Vive simplemente

para que otros



(permission obtained)

No te Salves

(Mario Benedetti)

No te quedes inmóvil
al borde del camino
no congeles el júbilo
no quieras con desgana
no te salves ahora
ni nunca
no te salves
no te llenes de calma
no reserves del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
no dejes caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
no te quedes sin labios
no te duermas sin sueño
no te pienses sin sangre
no te juzgues sin tiempo
pero si
pese a todo
no puedes evitarlo
y congelas el júbilo
y quieres con desgana
y te salvas ahora
y te llenas de calma
y reservas del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
y dejas caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
y te secas sin labios
y te duermes sin sueño
y te piensas sin sangre
y te juzgas sin tiempo
y te quedas inmóvil
al borde del camino
y te salvas
no te quedes conmigo.



(permission obtained)

Blogueando en los países hispanohablantes:



(permission obtained)


> John Duffy:


(permission obtained)

Mónica Pérez Barron-

I participated in Cristina Zahajko’s immersion program to Argentina. It was one of the best and most memorable experiences I have ever had. Besides taking 200 level Spanish classes, we were able to experience the Argentine culture and life firsthand. We lived with Argentinean families during our stay. In the mornings we attended the Spanish classes, which were held in a classroom in a local high school. On the weekends, there were planned excursions to cultural sites and events. For example, one excursion was to an Argentine ranch where we had lunch and watched the gauchos perform. Another one was to a tango show and dinner.

Being a resident of Southern California has given me ample opportunity to practice and use my Spanish on a daily basis. My husband and I love to travel. My Spanish has been very useful on our trips to Mexico and Latin America. Professionally, it has benefited me tremendously to speak Spanish. I am a teacher and when I was first hired, they needed bilingual teachers to teach in Spanish and/or use Spanish to help the students who were English Language Learners. Over the years, I have had many parents of students who only spoke Spanish so I was able to use Spanish to hold parent teacher conferences, write letters to them, and communicate with them in general. I have also used my Spanish to lead parent trainings and workshops.

Participating in the immersion program is one of the best things I have ever done, not only because I took Spanish classes and visited Argentina, but because of the experiences I had and the friendships I made!

(permission obtained)


Daniel Dovinh


(permission obtained)


Isabella Fabens

Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 6:46 AM
To: Zahajko, Cristina
Subject: Saludos desde Perú

Querida Profesora:

En este momento estoy en un avión que va a Lima, Perú. Usted dijo que debiéramos avisarle si hubiéramos hecho cosas relevantes al español.

Este verano, voy a supervisar a estudiantes de la escuela secundaria en Cusco, Perú por nueve semanas con el programa Amigos de las Américas, en el cual participé durante la escuela secundaria. Primero fui a Honduras y después a Ecuador y ahora, a Perú. Voy a visitar a comunidades en las alrededores de Cusco. Nuestro proyecto enfoque en la salud comunitaria, especialmente la salud maternal. Ahora la taza de muerte infantil en Perú es la más alta en todo América del Sur. Por eso, los voluntarios van a facilitar actividades educativas de la salud y la importancia de ir a la clínica.

Después del proyecto de nueve semanas, mi madre y mi tía vienen a visitarme para las últimas dos semanas y nos vamos al Amazon.

Pensaba en las clases que tomé cuando estaba preparando para este viaje, por eso le estoy mandando este correo electrónico.

Espero que todas sus clases estén yendo bien y divertidas.


Isabella Fabens (Chabela), estudiante del año anterior

(permission obtained)

From Hugo Lucitante (NSC alumnus)


Got a chance to chat and gained words of wisdom.
Thank you Dr Jane Goodall!

In a classroom at Brown’s University













From: Andrea Roldan [
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2015
To: Zahajko, Cristina
Subject: Hola de una antigua estudiante

Hola Cristina,

Do you remember me, Andrea?

I took your class back in >>> I believe, before I moved to >>>.


Are you still taking the class on trips to Argentina during summers?

Recently I was invited on a community service project taking place in Costa Rica.

That is what reminded me of your summer trips.


Well, I am a graduate student at Southern >>> now, seeking a Master's degree in Accounting. I will be living in >>> after I graduate .


Talk to you soon!


Andrea R. Roldan

B.S. Accounting


President, Sigma Alpha Lambda-SIUC Chapter

Dir. Membership, Golden Key- SIUC Chapter

Owner, Stolen Moments Boutique



Querida Andrea:


So delighted to receive news from you!…Of course I remember you…Your dad was Cuban, verdad?

