Friday, July 30, 2004

Travel Hell..............

Hello Everyone,

This weekend I am going to San Sebastian in the north of Spain, near the French border. I will tell you why later, because I am keeping my fingers crossed that this trip works out and I don't want to talk about it too early.

Anyways, today I went to the train station to buy a ticket for my trip. I really should have tried to buy them last night. It was complete HELL, especially since it was so crowded.  I really wish I had a gun so I could've put myself out of my misery. I get there and wait in 2 separate lines, about 5-10 min for each line. No one can help me because I didn't realize that I had to take a number to be helped. ( Classic example of language barriers) So I went and got my number. I had to wait a whole hour just to be helped. And it was a looooong ass wait because I didn't bring any reading material. This totally reminded me of the DMV back home.

While I was waiting to be helped this gypsy woman came by and was selling cheap pens for breakfast money. It seemed like everywhere I went there she was. The first two times I told her "no" I was polite about it. By the third time I wasn't so nice. The waiting and the hot weather got to me. I kinda yelled at her and told her that I don't have money and that I need money too. She finally left me alone :)

 So I finally go to the counter only to realize that the train tickets to San Sebastion are all sold out for the weekend. I waited a whole fucking hour just to be directed to the bus station !! Okay, so I take a deep breath and go to the bus station that the nice lady at the train station directed me to.

I get there and wait about 15 minutes only to find out that I was at the wrong bus station. So then I go to the next bus station. The guy there tells me I am at the wrong station again !!! So then I finally get to the right station and guess what ??? There is a long line of backpackers waiting to buy tickets. I realized that I didn't have the energy to wait so I went and got some food. 

By the time I returned to the line, it was a lot shorter so I only ended up waiting like 10 minutes. But by the time I bought my ticket there was a long line again, and this woman behind me kept bumping into my ass. I just gave her an evil glare. I was so happy just to get outta there. At least I got what I came for.

And now I am back in the apt. Its my turn to clean, and I had a lot to do. Mopped and swept the floors, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom and  I still have to take out the trash.

I hope y'all enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Not such a nice day today.....................

Thats all I gotta say..........................

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bored and not wanting to sleep

Hello Everyone,

Have you noticed that everytime I post, I usually post pictures ???? I am just so thrilled that I can finally do it. For the first few weeks it was virtually impossible.

It is now late here in Barcelona and I just don't want to sleep just yet. A few minutes ago as I was typing this on my bed I saw what looked like a big bug creep in my room. I tried not to shriek because my roommate is sleeping. Luckily it was a grasshopper, but I smashed it with my shoe before it had the chance to go under my bed.

I decided to post up pictures of one of my favorite models Adriana Lima. Some people say that I look a little like her at my best. I sure hope so. She is so pretty !! I remember when this Bebe ad came out. I think I had just graduated from high school. I have been trying to find the poster of this ad, but I've been unsuccessful so far.

What else ?? Oh yeah ! I had my first Spanish boy problem. Actually, it's more like a big annoyance, but I won't go into that today.

Anyways, I better wash up before I go to bed.

Ciao

 

 

Just sitting here wishing and hoping...............

Hello everyone,

Just look at that fairy. Isn't she pretty? I stole her from someone else's journal. She's just sitting pretty, waiting for something magical to happen, or maybe for her prince to arrive....................................

I should be working on my resume, but I haven't. I feel guilty, but I will do it tommorow.

I have spent all day in the apartment at my computer just waiting for a response to the many e-mails I sent out............................but nothing really. Waiting for something to happen I guess.

The hardest part about my trip is not knowing what is going to happen next. Back in the states I had the security of knowing that I would have a place to live and food on the table every month. Even though I busted my ass and struggled back home I at least I felt secure. Right now I have none of that. Of course I feel alright for THIS month, but I don't know about next month. Can I stay here or will I be forced to hop back on the plane and head home?? The suspense sometimes just kills me, and there is nothing I can do about it right now. This is August and I must wait for September.

