“Please don’t make me go, please don’t make me go.” It is Valentine’s Day. I have on a bright red blouse to match the red purse my husband Frank gave me this morning. My eight year old son is in the back seat of our Mazda. We are arriving at the Croatian Cultural Center on Onondaga Avenue just at the corner of Alemany Boulevard in San Francisco.
This neighborhood is old San Francisco. It is a neighborhood filled with small, compact, single family homes. The living rooms perch on top of the garages, peering out at the street through their wide windows. The driveways divide up the street inefficiently, not leaving enough room for street parking between the dipped curbs. The colors of the house looks like a crayon box on Easter, pastel blue, peach and pink. An outlier has painted one house bright blue like the dome roofs of Santorini. This neighborhood remains untouched by San Francisco’s tech explosion. There are no throngs of twenty somethings, beer gardens, overpriced lattes or fishbowl condos. In this untouched corner lies the heart of San Francisco’s Croatian culture. Today is the Tamburitza Festival at the Croatian Cultural Center.
Continue reading Croatian Line Dancing on Valentine’s Day
Every year, I make New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions to exercise more, pay off my debt, watch what I eat and save more money. I know some people who make resolutions and some who do not. But at the end of the day, don’t these resolutions end up sounding pretty generic? They are more like declarations of values versus something new and exciting. Last year’s resolutions blur into the previous year’s.
So instead of making resolutions, why not pick a Theme for the year. Project Based Learning is all the rage now in early education. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Cool. Here’s how you pick your 2016 Theme PBL style. Pick a country where they do not speak your language, pick a language and plan a trip. There you go, you have a theme. For me, my theme for 2016 is half Croatian/ half Vietnamese. Kinda sounds like a San Francisco food truck. The plan is Croatia in June and then Vietnam next year.
So now that you have a theme, here are all the fun things that you can spend your year doing.
Continue reading How Learning a New Language Can Set Your Theme for the New Year