EMAIL September 4 2010 A WEEK LATER
So much has happened since my last long email! I went to Toledo, I went to Granada, and I moved into my new apartment which I will be living in for the next four weeks.
So first thing is first: Toledo. Picture a little midevil city on a hill with winding cobble streets, no modern facades, and with a Cathedral about the size of the Maui Arts and Cultural center - that would be Toledo. It has a really cool history (seriously. Look it up) It was Jewish for centuries, taken by the moors in about 900ad, and it was the first city to be retaken by the Spanish in 1200 or something. Today, it is a town that lives off of tourism and damasce (aka knife making and gold inlaying?) The streets are filled with tourist shops full of swords. Usually the store has a night in full armor set up too, holding a sign that says "no tocar" which means do not touch. To give you an idea of what sort of swords I'm talking about, Toledo was apparently where all the lord of the ring swords/bow and arrows were made for the movies. Consequently, in addition to really cool antiquity swords and cooking knives, the stores also had tons of "buy your own" versions of Lord of the Ring swords, as well as excalibur knock offs, highlander, swords from comic books, movies....basically, Toledo is a nerds dream. Really, I got this slightly nerdie boy Australian named Ben to come check out the city with me on Saturday - I swear he made me go into every sword store he saw, and he knew which ones came from what stories. It was hilarious; he was so excited about them! Of course he couldn't touch any of them, so I guess in that way Toledo is also a nerd's nightmare - all this cool stuff that you don't get to play with. Other than that, all you need to know about Toledo is that you walk uphill a lot, and that there are tons of shops run by Nuns that sell home made marzipan. (Yes parents. I know you love Marzipan. I ate some in honor of you. Not bad stuff). It's also one of the coolest places to walk around at night. All the tourists are gone, everything looks and feels old-- I found myself imagining I was back in the 13th century. Very cool.
Oh yeah, one more funny Toledo story. My second night there, Sunday evening. I ended up at a secret pool table at an Irish pub, and by secret I mean the bar tender at first denied he had one... and then surreptitiously let us up stars after we'd hung out there for a bit. (Us is me and another Aussie from the hostel i was staying at. He's the one who wanted to play pool. Aussies are EVERYWHERE in Spain right now. They came over for the La Tomatina festival outside of Valencia, a festival where they dump truckloads of tomatoes on a crowd of people and let them go wild. Apparently the turn out for this festival was at least half Aussie). Anyway, we went upstairs to the secret pool table and found an two english blokes and a guy from Scotland. It was like I wasn't even in Spain anymore. Also, the pool table was ridiculously bad - you needed to use a mini cue most of the time because the table was positioned to close to the table to use a full sized one. The whole thing definitely ranked high on my list of ridiculous experiences.
Moving on: Granada - what a cool city. It was a total last minute decision to go at all. I'm really glad I did. I get off the bus in Granada, and thought it loked kinda like Madrid but with more banks. But then I had turn up this side street to find my hostel - that street? (and others of course) I felt like I might as well be in Morocco. It was tiny little lined with little Hungarian tea shops, and bohemian clothing shops, and hookah bars. The street itself was so cobbled I ended carrying my wheeling suitcase cus it was easier. Very unexpected! I found out during my stay (and by reading Rick Steves) that Granada is the best preserved Muslim city in Spain. Unlike Toledo, which was the first city to be reconquered by the Spanish in like 1200, Granada wasn't reconquered until 1492 - and was the crown jewel of the moors occupation in Spain up to 1492.Consequently, there is a lot of Muslim influence in the architecture, and Granada has a very unique culture - more bohemian than other Spanish cities, and gypsies (roma's they are called here) still live in caves outside of the city. They moved into these caves during the Spanish inquisition to avoid prosecution. Seriously, i can't do justice to Granada's history. Please look it up and read about it. It's fascinating. I find my hostel. It was the nicest hostel I have stayed at. The building was a square, with an open air middle courtyard. And another Terrace on the upper floor. The room was very comfortable too with very cool, friendly english speaking roommates - most of which were there for the same three nights that I was. I randomly hear about this "nature walk" tour up to see the aquaducts created by the Moors around 1100. Five minutes later, i'm going for a hike with three Aussies, a girl from Argentina, and another American. We hike straight up hill, and within five minutes, you don't feel like you are in a city anymore at all. Instead it's like accorn/fig tree jungle. The aquaducts were really cool too. They are a feat of intelligent engineering that use gravity and water pressure to run water from the melted snow in the Sierra Nevada to the city (through mountains!) They are still in use today too. Just to think that the Moors were accomplishing this (and other amazing feats of science and art) when the rest of Europe was still in the dark ages digging up filth.
