Nice to meet you, es un placer. I’m Julie, aka Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ama, Mami at home; or Mme. Alvarez at work. Some refer to me as a BadGyalMom, buuuuut that’s a very selective bunch, who you’ll read a bit about too.
Canadian born, Northern Ontario grown and currently living in Markham, Ontario in the GTA (the Greater Toronto Area). How did I get here? Long story, so let’s catch up. Grab some cucumber with limon & tajin and read on. Also important to note, I’m all about snacks and will probably mention what I’m snacking on while writing – use it as inspiration!
It all started in October of 1989, jajaja just kidding. But for real, that was when I was born. I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario situated on Lake Superior. Did you just grab un sueter? Yeah, I got chilly too mentioning TBay. Thunder Bay has freezing cold winters, pleasant breezy summers and a bit of spring/fall in between – but mainly winter.
I grew up in a household with my dad, mama and brother. My mom is Mexican and she only spoke to us in Spanish. My dad was also born and raised in TBay and they still currently live in the house he himself grew up in as well. My brother didn’t reside with us as he was born Deaf and attended school elsewhere. He is the reason why I also learned Sign Language before I could even talk. I attended various French Immersion Schools growing up and that is where my dream of becoming a French teacher all began.
I knew growing up that my dreams were beyond those city limits. I was confident that my drive and determination would get me to where I needed to be. I applied to numerous Universities across Ontario, but was very hopeful for the University of Ottawa. Luckily, I was accepted with a $10,000 scholarship for my grades, and packed up and moved away at 17 years old. Ay Dios mio, pero I was only 17! Terrifying to think about now from a mom perspective. But that’s another story.
University was my iiiisssshhhh!! I really “found myself” as the young like to say. I worked two jobs, went to school full time and still managed to attend all the events: puro pinche paryyyy!! Jajajaja Yeah, it was una locura for sure. But I did it. Con ganas.
Then came teacher’s college. This was interesting for me because I had always done my schooling in French, even University. But teacher’s college was different, and one of my previous professors who wasn’t the most fond of me was one of the evaluators for the entrance exam into the French version of teacher’s college. Now you can just imagine how we call non-spanish speaking people “gringos” or that they talk with a “gringo accent”, well, I wasn’t of French background. Although my French was great, Francophones could always point out who wasn’t actually French. I applied regardless and was invited to present the entrance exam.
I failed. Yeah. Were you expecting that? Me either. Hijole, y ahora que? Well, I applied and paid for the entrance exam again – just to prove a point. I had already been accepted to the English teacher’s college, but I needed that validation. I needed to know that uh hello? all my years in French was actually, most definitely, undeniably more than enough to be accepted into the French teacher’s college.
I passed. Passed and denied their acceptance letter, because I was going to make it regardless. So chinga tu… jajajaja.
Fast forward a year, I was hired by the YCDSB in the GTA as a grade 1 French Immersion teacher at the age of 23. Young AF. Educated AF. Determined AF. Poderosa AF.
I am now married, have 2 kids and a dog. La pura vida!