Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stating the Obvious

Hello world!

This week has been all about stating the obvious for me. I reminded students on Tuesday that the world is round. Tonight, I'm going to remind you that an entire culture doesn't change simply because you've arrived. It's strange to be the minority. USA!

When you move to a foreign country, the language doesn't change when you don't feel like speaking it. Let that sink in. It doesn't matter if you just woke up and you can barely form a coherent thought in your first language. Tough luck, kid.

Life's tough; get a helmet.

A few weeks ago, I was fast asleep on the couch in what I have dubbed "the nap of the century," when my host mom came home. She doesn't speak English. She asked me if I was okay (in Spanish). I sat up and started a 2 minute rant in English. She gave me a look of bewilderment and confusion. 

Oh. Yeah.... Spanish. 

I had a stomach bug this weekend. I didn't want to speak Spanish at all. I wanted to speak English and eat crackers and drink Sprite. Illness doesn't make people magically speak your language (although the oldest girl translated for me a few times when I couldn't say what I needed, super sweet). 

You've gotta (wo)man up and keep going.

You don't remember how to say that word? Unless you want to pull out a dictionary, get to describing it! This week, I didn't know how to say "sticky tack." I instead said, "the blue stuff that you use to put flashcards on the board and stay there, sometimes it's white, it looks kind of like gum..." It worked. Turns out, they just call it blue tack.

Oh, Spanish. We started Spanish classes this week. I know my grammar pretty well. I know Latin American Spanish. A Spaniard teacher told me that I was using a nonexistent verb form of a command. I mustered all my respect and just looked it up later. I was right. I'll spare you the details. It's tough to be a Spanish teacher who must take Spanish classes. Don't get me started on the methodology of this teacher. We have vastly different styles and theories on language learning/acquisition. I'll just have to use this as a chance to grow professionally by observing others (and a crash course in vosotros).

This week was fun. It was nothing out of the ordinary. At the professional school, a teacher interrupted my lesson on phonics. Instead of letting him find his USB and get out, I made him participate in the phonics lesson. "Cat. Aaah. Aaah. Aaah. Car. Ah. Ah. Ah. Aaah. Ah. Aaah. Ah." The students were greatly amused. Everyone had a good time.

My least favorite class remains my least favorite class. I think they know it. The good news is, they challenge me. I get a lot of classroom management practice from them.

I thought everything was rocking right along at the primary school. I'm not really sure. Turns out primary school teachers have a gossipy side. It's easy to tune it out. I have an off switch for Spanish. It's incredible.

I'm way too distracted to keep writing complete thoughts. I'm focusing on what to get people for Christmas. Living in Spain is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I feel the need to get everyone something uniquely Spanish for Christmas. No pressure. ALL THE PRESSURE.

So, without further ado, your weekly (ish [give me a break, I had a stomach bug last weekend]) dose of FUN FACTS!!!

1. It snowed today in parts of Spain. Flurries were seen in Madrid (by yours truly)
2. I just bought some really nice shoes. I don't have any good socks to wear with them.
3. I hate throwing up almost as much as I hate needles. I'll spare you the rest of my not so fun facts from being sick.
4. I miss driving
5. I would never want to drive in Madrid. People are insane.
6. I think tonight calls for a Boy Meets World marathon.
7. I spent most of today chilling with my host family. The women stayed in their pajamas all day. These people understand me.
8. I need to go back to the huge chino near Atocha to find the bracelets I can't seem to find anywhere else.
9. No luck on the guitar search. I'll have a time on my hands next week with the girls gone from Wednesday through Saturday.
10. I'm compensating my need to play an instrument by singing songs while doing that cup thing.
11. I just ordered the Christmas gift of the century for my youngest brother.
12. I just spent an hour looking at photos of cats. I think Maddie needs a feline sibling. I plan on living alone when I move back to the US. She has always lived with another animal. It only seems right.
13. My life is not a romantic comedy, but Songza is letting me pretend.

I think that sums up the past week pretty well. I'm working on plans for the next three day weekend. After Christmas, I'll sit down and plan my trips better. Four weeks and five days until I visit home for Christmas. That's about 33 days. Hooray!

Until we meet again,

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