Wednesday, March 20, 2013

my 5 things, thing

I found out through my writer friend Jen’s blog (Ms. Conversion Diary herself) that there’s a thing going around called The 5 Things Thing, where bloggers share 5 things about themselves that readers might not know about them.

Thanks to Jen, I enjoyed also reading two new (to me) bloggers, Micaela Darr and Mary's Better than Eden. And -- since I don’t know who has or hasn’t participated yet, I’m going to tag some of my favorite and dear bloggers. We’ll see who joins the fun. 

Consider yourself tagged: Roxane, Marge, Donna-Marie, Mary, Fran, Renee, Woodeene

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Here are 5 things you may not know about me:
Thing 1 + I started college at the ripe age of 16. 

No, I’m not any sort of intellectual prodigy member of mensa. Moving to the U.S. from Puerto Rico was pretty traumatic and confusing for me as a teenager—and I never understood or fit into the “American high school culture.”  It’s still shocking to my children, for example, that I never went to a high school dance.

Dropped into this “Sixteen Candles” and “Mean Girls" culture, my solution was to graduate early, and go straight into college! I began my first semester at Louisiana State University the summer immediately after graduating from Robert E. Lee High School (Yes, we were, indeed, the Lee High Rebels! But THAT’s a different story).

Thing 2 + I received a vocal music scholarship to attend LSU.

I had a fantastic and pretty heavy accent as a Spanish speaking teen dumped into the U.S. public school system way before there was such a thing as an ESL program. I used to, literally, beg God to take away my accent!  But—singing, especially in a full choir, I felt that I belonged. My voice blended with others and my accent was not an issue.

At church and school, I was a member of various choral ensembles until Michael and I were married. At LSU and at the University of Texas, where I eventually graduated from, I was a member of each university's Concert Chorale.

Thing 3I have a tattoo.

Five years ago I had major surgery on my right wrist. Several surgical procedures, including a titanium plate and fusion of my hand bones, resulted in an impressive and most would say pretty ugly 5-inch scar straight on top of my predominant hand. (I have a 2nd titanium plate in my body, but I’ll save that story for another fun facts list!)

Because of the many physical issues and surgeries I have endured in the past six or so years, a few years ago I designed a red Camino de Santiago pilgrimage cross that I had tattooed directly opposite of my wrist scar, on the inside of my right hand.  Since I don’t see the point of having a hidden tattoo, this is a visual reminder for me that my chronic autoimmune condition is my current and permanent life pilgrimage.

Thing 4 +  I have lived in our current house for 17 years! 

This may seem like a boring fact to most of you, but it’s a downright miracle for me.  As refugees, my family of origin moved around a lot, and so did Michael and I during the first half of our marriage.

Here are the numbers: From K-11, I attended 7 schools and lived in 9 different houses.  But the total number of houses before the one that I live in right now (counting prior to attending school and after marriage) is a whooping 20 houses!

Thing 5I collect sand. 

Since I’m an island girl, it’s no great surprise that I love to surround myself with all things related to the beach, from shells to a 15-gallon fish tank next to my desk. My sand collection started as a way of bringing home a visual reminder of some of my favorite beaches. Then, my children and their friends added small samples from far away places that they have visited. And now my friends will often take the time to grab a Ziploc or plastic bottle and fill it with sand from exotic beaches I only dream of visiting, like Hawaii and Tanzania

Not only can sand differ in coarseness, but it can also have different colors! It’s fascinating. I am constantly learning about it—and forgetting, then learning again J

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What about you? What’s a fun thing about yourself that most people don’t know? Why don't you surprise us and share with us here?!