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Friday, December 21, 2012

Library Committee 2013 Resolution

     After months without any post, "The Owl's Bookshelf" has opened a new chapter in the blog.  We have returned with many goals that we wish to accomplish.  And our first priority is the continue posting  again the committee's activities as well as relevant information about library services and my favorite topic- books.
     Before presenting our 2013 resolution, I want to thank the committee members Dr. Aida Caceres and Prof. Artemio Peñalbert for their support in accomplishing the goals of this committee.
     And here is our list of the 2013 resolution:
  • Continue weekly posts in the blog
  • Continue conducting surveys related to the library services our BA students benefit from as well as those used by our faculty
  • Conduct a formal research of the resources available and needed for a BA course.
  • Develop activities where the community can benefit of the library services and activities developed by the library committee
  • Provide updated bibliography of the resources that faculty members can use in their courses.
  • Create activities that promote the enjoyment of reading books.
I know these and many other goals will be reached for the chair has the priviledge of having excellent team of committee members.
     In the following days before the year 2013 is celebrated, "The Owl's Bookshelf" will have special posts of past activities that occurred this semester that had not been shared.  Beginning next week we will be walking down the memory lane.
     In the meantime, the Library Committee wishes you a very special season full of blessings, health and joy to you and your loved ones.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Welcome Back!

     The Owl's Bookshelf was inactive for several weeks due to technical difficulties encountered with the blog administrator's laptop.  But now that the technical issues are solved, the Library Committee wants to welcome you back to the blog. Our year's goal is to continue posting information relevant to our profession and that will benefit our BA students.  We also want to document the accomplishments of our department faculty.
      This post will be dedicated to languages and  how some languages are at this moment in danger of extinction.  While English is considered a lingua franca for business, travel and other related situations, Spanish has more speakers as well as Hindi and Mandarin Chinese.  Mandarin Chinese is classified as the language with the most speakers.
     National Geographic published in their July issue a series of articles about languages that are in danger of extinction. The project Enduring Voices has as its goal to document the languages that are in danger of dying out with the ever-growing globalization our contemporary world is experiencing. As the National Geographic web page states of this project that" Nearly 80 percent of the world's population speaks only one percent of its languages. When the   last speaker of a language dies, the world loses the knowledge that was contained in in that  language." The goal of this project is to help preserve threatened languages.
     One of the most impressive data presented in the national Geographic article is that every fourteen days, a language disappears from our world.  As English professors, we know the importance of preserving languages as well as learning new languages to express ourselves.  The knowledge of different languages open doors to better understanding of the diversity of cultures.
     As Frantz Fanon expressed, "I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization."
     So welcome back to "The Owl's Bookshelf".  Our next post will be dedicated to a former student of UPRH who is completing  her Master in Education and worked on a study related to assessment and teaching. 


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Paco and the Witch

Today I received a book I had ordered at Better World Books.  It is the picture book Paco and the Witch written by Felix Pitre and illustrated by Christy Hale.  This story is his retelling of a Puerto Rican folktale.
     When reading the book, I discovered many elements of traditional tales that are interwoven in this beautiful retelling.  Paco is a boy that goes to get the “turron” that his mother had forgotten to pick up.  On his way, he finds an old lady that is really a witch and tricks him into her home where he is imprisoned with a spell.  In order to escape, he must guess her name.  The story echoes “Hansel and Gretel” in having an imprisoned child as well as “Rumpelstiltskin” in the guessing of the name.
     Paco desperately tries to guess the witch’s name as he is given tasks to fulfill like picking up “leña” as well as a “gandules”.  In his third task and last opportunity to free himself by guessing  her name, he is befriended by a crab who becomes the key to his freedom.
     The story ends as a pour quoi tale where the reader is told why nowadays a crab runs to hide whenever it sees a person nearby.
     In this rainy day where I was looking for a ray of sunshine, the picture book Paco and the Witch brought the Caribbean sunshine within its beautifully illustrated book.  It is a book which I would recommend to enjoy and share with the young readers of your life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Soak up the Sea: Transcendental Elements in Palés Matos’ Canción de Mar

