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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Buenas Noches" by Mateo Aujero

The following is a poem I wrote for my English conversation classes with my juniors that I had been teaching since February.  Last fall, I had attended their confirmation retreat, and spent the night in the all-boys room.  That entire night, they kept getting up, playing soccer in their underwear, and just being guys, clapping in unison, yelling "Buenas Noches!"  It had been an inside joke ever since.  The next morning I played "Trading My Sorrows" for them, and the next spring, I became their teacher.  This is my review of it all via poem.  I read the following on our last day of class:

(If you watch the video, I recommend just listening to it midway through.  One of my students got crazy with the camera)

"Buenas Noches" by Mateo Aujero 

It began with a “Buenas Noches!”
Chicos clapping in unison:
“Buenas Noches…Buenas Noches….Buenas Noches”
I responded with a song
All of us singing with a thumb and an L to show who counts:
“Yes, Lord, yes, Lord, yes yes, Lord!”
The next year I became your teacher
And asked, “Why English?”
Many said jobs, but others said they just want to connect
Connect in conversation, which we began.
It started with Machismo
If men and women inequality exists
And if you will let it continue.
I asked what you wanted to be when you were a child
And told you that some of those dreams will always stay with you.
Pursue them.
Find out what you want by finding out who you are.
Because at the end of the day, you want to sleep knowing you are happy with how you spent your life
With someone beside you saying
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches
I asked you to recite your favorite music
Chili Peppers, Black Eyed Peas, Beatles
“By the way I tried to say”
“that tonight´s going to be a good night”
“when you say hello, I say good-bye”
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches
I came up with Project Facebook
With the hope that we can start thinking, talking, and joking more in English
Some did it, some faked it, and some chose not to, saying this to their grades:
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches
I asked you why many teens feel ugly or fat when they actually are not
I asked what does TV or movies have to do with this?
And will we let the media affect us?
What does God see?
When we shut the computer and look in the mirror, will we like who we call “me”?
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches
I asked what makes a hero
You told me strength, courage, someone who makes sacrifices
I asked who was your hero
You told me your mom, your dad
Told me they have strength, courage, and how they make sacrifices
Will you be a hero like them?
Giving every day and night to your children,
Saying before they sleep
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches
I gave you an impossible maze to solve
And we discussed disabilities
What does that mean, and how should we treat those with them?
Sometimes we have the disability to pronounce words correctly
Did you know that the soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert?
And why did a seamstress and sewer fall down into the sewer line, anyway?
Spanish, unlike English, is always pronounced the same, like these words:
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches

My décimos
You have changed me for the better
I came to Costa Rica, to San Francis
Not sure where my future pointed.
Then I got to teach you
And you taught me that I should love what I do
Love who I spend time with.
And it´s students like you
Students like you.

It began with a “Buenas Noches!”
Remember where you were, with a thumb and an L, singing “Yes, Lord”
And know those two words is the answer to all of life´s difficult questions
Because I can´t be your teacher to tell you that anymore
To have these conversations
I have to leave, I have to say good-bye, I have to say
Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches, Buenas Noches


  1. Thanks Matt you taught us more than english ... :) (Y) L Yes Lord

  2. I don't even understand probably half the references in this poem, but it almost brings me to tears every time I read it. It is beautiful in a simple but intense way. I don't even know how to describe it, but I really like it. Good job.