21 March 2011

monday, march 21st

monday, march 21st.

the day i became super excited because one of my classes got the "st" part right, or rather, remembered it... instead of saying march twenty-one.

it's been a great day. a very long busy tiring day. but a good one. i would venture to say a great one at that. 

~i finally got one class to finish an exam, or rather sat by listening as another native speaker talked with them, mentally routing for them and groaning with them at triumphs and mistakes... 
~i sat through some teacher training and was instantly taken back to my first week in Peru sitting through that same training with the same boss. it was weird to see myself in the girls going through the training and also for lack of better words, nostalgic? i was happy to be able to add to the training instead of just listen. 
~i ran into a mother of one of the kids that i thought last year. whom i saw outside the doors of the same school where i taught and am now teaching the.. well, teachers. she asked if i was returning and told me that she was sad that i wasn't because her daughter had learned so much when i taught her, and sang all the time at home (we sang A LOT of songs) it made my heart happy to finally know that i had made a difference in someones life, be it only their capacity to sing silly songs in english. i needed that kind of feedback when i was actually working there, then maybe we wouldn't be having this blogpost today.
~i also randomly ran into a teacher I used to work with at that same school, although I never saw her very often since she worked with the older kids and I the younger. it always lifts your spirits to randomly run into someone in the street that you haven't seen in a long time and you were starting to think you might never see again even though you live in the same city.
~somehow God opened a door or a window or an ability to control yourself for someone, i'm not sure who... because my teenage students were a little less bickery today. it might have had something to do with me throwing my hands up in the air and saying "o c'mon man!! you guys are killing me!!!" i think they were a little shocked at me and intrigued by my choice of words. because i got asked how to spell c'mon and killing. and us spending 15 mintues trying to figure out how to get them to stop calling me "miss" and calling me Julie or even Ann (which an old student decided to call me) but they won't budge since A: the older student just wants to pester me since he knows I dont want them to call me miss, and B: the younger student is too used to calling his teacher "miss" or "mr" since thats what they use in the schools... or as he put it himself "miss... i just can't accustombrate to calling you Julie" to which everyone burst out in laughter. i even got them to enjoy a louis armstrong song today, and ask for another. although they did assume it was ray charles, even after i corrected them. did i ever mention that this has been just as much a teaching of what is politically correct as it has been an english class?

and now i am enjoying a cup of tea and thankful that the weather is cool enough now, at least in the evenings and mornings, to enjoy a hot cup of tea without sweating. and listening to this artist, Eduardo Mano, a christian musician from Brazil (his music is in Portugese)... I think he mainly sings in churches in Brazil, but I found him on NoiseTrade. And no, I don't understand Portugues but it's close enough to Spanish, although I have found that I like relaxing to music that I don't understand. 

20 March 2011

a little of this and a lot of that

I haven't been around for a while. And by that I mean, I haven't posted it a while, almost a whole month to be exact! Sorry to those of you that check regularly to see if I have posted!! I think that I have just been a little bit carried away with life and without the ability to sit down and say much about whats been going on. But lots has been going on. My work schedule has picked up quite a lot, which I am happy for. I think there is a fine line between teaching too many classes and being frazzled and teaching too few classes and having too much time to prepare (hello super obsessed and extra long lessons). I need balance in my teaching time. And I feel that lately I have been able to have that. I'm teaching a variety of students these days, some group classes, some teenagers, some private classes. I like the variety. Actually, quite irconically I am teaching my old coworkers from when I worked at the kindergarden last year! I was a little nervous to start (read: very nervous), but being a co-worker and being their ESL teacher are two different types of confidence (for me at least). The class is actually turning out to be one of my favorites. We go out once a week for class, we are rotating one week a park and the next a cafe. It's been working out quite well. I've started teaching some teenagers also. .... You would think that having studied psychology that I would be better prepared when I go into a class of a different generation of students than me. Well, lesson learned. I'm learning a lot with them. About myself. And about how I am not ready for children yet in my life, at least teenagers. But I suppose babies aren't born teenagers from the get-go huh. Anyway, they are teaching me a lot about limits. And how my limits as far as "this bothers me but I'm not going to let you know because I'm not controversial like that" and my limits of "how the heck would you discipline in this situation and is it even my place? i really need to learn how to be more firm" ... those limits or ranges... really need to get closer together. 

But I have been able through the few 3 years that I have been here, to have quite a range of experience teaching. That's something that my friend, and boss, pointed out to me today as he told me that he was promoting me to the role of Academic Director for our company... right before we walked into a meeting with new clients today. I was a little taken aback at first. But I'm excited. I'm going to continue teaching but perhaps not as many classes, and also help out and eventually take care of ... academic coordinating. Helping out and organizing the other teachers and clients. Peru (God using me in Peru) has been good to me. I have had the opportunity to work in an institute environment, privately, with SMALL children in a school, and now with professionals - businesses and individuals. And now I am going to start the journey of learning a new role in the same field. I didn't see (any of) this coming!

