Words on Wednesday

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“In order to fulfill our aspirations we must toil,” my father said. “Nothing can be gained without hard work,” he repeated. When I was small I usually never understood what he meant by this; I thought money grew on trees, that the credit card was a magical object with which we could buy whatever we wanted. I didn’t know my father had to work for that money, I thought his job was more of a pastime.

Now, I realize how the world actually works. We must toil to gain what we want because nothing in this life is free. We must toil to become better persons and learn, because the person who does not toil will go nowhere in life. This is the reason I will work hard everyday, to fulfill my aspirations, and become a better person tomorrow.


Poetry Friday

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Five Minutes of Fantasy

Suddenly it is morning, again, so tiring, devoid of excitement. It is amazing how night can seem to only last five minutes.We close our eyes and enter a dream realm, where all of our most fantastic fantasies can come true. Sometimes, I just dream about chocolate; how it’s delicious sweet taste melts inside my mouth like ice cubes in summer. Other times, I tend to dream about school; how I overcome my fears with the might of a bullet.

It’s fascinating how our mind can create such figments; they always seem to trick my with the realistic feeling of joy or terror they make me feel. Then I hear the boisterous and perfect timed sound of the alarm clock, and enter reality once again.

Dreams are supposed to give us hope; to show us how good life can be. Occasionally I would love to stay there. In this particular place, where no one ages and every wish can come true.

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Memoir Monday


They Always Know Best

We ran through the field without stop, no time to rest, or else he would catch you. We ran, we ran, we ran. We passed through the tunnel and even the veranda, then we got to a little cement area. I continued to run as fast as I could but couldn’t help but trip on a thin cement elevation. I immediately checked my knees which were in terrible pain. Then, blood began to burst out in gigantic amounts from both of my knees, specially the right one. I instantly began to cry, I was in second grade after all.

My friends, Clementina, Victoria, Manuel, and Matias took me to the nurse’s room, but she wasn’t there. I had to wait for several minutes until she finally arrived and did what she thought was best; clean both of my knees, and put a medium sized band-aid on top of the ginormous scrape on my right knee, and a small band-aid on top of  the medium sized scrape on my left knee.

I stayed the rest of the day at school with a paper towel in my hand. Blood was flowing down my knees and falling on the ground, but every time I decided to ask the nurse for another band-aid she would refuse and say it would get better if I left it uncovered. I left the nurse’s room, again, but didn’t take the wet band-aid off, at least it helped me cover some parts of the wound.

I got home with my two knees swimming in blood and hurting terribly; then my mom took a look at me. I saw her analyze the situation carefully, and decide to first wash my knees again, then put some cream on, and cover my knees with sticking plaster. She made me feel so much better.

I hugged my mom and thanked her for her help. I instantly recognized that maybe moms do always know best.

To see my first Memoir Monday click here.


Slice of Life Thursday



I looked at the bulletin board and saw our names written underneath the MUN (Model United Nations) elective. We had made it! Ana and I were the only 8th graders on the list, and once lunch break ended, we were sort of nervous, but still made our way through the door of room 337, where Ms.Meadows awaited for the MUN participants.

We entered and took a sit, ready to start a new experience. I knew I would have to learn many things, such as how the MUN works in relation to the UN, the main organs of the UN, it’s origin , and many other things. Now, I admit that those tasks didn’t bother me at all, and didn’t take away one bit of the excitement I had for learning about the major issues in the world. I felt proud of myself for taking this risk.

Now, I am in an MYP club, with the bigger guys; growing up by taking risks and trying new things, because that’s the best way to live life at it’s maximum.

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Memoir Monday



“I practiced over and over again. My hands were sweaty, and my body trembling. What if I forgot the song? What if I made a mistake? How would I be able to move on? I had never performed a solo in front of an audience before, and my stage fright was as bad as it could be. Then I remember being called to stage.                                                           “Coming up next is Juliana Giraldo, performing the song “Time to say goodbye.”                  I went on stage and heard applauses, I was terrified, but decided to give this my best shot. Then, I began to play the song I chose with my violin, “Time to say goodbye” by Andrea Bocceli.

While I was on stage performing, I began to feel more comfortable, way more peaceful. Then… SQUEAK! I made a mistake, then, I lost my confidence. I looked at the crowd, but either way kept playing, this time better than before. I gained confidence once again, and finished strong. I was satisfied and relieved, my first performance had been pretty good. I knew I could defeat my fears now, and would perform again sometime soon.”

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Based on the vignette: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark, by Sandra Cisneros

        Your primo Camilo had an accident, Mama says one afternoon in the studio. Se murio, and then just like that, even though trying to look strong begins to cry, my brave Mama cries. I am not used to seeing Mama cry, so I just hug her and hope it will make her feel better.

        I know we will have to honor his death, that there will be a special ceremony just for him, all of my aunts and uncles will be there, all carrying flowers to arrange over his grave because this is how they show appreciation and respect to the dead in this country.

       Because I am the middle child, my mother has told me second, but now it is my responsibility to explain my sister. I will have to explain why Mama is so sad and somber. I will have to tell her to be quiet the rest of the day.

       My Mama, her long hair and long jeans, who begins to cook dinner in the afternoon, who holds her hair with giant clips, drinks her aguapanela, and calls us to eat dinner, today is standing besides me, hugging me.

       And I think if my own cousin died how would I feel. I hug my Mama in my arms. I hug and hug and hug her.

