Churros

Churros are a Mexican pastry, dough that is twisted, baked, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, cut in small strips, and commonly sold on the street.  You cannot miss them because of the sweet, inviting aroma that literally takes you there and you have no choice but to buy a bag.

Churros

Photo by Flickr user miamism’s

The first time I encountered such exquisite aroma, I was about eight years old.  My mom and grandmother took my three sisters and myself to the plaza. Across the plaza there was a church, and that night the town was celebrating St. Nicolas Tolentino, patron of Ramos Arizpe, the town where my grandmother lived.

Among the festive colors, the Matachines dancers, the fireworks, and the carnival rides, an almost hypnotizing aroma of fresh baked bread infused with cinnamon, called my immediate attention. “What is that mamá?” I asked. “Churros”, she said. “”Do you want to try them?” She bought my sisters and myself a bag each. The bag contained about five or six churros, each one about five inches long and half inch thick.

I had to smell them again. The smell was heavenly sweet. It was that kind of smell that if the food tastes as it smells, you know it’s going to be good. I grabbed the first one, still warm and bit into it. The crunchy texture from the dough with the sugar was the most gloriously harmony I have ever experienced in my short life. I ate the next, and the next, and the next until the bag was empty.

My mom was happy that I liked them, so she agreed on sharing some of hers. When we were done with thers I asked, “Can I have more, please?” My grandmother, wise in her years said, “You know, when you eat too much of this stuff, you can get sick—Te puedes empachar, you know?” I wasn’t listening to her, I was just looking at the churro vendor, “Can I have some more, PLEASE?”

None of them complied with my nag. Lucky for me, that day was a Sunday, allowance day.  I grabbed my girly purse and grabbed my 5 pesos my father gave me earlier and confident I went and bought I think three or four bags more. Oh I ate them with pleasure and joy ignoring both mom’s and grandma’s condescending look. “You are going to get sick” I kept hearing, do you think I cared?

So the evening went, we went on the rides and had a lot of fun. I remember that night we all stayed at my Grandmother’s house. We said our Ave Marias, and went to sleep. Suddenly, I woke up in the middle of the night with this horrible, excruciating stomach pain. “Mama, Abuelita, my belly!!!!” I got so violently sick that all I could hear was “I told you so.” From that day on I got this aversion to churros to the point that the pure smell of it made me sick and all I can think of is, “I know, you both told me so!”

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StoryCorps

This week’s field trip was to StoryCorps http://storycorps.org/ a nonprofit site where anyone can produce, upload, and share any storytelling revolving in our lives. As Maguire’s book points out, this site truly displays that “inner” storytelling we have inside.

The first story I heard was “What has happened to the human voice?” http://storycorps.org/listen/studs-terkel/ by Studs Terkel, about his search of a human voice in one of main US airports.  His voice, as stated in Maguire book, is a voice that “proceeds from one’s being” (Maguire, 1998, p. 180). I then proceeded to listen “I’m so thankful for everything you’ve done” by Tracy and Sarah Johnson, about a mother and daughter-in-law whose daughter and wife was killed in Afghanistan.

All stories people talk with their heart. They are not only professional storytellers but professionals in life, with moving, touching, real situations that move listener’s emotions. “Just as a personal tale must be true to our selves to ring true to our listeners, so must our storytelling voice be natural—or true to our being—in order to move our listeners in a lasting way” (Maguire, 1998, p. 180).

Every story inspires; storytellers embody their story because they lived it and they want others to learn and benefit from them. It’s not memorization, but I envision them with their eyes closed as they speak and having each scene they narrate briefly displayed in their minds, making it easy just to report what they are actually seeing.

References

Maguire, J. (1998). The Power of Personal Storytelling. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story

Weekly Virtual Field Trip

The Website 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story is a site that describes how to tell the same story in 50 different ways utilizing different Web 2.0 tools to accomplish it. Web 2.0 tools are applications, generally free, where users can produce and consume Web content without knowledge of technical skills.

By showing the same purpose made with a variety of applications, gives us an idea how the same message is delivered under different channels. In addition of providing a wide list of all tools available out there, this site provides sort of a “map” to create digital stories: 1) Outline a story idea, 2) Find some media, and 3) Pick a tool and build your story.

I went to Fi Card Stories and created my own story: http://5card.cogdogblog.com//show.php?id=30438

I see this wiki site as an extension of storytelling. Hasn’t changed, just the medium, the way it is told. With the emergence of new technology, we are able to create and produce our story. Further, we are able to instantly share it with the world. We no longer need a printer, a TV show, a newspaper printing our story in order to be known. With a few clicks we are able to create material that can be viraly known.

Once we have an outline for our story, we have to choose the media that best suits our message. Whatever we choose, we must cite sources and be careful in not infringing copyrights.

I like that not only this site provides a comprehensive list of Web 2.0 tools, but also provides a list of those applications that no longer exist: Island Lost Tools http://50ways.wikispaces.com/Island+Lost+Tools