By Alejandra R. Menegol
     Today, the poetry of Luis Palés Matos is known in mainstream Puerto Rican culture mostly for its celebration of African blackness through lyrical verses and a concise choice of words that invoke a savage, ancestral darkness.
     The structure of the book Tuntún de Pasa y Grifería is arboreal, a metaphor of the evolution of blackness in our cultural, geographical, context: Tronco (trunk), Rama (branch) and Flor (flower). Their symbolic significance is not too hard to decipher. Implicitly, as we analyze this analogy, the roots go without mentioning because they are planted far off in the continent from which African woods were imported to the new world. The fruit, on the other hand, that which is born from the flowering of this metaphorical tree, should bear a new, adapted species of tree which is the future (we may argue, our present).
     Although most of the poems in Tuntún de Pasa y Grifería speak from, to and about an Antillian cultural context, specifically, a Puerto Rican one, his verses do speak on a universal level if significance is geographically transposed. One of the poems which transcends a specific cultural boundary is Canción de Mar (Sea Song), literally and figuratively. Canción de Mar exalts the oppressed, the savage other facing the otherness of the imperialist, civilized white race. He calls upon the universal by using images of geography, ancient mythology and religion from across the continents to illuminate visions of the flesh and bone who build the civilized world: darker skinned slaves. Africans, Indians, the Chinese, they all struggle against the continental imposition as seas, "push against the shores" to escape "the hole" that Destiny has placed them in. To crawl out and escape "the hole" is possibly, Palés' main theme, be it on a spiritual, intellectual or physical level. This escape should be the adaptation of the new seed born on islands and "New Worlds," the new breed of mestizo woods: people who have overcome oppression.
     The 1993 edition of Luis Palés Matos' Tuntún de Pasa y Grifería by Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico contains and insightful introduction by Mercedes López- Baralt and, as an epilogue for the actual book of poetry, a transcribed conference by Jaime Benítez (former chancellor and admirer of Palés') from 1938.
     López-Baralt comments:
"El valor último de la poesía de nuestro ilustre guayanés reside en su belleza, lo que Roland Barthes llamaría 'el placer del texto'. Las claves de su pujante creatividad están en la imaginería, la capacidad de articular un mito para expresar lo antillano, el ritmo, la ironía, el humor y autorreferencialidad.
La imagen palesiana abarca desde la metáfora nutricia y el feísmo, que culmina en lo grotesco, hasta el lirismo más quintaesenciado."
     She states that in spite of the ugliness we encounter (cannibalism, savagery, stench and violence), there is a lyrical beauty that makes this ugliness palatable in text, resulting in a beautiful textual outcome. Palés redeems our ancestral ugliness by making it into a caricature, a sort of mirror reflecting images we may feel tempted to reject, but cannot. We must accept it, own it, in order to overcome our cultural perils. Though this concern was poignant to Palés during his times, more than half a century ago, there are still traces of shame and inferiority complexes which threaten our spirits.
     Benítez elaborates on this notion is his conference, given at the UPR shortly after the publication of the first Edition of Tuntún:
"... lo caracteriza un decaimiento espiritual enorme, una sensación de inutilidad, de impotencia, de derrota.
[...] Es una actitud que o la vencemos o nos aniquila."
It is not to say that Palés is a pessimist, but critical. Bénitez also states:
"Veo en Palés un puertorriqueño, perdido en un laberinto, que busca una salida. Sus versos expresan ese laberinto, esa búsqueda y esa salida. Esto, claro está, no los explica. El arte no se explica, se gusta y se aprecia en distintas perspectivas."
     Palés' search for an exit from the labyrinth of cultural and spiritual bondage is relevant even today. There may still be a latent sense of helplessness and impotence among our people. There are countless examples! Those who feel they have to flee this island in order to truly prosper, to find the intellectual and spiritual identity and recognition we are unable to find within what is truly ours, for one. It is a curse that ails our collective unconscious (which Benítez mentions in reference to Carl Jung's theory.)
Canción de Mar personifies the oppressed as the sea, slave of continents. He, herculean slave, worker, miner, smith, who carries the white man upon his muscular, sun-burned back so that he may shine, unaware of his own, natural brilliance. 

