Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School During the US Open = Awful


(More back to school comics at Our Classroom Blog)

The US Open at Flushing Meadows and school starting the same week. Not very fair for me, not very fair at all… Just when I wanted to spend the whole week watching tennis on TV and go over there to Queens a couple times to follow my fellow Argentine players (Go Del Potro!) and maybe my fave for the women - Kim Clijsters, I’m called to that first week of post-summer work. For my last day of freedom today I’ll watch tennis all day long and visit my favorite blogs…


My US Open Expert Predictions

Men’s Final :

Federer beats Del Potro (picture) in 4 sets.

Women’s Final

Safina beats Venus Williams in 2 sets.

Upsets – Nadal and Serena are losing before the Quarterfinals… Bold, very bold.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Love Mid-20th Century Style - September 1940

As I continue my Summer project of cataloguing the beautiful love and family of my grandparents, I came upon this new letter from my grandfather Antonio to my grandma that I wanted to share, and her telegram response. In 1940, a few years before Harvard and their first visit to the US they would have been in their late teens/early twenties.

Antonio Gomariz, September 2nd, 1940

“Debo tenerte pronto”

No puedo vivir sin ti.

Mi Corazon esta triste cuando tu estas lejos.

Te amo.

Mi Corazon late furiosamente cuando te ve y es incapaz de mover la sangre de mis venas cuando estas lejos de el.

La unica cosa que me agrada aparte de ti es recordarte!




“I must have you soon”

I cannot live without you.

My heart is sad when you’re far.

I love you.

My heart beats furiously when it sees you and is unable to even move the blood within my veins when you’re far from it.

The only thing I love aside from you is remembering you!

________________________


Ethel Barres, September 6th, 1940 (Via Telegram)


Mi alma:


Recordandote paso deliciosas horas.

Pues horas y horas es lo que estas conmigo

Te adoro negro mio entranablemente; con alma y razon.

Tu amor es lo mas preciado y precioso de mi vida interior.


Recordarte es para mi dulzura y dicha.





My soul:


I spend delicious hours remembering you,

Hours upon hours you are with me here,

I adore you my endearing, enduring love: with soul and reason

Your love is that most precious and prized within me.


Remembering you is sweetness and sanity.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Remembering Ted Kennedy Part II

Anonymous Response to 'Remembering Ted Kennedy' Post,

"There was another side to the late senator. You have covered his commendable efforts in the Senate. Let us not forget that he was suspended from Harvard for two years for cheating, was directly responsible for the death of one beautiful young woman, and lived the wild frat boy life in DC while married to Joan.

To many of us Irish Americans he fit the drunken Irish Rover stereotype for far too long. Also, his enthusiastic embrace of abortion - which he saw as Liberal dogma - was and is perhaps the greatest betrayal of his Catholic faith one could imagine (and this is beyond the Harvard, Chappaquiddick, and late-night party boy incidents),
On balance, those of us who are familiar with the Kennedy's place him fourth of the family male quartet...well behind Joe Jr (the best), Jack, and Bobby. And of course, his life pales as compared to Eunice.

So, remember the good work of the late dissipated senator but remember the bad deeds as well. We could have had more good if he could have restrained himself from the bad."

The New York Times yesterday, did an excellent job balancing Kennedy's obit between the 'good' and the 'bad' but I feel that highlighting the negative immediately after a public figure passes is almost more self-serving and sensationalistic than fair and balanced. I do agree though that this comment makes some excellent points other than the comparison to his brothers that I feel is unfair to begin with, and debatable beyond.

Thanks for the comment and balance!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering Ted Kennedy


Ted Kennedy was a great American legislator, an amazing leader and an inspiring man. I received my Political Science degree at Duke after studying reforms, regulations, and acts that Teddy had a hand in. Any good study of American (or International/Comparative) Politics is incomplete without interacting with his ideology and relentless work ethic. As a Masters in the sociology of education I struggled with the NCLB act he spearheaded alongside Bush and understood his work in closing the racial and socioeconomic achievement gap in schools. We learned of his great efforts directed towards the American student.

To honor Kennedy, we should do as he said as he gave up the possibility of nomination for Democratic candidate for president in 1980. "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. ...” The three following causes were a big part of a life he spent in service of the American people. They are three causes that I at least, will work on to keep the dream alive.

