Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunflower Seeds

I'm starting to get nervous about starting at Colegio. I've been really - lucky? - to have had the month of September off from teaching, but it's also meant that I've been sitting on my hands for the last several weeks while everyone else in the program jumped right in and became professionals leaving me to carry the Dora backpack.

I think I'm in some kind of mental block because I've been trying to think of ideas for planning a didactic unit and lessons plans in my Biliteracy Curriculum class, and I just keep coming back to topics from AP U.S. History. APUSH?! Why are you haunting me?! My professor wants creative and fun and exciting because she teaches little kids, whereas I'm more inclined to make my older students as miserable as I've been trying to think of a good idea for this project. The other night I was lying awake in bed despairing that the aging process had begun for me because I couldn't remember someone's last name from BU, so that, on top of my inability to design a didactic unit, meant my memory and brain tissue in general was a piece of rotten Swiss cheese and I seriously needed to resume my daily crossword puzzle habit if I wanted to be still functioning by my 24th birthday eleven months from now.

Things got better in the morning, I looked up the name on facebook.

It is intimidating, though, to think of getting up in front of a classroom and not know whether your students will be responsive or hate you. I think, maybe if I dyed my hair blonde I might look more like an interesting foreigner? When I was introduced as the English auxiliar to one of the professors at Colegio, her response was a surprised: "But you're very brown." Plus on Thursday I'm just observing, so when I finally introduce myself on Monday I'll be known as the mute brown girl who sits in the corner brooding. Brown girl, brown girl, what do you see? I see myself needing therapy.

I'm also right now trying to get my butt in gear and turn in an application for teaching in Colombia next year. I'd decided before I came here that that's where I wanted to go next, but now I'm wondering if I might try to stay here. It's been super comfortable living in Spain because it's just so western European and so safe and so first-world, and South America's not like that, at least where I've been. Ecuador and Peru are amazing and wonderful and chévere, but you're not supposed to walk around at night by yourself. Especially if you're a woman. Especially if you're a gringa (so maybe I won't go blonde). On the other hand, I met a lot more people who were actually Ecua or Peruvian when I was in Ecuador in Peru, and that's one of the things I'm kind of wishing I had more of here in Spain. I hang out with people from my Masters program and they're totally great, but it's not as easy to get in with the Madrileños. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Madrid is such an international city and there are people from all over Europe, etc., but seriously, where my Spanish friends at? At the moment I'm listening to Prince and drinking 1 euro wine, donchoo wanna come?

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