Franco's attempt

  • Pay attention to details

    I was born to Ramon Franco and Carmen Plaza at St. Jude's Hospital while waiting for an elevator. Mother remembers praying to God for a girl, she later discovered that details are the key for a peaceful cohabitation. She should have asked for a "lady like" girl!
  • Learning to talk.

    I was brought from the states to be raised, according to my father, with knowledge of my Hispanic heritage. My mother had another story. It seems my father liked secretaries too much and to keep the family together, bought her a condo at The Dorado Beach Hotel. I remember water, the cool evening breeze, and learning two languages at tha same time and from the same source a real compound bilingual.
  • San Vecente de Ferrer Elementary

    Grade school was my real first exposure to Spanish, at home I would play with mostly American kids and that was not as often as would have liked. Seeing other children other than my brothers was a blast. I remember asking the nuns for “cookies con leche”, talk about code switching!
  • Jumping a grade

    I must have been terrible for the nuns said that I knew enough English to skip third grade. It was fun for a while; suddenly the multiplication tables started hunting me. During that period, Spanish became my native language. I would talk to everybody and read every sign! Spanish at school and English at home gave me an array of words that I used constantly.
  • Do you have a sacapuntas?

    My two older brothers got into some crappie all boys school in San Juan and I was out rooted again, from my beautiful front beach property to the middle of nowhere with no cable vision town of Guaynabo. Hated it, especially the school I attended. Cupeyville gave me an excellent education, but life was terrible. I remember meeting Viviana Pagan, the only person that spoke to me that first day. Realize that I was not bilingual at all, needed to learned key words like pencil sharpener.
  • Great summers listening to Elto John!

    For years every summer I was send to summer camps in Massachusetts, as a result I would use words like soda and bubbler, certainty and of course my dear…practicing two languages made me realize how much of the world I needed to see. We had a very secluded childhood; always playing among ourselves under the watchful eye of our mother, therefore our vocabulary was precise but limited in synonyms.
  • My great friend Joseph Devlin

    Discovered my father’s old dictionary of synonyms and antonyms by J. Devlin, and immediately became my best weapon against “blundering” writing, now all I have to do is remember my past tenses.
  • College was a blast!

    Did high school in three years and thanks to the FUPI was send to Colegio Universitario Sagrado Corazon. During that period what a mejunje I had in my head. I would be considered a receptive bilingual for I thought in English but argue my points in Spanish. But, was I a subtractive bilingual for replacing one language for another?
  • Isabel, the most hated person at the Franco's residence.

    Guaynabo was such a bored town, that I studied every summer just to leave the house. So it was no surprise when I took a journalist class just to accompany my friend Isabel on Saturdays. After that I drop my three years biology for journalism. Carmen was not going to have a doctor in the family or at least a daughter married to one!
  • Eighteen hundred?

    I took off, with a full grant, to Chapman College in California. My traditional English got me into trouble more than once. I remember asking a MALE friend for some rubbers. The big, thick ones for the big folders, just image; the joke spread across the campus like mono in summer time. I was not able to take a bath, it was a shower, no vomiting but throwing up, and no one thousand eight hundred but eighteen hundred! Talk about a cultural shock.
  • My days as a working girl.

    I graduated and worked for Transamerica Corp. for four years translating and writing documents for their Latin American division. Life was nice with a lot of reading and no time for dating.
  • Everything is better on the island, or so they say.

    Carmen thought that I had enough time to find myself and brought me back. Image, I worked, manage my money and came running home because I was ordered too. By October I was married. During 25 years raised a family and build a business. All that without cooking! Now I realize I gave Benjamin the wrong finger. No real use for language during that period, just checking notebooks and being a trophy wife.
  • Following Carmen's foot steps

    I spoke to both my daughters in English and their father in Spanish. But the outcome was not the same. My daughters’ code switch constantly, it is horrible. The younger one is the result of the texting generation so forget about any grammar rules in her world. Great attention was given to their education, key factors were considered. Today Gabrielle is able to communicate in four languages and Cristina in three. But why can they have a conversation without mixing English and Spanish?
  • I re-invented myself like the governor said.

    After the divorce, I decided to get a job. God's joke paid off. By 3:00 o'clock that same day I had a job with the Department of Education teaching English. No interview, no reference just a short conversation and SIGN HERE! So I have been teaching for the last three years. Being a dominant bilingual has helped me build a future.
  • Back to college?????

    Got into the CRECE program, passed the tests and now trying to survive this bilingual program together with the rest of my life. This stage has brought a new challenge, COMPUTERS! Before all I used them for was to buy at Nordstrom. Now is power point and USB; you can teach an old dog new tricks, but can she remember them long enough to perform when the time comes?
  • Buen Cosejo's first grade teacher.

    I am teaching at the Luis Pereira Leal Bilingual School in the Buen Consejo Community, or my Disneyland, as I like to call it. Things are fine, just had to stop dating, do not have the time for it. Now I spend my time with Mr. Hook on Phonics!