Don't walk alone after dark . . .
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
|Anta do Tapadão|
Here in Portugal you can't go too far without tripping over a megalithic monument. And earlier this week was no exception.
While touring the Upper Alentejo we visited the Anta do Tapadão near the village of Aldeia da Mata. This structure has been around for the last 5,000 years or so. It was built by the Celts and similar structures can be found elsewhere in Europe including the most famous site of all, Stonehenge. There has been much speculation as to the purpose of these monuments and some think that these sites held religious significance for their architects.
The Anta do Tapadão is said to be the best preserved anta in Portugal. But what is even more amazing is that we actually found the anta which is located atop a small mound along an unmarked path in the middle of someone's cow pasture.
There is a sign along the road indicating an entrance point on someone's farm. There is also a sign on the gate asking people to close the gate after entering but that's where the signposts end.
We walked straight along the main path assuming that we would see some kind of indication. There was a path to the right and further down there was a path to the left. We kept on the straight and narrow. We walked about 1 kilometer and didn't see anything. Finally, some workmen entered the property and we stopped them and they pointed us in the right direction.
This isn't the first time that we have visited national treasures on private property. These are often in the most surprising locales. Once we had to cross a large herd of grazing sheep on a farm with tailless cats to visit a menhir.
I can only say that the harder it is to find, the bigger the treat . . .
Saturday, October 26, 2013
If you look around your town, there are activities that can break the routine . . .
Sunday, October 13, 2013
These early days of autumn are spectacular. It's sweater weather - warm days and cool nights. Soon enough the damp will set in but before it does, bask in all that October offers.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
I started my first blog in 2005. It was a joint-educational venture with my good friend Dr. Cristina Costa (then Ensign Cristina Costa) when we were both working as English teachers at the Portuguese Navy in Alfeite. The blog was called From Stem To Stern - an oh so nautical theme. I just visited this blog after a lot of years and see that it doesn't look the same - the background is missing, as is the forum among other things. I can only say, "Oh well" and not feel bad about that. What remains are the memories of that moment. You can also get a pretty good idea about what the students were learning. Remember that edu-blogs (educational blogs) were very new then and this was ground breaking classroom practice. This was my first blog. You always have a soft spot for your first . . .
Since then I have spent a lot of time on blogs. I have created other blogs for lots of different kinds of students. There were more groups of Navy students, there were teachers who were my students when I was teaching teachers online, there were mothers that I taught to blog, there were OIS teachers who took a class from me when we were in the Fundição, yearbook students, SDIS CT blogs, OIS CT blogs, a Cyber-Kids blog (an after school activity that I ran one year), Year 4 blogs (these little kids were so enthusiastic about learning technologies), MYP English class blogs, a professional blog and a personal blog. In addition, I visit a lot of blogs. I love cooking blogs and visit a few on a regular basis. I know, who would have thought . . .
Yeah, I guess you can call me a blogger.
There seem to be lots of different reasons why people blog. Some links to sites that talk about this are: http://www.shoutmeloud.com/top-10-reasons-why-people-blog.html, http://www.briangardner.com/why-people-blog/,
I blog primarily for self-expression. I like to write. I like the part that I need to sit and focus on what I want to say. I have to think about it - whatever it is. I can pull my thoughts together and really decide what I think. It's contempletive, not reactive.
I had had several educational blogs before I created a personal blog. At first I felt a little vulnerable but then I realized that nobody really reads my personal blog anyway so no big deal - hahahahaha. And that's not a tragedy because there's a certain freedom in writing for yourself. You're not writing to please, entertain or impress; you are writing to meet your own needs - to figure things out, maybe to vent a bit, to commune with the universe. You are writing when it suits you and about topics that suit you. There's no "have to" associated with personal blogging. Ahhhh, already the pressure is off. A personal blog also charts one's journey through life. It's a kind of documentation of one's journey. Some years one blogs more, other years less. Some years are full of one thing, other years focus on other matters. If someone should happen upon my blog in their journey through cyberspace, I hope my blog will help that person find his/her voice and his/her reason to blog.
I understand that some of my students/former students have discovered my blog. Thank you so much as I am flattered that you find me interesting reading. Maybe you should start your own blog. I would be sure to "follow" you.
Yeah, that's right. I'm a blogger. . .
Sunday, August 18, 2013
|August 16 at Centro Congressos do Estoril|
I've finally had the opportunity to try this out.
The only thing I can say is that it's way cool. I want one . . .
Thursday, August 08, 2013
I recently went home. While I love my life and living in Portugal there's actually no place like home. . .
Some of my favorite things about Pittsburgh are:
Pittsburgh visit - July 29 - August 7, 2013
Some of my favorite things about Pittsburgh are:
Pittsburgh visit - July 29 - August 7, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Ahhhhhhhhh . . .
