Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm done giving Spanish lessons to Birke. I couldn't do it, too exhausted and stressed out trying to plan so many different classes every day. I hate that I don't finish my day until 9pm. I come home and need a break from school stuff after having spent my day on it, so I end up spending the next several hours doing not school stuff, then having to get up at 630 the next morning to plan my lessons before the day begins, and then I'm tired all day long again until Thursday.

This week was not very fun aside from the fact that I bought some really good books and am feeling newly inspired by the disaster that is the Latin American economy. Last weekend I had an epiphany that I needed to make some changes in my life. I don't want to teach anymore and granted, I have it easy that my workweek is four days long, but I feel like those four days suck out every inch of my energy and leave me no time to pursue other things that interest me. I was really disappointed last weekend because I found out the French classes I had wanted to sign up for were right in the middle of my night shift making them impossible. It wouldn't be such an issue if I had a job I was happier with, but gahhhhh.....

I know I have no right to complain. I'm trying to figure this out though because for the most part I thought I'd teach abroad until I could no longer stand teaching, and then I'd have to move back to the states but could hopefully have a career I was more content with. I don't really want to wait that long now, I'm getting impatient.

So I'm looking at what else is out there. I found a job based in Oaxaca and had my first interview this morning, just so they could verify that I can speak the language. Now it's on to round two interviews so we shall see what happens. The job starts in February and I decided that whether I get it or not, I'm kind of setting that timeabouts as the time I'll be heading out of here.

Of course maybe I'll change my mind.

Last night I was walking home from the Centro with Mono and two of his coworkers drove by on a motorcycle. They stopped to tell us that one of the Captain's 8-year-old sons had died and there was a wake starting at 11pm that night. I don't know the details exactly but I think he got hit by a motorcycle - everyone drives them here, more like scooters really - and it was a tourist it seems that was driving. They said gringo, maybe local.

So I went with and it was sort of a surreal experience. The way wakes are here - and they call them velorios, coming from the word vela, or candle - is that they are overnight functions. Everyone goes to the funeral home and is just there for the night. I think this started out as sort of a waiting around thing for when a person is sick, like on his death bed, and now they do it even after the person has passed. I don't honestly know that much about how it's supposed to go at a wake even in the states, but here they didn't even bring the casket out until 1am.

It was also sort of strange because I was with Mono and Daniel and Raul, and I knew they would know everyone, but I had a couple come up to me too "Hola, Teacher Megan." They weren't my students but they had kids in my classes. It's kind of cool how Cozumel is small enough that that sort of thing happens.

El presidente is in town again, which is just as annoying as ever. Later tonight a friend of mine is singing in the plaza for some Inter-Caribbean thingermajig. She got invited to go perform in Houston, too, and now that Selena randomly showed up on my iPod shuffle, I think it must be a good sign -- oh, wait, Charlie Brown Christmas.

Christmas trees are now on sale. It is 81 degrees F.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Look at how cute. I walked into my classroom the other day to find this written on the board by an anonymous student.

The past week has been enormously exhausting. Matthew emailed me over the weekend to ask if I could do two additional hours a day teaching spanish, meaning I now have class from 8 to 10, 11 to 1, 4-5, and 6-9. Most of them don't repeat so I have to plan five hours of new material everyday and I am desperate for lots and lots of sleep. Unfortunately I can never get it here for some reason as the little boys who live downstairs wake me up every weekend morning with their cuteness.

It's a lot more work for me to teach spanish because, obviously, it's a second language but also just because I don't have nearly as many hours of teaching experience with it and have to find all new resources and materials and whatnots in order to plan a class. I've been giving a private lesson to one student for the last couple months but he has some sort of developmental disability so classes are a lot slower and we never cover too much in any single lesson. The new student, however, is from the Netherlands and already bilingual in Dutch and English, so her learning capacity is much greater and I have to plan A LOT in order to occupy our two hour lesson. I like teaching her though because it's really interesting to see how her language background interferes with her spanish. I'm used to how Americans trip over the language with their knowledge of English, but the Dutch thing is new to me. There are also times when I try explaining words to her using English as a reference - un lápiz is a pencil, for example, and un bolígrafo is a pen - and I'll find that it leads to the question "But what's the difference between a pencil and a pen?" English is her second language so it occasionally turns into a bilingual language lesson, which is kind of cool.

Anyway, all that's great but the class is a ton of work and I wasn't initially going to take it but I told myself I'd put all my earnings into a December trip. Trying to figure that out, though, because it's a lot more expensive to take a flight around here than in Europe and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. TBD.

By the way, I'm really happy about this video. Go to 2.45 minutes.

Oops. This one.