My name is Antonia. Actually, my full name is Antonia Maria Concepcion Graciela Rodriguez, but most people who know me call me "Toe". It's a lot easier. LOL I am 12 years old; I live with mi familia (my family) in Nyack, New York.
I am a native New Yorker: I was born in The City (New York City), but moved here to Nyack when I was six. My dad got a transfer for his job, plus he wanted to get away from all the noise pollution; the noise (and the traffic) was making him a nervous wreck. I was also getting picked on by the kids because mi mami (my mommy) was an illegal immigrant, and people, even the grown-ups, were less than kind.
People here give us some grief, but nothing like what we went through in New York City. I do miss New York City, though; there was always something to do, and nothing made me happier than hanging out at the stores like Macy's or Saks Fifth Avenue or eating New York style deli food or pizza, or taking in a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium! Ah, yes, that was the life! :)
Then some people had to act stupid when they found out that mi mami was an "illegal", so we had no choice but to leave. And papi, his health went south, so that was another reason why we had to go to a smaller town to make a new home.
Besides my dad and mami, I have two brothers: Humberto (10) and Augie (4). I had a sister, Dominga, but she died of AIDS at the age of 19. She had unprotected sex; it got her a trip to the grave. She only lasted a year after she got sick; it was a very hard time for all of us; we still can't talk about it without crying. This happened three years ago; had she still lived, she would be 22; her birthday was on May 4th. We still miss her badly!
There isn't a day where we don't think of Dominga. She was the best! She just made some wrong decisions, and it got her in the end.
I am in the sixth grade at Nyack Alternative School, which is kind of like public school, but kind of not. You have more choices of classes to take, and you work at your own pace, and even though the teachers expect you to do your work and do your best, they aren't nearly as harsh as they were in public (regular) school. There's also more emphasis on multicultural studies and theatre (voice and drama). I'm taking English, Conversational Spanish, History, Science, and Math, but I'm also taking Voice, Drama, and Latino Studies.
School is fun; I have a lot of friends there, and the teachers are great. It helps me take my mind off of Dominga and how much I miss her. The same happens when I'm with my friends.
I like to do many things: sing, act, dance (I'm what they call a "triple-threat" performer: I do all of them well!), read, write poems or stories (mostly about growing up Latina), going to mi abuela's house in Mexico every summer (we go for two weeks), shop for clothes or music (popular or Latino music; I also like Taylor Swift in country, but that's about as far as I go in country music! LOL), and be with my friends, as well as watch television (telenovas and America's Got Talent).
Well, I have to get up in a few hours, but I couldn't sleep, so I did my first entry in my brand new journal. I got that from my cousin Pepito for Easter. I plan to fill it up, from cover to cover; nobody can read what I wrote but yours truly unless I say it is okay. Take care; I hope you enjoyed reading a little about my life! At times it hasn't been pretty, but things are a lot better now since coming to Nyack. I pray it continues! Take care and God bless! This is Toe saying so long!
~Toe (short for Antonia) Rodriguez. :)
~To be continued.~
P.S.: The picture? It's one of my little cousin, Mira, who is three. She was taking part in the annual Cinco De Mayo festival on May 5th here in Nyack. Isn't she cute?? :)