Thursday, February 18, 2010

La facultad de filología inglesa

I have certainly been blessed with having wonderful professors to work with in the Department of English Philology.

The director of the department, Ana, whom I met first, is very thoughtful. She offered me her home and cell phone numbers and encouraged me to ask her for any help I might need. I do not work directly with her, but she emailed me yesterday to see how I was adjusting.

Elvira, the first professor I worked with (every other Tuesday evening, conversation classes) invited me for coffee between classes. She is very amiable and warm.

Rosa and I clicked right away-I feel very comfortable conversing with her, and she is eager for my input. I work with her Friday mornings to help with her lesson plans, and work with her students on the alternate Tuesday evenings.

Tonight I worked with Alberto, a part time professor at USAL. He lives in Zamora (about 40 minutes from Salamanca) where he teaches high school English. His school has an exchange program with a high school in Buffalo, NY and he spends time there every two years. He invited me to go to Zamora one day to observe and meet his American assistants there. We didn't share coffee in between classes, but we did stand outside while he smoked his pipe! I will have more of an instructing role in his classes; he teaches three hours in a row, of the same lesson. So, he said I can listen to the first hour, and gradually take over the last two hours. After classes he invited me to have coffee with him (he needed a dose of caffeine for his drive home). We talked for about 45 minutes, all in Spanish, and he was very patient with me. He has two daughters who study at USAL, and took my phone number down to give to his older daughter. He said he would ask her to call me sometime. Again, very warm and thoughtful.

On top of working with wonderful professors, meeting students from all over the world, and gaining valuable experience, I am compensated very well for my time. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Plus, I work and go to class in buildings that used to be palaces...can't complain!


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