FunkyTicaGringa.jpg
My life, My writing

Tica Gringa: Another Milestone

gty_natalie_wood_west_side_story_2_nt_111118_ssh

“I like to be in America. Ok by me in America. Everything free in America For a small fee in America.”

One of my all-time favorite movie soundtracks is West Side Story. I’m not particularly big on musicals, however I can recite lots of songs from this classic musical and love story. There was a time when I loved going to the library and checking out CD’s to listen to, and for a while I was stuck on the West Side Story soundtrack, playing certain tracks over and over until I committed them to memory. A story of relentless love, heartbreak, turf wars, satire and cultural differences I related to the many perspectives, especially the immigrant experience.

Today was a big day for me in my immigrant experience. I took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, and officially became recognized as an American citizen (after 8 years of residency). I stood in the District Courthouse located in downtown D.C. with 116 immigrants at a ceremony that occurs once a month on the second Tuesday of the month. The ceremony lasted about 3 hours, with a judge presiding for about 45 minutes to deliver the Oath and officially welcome us as new defenders of the Constitution.

It’s a little bittersweet. Today, I filled out an application and put “American (USA)” after Country of Citizenship. In my heart, my homeland is the place that offered such cherished memories the first 8 years of my life. The place where I was conceived, the place that formed my first opinions about motherhood, friendships, love, fatherhood, and family. That place is Costa Rica. It is true that America molded me into the young woman I am today. I completed formal schooling here from elementary school to graduate school. I learned English, which unlocked my voice, gift and my talent. I am offered the opportunity now to take my education and work anywhere I choose doing something I truly enjoy. It was my mother’s American Dream, and she can live it vicariously through me. Yet, I cannot deny the fact that America’s politics and history bothers me, and it is an internal conflict that I previously compartmentalized because I wasn’t officially an “American.” Now, as I am joining the voting population days before my 29th birthday and can access government jobs and many things I had been previously excluded from, I have the opportunity to come to terms with my views and decide how I want to act accordingly.

FunkyTicaGringa.jpg

Holding the Certificate of Naturalization

When I go home to Costa Rica, I am a gringa because most of my years were spent living outside of Costa Rica. Yet, when I am in the United States I go out of my way to let people know I’m other. I, like many other immigrants, don’t belong in any one place. I don’t mind navigating both, but I can’t deny that American citizenship with its duties, is foreign. Nonetheless, I embrace and am thankful for this day…for the freedoms afforded, for the sacrifices my mother and family made so that I could reach this goal. I cannot be ungrateful, I have to recognize my immigrant experience is a big part of what makes me Tracey. Just like Costa Rica is my heart- it represents my beginnings, America has been my home away from home and it represents my present and future.

I’m glad to be here.

-She

Standard
My life

Dude, Where’s My Crown?

crown (noun) crown

1. any of various types of headgear worn by a monarch as symbol of sovereignty, often made of precious metal andornamented with valuable gems.
2. a similar ornamental headgear worn by a person designated king or queen in a pageant, contest, etc.
3. a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth – to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.

Source: Dictionary.com

What an exciting week! Not only did yesterday mark the official kick-off of the World Cup 2014, but Orange Is The New Black is back for Season 2 and we are almost halfway through June! I see nothing but good things in store this summer. Let’s venture through my week, shall we?

10. It’s my last month in my first apartment in D.C. ‘Tis bittersweet. On one hand, I can’t afford this overpriced place, but on the other hand it’s going to be hard loosing my “space,” getting used to the “temporary” living conditions and living out of my luggage. But hey, at least I can save some money this summer to hopefully be able to make Toronto happen.

9. Funny story. Howard’s health insurance covers services which are provided by its professional schools and hospital. I go to the dental school…for the eye candy AND to further my oral health. The last service on my treatment plan is the replacement of my crown. Crowns are not necessarily made to be replaced, they tend to last for many years but my crown had seen lots of wear and tear since I suffer from bruxism (fancy word for I grind my teeth at night while sleeping)Also, my crown was made from porcelain fused to metal and I had worn it down so much that some of the metal was starting to show. In preparation for a new crown, the student doctor takes a mold of your mouth and send it to the lab so the technicians can make you a brand spanking new crown. In the meantime, you get a temporary cap. The cap is meant to allow you to protect your tooth but it is not made from any substantial material. It is meant to mimic a real crown so the material does harden like real crown.

