Thursday, October 3, 2013

Healthcare, Culture, and More

Well, folks, it's official. I leave the country for a month and the government shuts down.

My bad.

On a related note, every Spaniard I've talked to about the US healthcare debate thinks Americans are quite selfish for how they react to paying taxes for public healthcare. The main argument they've heard against public healthcare is that people don't want to pay the taxes.

"Why should a person who didn't work get healthcare??? My taxes aren't going to pay for someone who was too lazy to work in order to earn the right to see a doctor!" 

They're humans, too. Their rights don't hinge on how much you value them. Heaven forbid you treat everyone like a human being if there's a cost attached to it. That's all I have to say about that.

Moving right along... I'm sure you're more interested in my adventures this week!

I was assigned to a new school after things went awry at my first one. I'm now in a smaller school working with little kids. The students are ages 2-9. We play games, sing songs, and there are lots of hugs and kisses. I'm thrilled to be in a place where there is a curriculum, materials, and support from the English teachers! It's a wonderful thing. There's even a pirate parrot puppet named Captain Jack.

The only funny thing to me is that the school teaches British English. I'm learning English while I'm teaching it.

In addition to that, I'm discussing the differences between the two at the professional school next week. I'm excited to show them how different our dialects are.

Fun fact: according to a British import guide, one should always be aware that when speaking to someone from the US that we speak American, not English. I found that a bit offensive. The students were amused when I told them that.

I also have what I expected in one class. They're students who are about 18 who have a very basic/almost nonexistent level of English. I play games with them that are similar to what I would play with a Spanish 1 class back in the States. They're right up my alley! I really like teaching basics to older students (not that I don't adore my babies, too!).

Changing subjects once again... I have a Spanish bank account! I also got my metro pass! I'm one step away from being a full resident here! I pick up my residency card in a few weeks! Until then, I'm not really supposed to leave the country. That's a very restraining feeling. However, there's a lot to see here in Spain. I'm sure I'll find plenty of things to do within the borders.

Things are becoming normal here. I like that. My university studies start tomorrow. I'm pretty darn excited. The focus is methods/pedagogy for teaching a foreign language. That poor professor has to live up to Dr Owens in my mind. He or she will have to be phenomenal to come close.

Fun facts in closing:
1. The "guy nod" is international
2. I love Tiger stores.
3. I've found the equivalent of a bottled frappe. It's delicious and low calorie!
4. Peach tea from Tiger is 50 cents, zero calories, and surprisingly tasty
5. It will never replace authentic sweet tea
6. I can't quite figure out how to get my metro pass to scan on the first try
7. I'm working with a JHS teacher to set up pen pals between AP Spanish and my professional school students
8. I need a haircut
9. I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors
10. Number nine is a song lyric. I didn't do that for real
11. I really want to find some real leather boots for winter
12. I like ending on odd numbers
13. If it's prime, it's even better (nerd alert)

It's time for bed.


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