|Proof of delicious Spanish beer!|
- Picked up my NIE (Foreigner Identification Number) so I'm almost legal in Spain
- Experienced a field trip to the zoo with my fourth grade students
- Tried, and I can't believe I'm saying this, some good Spanish beer this is actually brewed right here in Madrid
- Finally made a Spanish bank account; seriously why is it such a hassle here?
- Started the first of my private lessons that I will hold after school
- Planned a trip for the upcoming puente "long weekend" to Sevilla
- Enjoyed the Fiesta del Cine (Cinema Festival) in Madrid
But mainly what the world has been missing from the commentary on my life abroad is how exhausted I'm finding myself at the end of every day, even though I'm working far less than I did last year.
I love my school, my classes, my students, and my teachers; but it can be exhausting the effort it takes to communicate some ideas to the students (especially the younger students). My school has a very strong bilingual program and in all the Science and English classes the teachers, and the students, only speak in English. It's very impressive, but some days dealing with the language barrier (and studying Spanish at home myself) are harder than others.
I seriously forgot how much practicing, and especially teaching, a language can take out of you. At work we're not allowed to speak Spanish or translate and while it's definitely better for the students to make them speak English, it's much harder as the person trying to convey the ideas. I'm constantly searching for words and ways to describe concepts in English, repeating simple commands, and keeping track of my instincts to respond to Spanish with Spanish.
|PERFECT thing to come home to after working all day|
The younger students generally are more tiring because of their boundless energy (can I have some pretty please?) and the fact that some days I find myself constantly repeating: "Go to page 10. Page 10. Page 10. Page 10." or "Raise your hand please. Raise your hand. Raise your hand. Raise your hand." Many days by the time the students have recess I'm ready for a longggg siesta.
And now after school I've started giving private English lessons for some extra spending money. So far I only have four hours, and they're on the same two days, but I will be out of the house and commuting more than I am used to. On the days I have private lessons I won't be home until around 7:30 pm if I'm lucky.
But I'm still only working twenty hours. And never in my life would I have thought that working twenty hours a week would be something to complain about. Twenty hours in itself is practically nothing, but living abroad it's not just that. It takes a lot living a different country and adjusting to many different aspects of life in a different culture. I honestly think the real things that exhaust me are a combination of the language barrier and the Spanish schedule. Let's face it. At 23 years old I've been living my life like a grandma. How many other people my age spent the past year knitting and going to bed before 11:00 pm?
|Preparing crafts for Halloween at school next week|
On an average night in Madrid we eat dinner around 10:00 pm and are lucky if we make it to bed by midnight. Then wake up at 7:30 am to do it all again. Personally I don't know how Spaniards are not perpetually worn out by the late schedules they keep. I guess it's just something they are used to?
And so I guess what you all really missed this past week is that I made a life-changing revelation: It's time to kick that internal grandma out of my life and enjoy my youth. I've always forced myself to be serious and work hard but I've come to realize that there's nothing wrong with working and taking part in some cheese, wine, and dancing. So yes. I'm currently exhausted; but I'm living my life and I don't think I've ever been happier with where it's going. Thanks Spain!