Yes, please contact me at this email…would love to hear / read from you…

I am really impressed with your accomplishments...Could I quote part of it on my web page under "distinguished alumni...etc..."




Of course you can. More info about career and honors can be found here: www.AndreaRoldan.com

Talk to you soon!

thank you for all of your support.







Elise Saba - (Stephens) Book publisher


Running Start gives high-schoolers jump-start on college credit -


If those college-prep classes feel a little emptier in high school these days, it's because they are. About 10 percent of the students aren't there.

Those 17,000 juniors and seniors aren't truant. They're enrolled at the local community college, getting a jump-start on earning college credit before high school graduation even rolls around.

That's about how many high school students the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges estimates are enrolled in Running Start, the early entrance program that lets qualifying juniors and seniors earn college and high school credit at the same time and without paying anything. Enrollment has grown steadily since the program's launch in 1990 -- so much so that community college officials say it's costing them almost $35 million a year to educate those extra high school students.

Success has its price, and the community colleges will ask the Legislature for $35 million more over five years -- specifically $7 million each year.

"Over time, the Running Start program has grown successfully and the reimbursement the colleges get has stayed the same, while inflation has steadily grown," said Suzy Ames, spokeswoman for the state community college board.

Community colleges are entitled to 70 percent of the money earmarked for each Running Start student, Ames said. But with more students wanting to start college early, the colleges have to add classes, faculty and staff to accommodate them.

The $35 million figure is little more than "budget dust," said Dan Steel, a spokesman for the Washington State School Director's Association. Steel said advanced placement programs in high schools are hurting for funding, too, and K-12 educators might end up double-teaming the issue in Olympia next year.

"The point is, both systems on both sides of the fence probably aren't getting as much as they need to," he said. "But I do agree that Running Start on the college side costs money."

The state board has been crunching numbers to make its case, and the board estimates that the program saved taxpayers about $48 million during the last academic year by shaving two years off Running Start students' public educations. Students and their parents saved about $30 million, according to the board's estimates.

For high school students though, the incentive to go the Running Start route isn't purely monetary.

"There are a number of students who -- the traditional high school experience is not really for them," said Todd Haak, Running Start program coordinator at Seattle Central Community College. "They're ready to begin their college career."

Some students are bored with high school classes, or just not fitting into the traditional teenage scene.

"My thing was, I made tons of friends in high school, and that was a great ... but I kind of felt unfocused in class," former Running Start student Leanna Patricio said, recalling her experience at Cleveland High School. "I kind of realized I wanted a little more from high school."

The 18-year-old started Running Start at South Seattle Community College two years ago, and transferred to the University of Washington as a junior this fall.

"It was partly the fact that I was getting sick of that high school mentality, to be honest," said former Running Start student Elise Saba, now 21 and the recipient of last year's President's Medal at the UW.

Saba took classes at the Edmonds Homeschool Resource Center before beginning Running Start at North Seattle Community College and noted that a number of her homeschooled friends opted to enroll early at other area community colleges, too.

Last year there were more than 800 homeschooled students enrolled in Running Start, according to state board numbers.

Green River Community College in Auburn has the highest number of Running Start students -- 25 percent of its student body. Lake Washington Technical College has the lowest number, with just five Running Start students enrolled.

About 7 percent of the students at Seattle community colleges are earning high school credit.

And South Seattle Community College prides itself on offering Running Start as an option for minority students.

"It's a huge benefit and option for our diverse student community," South Seattle Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Mitsui said. "There's a lot of talent in the high schools in terms of student who come to us from Evergreen and Chief Sealth."

Overall, about 18 percent of the state's Running Start students are students of color, according to a recent state board report.



(permission obtained)

Hola, soy Yukita (Yuka).

Ayer en mi trabajo, una cliente mexicana me dijo que ella quiere aprender como cocinar Chiken Stir Fried (su plato favorito).

Por eso, yo le mostre y le ensene como hacerlo en espanol. Fue exactamente como la tarea que yo hice en el trimestre pasado.   

So, I guess your homework (para entregar) works well in  actual life (-.-)

Gracias....Saludos. Chao.


C.C.Z >I am delighted!  May I have your permission to list this on our web page to inspire other students?

Y.O.> Si, por supuesto.

(permission obtained)

Lam To, was a student of your and he has been a Spanish tutor making $20-$25/hr after school for the last 2 years. Learning foreign language and especially Spanish is necessary to keep pace with popular culture plus it’s becoming more and more important with regards business.

