Good things 1,2, and 3

Between school, lesson planning, Fathom work, trying to talk to the parents and the Greg on a regular basis, and endeavoring to drag myself to the gym after work, life has been busy. So busy, in fact, that I haven’t had enough time to properly update my poor little blog. This makes me sad; I think about it all the time, and how much I’d like to stroke it and love it and titivate it into a glorious overgrowth of healthy, verdant prose… and then, of course, I realize it’s 12:30 a.m. and I need to be up for school at 7:00. Dammit. In any case, I wanted to bust out a quick update between Gijón reports part I and II, just to keep it all fresh.

It’s Friday morning and I’m sitting for the first time on my living room couch. In Spain buildings are high and streets are narrow, and though outside it’s quite sunny and the air is crisp, clean, cold, and split into tasty cubic slabs via insistent golden sunbeams, the street outside is still shaded and I’m noticing for the first time how beautiful the facade of the building across the street is. It’s yellow and cream, with gorgeous pilasters sporting fern and shell patterns at the top, dental molding along the roofline, small, somber faces in court-jester type hats above each window and elegant, botanical-themed terraces made of clean wrought iron.  I’ll have to sit on my living room couch more often.

‘Til this point I haven’t actually gotten to enjoy my Fridays off–I’ve always been running somewhere, doing something, traveling somewhere, or had specific plans. Today, though, I’m free to loaf as I please. Ali, visiting from London, is asleep in my room on a mattress on the floor (another one that was in the closet, which is not nearly as horrid as the one I slept on for a week; my God I wish I’d known that existed because I never would’ve had to buy one, but hey. At least she’s comfy) and I, a perpetual early riser (though today that meant 10:30 as opposed to 7:00–I’m still early compared with her!) am enjoying a cup of coffee, some yogurt and crackers and a mandarin orange. The mandarin orange is my favorite part of the meal not because I like it the best, but purely because I got it at the mercadillo (basically–gypsy market) that sets up shop in the gigantic parking lot beside my school every Thursday. Along with a kilo of oranges, a half kilo of apples, 4 gigantic chirimoyas, a ramo of on-vine tomatoes, a half kilo of amazing camporeal olives, a kilo of mangoes and 2 kilos of mandarin oranges. Don’t ask me how I got all that home; I’ll just say it was worth it–and cost me under 10 euros. That was good thing #2 of yesterday.

Good thing #1 was that I taught my star readers in both 2A and 2B a lesson on contractions. Miraculously, they understood it! After having done individual reading evaluations with each of my children I came to the conclusion that they had NO idea what a contraction was or how to reckon with it. First I explained the concept to them, explained what an apostrophe is and how it works in the context of contractions, and gave them some examples of contractions with their expanded forms. We then read a book in which there were four contractions. I asked my little Carlos, Miguel, Helena, Leticia, Servando and David to point out each contraction, then identify the expanded form. Golden. We then did a worksheet, just to reinforce what they were learning, and played a game of concentration with contractions and their expanded forms. For the last fifteen minutes I let them have computer time (for a second grader, easily as good as achieving one “get into heaven free” card for the afterlife) to play contraction games and quizzes. I gave them a little evaluation sheet at the end and, while they scores weren’t all 100%, they did so much better than I’d ever been expecting that I went through the rest of the day feeling as though I was flying.

But I wasn’t the one flying…

Ali was! Here’s good thing #3: Ali got in from London last night at around 8 and had reached my stop in Chueca by 9. Between excited catching up and laughter we ate kebabs and then walked around Madrid. When we finally got back to my apartment it was midnight and we did the typical middle-school girl thing where you keep meaning to go to bed, you’re both lying IN your beds, but you end up talking for three more hours, anyway. It’s so nice to have her here and I’m very grateful she came. I don’t expect to remember how to speak Spanish anymore, come Monday when she leaves, but it’s still cool. 🙂 Tonight I’m introducing her to Talia and my friend AMber from school, and we’re all going to J&Js for the pub quiz, where Ali’ll be reunited with David and I will hopefully have a comfortable enough buzz from drinking cheapass booze at home that I won’t need to buy a 5 euro G&T. Yes.

All in all, life is good. I should probably get to the gym, get back and shower so we have some sort of DAY before us. Hasta pronto! I do promise the gorgeous Gijón photos are to come. However, if we’re facebook friends, you can just go see them there and forego reading my reportorial drivel altogether. 🙂


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