Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


A fun business trip with plenty of time to sample great food, drinks, and sights.

Off to Portland...
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Sometimes you meet people and you know the story is just begining...

When I met her we were both out with musicians, bonded instantly over our Mexicaness. In a room together the Argentine and the Puerto Rican would exclaim- Amor a la Mexicana!

She was the guerita and I was the morenita. We made plans for dinner parties, and double dates that would never happen.
At least not with them. It would take months before we finally sat down for that cafecito. There like ribbons our stories would unravel and we would laugh in mutual shock and horror...

We set out with our new found friendship- reclaiming spaces, catching up on life events like long lost primas...before the sun came up we had men offering us drinks, serving us patron, offering to build us bonfires. Some we accepted others declined as we navigated our way through the city night.

With the first sign of sunlight we said goodnight to the after-after party with the band. Laughed as we recounted the night moving easily from english to spanish and made plans into the summer...

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tennis Passport

When I was in Jr. High my Mom and my best friends Mom decided they would sign us up for tennis lessons at the Northridge park recreation center.

I remember it was the typical San Fernando Valley heat , there was a lot of drill and kill, and I thought where is the fun in chasing this ball around the court? I couldn't wait for the lessons to end. Maybe we took two six-week session because my best friend liked it and my mom had agreed to the carpool.

It was difficult to explain what I did not like about my tennis lessons back then. It was a sport I had enjoyed watching- I thought Wimbledon on TV was really a cool thing to follow. Even had a crush on Andre Agassi, remembered the adverts always featured champagne and strawberries and I thought- now that is my kind of tennis.

Over the years I would explain when asked if I played tennis- oh, it is not for me, did take lessons once and did not enjoy it. I was pretty adamant it was out of my skill set. Then a boy asked me if I played...again I said, no.

Over time, he reasoned if I had only one or two bad experiences with tennis maybe we should try again- just for fun. Trying to find a hobby in common, he did not like yoga, I did not want to do Capoeria, we settled on swimming and tennis. We were equally opposite, I had been swimming since I was five-years old and he grew up playing tennis. Maybe it was my competitive edge or, not wanting to be a complete disaster on the court- but I started to think I should take a tennis lesson or two.

My University has a tennis pro...And soon the summer session was starting so I inquired. I went shopping for a tennis skirt, and when the guy called me- I told him I was taking a lesson. Okay, he laughed let me know when you want to practice.

I arrived to my first noon time lesson with my directors blessing and her very nice Prince racket. The tennis pro changed my name indefinitely to Lenora and I wondered if I had any eye hand coordination, but felt no pressure and laughed at my mistakes.

The tennis pro told us stories and about his non-profit to get first generation school age tennis players on the courts. The next week I couldn't wait to go back. Again the tennis pro shared stories of all the public courts in the city, how easy it is to find partners to play with. Commented that before we knew it- Lenora would be organizing matches, I laughed.

He was right, suddenly as I shared with new and familiar friends I was enjoying my tennis lessons they all started to offer to play. Two of my colleagues took up the lessons with me. Our director already plays and offered to play doubles with us when we are ready.

So it has been about a month of lessons, and already I played with my colleagues at Sea Ranch, and yesterday the tennis pro held a lesson for us at his country club...needless to say the boy that reignited my tennis interest and I may never play, but perhaps there will be others.

This week a woman I am working on a committee with invited me to her club to play. Turns out she is just starting also and her husband plays really well. I don't know why but so far all the women I have met play less well than their partners. Is it a male dominated sport? What about- the Serena's, Martina's, Anna's of the tennis world? Fortunately for me, my girlfriends are not there yet.

My tennis pro said, "Lenora, tennis is like a passport, you can go anywhere with a descent game." I assured him I had a passport and was far from having any sort of 'game!' Needless to say my mom is glad I found my way back to the sport she always wanted me to play, and so am I.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

sunday perfect

Sun, bubbly, and popscicles on a perfect Sunday at Dolores Park with friends :)
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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Firecracker, firecracker, shish, boom, bah

It has been a beautiful week full of love...

The sun is out, new and familiar friendships abound and I feel very still. Woke with the urge to reorganize my closet- wardrobe rotation in anticipation of the Indian summer that lies ahead. Sun streaming through the kitchen, my friend and her husband both PhD's and writers shared with me their writing tips and routines. Over tea we talked about centering and writing, getting over the fear of what keeps us from carving words on paper.

Made it to two yoga classes, one tennis practice, and one personal training session this week and my body felt both stronger and sore. I think I am finally getting a hang of this fitness for health lifestyle thing...The Sunday yoga class set the tone for my week- "the opposite of love is fear. Be love," I knew this I thought, but it is always good to be reminded.

From the Sea Ranch to the city, was blessed to mix friendship and work the week through. July is off to a good start, lots of work to do and absolutely ready.

Danced at Dub Mission but that was trumped by Manicato at Afroliscous. Celebrated my favorite Chicanas birthday with botanitas and sparkling wine before dancing the night away with the girls Thursday night.

Enjoyed the holiday from my friends place in Twin Peaks, who hosted us with a veggie and meat spread that complimented her Mojito's perfectly! It was foggy, but no one seemed to mind. Caught up with girlfriends in passing moments as their husbands, boyfriends, dates, were out of ears reach...seems we all had quite a bit to share- the fireworks, couldn't possibly have been half as entertaining :)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Sea Ranch

Made it up the North coast, past Bodega Bay, Jenner, all the way to Sea Ranch. Saw where the Russian River meets the ocean along the way. We drove up the curvy tree lined road to the multi-story home that would be our remote work place for the next three days.

It was a packed agenda, planning how to carry out the vision and mission of the grant we work for in the upcoming year. It was a beautiful settings to set and create new goals. From the deck, through the trees, you could just peer a glimpse of the ocean below. The glass walls, made it easy to day dream- but it was just as easy to stay engaged on the work at hand; social justice, critical pedagogy, and service learning.

Three of us had no cell phone coverage which meant, no iphone and no blackberry for me. The house was not wireless ready, like we are accustomed to in about every inch of San Francisco. Somehow we survived, I would say I almost enjoyed the lack of connectivity- momentarily.

Of course it was not all work, made it to the hot tube on the deck, practiced our tennis on the courts facing the ocean, and enjoyed the beautiful setting while getting lots of work done :)