Rabbits and Flan (by Javier Parellada)

My two favorite things in life are rabbits and flan. How can you NOT love rabbits and flan? Rabbits are funny, fluffy, and cuddly. And flan is simply a drop of heaven on earth. One day I´ll live in a world filled with rabbits and flan! YEEEAH!!!

Parellada just grabbed my computer, NOOOOOOO.

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October 22, 2012

Finally, my time of guiding the morning meeting arrived. I arrived earlier today, in order to set things up. Is also my group’s turn to have the roster and to feed everyone in the MPC. I brought some jocotes and chucherias for everyone. The morning meeting worked very fluidly, I shared with everyone my experience in a dialogue out of MPC, it was very weird to go back to the dark place. Bert told me that If I noticed that some people were being un-respectful, I should have speak up, the thing is that I was sort of intimidated because all of my ex professors were there and I was the youngest one in the room. Pablito, Diego and Alejo shared their experience in a Students For Liberty workshop at UFM on Saturday. I was feeling a little bit disappointed because Isa, Mabe, Franz and Lore were not on time for the meeting, I was not planning on that. Anyway, we also spoke about our Public Relations for the MPC, and about how we need to improve on them, many people think that we just waste our time the entire day. This really makes me mad because I feel like I have learned the same amount of stuff that I learned in EPRI in 5 month in 1 month of MPC. We need to work on our PR.

My activity: I didn’t want to show everyone a video as most of the people have done, even thou there are a bunch of videos that I would like to share with everyone. I gave everyone a sheet of paper and asked them to put their names on it. Then, I asked them to pass I to the person on the right and to write something nice about the other person. I forgot to mention how I named this activity, so if anyone reads this it was called “CELEBRATING WHATS WRIGHT WITH THE MPCers”. I participated in this activity too, it was hard for me at the beginning to think of nice things to write about other people, but as the time kept going I improved much more. I was supposed to give a minute for everyone to write what they celebrated about the MPCers, but then I realized that this was too little time, so when I noticed that people needed more time, I gave it to them. I am still trying to decipher what each of the MPCers wrote about me, because we wrote it anonymously. I’ll have to ask everyone haha. Lucia and Gabbi cried and other people like Diego, Carla and one of the Javier’s told me that they really enjoyed and liked this activity. I saw lots of people smiling because they were feeling happy by reading beautiful commentary about themselves and by the praise they were given. Sometimes we forget to look at the bright side of the picture and we only focus on the negative side. It’s important and necessary to celebrate what’s right with each of us if we are becoming a family and if we are spending so much time together and relying on each and every one of us.

Here, the beautiful comments that I received:

Here is a snapshot taken from Chacho’s blog regarding my activity:

With this said and done, is time to work on my documentation, which is what I am doing at the time, and then we’ll have Moris for our Greek lesson.

Then, we kept on reading “Self-Reliance” until page 5. What I got from my new reading is that we are the only ones responsible for ourselves. We also discussed about the government, of whether we need a government to secure our rights or whether we can protect them by ourselves. This government Issue came to the table because Emerson points out that we are born with rights that no one else can remove from us, the other “rights” that we have are a mere invention. “I cannot consent to pay for a privilege where I have intrinsic right.”

I made another connection between Emerson and Twain in this quote: “Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater” This relates to Corn-Pone Opinions where Twain mentions that the black philosopher used to say that we do as society states in order to get our bread and butter.

My notes on this dialogue include the following: Society can impose goodness, but that could be wrong, so we better follow our principles and do what is right for us (instead of doing what society states as good, even if it doesn’t follow our principles). “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.”
There is not external force that will absolve you from your mistakes, is just you being responsible for your own acts and self. Marcela related this with the Catholic Church, because when one confesses its sins the priest says “I absolve you from your sins”. Emerson would disagree, and would state that the only responsible for our acts, are us (ourselves).

We also had a meeting regarding the MPC logo issue. We decided to post our logos in our Facebook page, and we showed the ones that are made by now. Only Alejo, Grace and I showed our logos and most of the MPCers liked Alejos’s logo more, but Bert argued that it was too flowery and that we could work on it in order to make it cooler.

It was our turn (my group: Grace, Pablito and myself) to present our solution to problem number 20 from Project Euler. We had the first part of the solution to this problem, but we were missing the last part. It could have been done with Mabe’s method using the modulo % but we wanted to solve the problem in a different way. So, we presented what we had done to the class and together we finally found another way of doing the second part of the problem. It was by using Pablito’s method of strings, to assign an index position to every number and then to sum them. Here is a print screen of our solution in Cloud 9, also the correct answer from Project Euler aaaand a picture of Pablito and I after proving that our solution to this problem was the right one.


