20 March 2010

hello, hello! what's your name?


i never imagined the wiggles to be such a crucial part of my weekly routine. let alone so much as being played 2-3 times an hour for 6 hours each week day. i think i shook all the sillies i could possibly have out yesterday, but have no fear if there are any left... there's always monday.

i have been SO tired today. i have been working at the jardin since the middle of february, but just recently the kids started school, then just this past monday i started my actual english classes. and let me tell you, teaching a rambunctious class of 10-15, 4 or 5 year olds is nothing like teaching 5 adults, or 1 1year old baby. nothing. and the 3 year olds? wow. im drained and tired. the kids are pretty cute though, and they are getting used to me just as i am getting used to them. the youngest class warmed up to me on friday after our 3rd class and one of them actually gave me a high five. the other two classes of the week they nervously clung to each other and their teacher when i went to class. "they don't know you, they need to get to know you first" she assured me. one day in one four year old class we were talking about the letter A and about to draw and apple, to show them what i wanted them to do i grabbed a random marker and drew a big apple on my paper. since we were using greens and reds to color the apples becaues apples are green and red, one student very quickly pointed out to me (i had quickly grabbed a blue marker) "miss!!! your apple is cold!!!" kids pick up on everything. everything.
another day when we were going over the word angry (we are talking about emotions and how are you right now) when i showed the flashcard of a picture of an 'angry' woman. waiting for the kids to say angry! with their hands on their hips, one little girl exclaims "my mom!!!"
and another day one little boy insisted on asking me "and miss... your papa?" every day i told him that he was in the states and every day he asked.

its been a difficult week, but a good week. the kids are teaching me to be a kid and relax a little. my spanish is getting a lot better from talking with teachers and students, and im randomly coming up with kids songs for conversations outside the school, they just burst out! wokring with the kids is making me more like a kid outside of class. but its going well. yesterday at the end of what i thought was a mess of a class and i couldnt figure out how i was going to get any order there let alone teach any english (my voice as the other teachers like to tell me is soft and not made for yelling, so the kids can take advantage of me easily) one little boy whose name is pronounced remarkably like mine but i still cant pronounce it right, ran up to me (with the rest of the class amuck) and whispered 'miss i really liked your songs' i couldnt help but hug him and nearly cried on the poor thing. haha, he probably thinks im crazy now.

last night was something like an open house in the school. which... i had no idea about until the last minute. things can slip past me since im not a teacher that has an official class. i only rotate through rooms. but i found out that i needed to also rotate through the rooms last night around 7:30 because the parents would be there waiting to hear what i had to say about my plan for their children for the year. although i panicked a little bit for words in the first class, the parents were all super sweet and very encouraging. i was happy to hear many of them ask how they could help their child to practice at home, and that the kids are speaking in english in their house! one mom said "all he says is.. whats your name? whats your name?" they were all very encouraging and each class was very quick in their time to ask me questions, to ask me how old i am! EACH class. apparently they all love that i look so much younger than my age, because it makes the kids more comfortable. is that supposed to make me more comfortable?

anyhow, you can just call me "la miss de ingles"! and im ok with that :)

15 March 2010

rice makers

go on the list of things i never really thought i needed in life until i had one!

thanks calin and heather!

14 March 2010


every time i think im sure ive seen my name spelled every way it can be...

someone proves me wrong.

bread of life

other than the fact that Julton wears my old Tshirts better than I do... we noticed something about an old RUF shirt the other day... as we were in line to check out of the grocery store... which Julton will gladly explain that we waited in the longest line (because the store was closing..) to buy... three potatoes. three potatoes! anyway thats not the point. the point is that a family got in line behind us with an accent I or Julton couldn't identify, something kind of like french maybe?, then the father started speaking English to his son... and I realized that he was actually reading the back of Julton's shirt to his son... "I am the bread of life..." "well son.. he thinks he's the bread of life.." i didnt know what to say, i assumed he would read the verse and realize that it was from the bible... but as we were walking down the street I looked at the back of the shirt... and it was missing the reference. oops! so... this family thinks that Julton thinks he is the bread of life...

in the military... school

military school guys taking their run down the avenida...
rifles duly noted.
apparently because the men need to learn their rank,
it justifies the need to run the streets with rifles.

13 March 2010

miss julie!!!

Day 1 tears and tears "mom!!!! mom!!! mom no!!! no don't leave me!!! noooo!!!! moooooommmm!!!

Day 2 more tears..." i don't want to go to school here... he (classmate) yelled at me like im a one year old baby!!!"

