It’s been a while since the last time I came around here to put my thoughts forward, but I am back and ready to do so.
Being in America for almost 3 months has made me realize how much I love Brazil. I am not trying to say that Brazil is better than the United States or the other way around. Brazil and the USA are two different nations which face different types of problems and social issues: racial slur, poverty, starvation, prejudice, gossip, ghettos in inner cities, and many others.
The best of being in the United States is the fact that I know that I will soon be back in Brazil. The United States is a great country and it is full of opportunities. That is, it is way easier to have or become what you crave for. Here in the USA, I can purchase all those clothes my Brazilian friends have always desired and could never buy. Here, I can drive a Honda Civic, an Impala or a Ford Fusion and, even still, be looked down upon because they are “shitty-ass” cars. McDonald’s is trash and Burger King is “okay”. Ecko, DC Shoes, Oakley, Nike, Jordan, Reebok and any other name brands Brazilian people love and would like to promote by wearing, in America you can buy them for for really cheap, compared to their prices in Brazil, and be sure of one thing: you will not impress anyone around here.
On the other hand, Brazil is a developing country where people still struggle to pay for those shoes they had bought 5 months ago. A typical middle-class Brazilian citizen has one pair of shoes to go to school and play soccer and a nice pair to go to nice places. Brazil is the country where corruption takes place right in front of people but we, Brazilians, just do not care. Brazil is where rich and poor people live together in different and separated worlds. Brazil is hypocrites! We love to say that our food is better, our beaches are more beautiful, our women are prettier, our soccer skills stand out, but everybody wants to move out of the country because “Brasil é uma merda”.
Brazilians tend to say that they are not racists or have any sort of preconceived notions against any being, but when I come around, people still hide their purses, wallets and mobiles because being black, wearing saggy pants, and buzzed hairdo is threatening. Brazil is where pedophilia is seen as “As Novinha”. Funk is culture, of which I happen to be fond, but pedophilia is crime and I abhor it. Brazil is as big as my dream to be proud of being Brazilian for having become a successful nation for its people and their strength. I would rather be recognized as a country where people are intelligent and tolerant than as a country where “Carnaval” means being naked on the street, tworkin’, and kissing tens, sometimes hundreds, of people in four nights because it is cool.
However it is way far from coming true. Being sexy is part of Brazilian culture and costumes. I am not so sure about what I am fixing to say but here you are: being sexy is a gift, but we do not need to use it in order to make a living when we can use our brains. I can only accept prostitution when it is an option, not an obligation. When Brazilians get out of the country, the first thing we show to other people is how women are hot and sexy, how they dance in funk balls, and how small their bikinis are.
Well, don’t get mad when foreigners walk up to you say “I heard Brazilian women are slutty” because this is what our government has shown and you help them sell this idea. Foreigners just buy it. Those images include my mom, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife and so on and so forth We usually wear our “Havaianas” with the Brazilian flag on them, but what does it really mean? Does it mean we are Brazilian? Brazilian people need to stop being Brazilian only during the FIFA World Cup and/or when we are traveling abroad. We need to be Brazilians in Brazil as well.
Crimes in Brazil do not affect people anymore. When breaking news show people dying, kids dealing drugs and holding guns or being maltreated, raped, left on the streets, thrown away… we just look at the TV and keep on doing what we’re doing as if nothing had happened. We sometimes comment on that special case, but when we do so we usually talk to a friend who, like you, will not help change this scenario. Most Brazilian people do not do anything to change this situation. The only way I know is EDUCATION. I do not mean only school education itself. I mean cornerstone of education at home, on the streets, on the television. If you have a different viewpoint, please let me know and let us work together so as to help change it. I am sure that we can make it happen if we are inclined to do so.
Even still, I am really happy for being born and raised in Brazil, because it is so much fun to be raised on the streets flying kites, playing soccer, going down the hill on “carrinho de mão”, and simply vibrating when your mom or dad brings “Danoninho” to the house because you have behaved as you should. Being rich might be really nice, but rich people miss all the fun when it comes to accomplishing those little things in life that make the greatest memories such as: taking your girlfriend to the beach for the first time, going to a really nice restaurant, buying your first laptop, buying Coca-Cola and forgetting about those cheap soda pops, or throwing that amazing “churrasco” with your friends. These are some of the simple things that make me love being Brazilian. We are happy and we are the only people I know that are able to joke on ourselves and our weaknesses without being angry.
Being successful in a successful country does not change people’s lives. But being successful in a country like Brazil shows people that whatever you put your mind to and work hard for what you want, you can achieve. Honesty comes first on that matter. Unfortunately, corruption is not only carried out by politicians or businesspeople.
It is great to know I will soon be back home in Brazil so that I can help make other people’s dreams come true. There is a wide range of dreams I can help people accomplish like teaching English or becoming fluent in it, helping people get a better job, helping people travel abroad, showing different cultures or simply helping them open their eyes to another opportunity in life. I know I can do that and that’s why I never stop trying to make people’s lives better. What have you done to help others? What have you done to take off that blind-fold some people wear? What have you done to change the scenario?
