Sunday, December 1, 2013

La nieve

Okay, so I have a lot of blogs to catch up on, which means you have a lot of blogs to read. I can't even imagine what it will be like after Christmas vacation when I have two and a half weeks to blog about with pictures!

Anyway, starting with last Thursday (Thanksgiving), I had a pretty bad start to the morning. I woke up two minutes before I should have been leaving--that's nothing new, so I know how to handle it. I changed real quick, brushed my teeth, threw my hair up, didn't even put in my contacts, made lunch, and was out the door. As I was on the train, I looked up and had this reaction...
You know why I had this reaction? Because there was snow on the ground! I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was! I have heard several times that it rarely, if ever, snows in Madrid. And I get that it still might not seem like a big deal, but since I had a rough morning and since it was Thanksgiving, it felt extra special! I was so thankful for the snow. I feel like it was a good reminder to slow down and enjoy the what's around me. Also, it helped remind me of home and helped to remind me of everything that I am thankful for, including my God, family, boyfriend, friends, the opportunity to be here, my job, the teachers at my school, and my students. I loved the reminder and I really did have a huge reaction in seeing the snow. You would've have thought that I was a Spaniard seeing snow for the first time. I was taking pictures and everything, but I didn't get a good one, so I stole a friend's picture. As you can see there isn't a lot of it and it melted quickly, but it was still incredible to see.
Also, when I got to school, oh boy, did I cause a ruckus with my appearance. "Why are you wearing glasses!" "You made a bun!" "Can you not see?!" "You have glasses!" Every single student who saw me freaked out about my glasses and my hair being up, because that was the first day for both of those things. Even a few of the teachers said they didn't recognize me. I imagine that they took a double take towards, like I did with the snow. It was a pretty big deal, haha. And all because I woke up late.

On another note, the most interesting cultural difference of the day was having a student color on the wall. Again, since I am not the classroom teacher, I cannot be for sure if the student's parents were told about it or even if she had a talk with anyone, but I know for a fact that she didn't even lose her recess. After my suggestion, she was told to erase it, but erasing colored pencil off the wall was not working, so as far as I know, it is still on the wall. Oh boy, my parents (and teachers, too) would have been really harsh with punishment on that one. My dad probably would have had me wash all of the walls, if I knowingly colored on the walls at home. And I am pretty sure I remembered one of my classmates drawing on the desks once and they had to stay in at recess and clean all of the desks. I don't know if it is a cultural difference or if schools have just changed in general all over the globe, but I just couldn't believe it. I wanted to sit the girl down and ask her why she did it, what would have happened if she did that at home, and what she was going to do to fix it. Maybe that is harsh and maybe that makes me a bad teacher, but I think letting her more or less get away with it is a little counterproductive as a teacher, too. But like I said, I can't know for sure what happened and I definitely don't want to judge or offend anyone by our differences in culture and teaching methodologies.

Anyway, on a lighter note, I attempted to teach a couple of my classes about Thanksgiving. That was interesting... I drew lots of pictures and it pretty much was only teaching them that we eat turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but at least I could share a little something with the students.

After school, I had one of my lessons cancelled and I tried to contact my second one to get it moved to earlier, but they never answered. So, I decided it was worth a shot to go to the house to see if they were home. The mom, whom I hadn't met before, was home, but she had to go pick up her daughter (my student) from school still. While the mom left to go pick up her daughter at school, she let me stay at their home alone, all by myself. I thought that was very trusting and wonderful of her. I didn't have to stand out in the snow or anything. I just chilled on the couch and waited for her daughter to arrive home, then I had my lesson and I arrived home slightly early that night. Once home, I hung out for a little bit and then joined Stephanie and her friend for a free Thanksgiving dinner at a bar. It was pretty good for being free. It was complete with turkey, mashed and roasted potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, and cheesy cauliflower. YUM. I didn't hang out for long, because I wanted to get home in order to Skype my family and my boyfriend's family. I ended up at Karin's house and I skyped the majority of my family and my boyfriend's family. It was awesome and I loved seeing everyone. I missed being home, but I am so thankful to have the technology of Skype so that I can still contact family and friends for free! :)

So, that was my Thanksgiving. It was a pretty standard day, especially since they don't celebrate it here, but it was still a great day full of thanks! :)

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