* Health Care as a Fundamental Right for All –

“This is the cause of my life.” Kennedy’s life work is forever entangled with Health Care reform. His return to the Senate after his initial scare and operation on his incurable brain cancer are indicative of how close Kennedy thinks we currently are to being able to advance the cause of Universal Health Care. I am keeping an open mind, and listening to all the voices and differing opinions as Kennedy undoubtedly did and would continue to do. I am also keeping in mind the millions of families that can’t afford to take care of themselves and the other millions that are unaware that their health care coverage is insufficient.

* Access to Education and NCLB –

Yes, Kennedy’s partnership with W. spearheaded “No Child Left Behind.” Kennedy sponsored the bill because we track for the first time the inequality in academic achievement and access between students of different races so that we can focus on closing the achievement gap. The problems with NCLB are numerous and have been well documented, so I don’t feel like I should discuss them once again here. That instinct to protect minority populations and forgotten students through accountability is one that should live on (and does). Our efforts to give ALL children the opportunity to be successful should be informed by Kennedy and redoubled.

* Immigration Reform

The failed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, the failed Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, (2005) and partnership with Republicans and Democrats alike are just the beginning of Ted’s resume on immigration. After all is said and done, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act will have been his biggest contribution to immigration reform, an act that abolished national-origin quotas that had been in place since 1924. The Boston Globe in 2008 argued that President Obama’s successful candidacy could trace its roots back to that Ted Kennedy sponsored ’65 Act. Ted Kennedy’s belief that everyone that would contribute to the American project should be granted access to the American dream while protecting those who need government protection here is commendable and a great example to follow.


Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fastest and Cheapest Way to get to JFK/La Guardia/Newark

Late for your flight, broke or curious, I have answers for all three of you no matter what airport you’re heading out to. That is as long as you’re leaving from or going through Manhattan. If you need to figure out how to do the opposite, that is – get back to the city from the airports, just turn your computer over and read it all upside down. It works.

The Fastest and the Cheapest-
I mean within reason here, we all know that if I went outside now and started walking over to Newark I would at some point probably make it over there, and if you’re leaving from the heliport then what are you doing reading this anyways, go close that deal!

JFK

Fastest Yeah a cab here is almost certainly gonna be your fastest option over to JFK. From anywhere in Manhattan, you’re gonna dish out $50-65 dollars and tip unless you want a very angry cabbie. Car services are cuter and reliable and sometimes cheaper.

Price - $60
Time – 30-1hr

Cheapest- You should spend $2.25 in 2009 dollars to take whichever train you’re coming from to the L train, take that to Broadway Junction and take the B15 bus all the way to the airport. If you want to skip the bus part, which does take a bit longer, take the A train at Broadway Junction to JFK add $5 for the AirTran.

Price - $2.25-$7.25
Time – 1hr-1.5hr

La Guardia

Fastest – Debatable, debatable. If you’re close to the NQRW line and its rush-hour it might be one of those special times when cheapest and fastest collide. Otherwise and for more convenience take a $35 cab ride over the triboro or through the tunnel, you’ll be there in no time.
Price - $35
Time – 25-45mins.

Cheapest – Lots of great train to bus options with M60 involved. I like to take the N,W just because if there’s any traffic leaving the city you don’t get it. If you’re already uptown though head up to 125th street on the East or West side and take the M60 over. Either way, you shouldn’t pay more than $2.25

Price- $2.25
Time – 30-75mins

Newark

Fastest- You couldn’t make better travel plans? Well, Ok, you have a choice here for fast, but I would have to recommend the taxi, it might take you just 45mins, but getting out of the city is horrible and Newark is most definitely out of the city.

Price - $60
Time – 45-1.5hrs

Cheapest – There’s two equally good options. (a) The first is taking a subway to Penn Station, NJ Transit train 3 stops to the airport. (b) The other is taking the COACHUSA bus from Port Authority/Byant Park/Grand Central.

(c) There’s an even cheaper option involving the PATHs that I’m gonna just mention (PATH to Journal Square, Different PATH to Newark Stop, NJ transit to Airport, AirTran), it comes to around $13 instead of the $17 it takes to go from Penn Station.

Price –
(a) - $17
(b) - $17 or $14.50 with roundtrip ticket. Plus kids under 12 ride free and students between 12-16 pay $10 instead of $15
(c) – $13

Time – 1hr-2hrs

Happy Travels hope this helps!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Front Page Video - Gramercy Park Tutors

Any suggestions?  Other than a little Music upgrade, I'm stuck at a foreign no-music computer over here!!  This is one of the three 'samples'!