Art: “Sea Song” by Sandra Mc Arthur

Canción de Mar
Dadme esa esponja y tendré el mar.
El mar en overol azul
abotonado de islas
y remendado de continentes,
luchando por salir de su agujero,
con los brazos tendidos empujando las costas.

Dadme esa esponja y tendré el mar.
Jornalero del Cosmos
con el torso de músculos brotado
y los sobacos de alga trasudándole yodo,
surcando el campo inmenso con reja de oleaje
para que Dios le siembre estrellas a voleo.

Dadme esa esponja y tendré el mar.
Peón de confianza y hércules de circo
en cuyos hombros luce su acrobático genio
la chiflada y versátil "troupe" de los meteoros...

Ved el tifón oblicuo y amarillo de China,
con su farolería de relámpagos
colándose a la vela de los juncos.
Allá el monzón, a la indostana,
el pluvioso cabello perfumado de sándalo
y el yagatán del rayo entre los dientes,
arroja sus eléctricas bengalas
contra el lujoso paquebote
que riega por las playas de incienso y cinamomo
la peste anglosajona del turismo.
Sobre su pata única, vertiginosamente,
gira y gira el tornado mordiéndose la cola
en trance de San Vito hasta caer redondo.
Le sigue el huracán loco del trópico
recién fugado de su celda de islas,
rasgándose con uñas de ráfagas cortantes
las camisas de fuerza que le ponen las nubes;
y detrás, el ciclón caliente y verde,
y sus desmelenadas mujeres de palmeras
fusiladas al plátano y al coco.

En el final despliegue va el simún africano
-seis milenios de arena faraónica
con su reseco tufo de momia y de pirámide-
La cellisca despluma sobre el agua
su gigantesca pájara de nieve.
Trombas hermafroditas
con sombrillas de seda y voces de barítono
cascan nueces de trueno en sus gargantas.
Pasa el iceberg, trono al garete,
del roto y desbandado imperio de los hielos
con su gran oso blanco
como un Haakón polar hacie el destierro,
levantando el hocico cual si husmease en la noche
la Osa Mayor rodada del ártico dominio;
y mangas de pie alígero y talle encorsetado
ondulan las caderas raudamente
en el salón grisperla del nublado,
y ocultan su embarazo
de barcas destripadas y sorbidas
en guardainfantes pálidas de bruma.)

Dadme esa esponja y tendré el mar.
Minero por las grutas de coral y madrépora
en la cerrada noche del abismo
-Himalaya invertido-
le alumbran vagos peces cuyas linternas sordas
disparan sin ruido en la tiniebla
flashes de agua de fósforo
y ojos desmesurados y fijos de escafandra.
Abajo es el imperio fabuloso:
la sombra de galeones sumergidos
desangrando monedas de oro pálidos y viejo;
las conchas entreabiertas como párpados
mostrando el ojo ciego y lunar de las perlas;
el pálido fantasma de ciudades hundidas
en el verdor crepuscular del agua...
remotas ulalumes de un sueño inenarrable
resbalado de monstruos que fluyen en silencio
por junglas submarinas y floras de trasmundo.

Dadme esa esponja y tendré el mar.
El mar infatigable, el mar reblede
contra su sino de forzado eterno,
para tirar del rischa en que la Aurora
con rostro arrociblanco de luna japonesa
rueda en su sol naciente sobre el agua;
para llenar las odres de las nubes;
para tejer con su salobre vaho
el broderí intangible de las nieblas;
para lanzar sus peces voladores
como últimas palomas mensajeras
a los barcos en viaje sin retorno;
para tragarse -hindú maravilloso-
la espada de Vishnú de la centella,
y para ser el comodín orfebre
cuando los iris, picaflores mágicos,
tiemblan libando en su corola azul,
o cuando Dios, como por distraerse,
arrójale pedradas de aerolitos
que él devuelve a las playas convertidas
en estrellas de mar y caracolas.

Dadme esa esponja y tendré el mar.
Hércules prodigioso
tallado a furia de aquilón y rayo
que hincha el tórax en ansia de infinito,
y en gimnástico impulso arrebatado
lucha para salir de su agujero
con los brazos tendidos empujando las costas.

