Monday, October 31, 2011

This Halloween has been rather bizarre. Despite explaining for weeks before hand that Halloween isn't a big deal for either me orWelshy we've still been told off for not being fully into it. We were told that the day would be easy and fun for the kids but then we got bitched at for making crosswords and word searches for the kids.
Accused of not caring (again), of not planning.
Hardly any kids came anyway. They were too busy being hyped up on sugar and racing about collecting sweets.
Alejandra, one of the kids bounded up to us after class when we were going to Eroski.

she gabbled to us about the sweets that she had and then fled off to collect more sweets.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

So most of the shops and schools were closed yesterday because of Halloween.
Today was another public holiday. All Saint's day. Like in Mexico, the Day of the Dead, everyone goes to cemetries and visit dead relatives.
So another quiet day in the school. We are looking forward to payday, we have been existing on about 15 euros since last Thursday. Am bored of just eating pasta.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Its got cold. Still a reasonable 14 degrees though, although only having tshirts and no jacket make it noticable.
I rescued Welshy from a sparrow that somehow flew into our flat. Next Morning we were woken by a sparrow hopping on the roof window and cheekily looking in.
Lessons have been a bit hit and miss, had a few disagreements on the best way to handle my toddler classes.
The kids are very excited about Halloween on Monday so am just gonna plan some easy lessons around that.
Tuesday is another fiesta day so that'll be a piece of piss as well.
Oh. And as from today, I'm going back to England in two weeks or 8 workdays, which means its nearly time to go to VEGAS!! Whooop whooop!
Another joyful note is that two different ladies from our classes are out scouting places for me to ride. One offered me a ride on one of her husbands horses.
Feel a bit rude to phone her up and discuss but maybe when I see her Tuesday we can make a real plan.
Poor Welshy has a cold and is all manky.

****End of story****End of story****

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In my 7.30 lesson I set up a skype "mystery guest" Which excited the kids no end. They established that the person was in the UK, which then led to questions about time difference. 
Student 1 "What time is it in England?"
Me. "Well England is an hour behind us, it is 8 here. So it is 7 in the UK."
Student 2 "What in the morning?"

Welshy also had a child jump out of a window today rather than stay in his lesson (I feel I should point out, that it was because they wanted to rescue a pen that Ed chucked out the window).

Monday, October 17, 2011

I had a bad lesson yesterday, one that resulted in my weeping like a girl at the end of it, with sheer frustration that the adults hadnt understood what I was saying.

But at least I wasnt Welshy, who played a youtube video of the three little pigs to a class of 6 year olds whhich ended with Santa Claus being boiled alive

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today has been a Fiesta, a bank holiday. In Zaragoza it has been a week long thing but today is the birthday of the Virgin's pet goat or something so its a national holiday in Spain.
People were out partying late last night. The Accordian people, who I have learnt are old fashioned alarm clocks, standing on the street corner and singing and playing, were out at 6am.
And us? Well we had lessons as usual. Despite hardly any of the kids showing up and one of the Bosses taking it as holiday. We had one child for the first hour instead of 12 and then we combined the next two classes into one and played Karaoke with youtube.
I took the next class (The Harpies) And Welshy's class didnt come.
I planned to show The Harpies some fairytales, Jack and the Beanstalk etc, and then get them to write and draw me a story each. Not too taxing, fun as its fiesta day.
They watched the video. Then I explained what we were doing. They then proceeded to shout "NO" at me, and then Harpy No.1 told me she needed to go to the toilet. So I let her. She returned with one of The Bosses who proceeded to talk to them in Spanish for 20 minutes explaining what I wanted to do.
I was really annoyed, controlled it until after the lesson and then pointed out that I didnt think that the way he acted was very helpful to me. Now they know that they dont have to bother listening in English, they can run to him and complain that what I am saying is too hard, before I even have a chance to rephrase what I am saying.
Whether he takes that on board or not is another matter...

Anyway I had a class after that, Welshy's didnt show, these kids are very sweet and 5-6 so we played Disney Karaoke and then I had another class of 10 year olds of which 2 showed up and we did the same.

