Well, I'm not going to take up time apologizing, because I am sure that is getting old. I'm just going to get to the details of my week:
Sunday-I went to La iglesia de Santo Tomé, where there is a famous painting by El Greco. It is a beautiful painting, with an interesting story to go along with it.
(If you're intrigued, read more here! And yes, I know it's Wikipedia...sorry.
Jessica and I wandered around that area for a bit. There is still much of Toledo I need to see! It is much bigger than I remember. Good thing I have eight months here!
I spent my first day actually "working" instead of just shadowing. And by working, I mean this:
Period 1-English; the 4th graders asked me questions in English about myself, and I answered, slowly.
Periods 2,3,4,5, and 6-Physical Education; I explained the games to the 3rd and 4th grade students in English. At the end I gave a lesson on directional/spacial words (I don't know the technical grammatical term) such as: in front, behind, left, right, inside, outside... I forgot how intense gym class is for young kids. I saw pushing, shoving, yelling, crying, name calling, and lots of celebrating (in the event of a win). I was even called a liar when I told someone he was out! Yikes! I quickly made clear that as the teacher I will not be called a liar...In any event, it was a fun day! I was outside, in the sun, I can't complain! I did, however, wake up on Tuesday with a hoarse voice and sore throat-I'm still recovering.
AND, we finally had internet set up in our apartment! Yaaaaaay. It feels great to finally be connected again! To celebrate, Jessica, Evan and I ate (our own version of tapas-olives, potato chips and wine) across the plaza on the steps of the university so we could soak up some of the beautiful weather.
I spent Tuesday with the little ones! San Juan Evangelista (my school) is divided into two buildings: one building with preschool (ages 3, 4, and 5) and 1st and 2nd grades (ages 6 and 7), the other building has 3,4,5,6 grades (ages 8,9,10,11, respectively). Tuesdays I will spend most of the day with the little ones ("infantiles"). I only have 20 minutes in each class, and the only instructions I have been given is to speak English and get them moving a bit. My plan is to teach a lot of songs. That is what I did on Tuesday. I collected leaves from parks on my way to school (Yeah, I was that strange person picking up leaves from the ground at 8:30 and putting them in a plastic bag...) and taught the kids a charming little song about the leaves in autumn, to the tune of "Do You Know The Muffin Man?" (I don't find that tune so charming, after 12 rounds). The kids are so cute, though! I have some stories I will share later. And I only had one disastrous (okay, that's extreme) class, but that was on Thursday...I finished my Tuesday back outside for one more P.E. class.
It was a fiesta! It was "el dia de Hispanidad," essentially a National Holiday. I did not notice much fanfare, though. I think people just enjoy the day off of work. I certainly did! It was a lazy day, and I didn't mind.
Since I don't have to work on Fridays (Yay!), Thurday was the start of my weekend! I spent the day at the "little" school, again. But this time I only did 4 lessons with the preschoolers, and a few others with the 1st and 2nd graders. In order to encourage the students to only speak to me in English, the teachers tell them that I don't speak any Spanish. The kids get a big kick out of discovering that I really do...but I still play dumb, which likely insults their intelligence...
I woke up early (Ha, at 8:00am) because I needed to turn in some paperwork in order to extend my visa, so I can return after Christmas. After that, I had a "cafe con leche" and a delicious "napolitana" (chocolate stuffed pastry, yummm) at the cafe/bar below my apartment. And then I spent a few hours relaxing-I still have a mean cough and sore throat, which I am treating with medicine, lots of fluids, and lots of rest. I did, however, venture out with Jessica this afternoon. We went to Museo de Santa Cruz-it is a small art museum in a beautiful old building that was originally a hospital. And, it's free! After that, we went to the library. I got a card and checked out two books, two DVDs, and one CD. The library is huge, and in the Alcazar-one of the most famous sights in Toledo. It was originally a Roman palace in the 3rd century (!) and was restored in the 15th century. It is the highest point in the city, and I was able to catch a few nice views from the windows!
And now, here I am, sitting on my sofa typing this long over-due post, and feeling guilty for not posting any pictures to make it more interesting...there is always tomorrow!