     Palés asks for a sponge so that he may soak up the sea... but for what purpose? To wring him out to prosperity. Palés glorifies the sea-slave with the hope that he may, and he will, triumph over the shore.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Olga Buckley: An Aruban Children's Author

     This past semester, I took two Linguistics courses.  One was Syntax and the other course was Pidgins and Creole.    In both courses I had to write a paper and I decided to focus on the language of Papiamento and children's literature.  
     Anansesem the E-zine had published an article about children's books and Papiamento.  I contacted the author Anouska Kock for more information about her article.  Thanks to her help, I was able to communicate with Olga Buckley, an Aruban children author.
     Olga Buckley provided me with vital information to complete my research papers.  She shared with me her two books as well as a Papiamento textbook to learn the language.  I learned about her literacy project which has interested me due to the impact it produces not only in the children, but to all the family members.
     Today "The Owl's Bookshelf" has the great honor to interview Olga Buckley who has shared with us her literary projects.
   1. What languages are spoken in Aruba?
In Aruba we speak four  languages; Papiamento, Spanish, English and Dutch.
    2. What is the status of Papiamento in Aruba?
As of 2003, Papiamento is the second official language of Aruba.
    3. Can you tell us more about the language Papiamento?
Papiamento is a creole language, it is a mix of Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch. Papiamento has been the most used language since the 18th century, when it replaced the language of the Indians.
     4. As a teacher what subjects did you teach in Aruba and what language is used to teach these subjects?
I am a special education teacher. In special education Papiamento is the instruction language. This is also the case in pre- elementary schools
     5.  In what language are the textbooks that children use in their classroom? How does this affect the learning process?
In schools for special education the textbooks children use are in Papiamento. In the elementary schools, secondary schools and high schools the textbooks are mostly in Dutch.
     6. Are books written in Papiamento readily available for children in Aruba?
      Yes, they are, but we could use and need more, especially with a variety in themes and genres.
     7.  In addition of being an educator, you are also a writer. What inspired you to become a writer?
     This may sound a little bit as a cliché, but I always liked to write and tell stories. When I was at the beginning of my career as a special education teacher I felt the need for stories to catch the attention of the Aruban child. Stories they could identify themselves with. Characters that would appeal to their culture and language. Especially for boys this is the case. Boys want stories with human characters in them instead of all those  lizards and birds talking and being human.
    8.  What books have you published?  What are they about?
I published two books from the series of Bencho; ‘ Bencho ta dual’  and ‘ Bencho ta gana un bais’. This series is about an average boy Bencho who lives with his grandmother. He does not know his biological mother. In the first book, ‘Bencho ta dual;, Bencho  wanders the woods with his best friend Micho. They find a map, they think is of a treasure. Bencho gets annoyed with his friend Micho, who likes to bully him around and leaves him behind to go and look for the map on his own. On this trip he goes through a big adventure. The moral of the story is that you should not do to others what you would not like to be done to you.  In the second book we meet Bencho in school. We learn more about his grandmother, his dog and friend Nero. We also get a glimpse of his biological mother. His grandmother falls and has to go to the hospital. Bencho stays home to take care of himself with of a family friend. While shopping for groceries in the Supermarket Bencho learns that the supermarket is raffling a bike. Since Bencho is eager to have a bike of his own he would do anything to win this bike. Even take money from his grandmother… Finally he wins the bike, but loses a lot more. He cannot be present when the raffling takes place, because he has to be at his grandmother’s side in the hospital.
