Friday, November 28, 2008

Howdy Campers!

Well, I´m sick. My body was amazingly good at holding off for a week--I first felt it comeing on last Monday, but my body knew that it had to stick it out until Friday. Unfortunately, it used about 3:00pm as the cut-off time, while I was halfway through my last class. I didn´t actually feel it until I left the classroom at 4 (is there such a thing as a teacher´s high--you know, like a runner´s high? I think there is). The problem is that I am subbing tonight from 6 to 8 pm. After that I was supposed to go on a Chiva--I´d already bought the ticket--but I really don´t care about that. And you know I´m sick when I'm willing to let $10 go without making an attempt to sell the ticket to someone else. So now I just need to get through two more hours of teaching before I can catch a taxi and crawl into bed (and then spend the weekend sleeping--hopefully. Freakin' two-year-old be damned--I´ll push him under a Chiva, I will...) (Ugh, and now I´m trying to remember who has my ´blog address... just in case...).

The good news is that the class I´m subbing is Academic 1, my normal class. The bad news is that I need to go over a bunch of new expressions and words with them. I have a choice of doing it upfront, with the entire class staring at me trying to think of example sentences with my muddled brain (hell, they´ll think I´m drunk. It is the start of the Quito Festivals after all.), or to give them pair work and walk around and explain each word um-teen zillion times. Choice, choices... But I can´t avoid explaining the words... That´s just not an option.

For those of you wondering why I don´t just opt out, well, it is a little late now to find a sub on a Friday night at the beginning of the festival (plus it looks suspicious--just a little), PLUS, I want to build up good will with other teachers for when I need a sub in the future, PLUS teachers ha ve to pay out of their own pockets to get a sub (and the amount is more than we actually get paid. Incentive right there.).

20 more minutes. Just took my last Tylenol. Hopefully that will get me through at least an hour. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Posting on Blogger

Hey guys. I know I haven´t posted in a while (and I certainly haven´t been posting frequently), but don´t worry. A couple of folks mentioned that they were concerned about me--they though I might be miserable down here because I wasn´t posting. The truth is, I´m too busy to be much of anything other than busy. I´m not unhappy, I´m just exhausted. I think if I were a little less tired, I´d probably be happy (or, more likely, content). And things are only going to get crazier before the end of the session. But honestly, I feel like I fit in here. I´ve found a good group offriends who are career teachers and a bit older (like me). I´m really improving my classroom presence this session (it is still not great, but it is getting better), and I feel like things are going well overall. And I´m really, really looking forward to my Christmas vacation. I´m going to focus on learning Spanish--I haven´t had the time to work on it much. (And, of course, I´m meeting with the French teacher today to practice my French--which is just so difficult to do when my brain is trying to sort through Spanish already).

So don´t worry about me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Week Five

It is starting to look a little like Survivor in my classes. Most of my students are hanging in there, though. I guess they figure that they paid so much for English classes, they may as well go even though they wil probably fail. I must say that I´m a little impressed with that attitude.

Anyway, just finished up week five. I have three more weeks (and three days) to go before this session ends. Right now we are doing easy stuff in the classes (a nice break for my students), but units seven and eight (especially eight--when we start talking about verbs that are followed by gerunds or infinitives) are going to hit them pretty hard. I´m trying to prepare them a little for the idea of a ¨last push.¨

As for me, nothing exciting. I wake up early, I teach, I have Spanish class, I teach some more, I do some Tai Chi with some friends, I go home, I prep classes, I eat, I do some more prep, I collapse, I get up and do it all over again. Saturdays I meet up with some folks to work on Tai Chi, then we hang out, then on Sundays I prep classes. Hopefully I will have the same class next cycle so I won´t have to do quite as much prep work.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Almost Halfway Through

As of next Tuesday, I will be halfway through my first session. We just finished learning 12 verb tenses and aspects in six days (well, I taught them and my students reviewed them--they were supposed to have known them all already, but I have my doubts). I can´t even begin to describe how intense that is. (Or how fried my brain is right now).

Other than that, there really isn´t anything too interesting going on in my life. I found some folks to practice Tai Chi with, and one of the guys is teaching us some Filipino stick fighting (cool). He married an Ecuadorian about five years ago, and lives in a fantastic house down in the Valley (the super nice part of town). Another person in this little group lives about half a block from me, and we are all meeting at her house tomorrow for our weekend Tai Chi get together.

Well, time to head out and find a cabina so I can give Shari a call.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Life Abroad

I've been feeling pretty good here--been making friends and adjusting to life in Ecuador. I spent last Saturday with some Expats who have really made a home down here. Then, today, I got some bad news from back in the States, which really made me feel just how far away I really am. And it sort of brought me back to my reality, which is that, no matter how much I travel or want to travel, I will always go back to the States and my family and my friends. They will always be more important to me than living in a strange new world.