Tell me what you guys think-- It'll be bigger and clearer on the actual website :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Love Brett Favre going to the Vikings

10. Dad Loves the Guy
My dad can call me every Sunday and tell me how amazing Favre was – without the least consideration of how he really played.

9. Sexy Wrangler All-American Jeans
I can watch those more of those All-American Wrangler Jeans over and over during the commercial breaks of all NFL games.

8. Someone Other Than me will pick him up in my Fantasy League
And I’ll win those two games without even trying. Unless they're on...

7. Monday Night Football Spectacular
He’ll be amazing, he’ll win the game single handedly, and it’ll matter cause its against the Bears Week 17 and AP will have kept em in the playoff hunt.

6. Packers Fans Will be Miserable
But they’ll deserve it because they’ve made us miserable with their fun cheeseheads and Aaron Rodgers for too long.

5. Madden Comeback
I can’t believe Madden has left the broadcasting booth, if anything will get him back its gonna be old Brett coming back for one more.

4. Take the Spotlight off my Eagles
I don’t know if signing Vick was the best quarterback pre-season move, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. Just kidding, love Vick and second chances, go Eagles!

3. Indoor/Outdoor References
Frozen tundra of Lambeau vs. MetroDOME. Are you ready for these? There’s gonna be a bunch.

2. 5 O’Clock Shadow
Brett loves looking scruff, and I love the look. The NFC North will be Brett’s scruff vs. Cutler’s mountain man Winter beard.

1. I Love Brett Favre
What a guy, what a story, I’ll be watching every single Vikings game Brett, and rooting for a guy we can all empathize with that loves playing the game so damn much.

Go Favre!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Ad Rejects 5

Damn you Jon Gosselin for ruining not only my favorite sextuplet family but also my very own livelihood... Hope you enjoy your floozies, you bad, bad, distracted man!!  Kate you are a sweet sweet monster of a woman and your kids are welcome at our beautiful community anytime!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Academically Atypical Adventures of Cash and Bart - Chapter 3 - Ready or Not

Cax and Bart excitedly emailed me back and forth their upcoming class schedules, their new apartment details and everything about new friends they were making. Upon hearing their proposed schedule I quantified their college preparedness in the following way :



Hey not that we do a bad job at the Ixtatan Foundation, but our Math program pretty much tops out at fractions, our English campaign is very song and colors-intensive if you know what I mean, and our Economics department in the rural school really consists of chip-buying-decisionmaking. (Seno Angela is a big 'Contabilidad' star regardless).

Thankfully, I was far more scared than the kids were, I guess it helped to not know what Differential Calculus was at that point.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Free (or almost) and Fun for the NYC family - Episode III

After a week of blatantly ignoring my NYC families hungry for free and fun family events here they are again on their own. Traveling on the only road they’ve ever known. Two of these events are tomorrow so you best make yourself a busy Friday. Here they go:

1. Free Bike Friday – Governor’s Island.

Ok here it is, the awesomest thing to do in my opinion with the little guys on a Friday. You take the free ferry that leaves from the South Ferry station (1,N,R) over to Governor’s island. Already plenty of opportunity to talk about pirating, conquistadors, mermaids, all those fun water things. Then, as if this weren’t enough, there’s free 1 hour bike rentals. Bike around the cute little island for an hour, check out the crazy military forts therein and you’ll have gotten your daily exercise. After you return the bikes, enjoy a complimentary (!) round of mini-golf or head over to the picnic area. Nice huh?

2. Madagascar Friday – Free Movies at Pier 46, West St at Charles St. Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq

Check out the earlier post about this. Most importantly, I’ll be there with a handful of tutors and friends promoting Gramercy Park Tutors. Oh there’ll be balloons and cute t-shirts that I’ve made for us and they’ll be an invitation to go on the website and win all kinds of free things, like tickets to the upcoming US Open. If you tell me you know me from the blog, automatic winner!

3. Kayak on the Hudson – Sat/Sun 10am-5pm – 72nd and the Hudson (123 at 72nd)

Take a little ride down the Hudson with the kids. If they’re under 16 they’ll need you to get up in the kayak and ride along with them. Really you should get in anyways otherwise you’re just watching, your kids have fun, right? Totally safe and totally fun, an amazing way to spend this hot weekend.


