The biggest announcement of the week: I have a new camera. It’s another Nikon Coolpix but a more recent model. That’s right, I caved in. While living these awesome experiences in Chile is great, having photographic proof is even better. Never mind the fact that this apparently shows a superficial need to have proof that you went somewhere. I can’t wait to give this baby a test drive.
So the daughter of the family I’m living with had her birthday last weekend. One word to sum up the birthday. Cake. That’s right, there was not one, not two but three birthday cakes. Other than that, it was pretty much your typical birthday, friends come over, including one girl who’s from Santiago, watching movies (I finally saw the Hunger Games and I must say I definitely want to read the books now. Add that to my long reading list.) and presents.
Probably the weirdest event of the week was when I attended a funeral for someone I did not know. Let me explain. It was on Tuesday in the afternoon when I usually have class with the grade 9 students. That day, we were informed that the students had the right to attend the funeral instead of going to class. Since everyone was going to the funeral I had to go too. It was really awkward. I mean come on, who goes to the funeral of someone you don’t know? My Chilean students apparently. Look, I know some of them knew the person who died but I can guarantee you it was not all of them. That’s right, some students took advantage of the fact that there was a funeral to avoid going to class. That’s ludicrous. Forget Wedding Crashers, this was the sequel ‘ Funeral Crashers’.
I had my first karate workshop and while there were only four students, they were really interested in what I had to teach them. In the famous words of Don Cherry’ and here’s the kicker’ : I taught the entire class in Spanish. We managed to work on kicks, blocks and a bit of self-defense. Not bad for a first class. I think I’ll make this a weekly thing. Every Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm. While it will add to my already busy schedule, I think the students will really get a lot out of it and so will I. This will be a perfect opportunity to see how much I actually remember.
I was really nervous about this evaluation. I looked at the rubric beforehand and I thought to myself ‘Oh no’. At the end though it went better than I expected. I thought I was going to get a grade of Standard for everything when in fact I got Distinguished and Proficient all across the board as well as the coordinator telling me that I will make a pretty good teacher. Now, I’m super happy about how the evaluation went but in all fairness, if this had been a CELTA evaluation I would not have scored higher than standard. I still have a lot of work to do to be a teacher and I’m ready for the challenge. During the evaluation what was interesting was the way the students behaved. Usually, they’re doing their best to imitate Animal House and it takes time to get the class under control. Not this time though, they were attentive and seemed genuinely interested in what I was teaching them. Might have something to do with the evaluation. Note to self pretend they are being evaluated every class.
Curanto and Chilean football and more:
Yesterday I got invited to eat curanto , a chilean surf and turf, at the highschool. While I had an idea of what to expect, I did not think it would look the way it did. The only seafood that was actually in the curanto were these giant mussels called cholgas. There was also cabbage, chapalele which is made with chorizo, chicken and potatoes. We also watched the Chile vs Ecuador game in which Chile sadly lost 3-1 . After everyone had eaten and drank their share, it was time to dance. I can only dance cueca and most of the music was in fact cumbia so at the beginning I was like, um I think I’ll wait a bit. I didn’t have to wait for long since I got invited by some of the teachers to dance. I also ask for a cueca song and danced that. Overall, it was a great night.
My view on the presidential debates:
Not really related to my Chilean adventure but I still think it is worth talking about the presidential debates. After the first debate, so-called experts were saying that Romney won the debate. After watching the debate, I have to disagree. In my opinion neither actually won. Romney, while the aggressor, was basically blowing hot air. Someone should tell him that facts matter. As for Obama, despite his passive style of debating, he at least relied on facts. Furthermore, with Romney spewing malarkey, Obama probably didn’t feel the need to defend himself too much and therefore looked like he was being overly cautious. For those reasons, I don’t think either of them won. As for the second debate, I would say that Biden won basically because Paul Ryan was debating like a robot. Watching Ryan debate I was trying to look for anything that would make me say ‘that’s what Ryan’s all about’ but it never occurred. He just had that slightly smug look on his face all the time. I mean come on, did you leave your personality at home? While Biden might have been overly aggressive and silly with his smile and smirking, rather than perceive it as rudeness, I believe it’s a part of who he is. Overall, I guess we could say that nothing has been decided and the decisive debate might be the one on Tuesday.