Thank you Kathie;-)
Monday, July 22, 2013
quote by Sir John Hegarty co-founder of Bartle Bogal Hegarty (BBH) a British advertising agency.
This Levi's commercial is a classic example of his creativity.
For more on creativity: http://www.fastcocreate.com/1683427/7-ways-to-boost-your-creativity
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Person A doesn't agree with Person B. Person B persists. Person A gets pissed at Person B. So far, ordinary. Now watch this. Instead of looking at things from another angle or blowing the whole thing off, Person B then gets double or even triple pissed because Person A is pissed and apparently Person A isn't supposed to have an opinion or perhaps is not entitled to a point of view or maybe is not permitted to express his/her feelings and should go along to get along. Anyway Person B elevates the situation to a war of silence. Brilliant move! Nothing gets solved this way . . .
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
2. I love to read and walk but not at the same time,
3. I'd like to take salsa lessons,
4. I used to drive a sports car - a 1976 Fiat Spider - white with red interior,
5. I love antique photographs . . .
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Get this, as we both approached a door at the same time the other day at work, a female colleague of mine held the door for me and said, "Age before beauty" and laughed all over the place. She then announced that it was just a joke and added some more ha ha ha's.
I was a bit taken aback as this would be a rude thing to say to anyone let alone to the oldest teacher in the school.
Just for the record: Not Funny
I just don't get it. But then I don't get a lot of things these days. . .
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Most people learn from a very young age that you can't have it both ways. And for most people, that is the rule.
And so it is with me. It's EITHER this way OR that - it can't be both.
PICK. ONE. PLEASE!
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
I am available to teach students who want to learn. No fees required.
Am looking forward to meeting such a student.
Please send someone soon as the world is in dire need of educated people who give a good toss about how things should be run and know the difference between right and wrong.
I am also qualified to teach the difference between right and wrong and more importantly the difference between right and almost right.
Thanks in advance for sending someone my way.
Teacher who gives a good toss and knows the difference between right and wrong
Friday, March 08, 2013
I graduated from high school in 1969. It was a different time and a different world. On one hand it seems like a very long time ago. On another, it seems like a blink of an eye.
A friend from high school died today. May he rest in peace.
You're never really sure what the day will bring. . .
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Sunday, February 03, 2013
I love living like a tourist. While I've been in Portugal for more than 16 years (and a year before that but who's counting), it never ceases to be a place of wonder. Its history dates back to prehistoric times and you find remnants of many cultures littered throughout the country.
A few months ago I bought a pack of cards entitled Lisbon walks. The deck has 52 suggestions for walking tours in and around Lisbon - 1 for each week of the year. The cards have a map and clearly show a route on one side and offer detailed information about the neighbourhood and what to see.
Yesterday's walk was #22 Industrial Villas. Evidently, "Lisbon's industrialisation brought integrated housing/factory constructions known as vilas, of singular architecture."
Vila Sousa is a good example.It was set in an old palace with a tile façade. You enter through the main doorway which opens up in a huge courtyard. The living quarters were organized according to the importance of those who lived there. This particular vila's courtyard was used in a famous Portuguese file, "O Pátio das Cantigas".
Although I have been to this area many times over the years, I will now look at it in a different way.
Look out Lisbon, here I come.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Monday, December 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
After going to the ATM machine late Friday afternoon, I stopped into my local florist shop to talk to Maria, the owner. Maria's shop opened a couple of years ago and she immediately became a fixture in our neighborhood. Maria was born in Brazil but has led an international life. That coupled with her language skills (she speaks English well) and her outgoing personality has endeared her to many in my little community.
It's sad but she is closing up shop this week and moving to Germany. She is reconnecting with her ex and starting a new life. Everyone, including me, is happy for her as new beginnings are always full of hope.
Maria had her laptop open and as we were saying our "keep in touches", we decided to become FB friends. I typed my name into the search for her because it was easier like that. Anyway, she was surprised that my last name was Dietrich as we were always Maria and Ramona to each other. Maria also has a "German" surname as her ex is German.
To make a long story short Maria made a very big deal about my name and how much she liked it and said, "You must love to tell people your name when you meet them." Well, I guess I never really thought about it that way, BUT I will now.
I think I need more people like her in my life.
Thanks a bunch Maria. You take the summer with you wherever you go. Good bye, good luck.
Friday, November 09, 2012
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Festas do Mar is a cultural event in which well known singers/groups perform nightly in the Cascais Bay. These events are FREE! August 24 featured David Fonseca.
Warm night, free concert, sangria - life is good!
for more info check out his website: http://www.davidfonseca.com/
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Well, Prince Harry is at it again - throwing caution to the wind and havin' a good time. Party on, Harry!