That night, I went to a gypsy bar that was in a cave. (Oddly enough, the bar sort of reminded me of Polli's in Makawao but with less decoration) It is owned by a man who's family has been doing Flamenco for like 500 years. Everynight he and his son (?) play realauthentic Flamenco guitar out on the terrace of the bar. It was a real unique non touristy experience. Very cool.
The next day I went on a walking tour of the Albayzin - the old city part of Granada that used to be the workers quarters during the moors reign. It's got lots of small winding streets, and houses built into the hill with white roofs. I learned a lot about the city - again please read about the history! After the tour, I ended up hanging out with people from the tour all day long. Another american guy, two Aussies, two Germans, a girl from Columbia, a guy from mexico, and a guy and a girl from japan. For the most part, except for the germans, we were all solo travelers that happened to be in Granada at the same time. We sat around and made fun of each others cultures a lot. We went for a walk through the gypsy caves outside of Granada (still don't know if we went the right way. It was like walking through the most unique cave neighborhood. I took pictures. I'll post them eventually). We then went to a hookah bar for a few hours - really good fun and really good company.
My final day in Granada I finally went to the Alahambra - the moorish castle that is the best preserved and most beautiful examples of antique Muslim architecture around. I'd been hearing about it for a while now, and I have to say it is worth the hype. The ornate carving in that castle is exquisite. It is so detailed, and such a feat of discipline and artwork. Every room's walls are covered in complicated carved designs and poetry in arabic. Also, the gardens and the fountains! It's a pretty remarkable palace. The sultan and his 2000 closest court members and servants lived at the Alahambra (not all in the palace of course) for about the same amount of time that the USA has been around currently.
So yeah, Granada was really neat to see. It was neat to hear about all the outdoor activity to be done around Granada too. That is a good thing to know because Madrid seems to be lacking in that effect. It's good to know that other parts of Spain make up for it.
Ok this email has gotten long enough (and I had to write the Granada part twice because my computer is uber obnoxious and decided to erase it).
I'll write more about my apartment soon!
love you all
EMAIL September 6 2010 A WEEK LATER pt 2
Not too much has happened after Granada except for moving into my apartment (and lots of heavy lifting). The enigmatic Ricardo situation ended up being just fine. He's perfectly amiable to live with.I am the 7th or so roommate from EBC that he has had in the last 7 months, so me being here isn't anything new to him. The apartment is nice, simple, and clean. My room is about half the size of any room i've ever lived in, but my stuff fits, the bed is comfortable (it even came with sheets) so i'm perfectly content. He also has wireless, which is awesome! (I was concerned that he wouldn't). He himself is, I'd guess, about 40 years old. Single. And from Chile. He understands English pretty well, and can speak it sufficiently enough to communicate. He's a scuba dive instructor, although I think his job in Madrid has to do with handyman work. He also loves Motorcycles, and has a huge one out front of the apartment. He's even going to some motorcycle expo next week for holiday - leaving me with the apartment for a week to myself! Yes! So far we just keep to ourselves. He seems pretty shy, respectful, and considerate. We watch a lot of tv in Spanish, which is just fine by me. it's sort of feels like I'm living with a Spanish version of Francis or Darryl again (my 40 year old bachelor tour mates all spring) except i don't have to be so dependent on transportation or anything, so in that way it's kind of better.
Small cultural things about the apartment that you should know:
- the refrigerator is significantly smaller than any you would find in America
- The washing machine is in the kitchen and takes three times as long as the one back home. There is no dryer (my travel clothes line with suction cup endings is VERY handy!)
- The shower is also very small with a detachable shower head. This is how every shower has been since i've been in spain, so I guess it's just how it is here.
- The doorknob on my apartment's front door is in the middle of the door
- The light switches look different
- There is a permanent bum down the street named John Luc (I think) who is from italy, lives in Spain now, and traveled all over - even to America. Consequently he speaks fluent Italian, fluent Spanish, and not bad English. He likes to tell me that because I'm from Hawaii I should look like a body builder from Waikiki (where he has also been). Hilarious.
- His tv on most channels can switch from English to Spanish with a push of a button (pretty cool!)
I'm feeling pretty good overall. Mostly I've spent the last bit of time (since 7pm Friday) getting errands done, getting situated, and getting work done for the course. I'm a little lonely, but hopefully that will change when the course starts tomorrow. Honestly, I probably need the downtime and the sleep - traveling is such a whirlwind of activity and people, it's good to have some time to relax before this intensive course I'm about to start.