But enough about me and more about Julton! We... are coming up on our one year anniversary! Wow, how fast the time has passed. It's absolutely flown. And we have both grown and gone through many changes over this year. In recent weeks Julton has been busy with his work in the clinic, especially with the visits of medical teams that have come to do campaigns and doctors that have come individually to spend some of their time with the clinic. He has been able to work beside them and learn from them as he translated for them. Every time there is a visiting doctor (or even since the new doctor, Marcus Ueltschey and his family) has been in the clinic, Julton has such excitement about stories and stories to tell me about what they had done or what he learned. Not that I understand a lot of it... but he tells me anyway! 
Doctors Marcus and Julton

Other than his work with the clinic Julton's been busy with so much else too. The cell group leaders, or rather the group of Pablos as they have been saying (using the relationship of Paul and Timothy to form/plant and continue cell groups for the church Cristo Rey) have been preparing for our cell groups to start back up again. We are excited, we had had such a variety in ours in the past, (college students... young couples with young children.... older parents whose children have already left home...) if we could get everyone that came now and then to come regularly we would have quite a family! Apart from cell group preparation Julton's also been busy with deaconal meetings, choir meetings (he rotates with another to direct the choir every other Sunday), and finally coming sheer steps closer to getting the materials that he/we need for him to be prepared to take the USMLE exams, to do his medical residency in the states. Wow what a task. Very, very thankfully a friend of a friend that is coming to visit from the states was able to help him find some essential videos that weren't quite so expensive, and is coming to Peru for a visit so he's bringing them here! That is a blessing I cannot even begin to explain. How long we have looked for those videos...

Coming up on our anniversary, we are both taking vacation. And I couldn't be more excited! We are going to travel north to a beach town where although my teenage students told me (as if they were going to bring me disappointment) that it's best to go in January (the middle of tourist season) -I know from experience that in late March the water is still warm and the sun is still shinning, ... and the air still smells fresher than in the center of the third largest city in Peru. I'll take it.

Also... check out Ari! Another way I've been spending my time recently has been catching up with friends here, nearly all of whom ironically, have recently had babies. This is my friend Cindy's newest family member. And of course her mother gave me the look over that went with her actual spoken words of "Julie?...and you??...not yet??? why not yet??... I don't understand" Peruvian couples (usually) have babies pretty soon after they've gotten married. So everyone we know here, even if we only know them not so well... are all waiting. Usually I can get by on the "oh, she's a foreigner" card, because they just assume it's different. But I liked the way a friend of mine put it just recently when someone asked my why I didn't have babies yet in their presence "No, they don't... they married because they wanted to be married to each other"  I am completely content getting to know Julton better and growing in our marriage more before we start having children... so sorry none of you will be tios or tias for now!

 And Zanax... she's growing. Man she is growing. She's a little less jumpy near the windows with the bugs and birds, her belly is getting bigger and bigger from the food that she's finally decided that she likes (her cat food... it took a while to find a brand that she liked.. who knew they could be that picky?) she's playing just a little less in the litter pan, and being just a bit less wild and more likely to snuggle. Although she will still catch you off guard with a bite or a scratch or a jump 5 feet in the air (because that's how tall I am) to try to catch a ponytail. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but she really does jump the scale of the chair to try to grab hair if it's moving. 

And yes those are still paper snowflakes on our window. They make the window look a little happier, especially at night. Don't judge me.

19 March 2011

"If I should have a daughter"

"I'm gonna paint the solar systems on the backs of her hands. So she has to learn the entire universe before she can say "Oh, I know that like the back of my hand"

And she's gonna learn that this life will hit you hard
in the face
waiting for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they life the taste of air.

A friend of mine posted this on facebook, and I loved it so much I had to share it here. I love this site TED

A little about Sarah Kay (from the TED website)
Plenty of 14-year-old girls write poetry. But few hide under the bar of the famous Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village absorbing the talents of New York’s most exciting poets. Sarah Kay also had the guts to take its stage and hold her own against performers at least a decade her senior. Her talent for weaving words into poignant, funny, and powerful performances paid off. 

Now 22, Kay is a successful spoke word poet and codirects Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression). Founded by Kay in 2004, Project V.O.I.C.E. encourages people, particularly teenagers, to use spoken word as a tool for understanding the world and self, and a medium for vital expression.

"A day with Sarah Kay reminded me of poetry's power to help us make sense of our lives, to see the world in a new way."
Deb Martin, Rowan University

12 March 2011

a home.

I know that I haven't posted in a while and although this isn't a "real" post, I had to share about this hosue that I found...

I had to share about this house. This couple in Whales built it themselves for their small family of four! 
From the article, about the house:

Sustainable design and construction:
  1. Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
  2. Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
  3. Frame constructed of fallen trees from surrounding woodland
  4. Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally very easy to do
  5. Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
  6. Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
  7. Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture compared to cement
  8. Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
  9. Other items were reclaimed from “a rubbish pile somewhere”: windows, wiring, plumbing

I find this place very beautiful.... I wonder if I could ever get Julton to live in a place like this for a while... or if a place exists that we could rent even if only for vacation...hmmm


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