Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AMH 2020 Quiz #5 Study Guide

Part 1: 2 LONG ANSWERS @ 30 points each = 60 points total

Explain the 4 major WW2 war conferences in order; make sure to include who attended each conference and discuss the key aims & decisions made at each conference.

Explain and connect: Iron Curtain Telegram, Long Telegram, Containment Theory, Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift


10 Points: 4 will be on the quiz
“both Hitler and Jim Crow”
Women and work during WW2
The Baby Boom
How did the Bikini get its name?
Evacuation at Dunkirk
Women and work after WW2à1970
D-Day
The Problem that Has No Name


AMH 1050 Quiz #5 Study Guide

How and when does Castro come to power?  what role does the US play?
Explain the Bay of Pigs. What was the goal? What happened? Results?
Explain the Cuban Missile Crisis. What was the goal? What happened? Results?
Explain Operation Pedro Pan and the themes in the letters US families wrote in response.
Explain the Mariel Boatlift. What caused it? Why did Castro let them leave?
Explain Elian Gonzalez’s story and place in context of US-Cuban relations.
Explain US involvement in Vietnam from 1956-1964. Why did we get involved?
Explain the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and Resolution; how was it a turning point?
Explain the Tet Offensive and connect it to the issues at the 1968 election.
Explain the Lottery Draft. How did it affect how people responded to the war?
Explain the Nixon Doctrine and how it changed the Vietnam conflict. How did it end?


Friday, October 21, 2016

If You Love Something, Set it Free: The Mosquito Bite Story

It is no big secret that my students and ex-students and colleagues and friends and I serve dinner to Veterans at Veterans Village a few times a month.

 Some weeks I cook huge batches of jambalaya, spiced chicken or curried vegetables. Some weeks I make fancy cakes with swirls and strawberry.  Some weeks I don't cook at all.

This story isn't about cooking.

The room we serve dinner in at Veterans Village is pretty small -- basically it is what you might expect in college-type apartment with a shared common area and 4 bedrooms only for this apartment each bedroom has been turned into an social worker's office and one of the bedrooms was become the food closet.  It is perpetually half empty, filled with too much corn and green beans, the adjacent unused  bathroom is stacked waist high with donated paper and linen and plastic odds and ends left in limbo.

More often than not is pretty darn stuffy so  I usually kept a cold water bottle close to me to keep me chipper for the event.

For awhile I was carrying my super posh way too expensive -- but it was a gift - treasured silver insulated bottle with me -- remember it? the one that keeps ice icy for 24 hours? the one I like to ironically carry like an Olympic Torch when I go running and can't go faster than 13 minutes a mile?

Two weeks ago I left that favorite treasured water bottle at Veterans Village.

I realized it was gone before I'd made it all the way home and ugh. There was no one to call, no one to notify, and honestly, if anyone at Veterans Village wanted my magical amazing posh futuristic water bottle I would've given it to them because it is a spiritual lesson to practice the belief that real treasure should be shared.

So I let my favorite posh water bottle -- the most amazing thing God invented, besides you -- go, praying that it would be used to bless someone.

Every time I missed it (oh, and I DID MISS IT DON"T LET ME KID YOU HERE) I imagined someone much thirstier than myself taking a long cold drink and being incredibly thankful for finding the magic bottle.

I told myself every single day every single time when I missed that bottle that if you love something, you should set it free.  No joke, I said that, I tried. I practiced letting go and being ok with things being gone, even when it didn't come easily.

Ya'll would be proud of how hard I try to be a grown up in my head.

A few weeks ago I found myself coping with 17 mosquito bites on one arm and a crazy sane voice in my head asked myself to consider what if blessings *had* to be delivered by mosquito bites.

 What if, right?

All the sudden those itches turned into sacred torture and then disappeared.

 I'll let you know about the 17 blessings as they appear,  I'm ready to start counting.

Back to the story about the super posh too expensive to ethically replace water bottle.