See you at Madagascar hopefully!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Classroom : Real Problems and REAL PROBLEMS

I went to WorldFund on Monday and met with their whole office when they took me to lunch and talked to me about their mission creating opportunities for students all over Latin America. They have several programs focusing on English proficiency, teacher and principal training, and just building links with schools in Latin America.

We talked a little bit about their teacher training program and how no matter how 'trained' you are, and what you focus on, the problems in classrooms - especially in poor areas of Latin America - are rarely what you expected and prepared for. I've worked teaching and teacher training in Guatemala and parts of Mexico and here are 3 examples from my experience in development :

Problems and REAL PROBLEMS

Training :
  • Setting up a cohesive school-wide behavior/reward program to improve conduct and help rookie teachers with discipline.
  • Scheduling a Monday morning meeting so teachers can work on the curriculum together, share ideas, integrate lessons and cooperate thematically.
  • Showing the teachers how to use the computer lab and integrate technology into their lessons and curriculum.
Real Problems:
  • Chicken population per classroom.
  • Mysterious whole student bodies disappearing for days, coming back and explaining they all had to go "Protect the Forest" -- What? Protect the Forest?? From elves???
  • Teacher-Student Marriages

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday GPT Ad Reject 5


Its tough to move kids around the City on their various engagements so GPT hired Brit-Brit to give you a hand. She picks 'em up and drops 'em off wherever you need! Look at these happy children in the car with her, and look how concentrated she is on the road ahead.. Wonderful chauffeuring Ms. Spears, glad to have you on board.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cax and Bart - Chapter II - Crossing the Border

I had been gone from Guatemala for a month when the day finally came for Cax and Bart to cross the border into Mexico and attend university in UVM – Villahermosa. I wanted one of the volunteers that work at the Ixtatan Foundation to accompany them over there since the kids had never really left the rural mountain town, and had no idea what a university was all about. But guess what, nobody listens to you anymore and its hard to control things when your thousands of miles away. They left strangely in the middle of the night, presumably because they felt like crossing the border was ‘crossing the border’ on Elias’ (the three awesome adventurers are pictured on the right) truck and through La Mesilla-Ciudad Juarez.

I got this email the following day –

Hola Fernando, lo siento intentamos llamarte pero no pasa la llamada, pero lo bueno es que llegamos y encontramos la Universidad, nos paro la migra y nos quitaron de la camioneta, y estuvimos tres horas en la oficina y luego llegamos y hablamos con el rector y todo esta bien ahora estamos en el hotel que tu dijiste y nos vamos de este hotel el Domingo y nos daran donde vivir para el resto del año.. Ahorita ya solo vamos a irnos en la Secretaria de la Educacion para que no agan validez del estudio realizado en Guatebuena y Seguir en UVM. Arriba Mexico.

Llegamos a las tres de la mañana pero esta bien.

Y te damos muchisimas gracias Fernando ya que tu hiciste todo esto y ahora ya solo es cuestion de hecharle ganas.

att.
Bartolo Oswaldo.

Hi Fer, I’m sorry we tried to call but the call won’t go through, the good thing is that we’re here and we found the University, we got stopped by immigration, they got us off the bus we were on and we were at their office for three hours. Then we got here and spoke to the Dean and everything’s ok now. We’re in the hotel you said to go to and we’re leaving the hotel on Sunday when they’ll give us a place to stay for the rest of the year. Now we just have to go to the Secretary of Education to revalidate the high school degree we got in Guatebuena and keep it going at UVM. Arriba Mexico!

We got here at three, but everything’s ok.

Thank you for all you’ve done.

Bart Oswaldo.

After months of negotiation with UVM to have everything go perfectly at the beginning, the kids showed up at 3 in the morning, after being hassled for hours by immigration and thrown off a bus for no reason. We always think about our border here with Mexico, but the one down South with Guatemala is almost more striking in the differences between the two countries. When the Dean arrived at his office, my two kids were sleeping in front of his door all the stuff they brought for a year of studying in a new country was in their backpacks, not a single peso in their wallets – a total disaster. Thank God for good people, they had them come in, joked around with them to make them feel welcome, got them to their hotel, fed them a great lunch, and gave them money for food to spend in the coming days.

(Cash and Bart's first dinner at the hotel)

An organizational disaster and embarrassing, but the kids were at school and ready to go on these Academically Atypical Aventures and hey, its tough to have my way from all the way up here!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why I Love What I Do


“Don’t worry we’re a family here, we’ll make sure you start off just right, everything’s going to be perfect!”