Nude photos of Prince Harry have surfaced and are all over the internet. It seems that Harry had a wild weekend in Las Vegas. This isn't the first time that Prince Harry of Wales has made headlines. There were the under-age drinking and cannabis scandals, followed by altercations with the police. There was the time he wore a Nazi officer's uniform to a fancy dress party and was photographed smiling all over the place totally unaware of how offensive that was. And we can't forget the various racial slurs ("our little Paki friend" and "raghead" to mention a few) he has uttered over the years.
In Las Vegas Harry has been making headlines with an unnamed female companion as they played a game of "strip pool". It's hard to tell who won as they both seem to be completely nude and the 8 ball is no where in sight . . . While not illegal, it shows Harry's lack of judgement. With all his (over) breeding, wealth, education and amazing opportunities he still can't seem to get it right. The "celebrity" role of a royal second son seems to be too hard to resist.
I can appreciate that fun is fun and all that but there's a limit. Along with the extraordinary circumstances into which he was born, there also comes a responsibility. Like it or not, he is a role model for young people. I get it that people (young and old alike) can screw up and that life is messy. I understand that the road to enlightenment is not a straight line but come on...
There seems to be a "boys will be boys" attitude on this story among many Brits. According to an article by JILL LAWLESS and RAPHAEL SATTER one London caregiver, Shirley Ashard, laughed at the news "I've got kids. They do things like that," the 59-year-old said. "He's a lad, for God's sake."
I can agree that dancing nude is not significantly noteworthy and might be great fun under different circumstances but Harry's life has been very high profile from the get go. For every advantage that Harry has had there was a lesson to learn. At 27, and as the 3rd in line to the British throne, he doesn't seem to understand the consequences of such folly.
Think, Harry, Think!!!! Cell phones, strangers, click click, nude photos, money to be made, instagram.
His conduct was unbecoming an officer. Shame on Harry, his mother would be very disappointed . . .
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Ahh. It was time well spent . . .
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
There is now a system in place in which they have a website and you can book an appointment in advance. Wow! That's progress. Only, it doesn't really work that way.
First of all I went to the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras - Service for Foreigners and Borders) in late March or early April to renew as I was on Easter break and had the time to do it. When I went to the office I was issued a number and stood in line to ask a question. I was told that I needed to book an appointment and I could only book one month in advance. I was told that I could do this online and was also given a phone number to call. Only it wasn't as easy as I was led to believe, but then again nothing is. . .
After several attempts to book online, I had to ask Luís to phone for me. My residence card was going to expire on June 16 and on May 22 I was finally able to book an appointment.The first appointment available was July 24 and I was instructed to arrive at 8:30 for my appointment. Only this was misleading because I showed up at 8:15 thinking that I had an 8:30 appointment but I didn't. The office opens at 8:30 and I was told to go to the back of the line to get a number. I would then wait for my number to be called and a person would check my documents and then send me to another line to wait to speak with someone else. WTH. To make a very long story short, I was at the SEF for just a little more than 5 hours. I was in 3 different lines: 1) for a person to check my docs and give me a number to stand in a line, 2) the agent approved my paperwork and gave me a number to stand in a line to pay the fee, and 3) the line where I paid my fee. One of the issues was that it is summer and 8 employees were on vacation which was definitely causing a problem. I waited about an hour to pay my fee (only 15€), as the clerk went out to lunch and there was no one to replace him and they never bothered to inform the people in the waiting room. I would like to mention here that there was no water fountain or vending machines in this building and not enough chairs for the people waiting.
Anyway, I would like to once again remind you that it doesn't surprise me that the world is a mess because the people who are running the show are totally clueless.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Every now and again we experience a Fellini moment. Those moments when the situation is so off-the-wall and bizarre that you wonder if it is really happening or if somehow you have become a character in Fellini film but then you remember that he's dead and you're not Italian so you must be awake and actually experiencing this.
I had a moment like that today. I had one of those pin-ball machine-like verbal exchanges full of sharp tones that jump from one thing to the next and never go anywhere or solve anything with my line manager. I'm taking this out of context but at one point she said to me and I quote, "Ramona, you are miserable."
And I wonder to myself in what context or under what circumstances or on what planet this would ever be acceptable . . .
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
I had to change my door today, the last display just wasn't working.
Will everyone just follow the damn rules? Will everyone occasionally say "Ok"? Greed, superficiality, and lack of respect for anyone and anything are running rampant. I see less and less attention to detail and bigger and bigger egos.
Christ, I hope my dentist, cardiologist, banker, chef at any restaurant I eat in and every other professional I come across on planet Earth care about what they hell they do and follow the rules and don't just do the parts of the job they "like".