I know you’re wondering when I’m going to get to the story. So, here it goes. I got a temporary cap on Monday. Yesterday I ate some pasta and chips for lunch. I was leaving the house for a rooftop party and brushed my teeth. Except, I looked in my mouth and my crown was missing. I proceeded to inspect my mouth. Had it decided to pay another tooth a visit? Did it get stuck on another tooth by accident? Did I swallow the temporary crown? Dude, where’s my crown? I have no idea what happened but I blame it on the chips. My student doctor assures me I won’t die from ingesting a temporary crown. If something happens to me, you heard the story here first.

8. Orange is the New Black, Season 2 is back in full effect. Some people binge-watched the whole season in one weekend. I like to thoroughly digest each episode so I won’t do that. I’m thinking about the best way to generate posts about some of the episodes I really enjoy. I must say there’s a lot more storytelling this Season around, all of the episodes seem really heavy and “full,” if that makes sense.

7.  It’s been humid as I don’t know what here in D.C., coupled with rain and thunderstorms on and off. One minute, the sun is blazing, the next minute the clouds come threatening.

6. World Cup fever begins! I must say, I really enjoy watching the NBA Playoffs (go Spurs!) and the World Cup. It’s like a world showcase and I look forward to finding some local bars here in D.C. and taking in all the highs and lows on the road to victory!

5. I got a personalized mouth guard to prevent the wear and tear on my teef at night. Since I still struggle to remove my contacts every night, we shall see how well I do with my new responsibility.

4. Yesterday, I got 2 parking tickets in one day. It made me re-evaluate how often I should be driving my car around the City. One ticket, I deserved. I had been parking in Howard’s parking lots without permits for months now. I got caught yesterday. The other was on the street and although it’s only $25, ain’t nobody got time for tickets!

3. Summer in D.C.= shenanigans, rooftop parties, bbq’s, good books, writing, picnics, good ____, brunches, happy hours. ALL in moderation.

2. Costa Rica plays their first game this Saturday, June 14th at 3pm (EST) (tomorrow!) against Uruguay. They are in a group with ALL past World Cup winners, ain’t that some….

group D

1. I’m turning 29 next month! Don’t have anything planned, not planning anything. My only prayer is that God never removes his hand over my life. I’ve been so blessed so far, life is good. I cannot complain.

Talk Back to Me,

-She

QUESTshuns for you

1. What country are you going for? (World Cup)

2. Have you ever had a dental mishap?

3. Do you watch OITNB? Why or why not?

4. What are you looking forward to this summer?

Standard
My life, My writing

GlobeTracer is 3 Today!

My life when I began GlobeTracer. Although I was living in Paradise (better known as Costa Rica) I was working through a lot of growing pains.

JUNE 2011

Bandera

Don't call me bag lady.

Don’t call me bag lady.


Animal CR Horsey CR MA ATV CR MA

My life now. I’m a recent graduate, I live in a city…and I’m transitioning from student to professional again in a field I’ve fallen in love with!

MAY 2014

10341596_10203460067159743_6089345859451610555_n

As is the tradition…my blog-o-versary handwritten letter. Click below.

GT 3 year

For past blog-o-versaries, click GT year 1, GT year 2.

MAKE SURE YOU DIDN’T MISS THESE POSTS! (Click titles!)

A/S/L?

Things I’m Not Sposta Say…

#simplejoys

SHE shares morning tea

7 Things I don’t Pretend to be Good At

 

-She

 

 

Standard
My life

“Limbo”: Post-Grad thoughts

It’s been a month since I graduated with my Master’s degree in Speech & Language Pathology. Post-graduate life has set in and although the relaxing, sleeping late, and free days have been awesome…I’m broke! Not in a “I can’t afford happy hour, or shopping” type broke way, but in a “I can’t pay my rent this month” broke. This is my last month in my apartment and then I’ll be in “limbo” until I secure my Clinical Fellowship (more about that later). The plan is to have a pretty easy-going summer and I only have one trip planned. I have yet to make a bucket list of what I want to explore in DC. The biggest goal right now, however, is to secure a fellowship that’s a good fit and to find a summer job to supplement the shenanigans I’m trying to get into this summer!

What’s the next step?

