Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Five questions MeMe


1. Tell me a random fact about you in the comments section of this post.
2. I will then ask you five questions
3. You propagate the meme when you post your answers in your own blog and invite others to tell you a random fact about themselves.

Shannon's questions for me:

1. Tell us about the process of learning English as a second language.

My family has a flair for languages, which was passed down to me. My mom is a polyglot. Besides English, she learned German and French, and studied in Berlin for a year. I grew up in a home where it was commonplace to have books and newspapers in Spanish and English, and where my family listened to The Beatles and Led Zep alongside Héctor Lavoe and Camilo Sesto. We got cable TV when I was 13 and that helped me learn a lot. I also was lucky enough to attend a small private grade school whose founder/director specialized in teaching English as a second language. You may or may not know that in Puerto Rico we are taught English from grade school through high school, and also in college. Still, a large number of Puerto Ricans do not speak it, for multiple reasons that range from communication apprehension and cultural resistance to a mediocre instruction by the public school system. The Puerto Rican identity can be a slippery construct. For some island Puerto Ricans, holding on to the Spanish language, sometimes to the deliberate exclusion of English, is one of its tenets. I do not subscribe to this for the same reason I do not subscribe to the English-only camp here in the States. The more languages one knows, the more doors open in life. I do not mean to brag, but I am very proud to speak Spanish and English, and to know French, Italian and Portuguese with varying degrees of proficiency. It really has enriched my life.

2. What is your favorite book written in Spanish, and what is your favorite book written in English?

It is always hard to answer when I am asked what is my favorite book, in any language. I always struggle to narrow it down. It changes so much over the years too. But I will do my best.

Tie between Las armas secretas, by Julio Cortazar and Cien años de soledad, by Gabriel García Marquez

Tie between Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood and In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez

3. Between your big girl and your little girl, what has been your favorite age?

If my memory doesn't fail me, I would say when Paula was 5 to 6 years old. I do not know if it will be the same for Isabel, but Paula was more mellow and there was also all the excitement of starting school.

4. Describe the outfit you feel you look best in.

My favorite outfit would be jeans and a black shirt, with sandals or clogs.

5. Where would your dream vacation be?

I would very much love to go to Australia.


  1. Thanks for playing! I enjoyed hearing about your languages, of course. :D

  2. Interesting! I love reading about Puerto Rico. I've been twice and really loved it.
    Here's a little know fact about me: I used to want to be a medical examiner.

  3. Lori, I just sent you an e-mail.