I felt the words melting all the worry away from inside me. I had worked at schools as a lead teacher for four years at this point. I worked in the Durham Public Schools system to complement the work I did in education at Duke and I had never heard such things. I worked as a lead Spanish and then Math teacher at a charter school where those words would have never been said.

Those years as a rookie, passionate teacher at a struggling public school have really given me perspective as I think about how strong the community at CPS (Charlotte Preparatory School) really is. The partnerships between parents and teachers, the community of parents, the connections that us teachers had with our students, the fellowship of teachers, and the support of administrators – it was transformative. At CPS I learned the power of positive community, I learned the gift that we give students by being strong, united and caring about them. I learned that the struggling charter school was more hurt by the bickering among teachers and lack of respect towards students than by tight public funding.

I came to New York City three years later to study at Steinhardt and focus on communities, culture, and the sociology of education. I concentrated on what makes a successful student; how we create positive communities, and found that we really have to re-imagine some communities and our opinions of them. I learned that I wanted to be part of creating positive environments and support for children and families.

I started Gramercy Park Tutors considering my experience working one-on-one with students and families. I believe that the hourly tutoring session is useful, but not what really interests me. I built GPT to create a learning community for families, where we become true partners invested together in children’s success. We made the schools our partners, the teachers our partners, we even work to discover other strong, possible partners.

I meet families every day that want to become partners. They want to join a learning community. Their reasons for calling us range widely but they usually have some concern about their children and their future being limited by academic performance. They are looking for an answer on how to move forward. I tell them,

“Don’t worry we’re a family here, we’ll make sure you start off just right, everything’s going to be perfect!”

Strong partnerships and community are what helps kids move forward. One of the big attractions of private school in NYC is the connections that emerge. GPT is a company that understands the value of these and uses an already strong community to make a real difference. We believe that an hourly tutor makes a difference on Algebra tests but that we make a difference by using our expertise to learn about student strengths and becoming expert partners in their success. I think that whatever business one is involved with, you should never underestimate the power of each other.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bill Clinton Negotiating for Hostages - Behind the Scenes

It's your day today Billy Clinton, enjoy and celebrate it! So many good memories, so many. Let me know what you guys think about the new blog layout, I'm not too sure about it but wanted to have a little more space! Enjoy our 42nd Prez and how he worked it with Kim Il!




more about "Bill Clinton Negotiating for Hostages...", posted with vodpod

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday GPT Ad Reject 4


Thanks for joining the Celebrity Tutoring Team Sarah, we think you are truly brilliant!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm a blogginner - or awesome Quiz

Yeah for sure, I'm a beginner at all this, but unfortunately we're gonna have to go with it, whoever gets 7 out of 7 on that quiz I made on the right is definitely getting a prize though, an awesome prize... Don't you dare google anything, I have placed intricate safety mechanisms... Good luck, I'll help if you need this is after all a Gramercy Park Education. Bon chance.

If anyone knows how to make a much cuter quiz to put on the blog your comments are v. appreciated!

Favaloro teaches Lessons in Health Care Policy

Wedding in St. Louis was amazing, DJ rocked Boom Boom Pow as the bride and groom entered the reception for their first dance, lots of cupcakes and great to see old friends again. I’ll post the pictures as soon as they arrive via their respective photographic channels.

I’m putting off Cash and Bart chapter 2 till next Monday to reprint Dr. Favaloro’s parting letter and message. This Argentine doctor that was famous for creating the coronary bypass technique, a procedure that’s saved innumerable lives. He returned to Argentina from a comfortable position at the Cleveland Clinic to help medicine in our country grow (sure the meat and delicious Malbec might have also contributed to the decision). The increasing privatization of health care and dwindling government money for the funding of institutes like his Fundacion Favaloro made it impossible for him to continue his benevolent work. In the public sector, the corruption surrounding a large social welfare system with corrupt incentives drove his foundation out of money. His hospital benefited thousands of uninsured Argentines, prepared hundreds of doctors throughout the country and Latin America and is a great example to guide the ‘public option’ discussions we’re having in Congress this week.

Dr. Favaloro’s Suicide Note (English Translation and summary courtesy of Fer)

If my letter of resignation from the Cleveland Clinic is read, it’s obvious that my return to Argentina (after noted achievements in the cardiovascular surgery field) was guided by my love of this country. I came back to work as a teacher, as a researcher, and a doctor.