I feel like I've been in a lot of awkward situations lately - mostly because of the lack of Spanish thing. It's sort of obnoxious not understanding what people say to me, or not being able to communicate like a normal person It's part of the adventure, I feel good natured about it. Still, it's hard to notice how much of a buffoon I feel like. Even just buying groceries, I have to spend so much time looking at labels, figuring out what's what, watching the locals.I think I'm going to start counting the times I have moments of awkward encounters. Just yesterday alone, there was the episode at the grocery store where I didn't know I had to pay for shopping bags, so the woman instructed me in rapid spanish to which I gave a smilling blank stare. Or the time at the department store when I had to go to the bathroom. I asked, and was given rapid spanish insturctions. A few times this happened. Finally, I found one on the second floor. But it was being cleaned. The cleaning lady told me where to find another one... but in Spanis. So, I had to surreptitiously follow a Spanish girl to the other bathroom on the 7th floor. It was pretty funny.My weekend has been full of moments like these.
it doesn't help that the Aussies I was hanging out in Granada with ragged on me a lot for being American, and my American accent, and my American accented Spanish. They deemed me a cool American, but made good fun of me a lot anyway. I hadn't been in that sort of cultural situation before. It was interesting. Consequently, i'm a bit more embarrassed to try speaking the language. it's not stopping me, but it does make me feel a bit more self conscious. I'm trying to be patient. I know my Spanish can only get better. But I think I've sort of reached a point where I just need to learn more Spanish before I can improve at the rate i want. Once my course starts and i know what to expect from it, i'm going to find a Spanish course to take, and set up some intercambios (language exchanges with native spanish speakers).Occasionally I realize I am learning how to be an independent adult in addition to living in a foreign country. Even just budgeting nd buying groceries (daunting tasks for a new adult even in her home state) i now have to figure out with everyone being in Spanish around me. There are cultural things about this country I just have no way of knowing. It can be a bit daunting! But, it will be ok. I want it to be ok. Everytime I feel a little overwhelmed, cus this is overwhelming at times, I just tell myself that this is what I wanted. At least it keeps things - like, everything - interesting and novel. So, bring it on Spain!
Alright, i'm going to make me some lunch now. It's nice to have a kitchen to do that in again.
EMAIL September 9 2010 FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES
It's about the be Thursday of the first week of class. Thursday I teach my first class in English to a group of adult speakers who won't understand a word I'm saying. Awesome? I think yes. Writing the lesson plan for this lesson took way too long. It is an hour lesson, and I've probably spent about 5 or 6 hours preparing for it. That is a messed up ratio me thinks. However, this is my first of 8 lessons I will be planning and teaching. Hopefully it will just get easier. (My second lesson is on Friday to adult students who may or may not understand what I'm saying....also awesome).
I will give you a quick rundown of the people in my class. I know you must be curious. (If you aren't, just humor me. I was going crazy with curiosity of what these people would be like for months. Therefore, you can at least feign some curiosity).
There are the three girls from Jersey: Laura, Ali, and Angela, who all knew each other from college at the University of Delaware, and plan to be roommates together after the course. So far they seem pretty friendly, but also sort of keep to themselves. It was Ali's idea to move to Spain. The other girls, with some prodding, decided to come along. They are all 22, fresh out of college.
There is Dan: Dan is from Santa Monica CA. He was an education major. I haven't spent too much time with them yet. He's currenty rooming with Ali, so he's more part of the Jersey gang for the moment. He's 25, one year out of college. Oh, and he's also the only boy in the class, much to his chagrin (don't know why he's complaining really. At least it's a good looking group).
There are the two bohemians from Miami: Grace and Christie are sweethearts. They are my favorites of the American girls. They are out for adventure, travel, and having a good time and meeting people along the way. They know each other from college (UF), traveled around Spain before the course started for a week or two (like I did). I haven't hung out with them outside of class yet, but we have plans to travel around spain and maybe go hiking for a weekend once the course settles down. They are also 22 and fresh out of college.
