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About Me

I am a former teacher and (hopefully) future documentarian who’s kind of a teacher again..

I currently live in Oakland, work in South San Francisco, and sit in a lot of traffic.  I used to work with the filmmaker  Rob Nilsson doing marketing and graphic design, and have worked as a production assistant, an art director,depending on what came up.  I will be forever grateful to Rob because it was on the set of one of his films when I first heard another human being say I’m good at telling stories.

I started taking classes at the Marsh, a theater in Berkeley (and San Francisco) where one can develop performance of one’s own writing.  I didn’t know what to write about, so I just skulked on stage and started telling stories about my grandfather.  Even there, I was a crazy trying to raise our lusophone profile.  Then the monologue I wrote there won a scholarship to Disquiet International, a summer writing program in Lisbon, Portugal.  No joke.  Years of trying to do anything with photography and film=nothing.  One monologue, and I’m on a plane.

I grew up in the Central Valley, where there is a huge Portuguese population, but my parents didn’t outwardly participate in it much.  My mom hates, hates, HATES crowds.   But my parents do love to go to the Portuguese literary symposium that is thrown in Tulare, California every year, (well, some years in Tulare) but that’s hardly kid friendly.  But that symposium is where my prodigal heart began to return home and ask for forgiveness.  I went with my parents in 2002 after moving home from college, and was completely heartbroken to have to limit the seminars I attended to English-speaking ones, which frankly, were not as interesting-sounding as the ones in Portuguese.

After high school, I spent nine years in San Diego, most it studying film and multimedia at UCSD.  I still really don’t like the beach.  During that time I was an exchange student in France.  I would’ve loved to go to Portugal, but of course, UCSD had cut its Portuguese department in the early 90’s.  Then I was an English teacher for a while.  And I’m one again.  But I’m not giving up what I always was interested in: documenting Portuguese culture as I’ve experienced it, because I’ve never seen anything close to my point of view anywhere, ever.

I also have a healthy obsession for the UK.   I worked there for a summer over a decade ago, and I still, still, STILL want to go back, and not for just a vacation.

I’m working on it, among other things. 😉

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Oh, and by the way, Faiza Ali took that amazing profile pic of me with my laptop that is seriously the most flattering picture I’ve taken after 30.  Check her out:

15 responses »

  1. Yay! You did it. Your own blog. And it’s really good! Keep on touching us with your humor.

  2. Bravo AM! Keep writing! Hope the class survives! You can still do the blog regardless. Doy!!!

    Where’s my frickin’ laptop portrait photo credit you promised, you photogenic lusophone? Now you also owe me a link with the photo 😉

  3. OMG I will so do that. And a link with the photo is no trouble.

  4. thank you funny lady!

  5. Oola rocks, and so does your blog. Thanks for your visit and your comment. I hope your class “goes” and yes, the Peralta Passport system is an amazement in all senses of the word. But the building — and the bathrooms — are so much better than what we used to have. And the REAL people at BCC are super great and generous human types.

    Keep writing, and the best to you on your documentary.
    Jan Dove (grand child of the Azores) who lost her Portuguese when her dad discovered that she understood what he was saying to her uncles.

  6. PS your picture says you look like my Portuguese cousins.
    Jan Dove

    • Hot diggety! At least I resemble someone!! Thanks for coming by!!

      And yes, BCC is definitely best not judged by the Peralta online system! I’ve enjoyed my time there immensely!

  7. Such a sweet, fascinating bio, and I’d love to know what kind of documentary you’re working on now. You go!!

    • I’m working on two short sound-based (and largely self-funded- meaning I WISH I could get my hands on a video camera but I can’t…) documentaries about separate immigration stories about my parents. My mom’s is pretty straightforward- she came here to go to school and never left. My dad, however, is telling the story of his first wife’s tragic death and the relationship between her parents and the family he would eventually have. They’re also refugees from Communist Yugoslavia- it’s a pretty good story. I maintain my dad needs to write a book and make it Lifetime movie, but he just rolls his eyes when I mention it.

      Thanks for the encouragement, SMS!

  8. Hey! Thanks for posting on my blog. About the English teaching market here in Portugal I believe that one needs at least a CELTA certification in order to get steady employment. I will ask my trainers at the International House about English teaching opportunities. Are you ever coming to Portugal? It’s a wild and beautiful land.

    • No problem! I was so impressed with your enthusiasm!

      I was last there in 1995. I’m seriously due for a visit, but I’m not sure when it will be. Most of my mom’s family lives in and around Lisbon, and she was born in Oeiras.

      I was considering the whole English teaching thing, but the economy looks SOOOOO scary, and I’m having trouble finding a job in America as it is…


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