén´s life while he was a toddler, and someone saw fit to blacken her name by saying she had eloped with another guy and left the future bard with some relatives in León. Whatever was, had to be,and our Rubén signing himself as Darío,ended up being the Prince of Castilian Letters, showing the Spaniards that an indigenous man with slack black hair can master their perfect language better than they ever did. Father of modernism, the mediocre Costaricans have tried to usurp his birthplace, and Chile and Argentina -where he lived during his youth and published his first works-also love to lay claim to him. Excellence always brings those claims, along with the green snake of envy.
I know what the green snake of envy,with its tongue of ignorance, wreaks. It is the same element that makes a husband prefer a well done steak over a new short story, and if the short story is good he will call you a pervert- It is the young woman who inherits the writer´s streak from the oppressed mother but is too comfortable to fight alongside. She wants to keep the optical illusion of a perfect home intact, although her dysfunctional family is a walking bomb prone to explode at any minute. No wonder SylviaPlath stuck her head into the oven. She spent so much time smiling cheese. But gas is too expensive to be wasted on suicide and I have never believed doing myself in will benefit me, so that is ruled out. Young talents. So wrapped up in their own perfume. So much to learn. It is so difficult to compete sometimes, specially when one is not sure if one will fulfill the promises that the fairy godmother of talent may have made. Poor comparison, but remember the Dream Weaver by Gary Wright?Bloom for one single spring, reminds kismet. It can happen to anyone.
Does walking home with a medal or a trophy compensate for the perils of a writer´s endeavours? Praise is a soft glove, over a wooden hand or iron fist. I don´t want praise. I only wish for a respect of my individuality, whatever makes me myself and not another figure in a uniform or with a degree hanging over her desk. Speaking on the phone a moment ago with my good friend, novelist Ricardo Pasos Marciaq, he tells me he had almost forgotten it was our day. In a country like ours where people don´t read and those who do only learn the newspapers in chips by heart in order to further their own lowly interests, the criminals of the story are us the writers. Hated at home for not being in the kitchen serving food to the family, viewed as freaks by our own children who think it would be more useful for mommy to be out at charity meetings, or seen as freaks on a leash by people who don´t want to shed their ignorance, writers in Nicaragua are a class apart. Pasos tells me his super blockbuster The Brothel of the Pedrarias is already into its ninth edition, I rejoice. I have caused scandal with these entries of this book, I know I could even go to jail for some of the things I say. If I were Islamic, I could even be repudiated for my views, or lapidated in Saudi Arabia.
Writing can be more complicated than the worst high risk pregnancy. But I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I have been censored at a cheap lampoon by a directress who hated me writing about the cross dressers of history because in her family she has a lesbian and a gay sibling. I have nothing against people with different sexual choices, it is just that she still has double standards. I quit over three years ago, and that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have been denied access to information by government sources, my internet has been clipped off, my yahoo and hotmail messengers wrenched out of my PC by a rabid consort(who has never written a single piece of literature in his life and probably won´t even do so), my mailboxes opened, every bit of correspondence read. I have endured, but not without a black sediment of spite. You are reading part of it. But it is the sediment, not the essence.
The essence is like the product of our small Mariola bee, which produces the sweetest and most golden honey of all. I am the real alchemist to change the rubble of everyday life into the gold we so cherish, golden words. Not magic, simply the act of creation.
I wrestle with demons or angels, but come out battle scarred and happy. The writer is not married to anyone, although once I made the mistake-a big one- of using my married name to earn fame. Writers are also people with feelings, something forgotten by many. Writer´s Day sees me without gift or congratulations from the people who by kin are closest to me, with whom I live under the same roof. It happened the same for my birthday last October. But rather giftless than receiving charity, no candy in jail.
I remember Charlotte Bronte writing Jayne Eyre, with her stern husband resenting every moment she wasn´t taking care of him. Do you wonder how she could have died in pregnancy? Or Agatha Christie, with her envious husband who loved to humiliate her in public.
Being a woman writer seems to bring out the executioner in the men who share our lives. We have something they may want yet are unable to possess. Minds should not fit into pretty bodies, they may think. Or into any kind of body who should have yielded babies and not short stories.
Loud, we are scandalous by nature, women writers. My consort for over 21 years standing shooes me away as a tse tse fly, afraid I will infect his brain with who knows what while he memorizes the newspapers and has wet dreams of becoming a judge before he is finished with law school.. He wants a yielding body and total service. Every piece I write should carry a dedication to him, even when he hasn´t earned it. He is by default the muse, can´t have his dark wifey bearing literary children to others. Keeping dog so it barks for others, no way-He has to eat all the profits of my work. He pokes his nose over my shoulder to see what I am writing, because he was never educated to respect anybody ´s privacy.
I know that women will be reading this and realizing that their cases may be clones of mine. Today I have been bold enough, brazen would men say, to admit that this scrapbook was not incubated in marriage. I have taken locks from your hair and made them into quills to write this. I have come out of the closet and I have kissed and told. It has been as daring as having my own child for and to myself, although that kid and I now have to admit that being someone´s ancestor doesn´t guarantee we will like each other, get along or agree on anything. There is no Spanish Inquisition-officially- so I don´t go to the stake. Physically. I am already being roasted in many people´s opinions, and that gives me a sense of satisfaction. Will I be the one here to put the bell around the angry cat? Too bad my cat Diriangen died yesterday and as a faithful companion of my efforts at the PC, he would applaud if he could read.
A hale mind has always brought upon desires to squelch it by those who cannot even think on their own. Envy is the tribute that the mediocre pay the genius, said Oscar Wilde. I didn´t even get a cheap pen for my day from the person who has most benefited from having a scholarly writer at home. But life always has the bad habit of kicking later on, when one reaps the rewards of exactly that which has been sown by us.

