My first two classes went pretty smoothly. John the Norwegian sat in on my first one to monitor my performance…which resulted in me forgetting that stereo players cannot play if they are on pause, and in him reminding me about 5 times to close the cap on my dry-erase marker. (In case I scribbled all over my schoolteacher outfit accidentally? In case it dried out within the hour? I dunno.) I had about two students per class, which I guess made it less nerve-wracking for me. There are still some things I need to learn (like keeping students on task and managing to fit all the activities in) but I think overall it was a good trial run. One of the more difficult things was my beginner’s class, in which I had to give instructions to students who had no idea what the instructions meant. With lots of dramatics and charades I think I managed to get through it fine enough. This week has felt like an entire month.
After dinner with Julietta at her Señora’s house, and time spent spoiling her cat Pancho and eating fiber cookies with Nutella, I met up with about ten people from my program for a celebratory drink. We went around looking for clubs with no cover charge, and we managed to find a Latin music discoteca that served cañas of beer in huge vasos: almost like a pint times two. Pretty fun, pretty low key. It was probably free because it closed at about 3 AM (this is usually when dance parties actually begin in Madrid). Bugger that the metro closes about 2 AM. I had planned on just staying out til the metro opened again, but people were tired. So then, a grueling search for the bus that would take me home. Luckily one of the girls knew the city and took me to the night owl bus hub.
Anyway, enough with the recap. It’s La Noche en Blanco! Madrid’s huge annual fiesta and art event in which a gazillion museums and cultural places open their doors for free to the public for art shows, music, theater, etc. until 3 or 4 in the morning. The entire city will be out tonight. I’ll be trying to catch the Japanese drumming in the Parque del Buen Retiro, which is near the Prado Museum. Then go roaming since I’ve done virtually none of that since arriving. But first I must cook and eat a real and savory dinner, since this is has been a rare occasion lately. Ciao!
Oh Duane Reade, where are you?! All I need are some markers and a posterboard…and maybe some Reese’s peanut butter cups. Every store I pass by here sells either art or food. Or is a bar. I have yet to see a big store containing office supplies. And every time I ask, people wrinkle up their foreheads in thought and say “Hmmm, nope, not that I know of here.” Do people work around here?!
So the first three days at EBC have been pretty intense. The first 15 minutes we were there, the instructors told us that we would be teaching our first 2 lessons within the following five days. Impossible, we thought…So it’s been pretty crazy with the teaching method cramming and the lesson planning. They really just throw us out there to sink or swim…strong proponents of instant theory application.
The students are a pretty cool bunch. There are about 25 of us, the large majority being American and others ranging from Australian, English, Scottish, French, to German. We all get along well and like to congregate in the nearby park for lunch.
Suddenly am getting very tired and need to go to bed…