(peerm. obt)


Hello everyone,
I have begun posting blogs about my study abroad experience on Evergreen´s website.  I hope you will all check it out!  Again, here is the link:
Até logo!


(permission obtained)


Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 3:13 PM
To: Zahajko, Cristina
Subject: Hola y Gracias

Buenas Días Profesora,

¿Cómo está?  Espero que su año esté yendo bien.  Soy uan alumna de Español 121-123, y yo he sido aceptada en la Universidad de Washington.  ¡Estoy muy feliz!  Su clase me enseñó a ser una excelente estudiante, y estoy muy agradecida.  Voy a asistir a la escuela deTtrabajo Social, y espero seguir aprendiendo español (se puede ver que estoy un poco oxidada).  

También, la clase me enseñó a prestar atención a las metas de mi vida.  Todos los ejercicios, como "describe su vida en 10 años", me inspiraron a hacer más.  De hecho, me hicieron correr un maratón!

Entonces, muchisimas gracias por su ayuda, su inspiración, y sus altos estándares.



(Jennifer St. Cyr)

(permission obtained)


Hola Cristina,

No estoy seguro si me recuerdas, pero yo era uno de tus estudiantes hace unos años pasados......el estudiante que siempre hablaba sobre el deporte de surf. Yo quiero darte las gracias por todo lo que me has enseñado. Por eso, yo soy el gerente de las ventas para Latín América a una empresa se llama Wesmar en Woodinville. Yo sé que mi español no es perfecto, pero todavía estoy estudiando casi cada día. jaja. También, yo trabajo con un hombre que yo creo que conoces, se llama Andrew Schirmer. Él me dijo que había viajado contigo a Russia. ¡Qué una coincidencia! ¡Espero que tengas un prospero año nuevo!

Saludos / Best regards,

(permission obtained)



Ada Sherman (da Silva) - :  adadea.blogspot.com

During my studies at North Seattle Community College I discovered my passion for languages. It is this passion that has shaped my life and furnished me with the ideals by which I live. I was lucky enough to come under the tutelage of some wonderful professors at NSCC, most particularly Cristina Zahajko, with whom I studied Spanish for the duration of my studies there. 

It was with the strong foundation of this education that I qualified for a full scholarship at the University of Washington. Just prior to beginning at the UW, I met my future husband and had the opportunity to go and live in Brasil with him, where I taught English for two years. While in Brasil, I quickly learned to speak Portuguese with the help of the French and Spanish that I had studied at North Seattle. I then returned to the UW fully prepared to complete my undergraduate degree.

I will finish my degree in French Literature this June, after which I will take a brief sabbatical to have my first child, an amero-brasilian collaboration who will be raised bilingual in English and Portuguese. I then plan on returning to undertake a Master’s at the UW’s school of Social Work, which will enable me to advocate for social justice amond underrepresented communities, particularly immigrant populations that may not be able to adequately defend themselves.

Ever since my time at NSCC, when Cristina Zahajko enabled me to earn college credits while tutoring struggling Latino students at Ballard High School, my experience with language has provided me with a link to understanding and empathizing with people from diverse backgrounds. In Brasil I volunteeered to teach English to low-income children, and while studying at the UW I volunteered with a refugee family from Myanmar that spoke no English and had just received asylum status from the US government. It is through my intensive study of languages as a path to appreciation of foreign cultures, and my diverse personal experiences as a foreigner, that I have acquired the ideals that have propelled me into so many delightful and unexpected situations.

(permission obtained)


Jacobo Taylor:

Buenos dias! aqui está otra vez.. con el enlace del blog.

aqui le paso el blog otra vez (en ingles):  http://anotherborder.blogspot.com
y aqui lo de la pagina de ustedes: 
In the spring of 2004 I took an advanced Spanish course at NSCC with Profesora Zahajko and later that year I was back in my native Colombia searching for (and finding) my biological family.  I will spare you most of the intimate details of my life but I was born in Cali, Colombia, adopted and raised in the Tacoma, WA area. I have made four trips back to Colombia (I´m here right now), one month in Tonsupa, Ecuador and four months in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Here in Colombia I have been fortunate enough to be reunited with my biological family (including a mother, brother, nephews and a world of cousins), teach English at the orphanage I was in as a baby, and travel all over the southern part of this beautiful country. With my biological mother things have been anything but ideal as she is a woman who seems incapable of climbing out of her depressing situation.  Poverty, deafness and something that looks like bi-polar disorder are her constant plagues.  She is homeless by choice, if you can find the courage to understand that, and blames me and my brother for her demise. I have wondered why I keep coming back with the intention of lifting her from her depression, because I owe nothing to her other than an unmistakable biological alliance.  And that´s precisely why I´m here.  Nobody else in the family has the patience to sit down with her and write, and part of that is because many family members down here haven´t been exposed to the privilege of literacy.  Nobody else but me.  It´s not an obligation, it´s simply the right thing to do.
I am eternally grateful for the things I learned in Profesora Zahajko´s classroom and am confident that the lessons will continue to help me as I now

turn to the search for my biological father.  Gracias por leer.
(permission obtained)  