Day 3...more tears... "but i want my mom!"

Day 4... "miss i need to go to the bathroom... miss number 2 i need number 2... but miss!! the bathroom doesnt have a door!!! but miss!!!!! ......i dont know how to clean myself."

Day 5 "i cant eat my food its too hot.... (okay lets blow on the food).... but i cant eat it... i dont like it... but miss... can i tell you something? ... i dont want to eat it because i dont want to grow.... i want to stay like i am!!!!"

Adjusting from working in an institute with teenagers/adults and teaching private classes also to adults... to working in a preschool... has been a very interesting clash of experiences and emotions. The kids are so young, we have kids as young as 1 year old for early stimulation classes. And as old as up to 7, for the kids that are in the first and second grade that was just opened this year. Starting on Monday I will begin my schedule of teaching English all day to 3 4 and 5 year olds, 8-2. But for now I have been helping out with the first and second grade kids. and let me tell you...the girls that work there are convinced that working at the school is going to convince me to want to have kids really soon... and after my first two weeks... i beg to differ. I'm excited for my new schedule to start, to be with the younger kids... to see how that goes, if they are as crazy wild as the others can be, and also just to start teaching. So far I have just been a helper. Especially with one little boy whom I am convinced that if we were in the states he would already have been diagnosed with ADHD. He absolutely can't focus on his work or anything for that matter, except running around the classroom doing headstands, drawing transformers or sharpening his red pencil down to a bare nub. It's funny thing that he's started acting like this,... the first day he was completely different, and secretly my favorite kid. Then he got comfortable. His true colors started showing... and he's convinced he just can't write. I have to sit with him and persuade him to give it a try so that he sees that he can do it, then if nothing grabs his attention he can quickly finish it. And he does a good job, it's just getting him to sit down and do it. Poor thing missed out on two recesses because he couldn't focus on his work and finish like the other kids. I liked working with him, we had a heart to heart over believing that you couldn't do something. I asked him if rememberd that I wasn't from here, and asked him if he thought I spoke Spanish before, then told him all about practicing and trying until I could... and that's how I slowly convinced him to start practicing writing his vowels. He was convinced that he couldn't succeed before he even tried.

There was also another child that confessed to me that he really didn't want to eat anything but fruit, because he didn't want to grow, he want's to stay the same size he is forever... cause small kids dont get punished. i'm not sure where hes coming from on that one...

All in all, I have really enjoyed my first couple of weeks at the school. It's such a different atmosphere to me, and I enjoy it. One of my coworkers whom I walk home with everyday, her name is snow and all the kids call her snow white :) The kid's are slowly, slowly breaking down the walls I have built up around me from spending years not having much interaction with kids. Their smiles when they finish their work and get praise are starting to grow on me...

06 March 2010


note to self:

the next time you move into a new apartment a month before the wedding and you are doing inventory in your head about what to get and what not to get for it, since you are going to be getting wedding gifts in a month and you need to decide whats essential for living...

do yourself a favor a buy a knife. and not the butter kind.

i moved into the apartment... we went out to get some essentials for the month.... then the other day i went home famished from work very excited to cook my first lunch in the new place... and had to cut the tomatoes and onions and garlic with a butter knife. at least it was serrated?

ps. our kitchen is so red its pink. and i love it.

02 March 2010

reds and blues

the past couple of weeks i have spent my time from 8-2 planning english classes and just getting emotionally prepared for all these kiddies to start rolling in... today... i finished work with red and orange and really multicolored fingertips and and a ridge in my thumb where my kiddie scissors had rested for the day.

today we decorated.

i realized (maybe not for the first time so maybe it was a re-realization) that peruvians are very very creative people. i have seen peruvian friends save food right down to the pineapple skin to make pineapple water... but the creativity doesnt just stop in the kitchen it slips right into the classroom. today we were looking through some bulletin-board-ordering-books that kind of thing to start to decorate the rooms. so when its all been said and agreed that the flowers look pretty and would be super cute in the classroom.... a whole world of scissors, crayons, pens, and every kind of paper that you can imagine opens.

because we didn't order anything from the order books.

we copied onto trace paper and anything that we wanted bigger we made life size. we cut out construction paper and put the puzzle pieces together, drew on facial expressions, then used pastels to accent! it was hard core. and they are pretty beautiful if i do say so myself.

since im living in a country where piracy is pretty much on every street corner, from burned dvds copied music to copied books, im having trouble putting my finger on this one. i think im starting to live in a gray area of judgement about that sort of thing. lets just rename the catalog books idea books? yeah... lets do that.

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