All in all a fairly easy day, although it seemed kinda pointless to be opened. It gave me hope that when we are forced to open on Saturday after we return from Vegas, that will be the same and no one will want to attend.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today Welshy has been subjected to our bosses explaining exactly why we're bad teachers.
Apparently its our fault that The Harpies complain that our lesson is too easy and too hard to understand at the same time. Its wrong of us to comment that we dislike a child, despite this being said in the privacy of their own home, rather than in the school like M does.
Our planning is not thorough enough. Despite the fact that often we are told to make up lessons on the spot, because they pander to the needs of the children. I clearly show a lack of interest in what I am doing.

This is all very well and good, and if it was constructive in anyway fair enough. BUT. Like I said, they often tell us to abandon what we have planned on the spot and to do something else. If they have a test in something with school, why not tell us a few days before so we can plan?
If this is ENGLISH class why are you coming in and talking to them in Spanish for 20 minutes? Making it clear that we have no authority in the class and they can go running to the bosses every time things get a little hard?

I'm starting to think that I do not want to stay here any longer than my contract. Which is a shame, I like Spain, I like the kids, my timetable works in my favour to do time studying for my MSc. I like being in the country, I like not being in England and not at the NMM. But I think maybe Welshy is right and we should look for work elsewhere once our contract ends.

(The funny thing in all this is that M does not have the balls to talk to me about the problems in my teaching. He is scared of me, ever since I confronted him on the phone and called him weak and pathetic. It is funny because he clearly does not have a clue about teaching the Nursery kids. I even had to point out to him that teaching an 18month to write is a bit beyond anybody.)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

~We went to a dinner part y run by our bosses last night. I tried some spicy tortilla stuff and some spanish spicy meats. During the conversation it was mentioned that one of my runts is now asking for coffee with yellow, as it sounds very similar to the spanish for coffee with ice.

I like that.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Today, like most Sundays here. I have baked a cake, done some clothes washing, washed up from last night and am thinking without much joy about the prospect of having to mop the floor and dust.
Fuck this, hand me a pinny, I'm gonna whack out the gramaphone and put on some of the best wartime hits! Where's me "Best of '45"?

Friday, October 07, 2011

We've been to Calahorra again, walking along the Road Of Fear. (Would you walk 3km along the hard shoulder of an "a" road? No. Sensible people don't do such antics. So why am I doing this?
Because the bus to the city stops at 12.30 and starts again at 3.45.)
We walked this time to the big supermarket, which does some exciting things that you cannot buy in San Adrian. Like teabags. Actual Twinnings Earl Grey tea, which I am assured is better than the Eroski Basic teabag that Welshyis currently working through.
And. In my humble opinion. It is well worth paying 4 quid for a tiny pot of peanut butter. God how I've missed peanut butter. And how glad I am every day that I smuggled out my Marmite.
We also shopped in the "World cuisine" section and purchased some more pickled onions. Whooop!

There is a pet shop also in the Big Supermarket. I lusted after a Senegal parrot who came to the bars and nibbled my fingers and threw some shredded newspaper at me.
I had a conversation with a Mynah bird with twisted feet and wanted to rescue him and take him home.
And Welshy fell in love with a black and white cocker spaniel puppy. Bizarre from someone who hates dogs. I did not like my role reversal of pointing out why we couldn't get the puppy. The costs involved. The commitment. The fact that we do not know if we can have pets here or how we'd get it to England if we have to go home. Especially as we'd be going back to Mothers and she has put her foot down over puppies in the past. Plus buying puppies from a pet shop is wrong.
But my resolve is weak....
No. A bird is better, a bird is less commitment. A bird is easy to care for, a bird can move into my aviary once we go home.
Except said birdies here are rather expensive. I could pick up a cockatiel at home for about 15-20 quid. There? 80 Euro. Just a slight mark up.
Senegal parrot friend? nearly 800 quid. Didn't dare ask about the Mynah bird.
No. As much as I miss animal company, its best for all if we are strong and do not purchase.
Last night me and Welshy comsumed two bottles of "summer wine" = Red wine and lemon fanta.
Come 1am we needed more alcohol so we hit the streets and headed for adventure.
We made friends! Some random drunk cousins. Some random camp guy, who showed us off to the barlady in the Agora, who previously laughed at my attempts to order hot chocolate and I had two men (both obviously very gay) take me to a toilet, where we discussed Madonna.
"You speak English! Like Madonna!" etc.

at 4 the bar stopped serving until a policeman came and took someone away - lack of Spanish meant I had no idea why.
We left at 5.45 and it was still jumping.