We immediately requested a number of beds for the uninsured. So we were able to operate on hundreds of patients without any cost at all. The majority of our patients came from national social programs, and we had contracts with the largest among them

With the money we earned, we paid the residents, the secretaries, the nurses and our costs, and split the rest among the doctors. I never allowed anyone to touch a single peso that did not belong to us.

In the mid-70’s we began to organize the Foundation. We built the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery. When it opened, I wrote 10 basic rules to uphold a rigid ethical standard.

The quality of our work, driven through technology and the professionals we incorporated into the project made it so that we never lacked for work. But we had to fight constantly against the corruption in medicine in our country. We’ve systematically refused to break our standards and haven’t paid a single peso to get the ‘advantages’ available buying in to this corrupt system. So the social programs stopped sending their patients to the Institute.

The stories I could tell about meetings with the heads of their unions! Bunch of corrupt men that live easily at the cost of the workers and pay-off with the monies that are intended for their members’ medical coverage.

For example, the PAMI has an old debt with us (from 94 or 95) of 1.9 million pesos. We would have gotten paid within 48 hours if we had accepted the returns that were asked of us (of course not asked of me directly).

The same happens with patients in the private field (including the insured) which are sent to specific surgeons by their insurers knowing that they will get a juicy cut in return.

For so long, I’ve had to hear this “Favaloro doesn’t operate anymore!” Where does this myth come from? The patients that need to go under the knife and request to be operated here are told, “Didn’t you know that he hasn’t operated anyone for a while now? I’ll recommend someone fantastic from our network, don’t you worry.” This fantastic surgeon will return up to 50% to the recommending agent. I of course, continue to operate with the same enthusiasm and commitment as always.

The surgeons that participate in this network of corruption are internationally renowned doctors that attend these Congresses at American College or American Heart and congratulate me so emotionally there. At the Paul D. White lecture in Dallas dozens of Argentine cardiologists hugged me with tears in their eyes. But when they return here, they return to the ‘system’ and money is what is most interesting for them.

The level of corruption has reached an alarming level. Even at our foundation our doctors have shown me letters they get from these organizations that explain the system of corruption very carefully.

Our situation here at the foundation is of desperation now, millions of pesos are owed to us from work we’ve done, including high-risk patients that we cannot refuse. It would be too easy to say ‘there are no beds available’

Our medical oath does not allow us to do this.

These patients bring with them a high cost that is rarely recognized by our social welfare programs. To this cost, we compound the dozens of other overhead and supply costs that are putting our projects at such risk.

In the United States the big institutions like this, can realize their medical work, their research and education because of private donations they receive. The 5 biggest medical colleges there receive more than 100 million dollars each! We don’t even dream of that here.

At first, I contacted the BID, which helped us initially. They published our relationship in several publications as their highest accomplishments! I sent four letters to Enrique Iglesisias, who throws around lots of money in this Latin America. I’m still waiting for his reply.

Without a doubt, being honest in this corrupt society has its price. One way or another, you have to pay for that honesty

I feel very alone. I knew that it would be an uphill battle from the Cleveland Clinic and that I would have to battle for the foundation. The project of the foundation is wavering and begins to collapse.

We’ve had meetings with my closest collaborators, and some of my closest allies in this fight recommend that to save the Foundation we must become part of this ‘system’.

“We’ll have people organize it all, there are specialists that know how to do this.” “You should step aside, we’ll make it clear that you don’t know any of what’s happening. You have to understand it’s the only way to save the foundation.”

Who’ll believe that I didn’t know anything!

I can’t resign my ethics at this age, it would be extremely difficult for me. I would rather disappear. I can’t say that nobody has defeated me. I’ve been defeated by this corrupt society that controls it all. I’m tired of receiving awards and honor abroad. I was recently included in the millennium Surgeon Legends. I participated in this conference where I had to listen to the same thing over and over.

“The legend, the legend!”

Maybe my greatest sin, here in my country, has been to always loudly convey my feelings, my critique, my complaints at this society of privilege where very few enjoy it all, while most live in misery and desperation. Expressing all of this here, gets punished severely.

I’m consoled by the fact that I treated my patients equally. My colleagues know of my inclination for the poor, that comes from my young days working in Jacinto Arauz.
.
I’m tired of fighting and fighting, galloping against the wind, like Don Ata used to say. I cannot change. It has not been an easy decision, but it has been a thought out one. Please don’t talk of weakness or bravery.