But after I type this I am gonna go out and do some errands. I gotta buy a battery for my camera and sign up for Spanish classes. I am also supposed to meet up with my new friend Sara. I hope she calls me. At least I am keeping myself somewhat occupied at the moment.

Okay, I better go..................................... 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Day Two of my Tour of Barcelona

Hello Everyone :)

I waited a long time to finally write something about these photos. The heat here is incredible and it makes me incredibly lazy.

This is Day 2 on my tour with Xavi. I really enjoyed this tour and I was very sad when it ended. Unfortunately I didn't capture everything. For example he showed me one of Catalunya's most famous chocolate shops.

Pictures 1-3 are of me in the streets. Nothing too special. However #4 is important for me to explain. This picture was taken in an old neighborhood. If you look closely there are 5 floors. The first floor has the biggest balcony with the biggest windows. On the fifth floor there are no balconies and the windows are a lot smaller. This is because in the old days there were no stairs. Therefore the richer people were on the first floor so that they wouldn't have to walk so far. The people on the fifth floor were the poorest because they had to walk up all the stairs to get to their place. Not only that but they didn't even have a balcony.

This is so interesting. Nowadays since there are elevators, the richer people tend to occupy offices/apartments on the top floor so that they don't have to deal with all the noise that the people below have to put up with.

 

Monday, July 26, 2004

Old Washburn Hall Days

Hello Everyone :)

As I was just looking through old pictures I found these that were saved from my old AOL journals. These were taken while I was living at the dorms and one of my friends Ernesto was my neighbor. That's how we met and became friends. Brings back some fond memories of my time at SJSU. I miss you Nesto !!!!!!!! Visitarme en Espana !!!

We were just fooling around with his new digital camera and having some good laughs. In #3, I we thought it would be funny for me to dress up all ghetto-fabulous. I look so damn ridiculous it's funny, especially since the photo makes me look paler than I really am (I didn't think that was possible). I borrowed the chain from one of my thug neighbors.

Enjoy !!!!!

Day One of my tour of Barcelona

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I was browsing the lanuage-exchange ads for someone to practice my Spanish with and in exchange for that I would help that person with his/her English.

I found someone here from Barcelona that needed immediate help with his English because he would be going to Holland in 2 days. In exchange for me Speaking only English with him and helping him when he made mistakes, he took me on a little tour of Barcelona. He also paid me a little bit of money and paid for my soda at the restaurant. So, basically I got paid to go on a personalized tour.

I loved every minute of it. He took me to some famous places in Barcelona. However, he also took me through the backroads and see things most tourists don't get to see. He also gave me a little history lesson. I NEVER would have discovered these things on my own, even if I paid a guide to show me around. However, the thing I am most grateful for is that he introduced me to my new favorite spot which I will describe in detail later. So Xavi if you are reading this, THANK YOU !!

Its just too bad that I didn't take pictures of everything we saw.

We met in front of the University. (I don't exactly remember the order in which we did things). We walked through Las Ramblas. He took me through Barcelona's old Market, and through a few streets. Through these streets I saw the Arabic/Punjabi communities. Since I can't go to the Middle East (I am American and female) I felt this was close enough. I saw these little stores with the most beautiful jewelry and outfits for bellydancing. I also stopped into a store with tons of Arabic music. While I was there, there was some music with this guy belting his heart out in Arabic. Loved it. I also saw a store selling colorful cushions to sit on, traditional tea sets, slippers, beautiful cloths................. I swear, if I had money and a nice luggage allowance I woulda blown it all on these stores. When I get home and get an actual  CAREER I am gonna decorate my house to make it fit for a Sultan and dance for my guests while they sip mint tea. Okay, moving along.......................

We also ended up back on Las Ramblas if I remember correctly. There I saw 2 bellydancers performing. They stood still until someone dropped a coin into the bucket. Then they did a 1 minute dance. I mean, it was alright. They look like they are in the midst of taking lessons. They were doing the proper techniques, they just weren't putting enough spirit into it and dancing with as much passion.