Everything I wanted to have when it comes to outfit, shoes, gears, hats, and electronic devices, I could buy in America and it taught me something really important: They do not mean anything if you are not genuinely happy or if you did not work hard for having them.
People in America usually buy what they do not need, waste food, and label people based on what they look or dress like. It is called stereotyping, profiling or simply prejudice, preconception or preconceived notion.
I love to have a thuggish style and being educated at the same time. People get really confused when they see me sagging and walking with a limp, listening to gangster rap music, but when I speak; proper or mainstream English comes out. Or when I sit at Starbucks and start reading a book. They look at me as if what I am doing were a crime or something surreal.
Traveling makes people multicultural and this is what I feel now. Part of me is American and the other part is Brazilian. Whenever I am in Brazil, I miss America. On the other hand, whenever I am in America, I miss Brazil. I still have room in my mind and heart to be part of a whole lot of other cultures, creeds and nations. Just need to have extra money and time to take off on a plane bounding for other amazing destinations.
Real talk: do things that will make people remember you positively when it is your time to kick the bucket and no matter they say to you, set difficult goals and go for them.
By Rodrigo P. Honorato
Honestidade e integridade profissional são adquiridos em casa. É de berço. Não se aprende em cursos de graduação. Já qualidade profissional sim! Essa é adquirida através de estudo, muito esforço, palestras, certificações, cursos e muita leitura. Todo aprendizado é adquirido no decorrer dos anos. Chama-se experiência. Porém, alguns estudos da psicologia mostram que caráter e personalidade são moldados na infância. É quando se aprende o que é “certo” e o que é “errado”.
Evolução profissional ainda é um tema complicado visto que a comodidade de muitos profissionais brasileiros os torna menos competitivos perante um mercado que, a cada dia, exige muito mais dos trabalhadores de todas áreas do conhecimento.
Falar inglês atualmente não é simplesmente uma opção, caso você queria ser um executivo ou ter qualquer outra posição em uma empresa multinacional. Ser um empreendedor não significa, apenas, ser um grande marqueteiro e administrador. É necessário estudo e muita dedicação para que possa estar preparado para competições e concorrências, das mais sadias às mais chulas e que, de alguma forma, possa denegrir sua imagem como profissional.
Pensar positivamente e agir para que sonhos se tornem realidade, as vezes, ou na maioria deles, incomoda. “Still waters” é um termo que criei para descrever igapós profissionais.
Ser professor de mais de 500 alunos em mais de 20 cursos livres de idiomas me trouxe uma vontade imensa de fazer um trabalho de muita qualidade. Passei por escolas, nas quais aprendi muito e tenho eterno respeito e admiração; essas que me abriram portas e que me fizeram evoluir profissionalmente e como ser humano.
Grato a todos que direta ou indiretamente me motivaram e me ajudaram a ser um profissional. Muito obrigado!
Rodrigo P. Honorato
1. What do you think about English Language teaching in public and private schools in Brazil?
2. What kind of electronic devices do teachers use in classroom where you teach? Do these devices help teachers and students?
3. Do you use Social Networking in order to improve your English skills?
4. Do you think using Twitter may help improve students’ writing and reading skills?
5. What are the difficulties students usually have where you teach?
6. In your opinion, how long does a student usually take from zero-English to proficient English speaker?
7. Define a fluent non-native English speaker.
8. What have you, as a teacher, done to motivate students into dedicating to English learning?
Rodrigo P. Honorato
Three days ago I was having a conversation with my classmate and she asked me how “My Wife and Kids” were I said Ashley was fine but my son had problems in school because you know, “Everybody hates Chris” and because of this he has been so depressed and did not want to do anything since he had no “Friends” and that people used to have that “Glee” when he was feeling down or did something wrong.
I told him once that life was a “Game of Thrones” and everybody wanted to be the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” but you know you are just an ordinary country guy who came from the “Boondocks” of a small town.
While I was saying that my son cried out: don’t “Lie To Me” dad, I know I mean something and I am alive and can change this scenario or you thought I was a “Walking Dead”? My heart stopped and I said: ‘you know what, I am going to let you know “How I Met Your Mother”. I was 16 years old and had been bullied by my schoolmates, but I stood up against them and here I am, so you should learn from this situation you have undergone and get along with people from your “Community” just like “The Modern Family” is supposed to do. Son, what I am trying to say is that you can get along with everybody and not only be the “Family Guy”, ya know? Plus, you think you should act the same way every time because of your personality? That is some bullshit, I am more than what you can see here, I am “Two and a Half Men”, I am a father, a teacher, and sometimes I like going shopping.
My son got impressed with my speech and said my “Dexter-ity” on the words stood out. He said I spoke just like those “CSI” detectives and that I should be an actor and maybe participate in his favorite series: “The Wire”.