The surgeon lives with death, it is his inseparable companion, I leave hand-in-hand with her.

At some point, at an academic event in the US someone introduced me as a good man that continues to be a rural doctor. I hope I’ll be remembered as such.

In the last weeks I’ve written desperate letters to national entities, state entities, businesses, without receiving a single answer. An outside committee has begun to work at the foundation. Yesterday they began to lay off people that have worked with us for a long time. Some faithful and dedicated collaborators. I could not show my face there on Monday.

I repeat the obligation of cremating me immediately, and spreading my ashes in the hills close to Jacinto Arauz, there in the Pampa. It is strictly forbidden to realize religious or civil ceremonies.

A strong embrace to you all,
Rene Favaloro

Spanish long (actual) version at a friendly blog

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wedding Bell Travel Friday

Leaving to St. Louis for the wedding of two great friends, Sunil and Leah! Awww, will post pictures. Keep yourselves entertained this weekend by going to visit the amazing Vodka Mom, Vodka Logic, the Scribe, and SmallTalk. And, for the love of me, go to Gramercy Park Tutors, check it out and let me know what you think. Enjoy the weekend, my artsy picture from my former Parisian life, moi sur le metro/and artsy pic of my latter life, en Semuc Champey, Guatemala and go read friends' blogs!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free (or almost) and Fun for the NYC family - Episode II

Rain, rain go away – Please please go away! Episode 2 of Free (or almost) and Fun for the NYC family, the in-people have been just calling it FOAAFFTNYCF and I feel a big responsibility to deliver something great for families that have had to spend the last week locked up at home. So my research has been vast, I’ve pleaded with Fun businesses to give me special fun events for my families only, but alas, no specials, just the following three amazing treats for you guys!

3. Free Tennis Lessons Tuesday and Thursday @ CityParks Foundation

We’re sporties here at TheGramercyPark so no wonder this week’s first free activity is this tennis clinic run by CityParks and sponsored by Chase. I’m pretty well known throughout the Carolinas and Lower Manhattan as the ‘Ace”Machine – so fear me and prepare your 5-16 year old from the get-go by showing up early to any of the many locations offered on the CityParks website. Show up for example at:

Central Park Tennis Center
West Drive @ 96th St
Tues & Thurs 1-4PM

2. Two Amazing Sunday Events – Choose Wisely

Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Reading? Go to Fort Greene Park at 1 pm on Sunday for an amazing reading of The Giving Tree, followed by an organized nature walk through Fort Greene Park, maybe take a little picnic and have a nice little fam day in a beautiful park? Maybe not, I don’t make your decisions ☺

Upper Manhattan, Bronx, Music? Go to Van Cortland Park in the South Bronx and check out the amazing Bronx Art Ensemble. Van Cortland’s also an amazingly beautiful park, and guess what, they’re telling people to bring the little picnic and blanket. So its not my suggestion anymore is it? You take that picnic, and take it good!

1. Friday Opera in the Park

East River Park (Manhattan)
Friday, July 31, 2009 at 7 p.m.
Joyce El-Khoury, soprano
Keith Miller, bass
Vlad Iftinca, pianist

Beautiful operatic backgrounds while you enjoy drinks and cheeses on your blanket in the park! What? Why would I be suggesting this? No no no, all wrong, you get to a Clearview Cinema early next Thursday morning to watch a 10:30 showing of a free movie at their Kid’s Club screenings. And wait, there’s more, this Thursday the Clearview on 1st and 62nd street is showing Alvin and the Chipmunks. You get there, you get there early and you wear a red garbage bag dress with a huge A on it. Not that Scarlet letter, a greenish-yellow A on your red garbage dress please.

Enjoy the Summer week with your family, and lets hope it doesn’t rain so much!

Check out that Mike Klonsky gave me a shout out on his SmallTalk blog.. awesome!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why Gramercy Park Loves Soccer

I realize we haven't really discussed my number 1 love, so I thought I'd introduce it with a little dancing and a little music. When Diego came back to Argentina I got to watch him do this just 10 feet away at Hindu Club. Enjoy!




more about "Diego Armando Maradona The King of So...", posted with vodpod

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday GPT Ad Reject 3

Who knows? At this point some mommies love Edward just as much as their teenage daughters and might not mind a visit from our recent addition to the tutoring team! That's not why we hired him, nor did we hire him for his grasp of mathematics - he's dreadful! We're gonna get him parading his vampire-ness around in a promotional t-shirt! Watch us...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cax and Bart - Interlude Up a Volcano

My favorite thing about traveling, touristing and sightseeing in Guatemala is that there’s never anything sectioned off. There aren’t any signs telling you what you should or shouldn’t be doing, there’s never a metal bar in the way between you and your decisions. Obviously this is not a child-friendly detail, but its pretty great at making you feel like you are actually discovering some of these beautiful natural wonders for the very first time. What you do with these gorgeous things, or off them, or through them is completely up to you!