Went to bed, woke up at 7am to watch the Wales Rugby game. Then slept till 2pm, then got up and listened to the CAFC radio coverage. Then slept again.

Ready for adventure now although Welshy who didnt sleep is starting to flag. Also I think we made a vague drunken promise to return to the bar between 1-2am to meet one of those guys sisters who spoke English.

Not sure we're gonna go though. Feeling a bit poor.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Last Night welshy was closing the window when he cried with panic...

"What is that? Its a monster! Its a gecko or something!" And then retreated to the safety of the kitchen.
It was indeed a gecko hanging out on our windowsill. A tiny half-an-inch long baby gecko. 
"Kil it!" He demanded. "Before it gets in th house!"
I was so busy laughing I failed to get a decent picture of the baby and then ushered it away with a piece of paper.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Apparently it takes 4 trees and 3 hours to open up a bank account here in Spain. The amount of paperwork we had to sign!
It was ridiculous!
I'm sure the last time I opened an account in England I was in and out of the bank in 30 minutes after having filled one form out! Now I only have 10 minutes before I need to scamper to "Lazer" Hopefully we will get paid soon. Am starting to feel a little bit like Old Mother Hubbard!
How on Earth am I expected to run a proper lesson when my boss sticks his oar in, panders to little children and tells me to abandon my lesson plan and make shit up on the spot so they get to do what they want?

Monday, October 03, 2011

As well as our range of children and teenagers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays we have an evening class or "conversation club" with adult learners. I took my first class last Thursday and I found it quite traumatic, I had to bluff my way through some grammar. They are all far more demanding on your time than the kids obviously and I found it hard to strike the right balance. 
I have just come back from an early morning lesson with the boss of "Lazer" a metal cutting company which has branches all over Spain. I am not sure if he manages it all or whether just the San Adrian branch.
So I was a bit nervous, especially after last weeks adults. It went ok however. He seems a really nice guy but he likes the sound of his own voice and it is hard to get him to be quiet and listen to you. He told me of a place nearby that has dinosaur fossil footprints so hopefully when we get paid (which should be sometime this week) we can go and visit.
Tomorrow I am to go to Lazer, after we have set up our bank accounts and meet some more top guys there and do some English with them.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Many people will be suffering today. Last night was the anniversary of one of the Bars opening.
So it was partytime until 1am when we went to bed. Woke up at 3 to realise someone had an accordian and there was bad spanish singing going on.
At 8am I woke again and they were still singing along.
I fear some people will have terrible headaches this morning.
Can never again be called clumsy after welshy manaqed to break two glasses in 20 minutes while we were arranging a late night covert mission to empty our bins.
Worst thing was that one of the glasses contained all my Lemon Fanta/Red Wine combo and now the floor is disgustingly sticky.
Todays main adventures in the rock and roll town that is San Adrian, has been an Art contest. Amateur artists have had easels up all over town and now they have gathered them all outside to await the judges verdict.
There is a tattoo parlour that only seems to open when children need to be enticed with Sweeties....

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Today we learnt that it is bad to take your rubbish out before 10pm at night. In case it attracts flies and starts to smell. Explains all the filthy looks we get walking down the road carrying our refuse.

Yay! CAFC Win! I discover baking powder making a successful Victoria Sponge Mk2. (looks like a brick, sponge still doesnt taste like English Sponge) and I'm watching Strictly Come Dancing.

More children shout "Hello" at Welshy than me. This makes me very, very sad.
Why does nobody love me?