Linguae Viventes

Linguist. Optimist. Exhibitionist. This is my story.

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Experiences n’ Stuff

Colegio San Crescente


^^^ That’s my school. ūüôā

Life for me has been the perfect storm of NOT teaching.

Week 1- Observations.

Week 2- Examinations.

Week 3- Visa Drama.

Week 4- Aniversario (Also known as “Let’s take a week off for our school’s birthday”.)


Long story short, the visa process seems to have paid off. I have a new visa (sans II) and I have applied for my carnet de identidad. Should work out fine….. I hope.

After much anticipation, the time has come for me to actually teach! (Cue Music: “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor)

Being a teacher is difficult! It is apparent to me now that being an educator is to take on many roles. You are a guide who leads young minds through the wilderness and into the promised land of learning. You are an encourager who (should) come in with a ton of energy , passion, and knowledge in relation to the subject matter in order to instill a yearning in young minds to explore and discover the subject matter actively. You are at times a disciplinarian who has to manage the class and maintain the respect and attention of the students. You are an example who shows the scholars the¬†pertinence of the subject matter in their lives and the value of studying it. There are so many students who listen to music in English or who watch movies in English….so the challenge lies in being able to take them where they are to the next level. I encourage my kids to actively learn English….or to always have an open mind (No me gusta or Me cuesta are not excuses!) to learning new words and expressions. My approach is to come in as a relatable guide….someone who has experienced and who is still experiencing the language learning process. I know what it is like to trudge through verb conjugations, prepositions, and SUBJUNCTIVE. I strive to make my classroom an open environment where one can speak and be heard as long as they’re ¬†giving a genuine effort. When kids come up to me and tell me that class was EPIC (Which was a slang word we learned) then that makes the day all worthwhile. I have had really successful classes and classes that have all but fallen flat. This process is a learning experience for myself as much as it is for these young scholars.


I don’t expect them to become bilingual in two short semesters but I think if I can animate them to apply the language to their personal lives….we might really see some growth in these kids!


22 Things Happy People Do Differently



This article is from Chiara Fucarino. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to address those with clinical depression or other mental illnesses.

happinessThere are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a person living in the slums of a third world country could be happy and content. I have spent plenty of time amongst both groups to have seen it first hand. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?

It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do…

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99 problems but a “II” shouldn’t be one.



I‚Äôll be the first to say that I take pride in being the second ‚ÄúII‚ÄĚ. It is my personal label, my trademark, and my social identifier. I never thought that one day I would ever have a problem with my name‚Ķuntil yesterday. I had just finished a very successful first day of teaching. I am about to arrive home when my mother calls me saying that there has been a problem with my ‚ÄúCarnet de Identidad‚ÄĚ. When she arrives, she recounts her day of waiting in the Civil Registry office. After waiting in the office for quite a while, she tells me that they have rejected my application for the I.D. card because of my name. Granted, names from the English-speaking world usually come with one last name that passed down from the paternal side. In Latin America, people are generally given the paternal and maternal last names together. The problem was not my last name, rather my Roman numeral suffix ‚ÄúII‚ÄĚ which was given to me at birth to distinguish my name from my father‚Äôs name. What my mother was told is that there is an antiquated law that basically states, ‚ÄúChile does not give out legal documents or federally granted forms that contain Roman numerals, because they denote a conferral of nobility status or of a royal title.‚ÄĚ Chile has not been part of the Spanish crown for roughly 195 years and the United States has been a kingless land of liberty for over 236 years. The bureau charged with processing and approving the Chilean I.D. card that I need to have in order to receive my volunteer stipend and to stay in the country until December is citing this law as the reason for the rejection as well as implying that I am using a fraudulent name. I got my parents to scan and send me a copy of my birth certificate in order to prove that I am and have always been Daniel Leslie Little II. The next day with documents in hand, my mom and I venture together to the Civil Registry in order to resolve the matter. My regional representative (Who is wonderful) also came down to assist with the matter. After a lengthy discussion and a couple of phone calls to Santiago I am told the best course of action is to wait. My visa is good for ninety days so I am not in any imminent threat of deportation. Also the English Opens Doors people are trying to settle the matter because there is another case of a suffix that has become a royal pain. If the fine folks from EOD cannot resolve this doing some fancy legal two stepping, I will have to return to Santiago for a second time with my passport, visa, birth certificate, and drivers license to prove my identity and to be issued a new visa sans my suffix. The curious thing is that I was issued a visa with my ‚ÄúII‚ÄĚ in Washington D.C. at the Chilean Embassy. I entered the country, went through the Investigative Police of Chile, and went through the Civil Registry of Chile with no one doing a double take over my suffix. This is occurring because of an archaic law and an inflexible office in the government that processes and approves the mandatory Chilean I.D. card. So it looks like I shall have to exercise some patience and flexibility as well as profound gratitude for my mother and regional¬†representative¬†who both have my back. I am not in any deep number two at the moment so we shall see what happens…

Teaching Others is Reaching Others


This week was a week of explorations and observations! You’d think that studying the language and something about the culture would prepare you for full on immersion….wrong! This week has been a challenging test of my linguistic abilities as well as my previously dormant good sense of direction.¬†

Adventures: I spent a whole day exploring the coastal sector of Castro. It is a scenic display of gently rolling hills that wind down to the coast. The streets are lined with small grocery stores and random curio shops. As you make your way closer to the coast you are greeted by the enticing smell of sea salt and an open air artisan market where you can buy nautical related things as well as fresh seafood. The Plazuela del Tren is a waterside area where you can observe the towns railroad past firsthand as well as random couples making out on benches. Heading closer to the big market, you pass a line of fine (smelling) seafood restaurants which serve some of the freshest fish you can get! In the market I decided to sample some local salmon ceviche which is a combination of lime marinated salmon tossed with cilantro and diced onion and served with a spicy ají sauce. The flavors are complex as the acidity of the lime cuts the fishy edge off of the raw salmon while the onion and cilantro add a more detailed and aromatic facet to the dish. The spicy ají seems to add just the right amount of savory heat to round out this intriguing seaside snack.



On a more scholastic note, my school observations are now done! Monday I dive headfirst into immersion English education and plan on starting out full speed ahead! I have been working to really determine the level of each class from 5 a√Īo (5th grade) to 4 medio (12th grade). It seems very much like the classroom demographics back home, a couple class clowns and a few star students with everyone else somewhere in between. One of the challenges is to really discern who can speak English on a basic level and is simply wrought with nervousness at the opportunity to present themselves to a native speaker, and who simply cannot produce. For this reason, regardless of subject matter I am going to take an age appropriate spin on reviewing basic greetings and self presentations. This should work well because I can fill in some of the knowledge gaps as well as to boost the confidence of the other students who can witness firsthand their own English speaking skills. I would have given anything to have an immersion experience back in high school. I appreciate the opportunity to have the flexibility to do my own thing in the classroom guided by the notes of my two head teachers. We are going to have 5 simple rules.

1. Respect (Yourself and others)

2. No Cell Phones!

3. English Only! ūüėČ

4. Try Your Hardest!

5. Positive Attitudes!


As I get ready for the first big drop on this roller coaster, I am reminded that nothing comes easy. If I am to expect my kids to give their best effort in class, then I have to give them my best effort, creativity, planning, in order to get them excited about where they are heading! One of my main leverage points to the naysayers is that “If I can learn your language and leave everything behind to come help you, you can certainly learn mine….close to home!” Let’s go!!



P.S. – I met my Chilean twin. Anyone who can bust out singing The Police or Queen music and who likes good beer and candy is probably my brother from another mother.





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