I bought myself a cheaper, off label, larger insulated bottle on Amazon in attempt to distract my heart from my beloved bottle and tried to go on with my life. No, it didn't keep the water as cold. No, the ice didn't stay icy, but it closed super tight and secure and that's worth something. Something.

Last night as my students and I  were cleaning up from dinner at Veterans Village,  I turned to help one of my students who  was stacking extra portions of dessert in the refrigerator and noticed something shiny on the inside of the fridge door.

It was my precious posh amazing super favorite water bottle.

It had been waiting for me.

 I grabbed it and cheered,  my faith in humanity restored and buoyed, and 100% ready to report on  16 more blessings as they show themselves.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our Last Trip to Cuba #13 Have you been to Moscow?


Once we found our way to the top floor of Hotel L'Union, I took pictures for you and pretended to not be thirsty for wine.

Here are the pictures of Cienfuegos (October 2015) and lets fast forward to the part where the wine arrived.








Yay! Notice the tiny little glasses. Sigh.  Last time we were able to buy wine by the glass; this time we had to buy it by the bottle and there were only two choices -- red or white.  Stop asking me if things are getting better in Cuba, clearly not everything is!


Legit wine. Enough said.

After a few sips of wine I excused myself to the bathroom, and since I've been to this hotel more often that I've been to the Cracker Barrel in my hometown of Tallahassee, I dash off alone.

 As I walk back through the mostly empty rooftop deck towards our table I spy a guest standing at our table with his hand possessively on the back of my empty chair.



The man steps back from my chair as I move closer to the table. Iliana sees me watching this and we laugh together.

Yay, food. 
OK, so then I sit down at the table and the man decides to pull a chair up to the table and join me.

 I'm not scared of him, I sit back and say hello.

 By this time he has met everyone at the table and knows who is from here and who is visiting from el Norte.

 He starts asking me who I am and what do I think of his city and I turn the tables on him and ask him who HE is and he says he is a colonel.

I shake my head in disbelief and he shakes a finger in the air and fumbles for a word and then points to himself and says GENERAL.

 While he is talking my mom is laughing and whispering to me that she can't take me ANYWHERE and I see my tiny wine glass is empty and add a little wee bit more.

General or no? I'm fine with never knowing. 
My new friend asks me to ask him anything and I mostly repeat back to him what he said. You're a Cuban General. And you're sitting here with me, a writer.  And I'm going to write everything you say.

He nods his understanding. Yes! What do you want to know?

Can we  take a picture? He says yes of course.

I decide he is equal parts drunk and crazy but I go along with his game. "Seriously? Have you been to Moscow?"

He takes the last gulp  his clear drink and gets the waiter's attention. Mom orders another bottle of wine, he orders himself another drink.

Yes, he has been to Moscow, what did I want to know?
Iliana, over my shoulder laughing at this whole thing.  

I took a deep breath and searched high and low in my head and nope. Nothing came up.  Really.

What could I ask? Was it cold? Did you talk about America much? Did the Soviets make you feel lesser than other satellite nations or were you treated like tropical Cold War prize?  Do you miss the Russians? Are you stuck on this island or can you travel? Why are you in this hotel bar when it's for foreigners? 

These questions were too big to ask and even if he could've answered him I didn't really want to hang out with him to hear the answers.

Oh, and he was talking on and on about how I could ask him anything and he spelled his name repeatedly -- it has an R in it, a LOUD R - but I didn't write it down. See, I remembered his name anyway. Yay.

 Meanwhile his phone kept going off and he kept declining calls.  I asked if it was his wife calling and he got all grumpy and said yes.

He ordered ANOTHER drink but mom slipped up to the bar and asked the bartender to please serve the nice gentleman at a place other than our table and soon enough he disappeared into the Cienfuegos evening.

A strong breeze kept cutting across our table so we go up and moved to another part of  the rooftop and I took these pictures for you.











 While we were taking pictures a tour group poured in and filled the deck.