During the debrief we discussed what we could do in order to make the Greek and Programming class better and the MPC in general. We discussed about the attitudes of some people toward certain classes. I, personally practiced Susan Campbell’s tactics on saying “I see that you are doing this ___, I imagine that you do so because of this ____”. This really helped me to clarify some stuff that needed to be clarified. Gabbi mentioned that she had some issues with the MPC because she felt that she was not able to do the same things that we all do and that she didn’t feel capable of achieving what we have to achieve. We all told her that she is an amazing person and that if she puts effort in catching up, she will be able to do so. We also told her that we loved her and that she could count on us for whatever she needed. At the end the Javieres took her in their arms and were throwing her in the air. We were all saying “Gabbi” “Gabbi”. Then, many people hugged her and told her that she could count on us, including myself. Oh, an Bert mentioned that he knew before starting this program that at this time of the semester, some people were going to be considering getting out or quitting because of the many things we need to get done by now. Also, things are going to get uglier, we will have even more stuff to do.

October 16, 2012

Today’s morning meeting was directed by Pablito. He showed us a video of the oldest women survivor of the holocaust, she plays the piano and loves music and is a very happy person. Pablito talked about his love for classical music and showed us a link where we can learn more about music.

http://epdlp.com/

Then, I talked with Gabbi and Diego about the power we as humans have, a power that allows us to destroy or to create huge things. We talked about our spiritual beliefs. I shared with them that I do believe that we have a spirit, and that I don’t want nor think that when we die everything ends for us. I also believe that there is a God, someone powerful and able to create things, but I’m not sure if it is the same God that the Christians believe in (Jesus). I do believe in demons and in the power of our spirits and the human race. It’s amazing to think about this stuff, but it is very difficult to encounter and experiment with our experiments. I personally am too coward to do so. Dear Soul of mine, if you are reading this I love you haha. I found interesting Diego’s believes. He said he believes in reincarnation, and that when we behave good in this life, we get to live a greater one. When we live a not so good one, we die and reincarnate to a worst life. When we achieve the top of the learning and wisdom pyramid, we stop reincarnating and become free souls or something like that. I have to quote Gabbi in this: “ay, Jesucito”. What is out there, how the universe works, THAT we don’t know, THAT we are far from knowing, but that knowledge humanity constantly and permanently seeks.

Then, we had our Euclid lesson. Ingrid surprised us because today’s task was to get into our groups and explain the 3 first postulates of Euclid. What worries me is that without looking at the answer I really can’t work with this things. It´s very frustrating for me not to know something, and I really need to be more real about it and say it. I was thinking of how could I document my Euclid learning and that may be by explaining it and vloging it. Besides, Euclid teaches precision, and his work is amazing and how he got things done many, many time ago. I know that I will be able to nail this, but I will have to work hard to achieve this.

October 15, 2012

Today Kata directed the morning meeting. Many people shared about the good time we had in Ati, and we also shared with Franz and Lore who were not able to come with us, our handbook task (the question that was given to us).  I guess that we really feel more like a family by now. Kata showed us a video about the Mayans and about the history of Halloween from a very cool page that I’ll visit more haha. Kata noticed some mistakes from the video that none of us could see until she mentioned them,  she really likes history!

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/videos#bet-you-didnt-know-halloween

http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/did-the-maya-think-the-world-would-end-in-december-2012

Oh, and today is Majo’s birthday so we sang the the happy birthday song and ate cake (cooked by Marce, Lucia and Kata), I really hope I don’t die by eating this, hahaha.
We were supposed to have a Greek lesson, but Moris didn’t arrive, so I just used this time to catch up with my Greek lessons, read and documented for the rest of the morning. I scanned some documents that I needed to post in this blog, which I already uploaded. It feels good to get things done.