There's the (crazy?) German lady: Her name is Andrea. Her accent is thick (I'm not really sure how she's going to teach English. She can be hard to understand. She's definitely the oldest in the class (i'm guessing late 30's, maybe 40's?) Her being possibly crazy started officially today. She was VERY difficult when we presented out lesson plans to the group. Basically, from what i've heard (she wasn't in my group), she made half the class stay an hour late through her stubborness to get advice about her lesson plan, advice that she then didn't take. In addition, her lesson plan is aimed towards advanced (mostly fluent) English speakers, and it's about sharks. Sharks! We have been instructed to make our lessons as life applicable as possible. And somehow she's decided that an hour long lesson about sharks will capture the interest of her mostly fluent, Spanish students (hmmmmmm.....). I honestly try to like everyone, and wish the best for everyone. And i wish her the best, nor do I dislike her. But I do dislike when she asks not very useful questions in class and engages the teachers time discussing nothing particularly relevant for 10 minutes. Anyway, she seems nice and well meaning enough, and could quite possibly make the class, erm, interesting in the future.
There's the bilingual duel citizenship girl: Alana was born in California, but raised in Spain and England. Her Mom's American, her Dad is Spanish. She has a perfect English accent, yet is enrolling in Spanish University for this semester to take lessons (Spanish) on Education (her major). Is that cool or what? Am I jealous? just a smidge. She is taking the TEFL course as a supplement to her major and to see what she wants to do. She is also 22. I haven't gotten to know her much yet, but I enjoy the conversations I have had with her.
There's the girl from England: Sophie is about 27 and has worked as a social worker with troubled teens for 6 years. She finds the social work very stressful, so she wants to possibly switch gears and move to Spain and teach English. Consequently, she's taking the course on her one month holiday from work. She's contracted to work until December in England. She's a pretty cool chick. I've spent the most time with her (and Renei) so far. I'm enjoying getting to know her.
There's the Spanish girl: Renei was born in Madrid, is spanish through and through, and has a heavy thick accent. She didn't learn English until she decided to move to London about 5 years back, and lived there for 4 years. She was/is a make-up special effects artist. She's hoping the TEFL course can lead to a good way for her to supplement her English. Poor thing however, is not really as good in English as a native born speaker, so she's pretty worried about being able to complete the course work. She's 29.
As I said, i've spent the most time so far with Renei and Sophie. We spent the last two afternoons together. Last night (Tuesday) I was at Renei's until about midnight writing lesson plans together. We went to the grocery store after the course, went shopping a bit too (I bought two pairs of shoes and a pair of earings for only 5 euros! incredible). Renei cooked us dinner. She's a great, giving girl.
And that's been my week so far! The course is a lot of sitting and listening, but I'm enjoying it (three days in...), The teacher's name is john. He's Norwegian, and can be kind of abrupt and can accidentally make you feel dumb. This seems to rub at least Sophie and Renei the wrong way. I don't find it too bad though; I can see past it. He's a good guy, and very knowledgeable about grammar (though i'm not too impressed with his time management so far).
What you should also know is I have possibly already secured myself a great apartment for October! Renei has two Spanish roommates, and one of them is moving out. I saw the apartment yesterday. It's pretty friggin awesome. It's a bit outside of the city, center, but in a real Madrid, safe neighborhood, with super cheap awesome grocery stores and shopping stores. It's also an area extremely accessible by public transport. it's off of one of the mainlines - six stops and you are in the city center. In this way, it's easier to get o the city center from her place then mine! In addition, the price is awesome! 317 euros a month for my own room, two terraces, a kitchen, water and heat included (and the electricity bill is nothing - about 10 a month for internet and electricity). Her other roommate (who would be my roommate) Also is Spanish but pretty much English fluent. She's 32. They told me they were hoping for an English speaking person to live there, a girl who would be sociable, and want to watch movies, grab or make dinner together, and go out together often. Therefore it's a perfect situation for me to learn Spanish and learn the real madrid/spanish culture. As the situation stands, either me or Sophie will be moving in in October, probably me since Sophie would have to break contract to stay in Spain immediately. It seems like a great and easy opportunity to land an awesome cheap apartment with awesome and nice Spanish roommates. But I also know that Sophie is a better fit than I am (she's the right age, and she smokes, it's a smoking apartment. This is Spain afterall). Whereas I am a bit younger, don't smoke, and, frankly, am more of a nerd compared to them. I know I don't necessarily fit. So, well see? I think everything will work out. There is still three weeks. Things could change. And if I end up in this apartment, which is most likely, there are a lot of pluses!
That's it for me. i'm going to take a shower and get some sleep while I can.
love you. Let me know what's going on!
EMAIL September 18 2010 MORE CLASS plus SHOPPING IN SPANISH
hello all! I have a ton of work to do for my course tonight, so this will be brief, but I'll do my best to write again soon.
