Stop or I’ll tell my mom!

The past couple of weeks I have been working in a Spanish play school, attempting to teach Spanish kids English. A task much easier said than done. There are five age groups: 4-5, 6-7, 7-8, 8-9, and a teenage group, and I work with group one, 4-5 year olds. It has been interested to observe the differences between the children I’ve worked with in the States and the children I’m working with here. The children here show me much more affection in a public place. They hold my hand, crawl on my lap, grab my arms, touch my hair, even after only knowing me for a couple of hours. They also demand a lot more attention. In class I may be working one on one with a child who needs extra help, yet if another child wants help they will walk up and throw their work in your face. On an average day I will have between 4-10 kids around me all demanding my attention.

There is one little boy in my class and the other teacher and I aren’t sure but we think he may have some developmental disabilities. He is only three, unfortunately there are about 4-6 three year olds in my class, and constantly needs help. He gets over whelmed with loud noises, very concerned about being clean, doesn’t seem to understand face expressions very well, doesn’t usually listen, asks the same question ten times, and doesn’t like new people. Yet, he can be very cuddly, talkative, and a times listen well. However, it is very challenging to have him in a class teaching English. He appears to struggle with Spanish and other ideas such as coloring by number, and always is the first to finish crafts( never done well), and if you put all those things on top if having 15 other 3-5 year olds it’s hard to give him the attention he needs. I really understand and appreciate the trouble teachers have when there is a huge ability range in the classroom. At this point I really think that arranging kids by age is the biggest problem, because age does not mean ability level. Although it has been very challenging, this job has also been very enjoyable and given me many great memories, and I thought I might share a few.

Most of the boys here are very, very, very into futbol. There is one boy in particular, who is also in my class, that takes futbol as life and death. Every day the kids have a half an hour break in between classes, during which a group always plays futbol. They play a very backyard game on a concrete patio, with two tables as goals, and a soft squishy futbol. This does not, however, stop a few boys in my class from bring both shinguards and goalie gloves. Anyways, this little boy, dressed in a red futbol jersey is running around bossing the older kids, and dictating the rules of the game. Half way through the game he makes a goal, which of course means a celebration. Running around like an airplane the little boy goes to slide on his knees, forgetting the ground is concrete. The moment his knees hit the ground his movement halts and his face twists in pain, however you can’t cry right after you make a goal, so the little boy looks around with pain etched in his face, and stands up. Needless to say he never celebrated like that again.

During one of the first recesses, I played with two of the smallest boys in my class. As I was running around chasing them, one of the little boys who has a lot of attitude, turns to me and says, “deja! O digo mi mama”! Which more or less means stop or I’ll tell my mom.

The other day I was in class and one if the little boys finished his artwork on the very hungry caterpillar. This little boy is one of a group of three inseparable friends. The other two boys in the group of friends are two of the best English speakers in the class, and Pablo is often grouped with those two boys, even though he doesn’t know nearly as much. Thus I wanted to work one on one with him, so I asked him to tell me about everything in his picture. As he starts to tell me he puts his knees in my leg( I’m sitting criss cross apple sauce on the floor), and begins to run his hand through my hair. The longer he talks the more he begins to crawl into my lap and rub my head. By the end of the worksheet he was in my lap and my hair told of the intensive head rub I had just received.

Mourning a Book

I just finished the eragon series. It has been a long time since I have read the first three books but the final book wasn’t written until 2011 I have just now gotten around to reading it. There is a certain grief I feel whenever I finish a book series, and this time was no different. After investing may hours, and those of you who know me understand when I read I book I do nothing else, I feel a certain loss when the story no longer continues. As trivial and silly as this feeling may be, I often find it lingers for the remaining of the day.

On another note, a friend and I are going to go to morocco next weekend and I’m really excited! I will be able to ride a camel on the beach!

Eating watermelon with a fork

It has been a very long week. It’s hard to believe that only a week ago I left seattle. After arriving at my house in Sevilla I met my roommate and we explored the town. So. Much. Walking. Friday was orientation day spent walking the city, meeting teachers, and eating. Getting used to the eating schedule has been tough; breakfast is around 8:00 and you only have toast and coffee, afterwards I go to school and return around 2 for lunch at 2:15, then after lunch I have the rest of the day to do whatever I want, and I’m hoping to use this time to go to different places around Sevilla. Dinner is at 9:15.

Yesterday, Sunday, I went on a trip offered by my school to the beach. My teacher had no idea where we were supposed to go, and as a result, we missed the tour of some church (there are so many churches) and then got lost trying to find the place where were going to ride horses. So instead we went to the beach for an hour and then back to find the horses. Unfortunately the group was divided up into two smaller groups and so when one group was riding horses, the other group had to sit and wait for an hour.

I seemed to have chosen a program marketed to young, white, rich women from small private colleges. Needless to say most are not my type of people, however it provided me entertainment during our excursion yesterday.

I my roommate and I arrived at the meeting location it became very apparent most of these girls had no idea what they had signed up for. A mirage of shorts and flip flops and even one dress, my peers were going to have a good time attempting to ride a horse. Once actually on a horse they were so scared I couldn’t help but laugh. Multiple girls demanded someone help them get down, and few were on the brink of tears. On one hand I thought it was really funny to watch these prissy girls, one of which exclaimed, “I’m getting dirty, dirt and I don’t mix”, attempting to ride a horse, however on the other hand it was frustrating because they really limited the ride. They couldn’t handle walking and so any thing harder was out of the question. Thus, which riding on the beach was really nice, it was in some ways a waste of my time.

I was however, able to meet some really nice girls that are much more like minded, and I’m hoping that they would be interested in exploring and actually going on some fun adventures.

Rainbows and butterflies

The sun poured through the window as I opened my eyes and welcomed another beautiful day. Although the warmth made clothes unnecessary I slipped a dress on and made my way to breakfast. Mi Madre espaƱol had an all day meeting, but she left my roommate and me breakfast on the table, and as I sat down I recognized the different containers on the table: coffee, tea, honey, sugar, and the makings for toast. I poured some rich black coffee into my white cup and decided some honey would be a nice addition. So I reached over and poured the honey into my cup. Huh, I thought, this honey is much less dense than the honey in the states. That’s weird. The honey isn’t blending with the coffee, it’s settling on top. After tasting said coffee I came to the conclusion that I had not if fact poured honey into my coffee; said container actually held olive oil. After a chuckle to myself I dumped the coffee down the drain determined to get it right the second time. Again I poured myself a cup of coffee, however this time I decided sugar would be a better option than olive oil. Reaching over the table I grabbed the container of sugar and shoveled a spoonful of sugar into my coffee. I stirred the sugar into my coffee and took a big gulp, which I almost spit across the table. IT WAS AWFUL, HOW COULD ANYONE LIKE THIS, oh wait, this isn’t sugar it’s salt.