During Performing Arts, Javier Tabush directed and activity called “The Trip”. We were told to close our eyes and try to imagine the things that Tabush was describing, but we shall try to use our five senses while trying to do this. He told us to imagine a place where we could relax and enjoy ourselves, I imagine an island where I was alone, looking at the sky and the sea, laying in the sand and looking at the threes and the brightness of the sky and the majesty of the light. I smelled the sand and the nature of the place. Then, I was in my room, looking at the details of the walls, the books, the closet, etc. Then, we were told to imagine that we traveled to a place that we really want to go. I went to Paris at the beginning, but then I thought that going to Paris was not my dream, so I decided to visit the entire continent of Europe, so I was in many places at a time. Oh, and I packed without really knowing where was I going, I remember packing a bikini swimsuit, smelling it and touching it, I remember the touch of it, and I don’t remember what else did I put inside of my backpack. Then, I went to China, I was unconsciously wishing I could get to see my best friend who is currently studying there, but I was just walking through the streets in China, wishing to see her, but couldn’t find her. Then, I just changed places, and was again in Europe, and finally was in a restaurant in China which was decorated with a European style, and there I found a friend from my school (the person I least expected to find there). When we were told to open the eyes I felt sad, I felt something in my chest, it was grief or something like that. The thing is, that my best friend’s birthday was last Monday, but I, being in the Iguana Perdida, utterly forgot and she called me on Saturday from China to tell me to get on Skype (as she always does), I said yes, and I talked with her about me in Skype, I didn’t even remember that it had been her birthday. So I just talked about me, as I always do, which is making me feel regretful because it’s always me, I really should listen more to what other people have to share and say. So, finally asked how was her life going and she told me: “oh, yesterday I went out for dinner to celebrate my birthday”. I felt like a piece of crap at the moment, because I know that she has been feeling sad and lonely these last days in China. When we debriefed this activity I shared with everyone the grief and pain I was feeling in the chest, because of my friend, Sheidy, and started crying right away. I felt better after doing this, though. Mabe showed me this: http://thenicestplaceontheinter.net/ Need a hug?

We read the first paragraph of Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. My conclusions from this reading are these: You should express your latent condition. Make public your discoveries and thoughts. Don’t be ashamed to think. Don’t turn off the voices in your head that you get while reading other people’s thoughts, these are the most important. Express what you think, even if it is a very radical or different idea from the common thought. Isa and Javier P shared that when one has the answer to a question that someone asks, but is insecure about being correct or incorrect, and then, listening to someone after a lot more time say what you thought at the beginning, and everyone congratulating this person for finding the answer to the question. In the second paragraph I found my favorite quote of what we read today, is a long and extremely profound quote. What I loved the most is the last part, were Emerson makes it clear that we have to work hard for what we want, and that nothing is going to come to your hands if you don’t put effort into it.
“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction
that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself
for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full
of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil
bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power
which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is
which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried”
http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/~doyle/docs/self/self.pdf

With Kyle we kept our group work, and we were supposed to present our groups problems. I still haven’t pass, but I will do next class, I’ll be posting here the links and the solution to Project Euler number 20. I still need to work in one part of it, I want to arrange it for next class. Mabe, and specially Alejo and Diego made a great effort and put a lot of time into their problems and I feel like doing the same in order to explain myself better when I present next class. I talked with Lore, Isa, Gabbi and Diego about why it is so difficult for people to absorb, understand and like the capitalism theory. We also talked about the future of the US, with the elections taking place next month. I think that both Obama and Romney will suck as presidents. I also think that Obama is going to win this election again. It saddens me to see a country that was so prosperous like the US, fall down because of the stupidity of this last generation, which ruined what the founding fathers did to grow it as it grew. This candidates seem more like our Guatemalan candidates, promising stuff and Obama trying to see what he can give to the people as a gift from the government in order to win again. I really hope they don’t give the “bolsa solidaria” in the States in a few years, because if they continue with this unsustainable socialist principles to govern their country, that’s how they’ll finish. Isa mentioned that she went to conference where some expert said that there would need to pass about 63 years in Guatemala in order to eliminate poverty. I really embrace the idea of people taking responsibility of themselves, as Benjamin Franklin did since he was 11 years old, he really deserves to be in the hundred bill haha. I also talked with Kyle about his library project, and how amazing I think these projects are. If we could only get kids to read, they wouldn’t need teachers or schools and the government shall save that money and use it in other stuff. I have this idea of having huge libraries, with about two people working on them, people who love to read, and who would love to teach others to read and the love of reading. So, this persons would share teach the kids and adults that don’t know how to read to do so, and then let them explore the amazing world of books and learning.

Sept 27

Today Chacho directed the morning meeting. He showed us some really cool magic tricks. It was pretty awesome to see Chacho as the main center of attention because most of the time he is very quiet and he seem timid, maybe when he gets more conformable around us, like today, he will speak out more and show us more of himself. His tricks are awesome!!!!


We had two cool visitors today, Scott Lee and Richard Kamber, which are Moris Polanco’s (our Greek teacher) friends that he met in a Greek convention in the States. We were supposed to talk with this two teachers about the importance of Greek and Latin in our day, but we ended up discussing more about the MPC program and the “How to Read a Book” book. This professors were very curious and interested on our program here at UFM so that’s mainly what we talked about. We discussed some of the book, but not too much since we have only read chapters one, two and three. I can’t remember who of our visitors asked this, but one of them asked if we had any book that we read and would want to read again.

Mabe Fratti

Last week I forgot to write about Mabe, my classmate who rocks the music world!

Here is a link to listen and download to her songs, and to Boreal, the song she showed us last week in MPC.

Mabe is very artistic. I’ve seen some of her drawings and they are beautiful, as amazing as her music.