Class is going well. I taught my third class today. And I have to write a lesson plan tonight for my fourth class tomorrow. Class is a lot of sitting. And learning what tense sentences like "She had been sitting in class learning about English grammar all day when she realized she had no interest in learning anymore about it." (by the way, that's past perfect continuous... mostly).
It's cool to learn about this stuff, but sitting there for hours learning about it is tedious. The class is informative. The people in it are nice, but the class could be a bit better structured. Lesson plans take a long time. Next week I have to write 4 of them. I must get faster. I have some ideas to do so...
Mostly I am just looking forward to the weekend. My friend Seeba from Texas will be hanging out with me in Madrid. It will be a good good time.... Seeba says we aren't allowed to have any fun though ;)
i think I will also be starting a Spanish intercambio next week. More details on that later.
And i am also still probably moving into Rene's apartment come October. I'll know for sure by the end of next week.
As of today I have a Spanish Bank Account! With Euros in it to last me till at least November! (I should have an income by then) And a debit card for the account! I am very excited about this. So excited that i went grocery shopping with the last cash I had.
Spanish grocery shopping can be awesome.Despite peanut butter being harder to find than a new born with a full head of hair I'm loving it. I had a great moment the other day in the pasta isle trying to figure out what the hell was Tomato sauce and what was tomato paste (I gave up. Will try again later). Anyway, after teaching a class of 6 Spanish beginners language about music that was mostly too difficult for them, I was hankering for a glass of wine, so I went to the store....
I bought 6 peaches, 3 pairs, 6 cage free eggs, a small loaf of bread, a bar of chocolate, and a bottle of white wine for a wopping 5.67 euros! woah that's awesome! (it's about $8) Just found the grocery store that's only 3 blocks from my house. Ricardo showed it to me the first night I moved in, but it took me until yesterday to relocate the damn thing. hehe.
Ok I have to go back to work.
love you, keep sending me updates!
Email September 25 2010 TEACHING ENGLISH IS SO HARD.... SPANISH SLANG IS GREAT
Hello all! It's me again. I realize I haven't written a good update for a while now. Hopefully this will fix this.
I am officially moving in with Rene and Lara - the two Spanish girls on Friday. I'm really excited for this. Both of them are wonderfully nice, friendly people. It will be a really good change after this month with my stranger roommate. Ricardo has been perfectly fine to live with, but I prefer to be friends with my roommates rather than feel like I'm a stranger in my own apartment. I went shopping with the two of them today at a cheap outlet mall outside of the city. They helped my make some great purchase decisions. And we already have plans to throw a Halloween party later this month. And I'm sure that living with both of them will make my Spanish improve much quicker than if I was living with English only speaking girls. I'll try to take some pictures and send them of my new flat... or finally start that blog I want to start...
Yes, you heard correctly - Spain celebrates Halloween. According to Rene, they really get into it too. We had a wonderful culturally mixed up conversation about it last night. She was telling me how she was a cannibal for Halloween last year, and that she loves using lots of bloody make up and stuff every year. I told her that last year I was a fairy, and the year before I was a cow girl - and she gave me the weirdest look at said, "Babe, you can't be a cow girl for Halloween." I asked why not? The whole point of Halloween is dressing up as something else...... apparently this is not quite the case in Spain (or England - Sophie tells me) Here, you can only dress like scary things. She thought it was hilarious that in America you can dress up like a princess or a mouse. Here, if you did that (and you weren't a dead princess or something) people would look at you really weird and even maybe throw tomatoes or eggs at you. Who knew! Here I thought that Halloween was something only America celebrated now a days, but no! Spain does Halloween better than America does
I've been taught some great Spanish expressions that translate into utter silliness in English recently too.
- monkey: Spanish people have many uses for the word monkey - if you see something that is cute, you say "Que mona!" - "what monkey!" if it's really cute you say "que monalita!" - "what little monkey" (I think? Don't quote me on that one.) But THEN monkey can also mean you are in with drawl. For example if you are fixin' for a cigarette or something, you would say "tengo mona" "I have monkey." ......
- Octopus: - Spanish people (or at least the girls) call a guy who is too touchy feely a "pulpo" an "octopus." Weirdly enough, this is one, i've been told, is really bad, not one you would use in proper company, more for the sex and city like convos you have with your girl friends. you would DEFINITELY not tell the guy who was a "pulpo" that would be really bad form....