Beverlín Wagner-

Just wanted you to know that your influence is greater than you think.  The other day I met a guy on the bus in Nicaragua and we started talking about how we learned Spanish.  He studied with you in the early 80s.  (We both had a Polish Spanish teacher.)  He said you wouldn´t remember him, but his story is so interesting. 
I spent three months in Panama City volunteering in an orphanage helping kids with homework.
Hasta la vista.
Beverly La Boliviana

Here is my story.
My journey into learning Spanish started because of bicycling.  In the mid-90s, I planned a year long trip through South America on my bike.  Part of the preparation was taking beginning Spanish classes at the Community College.  But because I was cycling in the back of beyond and camping by the side of the road, my Spanish did not improve much.
In 2001, I started taking spanish at the 200 level at NSCC because I was rapidly forgetting everything.  Afterwards, I lived three winters in Cochabamba, Bolivia and Patagonia. My Spanish really improved with daily usage because I took gym classes, learned English style horse riding, had a small circle of cycling friends, and volunteered in the office of a micro credit organization and taught reading/writing at a shelter for women and girl children.  I lived my life in Spanish for those three winters. I also did some really remote cycling in northern Argentina and Patagonia because I had more confidence in my Spanish,
This winter I volunteered an orphanage in Panama helping kids with their homework and basic English.  I am now in Nicaragua just traveling.  By the way, due to their revolutionary past, there is a cooperative or social help organization on every corner.  If you are looking to volunteer where you can avoid the cost of programs that offer to set you up with a volunteer program, get a copy of Moon Handbook Nicaragua.  It lists numerous organizations that are looking for volunteers and how to contact them.
Last winter I took Chinese and will continue them when I get back to Seattle.  Cycling China is on my list of things to do in the next year.
Be careful.  Learning a language can lead you to some strange places.  Over time, home is just where you pay real estate taxes!

(permission obtained)

Barbara Williams-

Tijuana, Mexico
Barbara Williams
En septiembre 2003, yo fui en mi primer viaje de misión con la Iglesia de la Universidad Presbiteriana y las "Casas Sin Fronteras". Vivimos en un orfanatoen Tijuana que se llamba a, "Casa Hogar de Los Niños". En 5 días, nosotros construimos una casita para una familia.


Holly Winters:

As I look forward to graduation in June, I am even more excited about the upcoming spring quarter.  I will be spending my final months of undergraduate study in a Portuguese language immersion program in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, and also traveling to Uruguay and Argentina.  I will be studying through an Individual Learning Contract with Evergreen, and I have independently planned all the details of my academic curriculum and travel itinerary.  I leave on March 21, but before I arrive in Brazil, the first leg of my trip will be in Arizona at the U.S.-Mexico border.  I am part of a group of students from the University of Washington that will be volunteering with No More Deaths (http://www.nomoredeaths.org/), a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid to migrants who attempt the perilous journey of crossing the Sonoran Desert.  We will be providing food, water and medical supplies by dropping aid along known migrant trails in an effort to prevent more people from dying in the search for a better life.  We are hosting a fundraiser this Saturday, March 7, 8:30pm at Selena's in Wallingford.  Click here to see the poster with all relevant information:  http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z106/winhol13/NMD.jpg.  If you cannot attend the fundraiser, but would like to make a donation in support of providing humanitarian aid, I have included my address below.

I will return from South America on June 9, just in time to walk with my class at graduation.  The graduation ceremony at Evergreen is non-traditional and should not be missed!  The ceremony is open to the public, and all are invited to come.  So, mark your calendars for Friday, June 12, 1:00pm at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.  I understand that most people work and/or cannot make it all the way to Olympia, so I will be having a celebratory dinner in Seattle at The Continental Greek Restaurant at 7:00pm.  If you think you might like to stop by the restaurant, please RSVP to me so that I can let my boss know approximately how many people we might be expecting.