The moral of the story is that you can want something badly, but this does not have to be by all means. Some things you do not have  in your hands
9. Why have you decided to write in Papiamento instead of another language?
Because I wanted to share the joy of reading with the Aruban child and I am convinced that to enjoy reading this should be in the child’s native language. I also wanted to contribute to a proper collection of children’s literature in Papiamento.
    10.   What has been the readers’ reaction to your books?
Let me put it like this I’m very honored and happy to say that the first, the 1000 copies of the first Bencho are sold out. I got very good reactions from teachers and also from both kids. Kids always ask me, when I am going to write the third book of the series and what it is going to be about. Both books are being read in school.
11.   You are also the founder of the project Bon Nochi Drummi Dushi, what was the inspiration to create this project?
My inspiration was the need to share the joy of reading with the Aruban child. I wanted to motivate parents to read to their children, for several reasons:the importance of reading for the development of the child and  for the bonding between parent and child.
    12. Can you tell us what is Bon Nochi Drummi Dushi project about?
Bon Nochi Drumi Dushi is a reading promotion project. It’s main objective is visit homes in Aruba to tell stories or read to children and talk to parents about the importance of reading. Also offering families the opportunity to ask questions they might have about how to plan their reading activities with their kids. Bon Nochi Drumi Dushi has a variety of activities such as: reading bus tours, visits with the library bus in neighborhoods, T.V programs focusing on storytelling. DVD’s. Informational meetings and  reading quiz.
    13.  What have been the accomplishments of Bon Nochi Drummi Dushi up to the moment?
In five years our volunteers visited 1500 homes in Aruba. We have reached approximately 5000 children  with the various activities, We are on our way to make the Aruban community aware of the importance of reading.
    14. What are the future goals and activities of Bon Nochi Drummi Dushi?
The nearest activity in our planning is a survey to measure the outcome of the project. We want to know from the families we visited how the project affected their behavior towards reading. Also, we will be writing columns in one of two local newspapers with stories and information and subsequently create a storybook with the stories of the column. We also will be starting our storytelling  project for adults in the different neighborhoods,
    15.  What has been the support of people from Aruba to your project?  Has people from other neighboring countries or islands been inspired to begin similar projects?
The support from the people in Aruba has been tremendous. In 2007 we presented the project in Curacao for the library personnel, they launched it as a subject for the students of the teachers training college. In 2010 we presented it in Suriname. Here it is also part of the curriculum of the teachers training college. In 2011 we presented the project also for the personnel of the libraries in  St. Maarten, and St. Eustatius. In St. Maarten the project is called; Tell me a bedtime story.
   16. How important is to read to children from an early age in their mother tongue?
Very important. It has everything to do with how a child develops as a reader and listener. Reading will train the child’s  imagination at a very young age. The child learns to identify with its culture. Concepts he will learn on the way are being introduced in the stories he is told in his mother tongue.