At the Pacaya Volcano, which is an hour away from Antigua and a pretty fun and manageable hike up to the summit, Cash, Bart and I experienced one of these wonderful Travel Guatemala moments. I mean, as you’ll see in the video below, they were a little too concerned with the Canadian and American girls that came along with us on our tour group to grasp the totality of this, but they were impressed nonetheless. At Pacaya, the tour takes you up through rocks that are just feet above lava, so close that they completely melted the soles off my shoes by the time we were on our way down. So close that the boys and I got some tortillas at the base, brought them a couple hours up, and cooked ‘em just by placing them on the rocks - which fed our whole group (and won major points with the aforementioned ladies).


The tour guide encouraged us to walk to where the river of lava flowed down the side of the volcano and grab some long branches to try and pick up sticky lava rocks. By the time you were close enough to use the stick your face was burning up so much which caused such intense panic and excitement that the branch part was incredibly tough indeed. I tried it –of course I was able to fish out an awesome lava rock- and my whole beard burnt up in the attempt. Cash and Bart were content to take pictures and make movies – which are attached and awesome.

The tour guide – a classic showman – proudly lit a cigarette with a lava rock in a final Travel Guatemala moment … He has weirdly shaped patches of burnt on his facial hair year-round. I guess that’s the price (too high I think in this case!) you pay for originality.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Adults are babies with big bodies - Pike's 4 Laws of Adult Learning


A great friend Mago Acosta (on the right) from IBM sent me this from an employee course about learning.

Still go to Demockracy and read my Ed Policy article there!

Gracias Mago, idola!

How does adult learning differ from that of children?
For many centuries, educators assumed that all people learned things the same way and that this "way" didn't change much over the course of their lives. Only in the 20th century did this notion change dramatically. One of the principal contributors to our new way of thinking was Malcolm Knowles. In the 1930s, he began researching the work of many scholars and later he contributed to making more popular the term “andragogy” -- or the study of adult learning.

As scholars examined Knowles' research, they concluded that adults learned in markedly different ways from children. An adult has assumed responsibility for himself/herself and others. Adults differ specifically in self-concept, experience, readiness to learn, time perspective, and orientation to learning. Traditional teaching applied to children is "jug and mug" with the big jug (the teacher) filling up the little mugs (the students). Students are asked to pay attention and have few opportunities to make use of their own experience (Klatt 1999).

What are “Pike’s Laws of Adult Learning”?

Robert W. Pike, an internationally recognized expert in human resources development and author of the book Creative Training Techniques, has conducted thousands of adult training seminars. His principles of adult learning, referred to as "Pike's Laws of Adult Learning," have built upon the original principles defined by Knowles and provide useful guidance for learning facilitators.

Law 1: Adults are babies with big bodies. It is accepted that babies enjoy learning through experience, because every exploration is a new experience. As children grow, educators traditionally reduce the amount of learning through experience to the point that few courses in secondary and higher education devote significant time to experiential education. It is now recognized that adult learning is enhanced by hands-on experience that involves adults in the learning process. In addition, adults bring a wealth of experience that must be acknowledged and respected in the training setting.

Law 2: People do not argue with their own data. Succinctly put, people are more likely to believe something fervently if they arrive at the idea themselves. Thus, when training adults, presenting structured activities that generate the students' ideas, concepts, or techniques will facilitate learning more effectively than simply giving adults information to remember.

Law 3: Learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun you are having. Humor is an important tool for coping with stress and anxiety, and can be effective in promoting a comfortable learning environment. If you are involved in the learning process and understand how it will enable you to do your job or other chosen task better, you can experience the sheer joy of learning.

Law 4: Learning has not taken place until behavior has changed. It is not what you know, but what you do that counts. The ability to apply new material is a good measure of whether learning has taken place. Experiences that provide an opportunity for successfully practicing a new skill will increase the likelihood of retention and on-the-job application.

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