I didn't know anything about the two so I've been using it with my students. "I'm going to a concert for Los Delinquentes, but I don't know their music. Can you tell me about them...?" My private lesson on Wednesday told me they were kind of "hippie," so I asked him what he meant by that and when he said it was in the lyrics I told him to sing them to me in English. I only let that stand long enough for him to get really nervous and then I asked him to tell me what they meant in English. He began to recite "El aire de la calle" which includes the phrase fumando flores - smoking flowers.
At this point I made him level with me. "Did you get nervous about English again and smoke weed before our lesson?" It was very obvious he had but perhaps fortunately it wasn't out of fear of the class. Continuation of English lesson: "What's the stupidest thing you've done while smoking?" His answer was swimming in a canal in Amsterdam. That counts. Anyway I ran into him at the concert and he tried to get me to smoke with him - "Just one teacher?" (He didn't really call me teacher). Ay dios mío. No thanks.
Hmm, qué más.. I'm liking Colegio more and more mostly probably because they like me and I'm a sucker for approval. I picked up another private lesson for a girl who's trying to do a year exchange in the States and needs help with the application process and with prepping for the interview. It's kind of strange the way apps work here in Spain. Students in bachillerato who want to go on to University take a test for selectividad, and then based on those scores they go to the corresponding school and subject of study. So I think the highest scores can do medicine and architecture, or anything beneath that, but if you're lower you have to stay in your bracket and can't move up. In any case there are no application essays, no tell me about yourselves.. it's just whether or not you have the number that determines if you're in. Needless to say this girl was not prepared for the United States-style application novel with essays and recommendations and an interview and the works.
The whole system of test points determining what you can study was a surprise to me though. Down in Ecuador the President was trying to pass University reforms that would set quotas on how many people could study a given subject, so again top scores got top choice. It was an interesting debate and a lot of people at my University got really upset. School was canceled so that students could go protest. I found the whole idea to be somewhat scary - that the government was just taking away the right to choose your life course via a career. My host-sister, however, who was 32 and jobless after having studied Art Restoration, finding employment, quitting her job to study further for a year in Italy, and then not being rehired, thought the law had some merit. Her belief was that 22-year-olds don't know what it's like to be unemployed, and the job situation in Ecuador is such that a large number of people are. It would have been better in her mind to have a job, any job, than to have arbitrarily chosen a concentration that doesn't lead to a career (Hello? Art History?). Not really. I still have my soft spot for Art History and if I had chosen something else it would have been at least as arbitrary and fruitless. Which is fine because I am able to go off and be impractical and study an impractical major and live my life in an impractical way, and then one day suck it up and face my inevitable doom in the United States. (Just kidding guys kind of). Anyway, though, I might feel differently about it all if in the end I really didn't know if I'd ever be hired. Granted the job situation back home isn't great either, but... there will always Bebop's.