Las Ramblas is full of live statues and performers that are looking for a little money. People can be anything they want and act it out. But I will get into that later. Trust me, I will................

I am currently broke right now (surprise surprise). I was a little jealous that they thought of it first and that they were up there performing and I wasn't. I could be out making some money while I am improving my resume and looking for a job. But at the same time, I left my costume in the US, and it is hot as Satan's asscrack here.(I stole that expression btw) I would be sweating puddles on my expensive costume. I am not worried about my personal safety on these streets, but I am worried that someone would steal my money while I turn my back dancing. PLUS, I don't want any nasty offers. So, my hands are tied and I can't really dance. I just miss dancing and performing for an appreciative audience. Okay, enough of that.............

After seeing the dancers we went to the end of Las Ramblas which was the beginning of Port Vell, where there is a Statue of Christopher Columbus. I got a little interesting history lesson then. Xavi told me that Columbus went directly to the queen to get money to discover the Americas. He also told me that queen gave him a lot of money because they were having an affair and he was doing her some sexual favors. So therefore the good ole' USA is a love child of Columbus and the queen of Spain. I dunno if I really wanna believe this, but at the same time I know our school system in the USA would never tell children about the affair between Columbus and the queen. Moving along..............

Here is a summary of my pictures................     1.) Just a pic of one of the old streets in Barcelona. 2.) Another pic of the streets where people can't  afford a dryer and have to hang their clothes  3.) A pic of one of the streets. 4&5.) Me at Port Vell. 6.) Me enjoying my tour  7&8.) Placa Reil  9.) Me in front of the oldest restaurant in Barcelona.           

#10- 14.) Sant Felip Neri Square. This is my favorite new spot and I will take up a whole entry for this later.                    

 

 

Sunday, July 25, 2004

La Sagrada Familia

Hello Everyone................

For those of you that are art addicts, I am sure that you've heard of Antoni Gaudi. People that come to Barcelona will not leave without hearing about Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Antoni Gaudi. Anyways, moving along...........

Yesterday before I moved, I visited La Sagrada Familia which was a 5 minute walk from my apt. Amazing structure. Gaudi devoted 40 years of his life to this work of art, and the last 12 years of his life were devoted ONLY to this. He died in 1926 when he was hit by a tram.

I heard that when he died there was a debate about whether the temple should be left unfinished or built to how he would have wanted it. It is still being built.

He had drawings and plans of how he wanted the cathedral to look when its finished. Finishing Gaudi's designs resumed in the 1950s, and construction is still going on. So for those of you planning to visit, be prepared to put up with contruction for a very long time.

When I visited, I was charged money to get in. I later learned that the money is a donation to finishing the building.

I thought that going in would be a sacred experience. Instead it is more of a museum with a giftshop instead of a placed designed to worship God. I don't know Gaudi would feel about this. He devoted much of his life to this. He is actually buried there and there is a view of his burial site. Perhaps he is turning in his grave as this is all going on above him.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my visit and was simply amazed by the architecture. The walk up the stairs to the top of the temple was long, hot and crowed. (The elevator was broken) But it was all worth it. And you'll see the pictures I took to prove it. I would recommend that you click to make the pictures larger. I looks so much better that way.

 

My classmates

Hello again.................

The sad thing about this course ending is that I had to say goodbye to my classmates. We all struggled through this class together and got along really well.

Pics #1-3: By week 3 we all had a bbq at one of the flats which had a cool living room full of art (one of the guys is an artist) and a nice patio. There was some good food. One of the girls is attached to boxed Sangria and had me try. (no thanks).

#4: This was just taken of some of us on Fri. We all came in for our grades and were chatting about our plans after the course.

#5: On of the classmates with a nice view of the balcony.

