Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad, bad blogger.

I know.  I know.  It's just that between everything else, I really don't have either the time or the inclination.  I'm tired.  I'm overworked.  When I do have spare time, I prefer to sleep, watch a bit of tv, read, or study.  When I have larger chunks of free time, I usually head into Madrid to spend it with some friends.  So yes.  I am a bad, bad blogger.

The other thing is that I haven't really had anything to write about (besides my awesome trip for the weekend of October 12th, when I went to Bilbao, which I will eventually blog about).  Spain is depressingly normal for me, and while it certainly helps that I'm so busy and spend the vast majority of my time working, things just don't surprise me here.  I expect people to be gossipy and loud and affectionate.  I expect the ham to be delicious.  I expect there to be an insane difference between the day and night temperatures.  Of course.  It's Spain.  But I will try to be more conscientious of my readers and blog more about these small things.

I go to work.  Work is intense, being as that I go from such little kids to sixth graders, and bounce all over.  I still don't entirely know all the kids' names, which is stressful.  Some of my partner teachers are really nice, and prepare me nicely.  Others don't know what we're going to do when I ask them the day before, so when I show up they're like... uh, teach a song about x, or do x, and I just have to pull it out of the sky.  I don't like this.

Spanish kids are interesting.  They're very loud and quite rude.  They sprint through the hallways and crash into you without even apologizing.  So I chase them down and force them to do so, then they look at me like I'm a crazy person.  I think a lot of it has to do with the terms of address, specifically, that there are none.  The kids call all their teachers just by their first names.  The teachers shout at them, and the kids shout back.  It's a barely controlled chaos at almost all times.  So everyone is shouting over everyone else, and then the kids have to come to the American teacher who is trying to get them to zen out a bit and just be quiet and let each other take turns talking.  They're getting better at calming down, and I'm sure it will be more ok soon.  Some classes are better than others, but there are some classes that I leave and I'm actually shaking a bit and physically stressed by just how much shouting is going on.  They are basically sweet, and some of them especially so, and they come up and show me their little toys or whatever, or come talk to me in the garden.  It's not an issue of individual children, at all, but of the general school culture.

I still don't know the vast majority of my colleagues' names, either.  Most of the staff works in the secondary school, and they're on the second and third floors.  Preschool is on the ground floor and primary on the first, so I pretty much never have to head up there.  I did go out with some colleagues last night, which was a lot of fun, and which I hope will make me feel less awkward at the school.  There was dancing involved, and many of my colleagues were having a little bit too much fun, which I was careful not to do, so at the very least I've seen them in that state now.  Should make Monday a bit smiley-er if nothing else.  Also, I've finally gotten my schedule fixed this week, and have started teaching teachers English.  Which is fun, if also a bit strange.

The masters is what it is.  Twice a week I travel for hours and have class.  The first module is almost over.  One class was very interesting and worthwhile, the other was not.  I start studying in Spanish next time, though, so I am both looking forward to and dreading that.  I could go on and on about methodology and bi-literacy and so on, but nobody wants me to do that.

I'm making friends, some girls in my program, and that's really nice.  It's good to have people to just relax and be silly with.  I really like them.

And that's about it.  I promise to write about Bilbao soon.

I do love seeing this every morning on the way to work.

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