Original vignette: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark


Dear Diary – Esperanza

Dear Diary,

              Today I had my first day of work, I was really excited at first, but then after some hours of hard work all of that excitement vanished and what I could only feel was fear. I work at Peter Pan Photo Finishers packing negatives with prints in envelopes,  it was really easy but after some time tiring. I looked at everyone and only sat when they did. I took them as an example to fit in.  Then lunch time began. I was really scared to eat alone with all of these strangers, so I ate quickly in one of the washroom stalls, and then returned early to work. I continued to work until break time, I didn’t know what to do or where to go so I just went to the coatroom because there was a bench there.

              Later that day, at the time for the night shift/mid shift an older oriental man said hello. We continued to talk for a while, he kindly offered me his friendship and a spot besides him next lunchtime. It made me feel better. Then he he told me it was his birthday and as a present he wanted me to give him a kiss. I don’t know how I was so foolish, I should’ve known better for what happened that day when we tried on those nice high heels and a bum wanted Rachel to kiss him. I was brainless, naive. I fell under his trap and once I was about to kiss him on the cheek, he grabbed me hardly and kissed me right in the mouth. He didn’t let go. I was scared something else would happen rather than that kiss, that he would rape me, what could I do, I was just a girl, small and vulnerable. Fortunately nothing else happened.

Yours truly,


Reading related to sexual abuse on children


Where I am From Poem

Based on the poem from: George Ella Lyon

I am from books

From organized shelves and bubble wrap

I am from the brightest room

(Peaceful, secure, the breeze was what could only be heard)

I am from the snapdragon flower

Full of strength, growing every day with courage

I’m from the dinner table and big feet

From Hernan Giraldo and Margarita Mutis

I’m from the family sundays and Christmas family reunions

From “You are the eldest, you are supposed to be more responsible” and “You must take care of your sister”

I’m from the He sacrificed for us, and was hanged from a cross for the forgiveness of all sins

I am from Colombia

Lemons and cherries

From the parachute lesson my mother refused to complete during my grandfather’s military training

The tumultuous time my father had when he moved from Medellin to Bogota with his siblings.

On a TV table in my apartment are three photo albums, all filled with different faces and moments which have shaped our identity and kept us together through all this time.


Mystery Solved, Teenager Steals The Yellow Cadillac

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The yellow Cadillac before being crashed in Mango St.


This afternoon a Puerto Rican teenager from Mango Street stole and crashed a yellow Cadillac. After having stolen the automobile, he was seen again driving around in Mango Street with some cousins, sisters, and friends. When the young man heard the police sirens, he dropped everyone off and sped up, unable to manage the corner in such high speeds, the juvenile crashed the Cadillac into a lamp post where he came out without any serious wounds. In the other hand, the Cadillac’s front part was gravely damaged. The juvenile was handcuffed and taken to the Police station in a police cruiser. As they passed through Mango Street they saw his cousins, sisters, and friends waving at him as he was taken away.


By: Juliana Giraldo


Questioning my own bias:

Puerto Rican Male Crashes Yellow Cadillac in Mango Street

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The yellow Cadillac before being crashed in Mango St.

This afternoon a Puerto Rican male drove away from police and crashed a yellow Cadillac. After reaching Mango Street he was seen again driving with some cousins, sisters, and friends. When he heard the police sirens, he dropped everyone off and sped up, unable to manage the corner in such high speeds, he crashed the Cadillac into a lamp post where he came out without any serious wounds. In the other hand, the Cadillac’s front part was gravely damaged. The Puerto Rican male was handcuffed and taken to the Police station in a police cruiser. As they passed through Mango Street they saw his cousins, sisters, and friends waving at him as he was taken away.

By: Juliana Giraldo

Designing My Magazine Cover

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While creating my magazine cover I took into account contrast, consistency, layout and comprehensibility. I made sure that my cover wasn’t too full of unnecessary stuff that took out valuable space, everything in my magazine cover has a purpose, my background, colors, cover lines, main cover line, flashes, and heading.

I choose the picture in the background because it shows how Panama has evolutioned over time thanks to the contribution of these different ethnicities. The picture shows a black and white Panama a place were everything was divided in two, like the gold (high class) and silver roll (low class). Everything was a mess, the ground looked destroyed, it was a dark past, this image also gives credit to the different cultural groups and made them look valued due to their contribution to society.

I decided that my heading was going to be “Ethnicities in search of identity and Panamanian acceptance” because all of these ethnic groups had a though time assimilating into the Panamanian society, their culture and identity had to change in order to be accepted, because of this, many of them suffered a lot in Panama. As well, this heading had a strong relationship with collective identity and how these groups perceive themselves in relation to society.

My main cover line starts with a flash, I chose “exclusive” because I think it catches the attention of the public and makes it sound like you have to read it now, then it says, “The stories behind the different ethnicities that contributed to Panamanian society” I think this would catch a reader’s attention because you always hear a lot about many great constructions like the Panama canal, but you don’t hear much about who actually built it, the workers, and how they suffered throughout time.

I created my cover lines so that they sounded like a summary of the articles with a deeper since of identity, I think they are great and I would definitely want to read them because of the power they were given due to my selection words, I love them!

For my text I chose the colors black and white, this colors obviously contrast and make each other stand out which I think made the text readable and good looking. I also believe it made the cover look ancient which I believe is good because Panama has changed a lot since then, now it’s more diverse, it’s more colorful.

Someways I could improve for next time are choosing an image that looks more appealing to the public, because even though I chose the image for a reason it doesn’t really grab your attention in an instant, this could have taken away attention from my heading, and cover lines . I would also add a bar code.