Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teachers were right...the kids really do make it all worth it.

So this morning, as I attempted to take a new route to school, I wound up getting ridiculously lost. I took bus #3 instead of #5, thinking that #3 had a drop off spot closer to my school. It didn't
Instead, the bus driver kicked me off the bus at the end of the route in to the middle of a very unfamiliar neighborhood, complete with dusty streets and abandoned lots and the sun beating down on the pavement.

This was at 12:15. I was feeling slightly hysterical as I walked down the road, and I texted my bilingual coordinator that I was sorry, but I was going to be late to my first class. I was lost in the middle of god-knows-where but that I would make it to school when I could. She texted me back "okay...but class doesn't start until 12:45 you know."

Fantastic. I had originally taken this bus instead since it left on the hour instead of a quarter after, and I had to be at work at 12:15. Or so I thought. Damn it. So now I was just ridiculously lost for no good reason. That made me feel so much better. Not.

I got back on the same bus, complete with the same driver who had kicked me off 20 minutes earlier. Yes, he noticed, and yes, he laughed at me. Since I couldn't stand the thought of going all the way back to the center, I jumped off at a random stop on the way back and hoped I could randomly stumble in the general direction of my school.

Luckily I was able to head straight in the direction of the Bay and run right into the school. And then the students ERUPTED into excited cheers and claps when I finally stumbled into class, only 10 minutes late. That made it all worth it.

What made it not so worth it was how I spent the next 2 hours attempting to translate spanish math vocabulary into the english vocabulary I had learned back in middle school. Truncamiento = truncate, redondado = rounded, etc. (right? Hopefully I'm not teaching an entire class of 14 year olds the wrong vocabulary.) The result? Me realizing I had basically no idea how to do 9th grade math. Fail.

The worst part (or best part for story telling purposes, depending on how you look at it) was when the teacher wrote a number on the board, gave me the white board marker, and asked me to explain in English how to solve the problem. Ummmmmm WHAT? I didn't even remember how to do the problem, much less explain it in english to a class that didn't speak it well. (The problem was doing those greatest common multiplier, least common divisor tree thingies. Know what I'm talking about? Yeah, don't worry, I had no idea either.)

On the plus side, all the kids in my classes are really awesome. Ester asked me last week where I had gotten a copy of the The Hunger Games, since I had told them that was my favorite book. Today she excitedly told me she borrowed a spanish copy from her friend and couldn't wait to read it. Other kids crowded around me after the bell rang, showing me things and asking questions. Every time I see one of them in the hallways they shout my name and make sure they say hi and bye. They might not be cute little 6 year olds, but they are definitely sweet and a blast to work with.

This is an amazing book if you haven't heard of it, it's part 1 of a trilogy. Read it!

And one of the boys is convinced I speak Spanish. So his PLAN OF ACTION is to ask me things in Spanish and wait for me to react. Luckily, he started doing this in the hallway before class started so it was super noisy and I really didn't have any idea what he was saying.

Then after school Eli and I went to her house and she made lunch. It's such a bonus to have friends who like to cook :)


  1. I like your blog!! If you want more funny things about Algeciras, check out this Canadian mom's blog: http://notsospanish.wordpress.com/ :)

  2. Thank you!! I'm glad to hear that :) And thanks for the link, I started reading some of the posts and they are awesome!