     Olga Buckley has shown us how the love of literature can not only be shared with those close to us, but with dedication and motivation, it can impact great amount of people.  As Dr. Seus mentioned "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Un-Silencing the Afro-Puerto Rican Voice Project

On Saturday, June 9, 2012, I had the opportunity to share with participants of the Summer Institute sponsored by TESOL and hosted by the Southern Chapter.  In this activity I was able to present a preliminary overview of what I will be my dissertation which focuses in giving a voice to the Afro-Puerto Ricans in children’s literature.
     I have titled my project “Un-Silencing the Afro-Puerto Rican Voice: Puerto Rican Stories for Elementary School Children”.  This creative writing project consists of Caribbean retellings from an Afro-Puerto Rican perspective.  Most of my stories will focus on the period where the African slavery system existed in Puerto Rico with an emphasis on the 19th century.  Most of my stories will be inspired in European fairy tales such as “The Sleeping Beauty”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Frog Prince” and “Rapunzel”, just to name some of the fairy tales I have already used as the starting point of my writings.
     The origins of this project come from many different sources and experiences.  When I worked in the Department of Education as an English teacher, I faced the challenges that educators have and still face in the public school system.  Textbooks were assigned from above (meaning Department Education central office); chosen mostly from the criteria that they were excellent textbooks that have been successful out there (meaning the United States).  It was true that the stories were of outstanding qualities many times written by established authors, but when placed in the Puerto Rican classroom setting, these textbooks failed in the goals established.  Students struggled with stories which they had no interest that dealt with situations alien to them. 
     When I began working at the University of Puerto Rico Humacao, I was given the opportunity to teach Children’s Literature, one of my most favorite courses.  And I loved teaching the course, but some courses after being assigned Children’s Literature for the first time, reality slapped me on the face. Yes, I was teaching Children’s Literature but I was following the same path that our schools walked upon and brought so much academic frustration and resistance- I taught the classics and literature that came from an American and British background so unrelated to our students’ cultural background.
    So I then began my quest of Caribbean Children’s Literature.  I introduced Caribbean traditional tales and my students met Anancy the spider for the first time.  I included some Caribbean novels with very favorable responses.  But still Puerto Rican literature in English was lacking.
     One semester when teaching Young Adult Literature another course which is very significant to me, I mentioned to my group the lack of Young Adult Literature in English for Puerto Rican students.  I mentioned this observation to my students. I said that my dream was that maybe someday they would begin writing YA stories and we would have an established canon such as in the United States with books with themes that would reflect our students’ interests and concerns.  And that day, one of the students unveiled what was unknown to me up to that time- there was already an English professor writing YA Literature in English about the Puerto Rican reality our young adult readers faced.  That is when I was introduced with Dr. Anibal Muñoz’s literary work.  And after reading The Sweet Puerto Rican Money, a new literary world full of possibilities emerged.
     Another source for the development of this writing project came from the proposal that was approved by FoPI (Fondos para la Investigación) of the Academic Affairs Office at UPRH titled Electronic Storytelling Project (ESP) where I had the opportunity to organize conferences with author Edwin Fontanez who is the founder of Exit Studio, Dr. Loretta Collins of UPR- Rio Piedras Campus and even a décima workshop with a first year student who sings and writes trova. 
    The proposal concluding activity was that students from Children’s Literature would adapt or create their own Caribbean picture book.  This was an enriching experience where the talents and creativity of our BA students were seen with their electronic books.  During this time I wrote the pour quoi tale “The Coquí Song” to give an example to the participants of ESP of what could be their project about.
     The third influence for this writing project came with my graduate experience at UPR Rio Piedras.  In 2009 I began my studies towards a degree in Caribbean Linguistics.  Simultaneously I registered in a creative course offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. In my first graduate course offered by Dr. Mervyn Alleyne, I focused my research in the race issues of Puerto Rico and picture books that reflected this reality.  There I read and used for my final paper Fernando Picó’s The Red Comb.  In the following courses I continued working my research work in this area.
     In my creative writing course offered by Prof. Jan Fields, my writing was culturally relevant for Puerto Rican children.  For this writing course I wrote the essay “The Vejigantes are Coming” and the short stories “Adannaya’s Sugar” and “Amapola in Her Dream”.
     The culminating experience that has shaped my dissertation project came from my participation of Dr. Nicholas Faraclas’ course Language and Power.  My final presentation was about fairy tales and how the patriarchy model that appears in these tales.  And for this course I wrote the story “The Ungrateful Coquí” which was my form to challenge the patriarchal model still so strong today in traditional tales.  “The Ungrateful Coquí” has become the emblematic story of my dissertation.  After writing this story, I discovered what I really wanted to accomplish in my dissertation- write stories from an Afro-Puerto Rican perspective.
    Dr. Anibal Muñoz’s invitation first to become a member of PREWA (Puerto Rican English Writers Association) and recently to accompany PREWA in the TESOL Summer Institute held in La Catolica de Ponce has marked the second stage of my graduate studies. 
     Last Saturday, accompanied by my husband and daughter (who is the true inspiration of writing children’s stories), I had the opportunity to share with many outstanding educators who like the members of PREWA are compromised with the educational future of our students and the acquisition of a second language.  It was an experience that has motivated to continue writing more stories to include in my project and to continue my quest in giving a voice to those silenced throughout history.
     Many people have made possible to be today at the threshold of this second stage of my graduate studies.  One of these special persons is my mother who ever since I can remember has been there for me and my love for reading was sparkled with the novel Miss Bianca which she gave me when I was nine years old. My sister and brothers have supported my dreams and my father that even beyond life is still with me.
      I am also grateful for the English Department at UPRH first they received me as an undergraduate student where I completed my BA and years later they gave me the opportunity to be part of their faculty. 
     The Linguistic faculty at UPR Rio Piedras believed in me and has guided me to accomplish this goal.  I am especially grateful to Dr. Alicia Pousada who accepted being my advisor and has read my work and given suggestions in improving it. Another person who helped me in this second stage is Prof. Vivian Mayol who sponsored the writing competition where “The Ungrateful Coquí” was read beyond the course of Language and Power.  Thank you all and as well as to all my English students who inspire my work as an English educator.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Puerto Rican English Writers Association and TESOL Summer Institute