lunes, 12 de enero de 2009

I still would

86th entry to the Colonel´s Scrapbook
Birthdates which occurred on January 12:
1483 Hendrik van Nassau-Dillenburg en Dietz Governor/Viceroy of Holland , how much did he really rule?1562 Charles Emanuel I the great, Duke of Savoy,let´s take the word he was great
1729 Lazzaro Spallanzani Modena Italy, physiologistmpriest,father of artificial insemination,my idol
1751 Ferdinand I king of Sicily & Naples, poor crowned head
1808 Paul "the Great" Taglioni Vienna, ballet choreographer,the best thing he did was father María,who invented toe dancing 1810 Ferdinand II king of Sicily, so much hassle

Deaths which occurred on January 12:1517 Vasco Núñez de Balboa Spanish conquistador/admiral, beheaded at 41 afyer he called the Pacific Ocean “el Mar del Sur”, his last name is remembered in Panamanian currency1519 Maximilian I of Hapsburg, dies, he was a real strong guy who could lift a horse
1684 French king Louis XIV marries Madame Maintenon, his solidité who make him revoke the Edict Nantes, the prudish bitch who never became queen, morganatic wife
1755 Tsarina Elisabeth establishes 1st Russian University, of course it had to be a woman to treasure learning

Drops and toys
The crystal drop comes down from the bottle into the translucent tube, down,into me. For one moment it is not my body, it is not the serum I must take to get rid of this hemorrhagic flu which marked the beginning of this year. Scientific curiosity nestling into me, or seeping from my pores? Today it is a year since I broke the two malleoli on either side of my ankle. But Lazaro Spallanzanni, the most useful priest I have ever heard of, was born on a day like today. Here he has me, sweating, thinking of him and the cat he loved, Romeo Amore-given to him by the Emperor Joseph II of Habsburg-and how his friendship with this Manx cat brought him to become the father of modern artificial insemination. Father.Pretre Lazaro, father of no children of his own because the silly dogma of his church demands celibacy(did he really follow it…let me laugh) but such a prolific dad of meteorology, gastroenterology, meteorology and vulcanology, and indirectly of the radar because he discovered how bats fly… I look at my almost imperceptibly twisted left ankle and a wide smile spreads over my face. The music to Father Antonio and his altar boy Andres by Ruben Blades keeps me company. Like the Salvadorean prelate Arnulfo Romero, who was assassinated by shitty rightwingers, Lazaro was a useful priest. Not being Catholic nor believer of any faith, I would have felt comfortable having either one-Romero or Spallanzanni hear confession from me. Even if I had to blush. At 49 can I still blush..?
At any age, everything, including 49,blushes come handy. I guess even animals blush. When my cats fall out of a tree or turn around at the wrong time, I try not to laugh in front of them. Cats have as many imaginary drops and toys as I had when growing up. One of the greatest drops I saw was protagonized by my russet Torta. I shared a bedroom as a kid,and it had a bathroom incorporated. I usually cleaned the toilet, but one day my sister miraculously did so. She neglected to shut down the lid. Torta,accustomed to my thoroughness, assumed the lid was shut. She used to nestle there on the fake fur that covered the lid. So Torta made a pirouette in the air and fell headfirst into the blue water of the soapy toilet. I don’t think she broke anything by falling so violently in an Esther Williams fashion into the perfumed water of the bowl, but her ego was very warped. I helped her out of the toilet and let her on the rug, so she quickly crawled under