 From what I could over hear they were each entitled to one drink as part of their tour.   I listened to them order margaritas and cuba libres and pina coladas and talk about mountains and horses and alligators and what time a bus was coming and the more they talked the clearer it was that I was in a   completely different Cuba than they were.

 And then I took an over the shoulder selfie so you could see what the tourists look like in Cuba.

 Don't worry, they didn't see me.




English speakers. In Cuba. A whole table of them. 



Soon after that,  just as four tables of tourists sipped on their fruity vacation drinks, a group of young musicians assembled and played an acoustic concert. 

 It was breathtaking and perfect, and some of the tourists got up and danced (I didn't) and then they walked around to every table and sold CDs and I'm pretty sure my mom bought at least one. 


 After less than an hour the musicians packed up and left, followed by the tourists who were all completely satisfied with one drink each.

We sat and talked for quite awhile on that empty roof, telling stories of cemeteries and gold necklaces and laughing until we became quite aware we were alone and it was late and time to pay the bill and get ourselves home.

But first, one last picture. Or two.




We made our way downstairs and through the empty lobby onto the dimly light empty street.

Not a single CubaTaxi sat waiting in front of the hotel.

No horse drawn carriage waited in line hopefully.

The streets were abandoned and we were miles from our own hotel.

(continued)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Our Last Trip to Cuba #12: You Look So Much Better

I first met Daniel, TiaLourdes’ physician, on my first trip to Cuba and I wrote all about it for you in “Four Days in Cienfuegos.” His wife has been visiting with us for a while this afternoon, and his daughter came and went while I was off walking the streets with Olguita (and as I write this a year and a few days later I want to be clear that I still don’t know where we were going that day or why).  

 He greets me warmly and I’m happy to see him and all of his English-speaking awesomeness. 
We hug because that’s what everyone does in Cuba (with variations like “hug kiss kiss” or “kiss kiss hug”), and then instead of releasing me he holds tight to my shoulders, takes me in up and down and proclaims, “You look SO MUCH BETTER!”

He couldn’t have known that those were trigger words.

He couldn’t have known that every single semester when I teach the 1980 election I ask my classes whether the statement “You look SO MUCH BETTER!” was a compliment or not.

Most students wince. They get it. Behind those words are a thinly veiled “you used to look horrible, thank goodness you don’t hurt my eyes anymore.”

I case you’re wondering, I’m thinking the most polite and kind thing to do in mainstream America to say “you look great” or even better, just don’t comment on someone’s appearance unless they bring it up. I digress.

 I use “You look SO MUCH BETTER” as a lead-in to the discussion of Reagan’s 1980 slogan “Make America Great Again” which implied that post-Vietnam, post-Watergate, unable to rescue hostages from Iran US sucked.   This all makes sense in class, in the USA, where I am the professor and they are the students and the story makes sense in context. I never imagined anyone telling me that I look SO MUCH BETTER, and when it happened I almost didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing and he continued to behold me in all my jeggings and FSU t-shirt awesomeness.

I didn’t take mental notes but for the next few minutes he very boldly wanted to know what I’d done to myself because it was a damned miracle how much better I looked.

In all truth, I wanted to ask him if he got new glasses but I didn’t. Bless his heart. Bless mine. Bless world peace.  I said that I ran hills and didn’t eat anymore and that satisfied him.

A group of 5 of us say goodbye and goodnight to Olguita and TiaLourdes and walk towards Hotel L’Union.  
 
I took this picture for you while we were walking to dinner.  The sky was dark. 

I love the architecture on La Correspondencia. And the numbers 1898, on there twice. That can't be their address, it has to be because they opened when Cuba became independent from Spain.  I wonder what's been going on in that building  since 1960?



Suddenly the sky was heavy with inky clouds but I wasn’t afraid. I took this picture for you, then when we arrived at the hotel bar on the top floor I took another picture – this time with a rainbow.

Then things got much more interesting.

Taken from the roof of L'Union. See the rainbow?