- Onion: - this is my last one for now. Rene and Lara were telling us about Salsa dancing here, and how you have to be careful because though most boys are just there to dance, some will take advantage of how close they get to be to you while salsa dancing, and they may, while dancing, try to "frotando de la cebolleta" - "grind their little onion" and that we should not put up with it. Yup, "grind their little onion...." Again, this is vulgar slang not be used in everyday respectable conversation. But I think it's funny.
Oh yeah! And when I met Lara and Rene today, they told me that they were talking and decided that they must teach me all the silly Spanish phrases. so today they taught me "ping pong poom, bocadillo de atun." which directly translates to "ping pong poom (that part's nonsense) tuna sandwich." And you use this phrase when you're friends are talking about something and you just don't care any more "ping pong poom, tuna sandwich" I love it.
Moving on from Spanish slang for now.... to class. Oh class. I am so glad it is almost over. Because it is making me a bit cranky crazy. I had really high expectations for myself going into this class. I thought - I'm a hard worker, I've taught before, I've excelled at intensive classes before. This should be totally easy for me to do well at with a little determination. And it's not that it has been ridiculously hard - I've dealt with worse. But, I think secretly wanted to be one of the best, if not the best in the class. And I don't think i've achieved that and it makes me very mad. I think I'm doing mediocre. I think I'm not very good at teaching English - I'm a good teacher, I present whatever I am presenting well.... but teaching concepts in a foreign language requires a lot of creativity on how to present info to people who might be understanding a word you are saying, and it requires knowing how to not make lessons too hard, or too complicated - I like to make everything too complicated. Sigh, so the last 4 classes I've taught I have been unsatisfied with. the first two were too hard, so I did not get to my final "produce" activity. So this week I tried to make my classes less complicated... I still did not manage to make it to the produce activity. And I'm not being creative enough in my activities. I read other people's lessons, and for the most part i'm on par with their creativity, but I know I could be even better. I take for granted that I am a capable, creative person - and I don't feel like these skills are coming through enough in my lessons for me to say this. So... I need to work harder, and I accept that....Except I'm already working quite hard. Planning a lesson takes numerous hours. And then you have to make all the worksheets and visuals for the lesson. I say I spend about 2.5+ hours planning the lesson and then another 4 if not 6 hours making the damn stuff for the lesson, a one hour lesson! I asked John how long it should be taking us to do this stuff.... not as long as it is taking me. I'm not alone in this. It's taking many people in the class a long time to get everything done, particularly Rene because poor thing has to do it all in a second language. It doesn't help either that class time is generally insipid. We could be using the class time learning much better than we are. Everyone is having a hard time not day dreaming, and everyone is doodling in their notebooks. When you have so much to do, it sucks sitting there, not doing anything all that productive instead of doing what you want to get done.
This week was really tiring. We had to plan 4 lessons by Wednesday evening, and teach on Thursday, and teach another one on Friday. Typically, I work all day or listen all day in class till 5, then I come home by 5:40, or hang out with people till 8 or so (take a deserved hour or so break, make/eat dinner) then work on lessons until 12:30 or 1, 1:30. Then wake up at 8:30 and do it.
It didn't help that i got some weird 24 hour flu thing on Wednesday to Thursday which completely wiped me of energy and strength - including mental strength. luckily I'm about back to normal now. I'm so glad the illness was short.
I just get frustrated that I am working hard (possibly as hard as I am willing to) on this stuff, and i'm not producing results that I'm proud of. I find this a very frustrating equation. It means i'm not working smart, and I'm not sure how to work smarter. It makes me doubt my capability and intelligence, and that's not comfortable. So, I won't do that, but it's taking a lot of self pep talk not to.
But really, it's ok. i'm just venting. I just don't like having to work harder than I thought I was going to have to - that's my own deal. I need to change my perspective. And i have so much work to do still until Wednesday that it's going to be uncomfortable getting it done, especially getting it done with quality since doing less than personally satisfying work takes forever. Deadlines suck. Nature of the beast, but it will pass. I know..... and then I have to get a job- a whole OTHER beast to deal with. Ugh. And i'm not so sure i enjoy teaching English yet.
but it's good for me. it's adventure. I trust it will work out. I'm telling myself that it's ok I don't know all the answers yet. It's even possibly a good thing. So.... Bring it on Spain! There's still nothing I'd rather be doing right now.
Speaking of right now, right now I have to go and get ready to go to the apartment of the American jersey girls (who have warmed up a bit and now are becoming more friendly).
love you all, pep talks are appreciated, and yes, by writing this, i feel better and realize how much i'm over thinking.