my bed without even looking at me, so ashamed she was. She spent the whole day there, not even coming to eat (and she was a glutton, mind you my dearest of all readers).Her stomach churning with starvation urged her out of there around 8 pm. Torta would be prone to lots of accidents further on because she usually had a bad sense for calculating the risks involved in all her pranks. Some years later she decreed, as the queen of the house that she was, that the cuckoo clock my dad had so lovingly brought from Normandie, was doomed to die. The birdie must perish in her claws.
The clock was made of old polished wood, was very precise and every hour a blue and yellow birdie with a stupid face came out to sing cuckoo. For weeks, Torta chose to sleep on the sofa in the living room where the cuckoo was. Usually she slept on my bed. But she needed to collect intelligentsia about the ways and habits of the hated cuckoo. He was to die. One day my cat must have consulted some kind of feline oracle, for she decided it was her D Day. She had a flair for drama. She chose to let my dad know how much she hated Norman cuckoo clocks, so at the precise hour that he was leaving for work, after having lunched and napped, when it was 2 pm she jumped from the corner table, so she flew. It was like watching a stingray float gracefully in shallow waters. She caught the silly birdie in her mouth and wrapped her four paws around the clock. Cat and clock fell down to the living room Persian carpet, and once there, Torta wrenched the birdie off and proceeded to slap it mercilessly against the floor, meowing loudly in victory. She was heaving audibly, with a demonic glint in her green eyes. It was the look of an orgasmic woman, dearest heart. My father was speechless, my mother came out of the kitchen, her face covered with ghastly flour, like a phantom, for she had dropped the sack of flour when she heard the crashing noise. I came from my room to find my cat rolling in delight on the floor with her trophy. My father was the first to lets out hysterical peals of laughter, even though he cherished the clock beyond doubt. He picked up the remains of the clock but left Torta to enjoy the birdie while tears of laughter streamed down our cheeks. The clock was fixed at an exaggerated sum but the birdie was kept by Torta among her toys and when she died,it was buried along with her with military honors.
What would Lazaro Spallanzanni have thought of Torta? He was so in love with his own Manx given by his friend and protector. Romeo Amore would be put to copulate and when he was about to spurt, Lazaro would put a small cup under him to collect his seed. Poor guy, coitus interruptus. But thanks to him today couples who can´t have kids the normal way can still become parents. Romeo survived his associate by 5 years, and Lazaro died in 1799,the same year the Brits would slay the Tiger of Mysore Tipoo Sultan of India.
In my sick bed I always bring Lazaro to my side.I have his same curiosity,only I was not brave enough as an adolescent to continue on in science. Winning 5 science fairs was enough, even if one of my master projects-based on the small book of gardening by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror-got me in trouble with the damned teacher staff at the expensive American Nicaraguan School where I had the disgrace to attend high school. I was playing god and ended up not believing in god. I never forgave. Nor forgot, not even in my bed convalescing from a hemorrhagic flu, remembering the silly way I broke my malleolli one year ago.
Still saying if I had to do it all over again, having the same toys and drops. I would do it again.