#6-7: After the course it is traditional for the class and teachers to go to the bar and have a drink and some tapas. ( Lord knows we all needed the drink) This was our last meeting together before people went their separate ways. In pic #6 of of my teachers is sitting to the right of me. He was my favorite. #7 is a pic of other classmates. The guy on the right is one of the funniest people I have ever met.

 

Week 2 in Barcelona

Hello Everyone,

These pics were taken during my 2nd week of school. By then I got to know some of my classmates. These pics are of us gals on out little gals-night-out party.

#1: A picture of a street very close to my neighborhood.

#2.)These are some of the gals in my class. They come from Scotland, Holland, Chicago and Colorado.

#3.)A beautiful view of the neighborhood where the restaurant is at.

#4.)We ate at a nice little place called "Mosquito". They serve Asian cuisine. Very good stuff.

#5.) A wonderful piece of art right above our table.

#6.)Some of our desert that still makes me drool when I think about it.

#7.) Us having a nice long conversation about whatever pops up.

#8.)All of us in a nice snapshot.

#9.) Me and my old roommate. I miss her already.

Pics from My first week in Barcelona

Hello everyone,

I am so happy that I can finally upload pictures. I am sitting on my big bed in front of the balcony typing this.

Anyways, here goes..........

1&2: These pics were taken before my flight to Spain.  #1 is with my aunt and me. #2 is with my aunts and cousins.

#3 is the elevator in my old apt. It is so old. It looks like it belongs in a museum. Needless to say, I was too chicken shit to ride in it. I always took the stairs, and I didn't care how tired I was.

#4-5: These are pictures of my room. Trust me, they seem bigger than they actually are. #4 is the lovely view I lad of the neighboring apartment.

#6-7:  The view I had from the balcony. There was a tree right in the front of it, so this is a view from the side of the balcony. #7 is the view from the living room.

#8: My new roommate and I took a walk around Barcelona the day before classes started. I am standing in front of Arc de Triumf.

#9: The view I had from my classroom.

#10-11: This is a view of some of the cats I had from the classroom window/balcony. There were a lot of cats, but I only cared to capture the mother and her kitties.

The latest.................

Hello Everyone,

Don't you just LOVE this dancing cartoon creature ?  He inspires me to get up and dance :)

Soooo much has happened since I last updated. I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll begin by telling you that I am finished with my course and I am now TEFL certified. I should be receiving my certificate with a letter of recommendation within a few weeks. I will also be polishing up my resume to be sending out to companies in September.

The class was long with a lot of hard work. At the time it went by so slow. Looking back, it was fast. At least I don't have anymore homework. Last night I dreamed that I was overdue on an assignment.

I had a meeting with someone from the school and he told me that if I am flexible and can work anywhere in Spain that I should go to Madrid because my chances of finding work there would increase by 50%. I guess I shall be finding a way to move to Madrid. I just dunno how I am gonna haul my stuff down there. It was hard moving everything a few miles away. At least I have a month to think about it.

I also moved out of my old apartment and am in a new place. My old room was a little hole in the wall with a view of the other apartment wall. My new room is different. I now have a double bed and my own balcony with a view of the street. I love it. My old host was English. She was a nice person in general, but I didn't really feel that she wanted me there. I just had that uncomfortable feeling. So I am thrilled that I am gone. My new host is Spanish and I can practice my Spanish with her. She doesn't want be bringing any guests over (even girls), but even when I lived in California I almost never had guests. 

I also have pictures, and I will be posting them up very soon. I am so glad that I brought my digital camera with me. I took so many pictures.

Okay, I better work on uploading pics.........

Saturday, July 24, 2004

This entry was actually from July 19th

 

Hello Everyone :)

 

Over the weekend I bought some new shoes FINALLY !!!! And guess what ? They match a lot of my clothes. They are nice, blue thongs and I only paid 13€ . It hurts between my toes, but at least my whole feet aren’t sore anymore. I also bought a beautiful, long skirt for only 7€ on my street. What I really loved was that my lip gloss, hair conditioner and eyeliner were 70 cents each. