Just another traveling twenty-something with a blog.
Wow! What a JAM PACKED first week. I don’t think I had two seconds to breathe and it’s catching up to me. I came down with a cold and didn’t properly rest, and now my voice has completely disappeared. This has never happened to me before and I am finding it extremely difficult to stay quiet and rest my voice, so stay tuned on me expressing my emotions.
Let me start at the beginning…Last Monday I began my intensive TEFL course! I am really liking the program, although the hours are pretty tough. We began last week with a few 10 hour days full of class, teacher observation and then we dove into some actual teaching! The teachers at the school are great and British! For someone who watches all sorts of BBC America shows, I am quite excited to be hearing the accent and vernacular in real life.
My classes involve learning teaching techniques, classroom management, and the big one: English Grammar. It is crazy how little grammar is taught in American public school! Sure, we had schoolhouse rock and learned the function of a conjunction, but could anyone tell me what the Past Simple is? Cue Jeoprady Music… Nope! I didn’t think so, but I didn’t know either!
I didn’t learn anything about grammar until my freshman year of college when I took Spanish grammar. So, I had to teach myself Spanish grammar while learning English grammar at the same time. In Spanish. So now, learning this grammar is a real challenge, because in my mind Spanish grammar is the only type of grammar out there, as it is the only grammar I have ever learned. I am trying to approach learning English grammar as if it’s a set of rules that I haven’t been introduced to before. I probably should be reviewing it instead of obsessively making tea/reading the second Game of Thrones book (cue the tears), yet here we are.
I taught my first class last week, which I am happy to say was succsesful! As always I had the typical Alex Pastor no-craps-given-boss-b*tch-come-at-me-bro attitude, and didn’t have any nerves. Yet, when I handed out my first worksheet I realized I forgot to make a master key and while trying to wing it I was of course corrected by a student. Oops! I’m not concerned. Something always has to go wrong so I’m glad it was something along those lines rather than the white board falling off the wall. Well, I did accidentally throw an eraser into the class. That’s what happens when you erase too vigorously…
Outside of the course, I am loving Barcelona! I’ve spent a few days at the beautiful beaches! They are so different than beaches on Long Island, mainly because there is a constant chatter of vendors! While laying you hear “Sangria? Mojito? Sex on the Beach!,” “Massage! 5 Euro!” and my favorite, an incomprehensible man who carries around cut up coconut and says “DaDadooBlahDoo.” Yesterday, I went swimming in the Mediterranean and it was so beautiful! It was so refreshing and even a little more salty than the water at home, which made it easier to float! It was so great. I hope the weather stays warm so I can keep swimming, but mostly tanning, of course.
In terms of exploring….I have gone on some walkabouts in my barrio, some on purpose, some on accident. Earlier last week I had dinner with a friend and afterwards I said to myself “No problema, I can get home from here!” And walked around for an extra 25 minutes. Luckily, I turned down a random street and walked until it turned into my street. I’ll take it. My neighborhood, Sants, is fairly quiet and full of cafes, fresh fruit markets, and dogs! There are so many dogs all over this city, it’s great.
On Saturday myself and five other girls from my TEFL class went for a hike to Tibidabo, a nearby mountain, that gave us some spectacular views of the city! There is a amusement park on top that we didn’t make it to, but we exited from a different path and got to explore more of the city.
On Sunday night I visited Barcelona’s Oktoberfest! It was so much fun!! Everyone is so happy; cheers-ing each other and dancing on tables. I had my first beer in over three years. Let me re-phrase that. I had one liter of beer, my first time drinking beer in over three years. Since I dropped gluten from my diet I have of course avoided its evil comrade, beer, but I figured Oktoberfest only comes ’round once a year and I have to fit in!
Well, this is long enough. I will definitely write more soon. Adios.