And I have one final announcement about an upcoming event.  I am a member of the University of Washington Women's Choir and we will be performing our winter quarter repertoire this coming Tuesday, March 10, 7:30pm at St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill.  I have attached a PDF with all the information for this magical event.  We will be performing with two other choirs that evening, including a couple of numbers as one gigantic women's choir.  It's free, but donations will benefit Noel House, a Seattle women's shelter.

I invite you all to travel to South America with me by viewing my blog on Evergreen's Student Life website (http://blogs.evergreen.edu/studentlife/).  I am still officially employed as a Student Ambassador from The Evergreen State College, and I will also be sharing my experiences studying abroad with prospective students, my academic community, and YOU.  Keep in touch and I thank all of you again for your continued support and encouragement.

From Seattle,


(permission obtained)


Hola Cristina,

Me encantaría compartir mi blog y el mensaje que te mandé en tu "alumni web page"!  La dirección para el blog de 2007 es http://hollyjoh.blogspot.com y creo que voy a hacer dos versiones de mi blog en Brasil y Uruguay.  La primera va a ser para la página de Evergreen, pero voy a poner toda la información en otro blog a la misma dirección en Blogspot.  Después de graduarme, van a borrar mi blog del sitio de Evergreen y quiero preservarlo, por eso voy a hacer el blog en las dos localidades.

Espero que todo esté bien contigo.  Gracias por tu interés en mi trabajo!

(permission obtained)

Yoshie Yoshida -

Hi! Cristina!

I was thinking about the time when I was in the states, then wondered how you

are doing. It's wonderful you have been teaching at NSCC.

Now I work for Japan committe for Unicef, being in charge of fundrasing for

children in developing countries.

(permission obtained)



I have crossed from receiving education at North to instructing at this fine institution.  I teach Spanish full time at Bothell High School as well as coach the Boys Varsity Soccer team.  Our Spanish program has grown to where our 4th year Spanish students have the option of earning UW201 college credit for the course.  I am also director of Cougar Soccer Camps in Bothell.

One of my highlights at NSCC was a magnificent student tour of Argentina where I took the Span 201-3 series as an immersion program.. We lived with Agentinian families while we attended 4hr-a-day intensive classes in the mornings. On the weekends we went to Tango shows, Fiestas Gauchas, visited various locales as well as got immersed into their culture and the community.

Following that experience I worked as a tutor,conversation group facilitator and teaching assistant while I pursued my bachelor degree in Spanish and later my M.A. in education. With my M.A. degree I returned to NSCC and taught in the Upward Bound program in the summers. From there I also taught summer classes in the academic transfer program at NSCC.

Another fortunate connection through NSCC was shortly after coaching basketball here, I was picked up to be the English teacher and interpreter for the Seattle SuperSonics.  I worked with the Cuban Lazaro Borell and the Argentine Ruben Wolkowyski.


BHS class webpage



Cougar Soccer Camp webpage


(permission obtained)



Alecia Hooker (En la cocina) > Tacos de pescado


ITALIAN - Seva Rzondkovsky

Andrea Kovich

As a beginning Italian student with no prior foreign language skills, I've found Seva Rzhondkovsky's Italian classes to have been both instructive and engaging.  The three courses (ITAL 121-123) have given me the necessary basis for further study and have taught me the essential skills to communicate in Italian.  As a result of this preparation, I have decided to apply for the 2013 SPSCA (Seattle-Perugia Sister City Association) scholarship to study at the University for Foreigners in Perugia next summer.

Andrea Kovich (Ital 121,122,123 2011-2012)

(permission obtained)

RUSSIAN - Seva Rzondkovsky

Robert Tanner

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to tell you of my success following the year of Elementary Russian I took with Seva Rzhondkovsky.

I had always been interested in the novels of the nineteenth-century Russian writers, and I was excited in the fall of 2007 when I saw that North would be offering a night class in introductory Russian. My girlfriend was a student at North at the time, and the convenience of carpooling combined with North’s reasonable tuition indicated a serendipity that was not to be missed. I subsequently took the entire first-year sequence of Russian with Mr. Rzhondkovsky in 2007-2008.

ussian is not an easy language, but Mr. Rzhondkovsky prepared me well for the 200-level intensive Russian class I took at the University of Washington in the summer of 2008, and I finished as one of the top students in the class. I continued to study independently and took the University of Washington’s 300-level intensive course the following summer. I now read in Russian and have several Russian friends with whom I talk over the internet. I am also planning to move to Russia in 2013.

ps. If you do need the name: Robert Tanner

(permission obtained)