Monday, November 15, 2004

As an Introduction.../ À Guisa de Introdução...

My first question was: do I write a blog in English or in Portuguese?

In spite of having English as my main "writing" and "thinking" (academically) language in the past 8 years, I speak Portuguese at home with my husband and sons. I even write most of my journal entries (when I have time) in Portuguese. As a matter of fact, my 2 year and 8 months old son does not speak nor understand English - I can't even recount his witty and funny sayings here without translating and probably adulterating their meaning. Hence the mama in translation. More precisely, mamãe in translation since that's what I am, my son doesn't call me mama or mommy.

Some facts:
I am an ABD (all but dissertation) comparative literature doctoral student. My husband just got his Ph.D. in physics and is now working as a postdoc. We are foreign students from Brazil who just moved from MA to Philadelphia, PA.

For most of our graduate student careers, in addition to our respective TA and RA "jobs", we had a sponsorship from a private college in Brazil - that helped (meaning, we didn't starve, we were able to save some money, we even got a small townhouse) - but we owe a lot (healthcare, a few raises) to the strong graduate student union at our former university. Because of our flexible schedules as TA (me) and RA (husband), and my retired parents who came from Brazil to help, we never needed childcare for my oldest son (that's why he only speaks Portuguese), and I never stopped teaching (even in the summer) until I had my 2nd son last May.

I have no idea how I'm going to write my dissertation, now that my parents are back in Brazil. They spent 6 months here to help us in the crazy processes of caring for a toddler, having a baby, moving to a different city (selling one house, buying another), while my husband finished and defended his dissertation.

I'm currently a stay-at-home mom (lucky me! yes, I mean it... I feel sorry for those who need to have childcare for their precious children, e.g., in a new city, with very few friends, very little money, and the need to be endlessly creative to entertain a toddler, and keep an infant from screaming all day long. Of course I'm ready to scream myself!

That's why I started a blog.

PS1 on the "translation theme", should I mention that my dissertation is about translation?
OK, I just did, so, to be more precise, it's on Brazilians in English translation.

PS2 I want to "thank" my former teacher John Milton for starting a blog - I enjoyed it, and it motivated me to start one as well:

Sunday, November 14, 2004

a picture is worth...

Well, as my obsession with photographs would have it, the first thing I posted to my blog was a picture. I was trying to figure out how hello works so I could add a picture to my profile and then - click! - I added a photo as my first post. I hope it IS worth a thousand words, since I can't describe what my youngest son Linton means to me. Not even in a thousand words.

Mamãe & Linton Posted by Hello