Before I become fully licensed as a Speech Pathologist (SLP), we go through (as many allied health providers) a Clinical Fellowship (“CF”). A doctor has his/her residency, and we have our fellowship. It is basically a transition point from student to fully licensed professional. Generally it can take anywhere from 9 months-1 year to complete (however, you can take up to 4 years to complete). As a CF, one is still under supervision and mentoring from a licensed SLP, and it is almost like the last time anyone is required to help you. After your CF, you are independent and left to your own devices.

The interviews have gone well so far, unlike other job interviews, none have felt like confrontational interrogatories. Most of the time, the employers just want to know that you know something about speech pathology and talk about your clinical experiences. It feels a bit like we have the best position considering the high need, and lack of people available. We have options. I was turned down for a job last week, but I wasn’t too bummed about it because I wasn’t considering it anyway.

I’ve been trying to identify why I’ve been having so much anxiety recently.

What’s bothering me?

  • I’m a Cancer, and home is pretty important to me. Although it’s going to be a short time (2 months tops), I don’t enjoy the “limbo” stage where I have to put my things in storage and have “temporary” homes.
  • No money, no socializing. It’s pretty hard to go out in DC on a budget. I worked hard at Shake Shack last summer just to have extra spending money, but now that I’m done with school every penny I’m making is going toward a bill. Bills, bills, bills.
  • I want to pick the right CF. Since honing in on my clinical skills is important, I have been on the search for a good CF where I’m going to be nurtured. I think I may have found it, we shall see.
  • Spiritual thirst. I haven’t joined a church here and I want to earnestly find one. I have a problem making commitments right now. But I definitely want to find a church community to be a part of.
  • Dating. Back on that train, and it’s been quite a ride. Part of me wants to be by myself for a while, but the extrovert part likes the company.

It’s almost a month now before I’m 29. BOOM. My blog-o-versary is in 2 days! GlobeTracer is still going strong and I’m adding more destinations to the list!

All in all, I have some things to be grateful for. Even in the midst of “limbo.”

Sincerely,

-She

Standard
My life

What’s Rockin’ My World: Post-Grad Edition

large (1)

Thoughts I wake up to:

1. What time is it?

2. Is school really over?

3. What should I do now?

4. I’m bored.

5. I’m hungry.

6. I’m bored.

7. When will I ever see my classmates all together again?

8. I’m sad.

9. I’m broke!

10. I need a job.

Then I watch my Department’s Happy Video and it makes me remember all the good memories! It’s the end, but it’s also the beginning.

Standard
My life

Graduation ReCap: I’m a Master!

It’s still a bit surreal, the thought that I’m done with school and won’t see my classmates in the same room for a while. After 2 years of having classes together, it’s a routine that was as natural as taking a shower. We all came from different parts of the country, and  some people are going home, while others have decided to stay in the DMV (District, Maryland and Virginia) area.

Now what? Real adult life begins with job hunting.

The graduation festivities included hosting family from New York, Florida, Costa Rica and Los Angeles. It was lots of work, and I realized how my apartment was not really equipped for large numbers of people. For one, we don’t really have a “common area.” No table or chairs to sit and eat which meant that everyone kind of just found a chair and a piece of kitchen counter space and had their dinner. The common area thing was never an issue for me since I had most of my meals in my bedroom. And my roommate and I hardly see each other, let alone have time to eat together (I have offered her some food when we are cooking in the kitchen together). Besides that, to cut on costs and to prevent people from saying they couldn’t make graduation, I rented out the apartment across the hall so that people would have somewhere to stay without paying exorbitant hotel prices. That was an interesting set up, with air mattresses and temporary set ups for the couple of days people were in town. All in all, hosting is fun, and even better when you can accommodate folk in a good space with amenities.

It’s a bit sad to be at the end of the road. A week ago, I had 2 apartments full of people and now… I’m sitting in my room thinking about what kind of shenanigans I will get into this summer. And how I will afford them. The dust from celebrations has definitely settled. The bills are real.

I’m not too worried, though.

-She

Below are just some pics from the graduation and the weekend. Enjoy!

10312679_10203460076519977_7518563601542501300_n

I call this…The perfect blended family. My mom, me and my father’s girlfriend.

10325256_10203460080320072_5776441790831082159_n

“No caption necessary”

10295733_10203460071679856_4410072772844965679_n

1+1= Tracey

10286869_866070906753_7049189391156122873_o

My fave girl

Standard