     On Saturday, Dr. Anibal Munoz, Prof. Noemi Perez and Prof. Carmen Milagros Torres participated of the TESOL Summer Institute at La Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Ponce promoting the Puerto Rican English Association (PREWA) as well as the writing project "Un-Silencing the Afro-Puerto Rican Voice".
     Participants of the Summer Institute were able to share with Dr. Anibal Munoz and become members of  PREWA which promotes the writing and use of culturally relevant literature in the English classroom.  It was an unforgettable experience where PREWA members had the opportunity to share with TESOL President Dr. Evelyn Lugo,TESOL members of the Southern Chapter members and members of different chapters of  Puerto Rico and even with a former student of UPRH Maribel Soto.
    We wish to acknowledge the support TESOL has given to PREWA and to the organizing committee of the Southern Chapter with a special thanks to Prof. Edward Torres.  The experience of sharing our literary work in Ponce was an enriching experience that will always be remembered.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ray Bradbury and Science Fiction

   June 5, 2012 marked a sad moment in the world of science fiction.  Ray Bradbury was the writer of such classics like "Fahrenheit 451" and The MartianChronicles.  Many of his literary works were adapted for television and other became movies.  He wrote 27 novels and over 600 short stories.
     Bradbury was influenced by Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Jules Vernes and Edgar Rice Burroughs. His aunt used to read stories to him when he was a child.  As a young boy he spent much time in the library.
     His career as an author began after being rejected into military service due to his eyesight.  He started writing science fiction stories such as "Hollerbochen's Dilemma" in 1938.  By 1942 he was a full time writer.  In addition to his fictional work, he wrote essays and articles on the arts and culture.
     While he did not see himself as a science fiction writer for he resisted categorization, The New York Times newspaper wrote that Bradbury was "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream." in his obituary.
    Bradbury died the day of the passing of Venus, a historical moment within the sphere of science and that sparkles the science fiction imagination of many people.  Reflecting his true essence projected in "Fahrenheit  451, he was skeptical about technology and did not accept that his books be converted into e-books.  
     Bradbury's contribution to literature will live on in our lives.  The Children's Literary Centre posted words of Bradbury that can now be applied to his valuable contribution to literature.  Bradbury once stated
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change ...something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.” 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reference Resources in the UPRH Library

Here is  a list of reference resources for students and faculty available at the UPRH Library.

Title and Author

Sabin, W. A. (2005). The Gregg reference manual: A manual of style, grammar, usage, and formatting (10th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Troyka, L. (2005). Simon & Schuster handbook for writers (7th. ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Steiner, R. (2004). Webster's New World international Spanish dictionary: English-Spanish, Spanish-English (2nd. ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Raimes, A., Jerskey, M. (2007). The open handbook: keys for writers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Soanes, C., Hawker, S. & Elliott, J. (eds). (2005). Pocket Oxford english dictionary (10th ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Soanes, C. (ed.). Pocket Oxford english dictionary (10th ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Kipfer, B. A. (ed.). Roget’s international thesaurus (7th ed.). New York: Collins.

Webster, M. (2005). Webster's new thesaurus of the english language. New York: Popular Group.

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (2010). (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Oxford American dictionary and thesaurus (2009). (2nd ed.) Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Business English Resources at UPRH Library

Here is the list of the Business English resources purchased for the use of students and faculty.

Business English
Title and Author

Satterwhite, Marilyn L., Olson, J. (2007). Business communication at work (3rd ed.). Boston: bMcGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Bovée, C. L. (2007). Business communication essentials (3rd. ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson / Prentice Hall.

Guffey, M. E. (2006). Business communication: Process and product. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.

Ober, S. (2009). Contemporary business communication (7th. ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Guffey, M. E. (2007). Mary Ellen Guffey's essentials of business communication (7th. ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

Satterwhite, M. L. (2007). Business communication at work (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Pérez, C. (1989). Introduction to business translation: A handbook in English-Spanish contrastive linguistics. Río Piedras, P. R.: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.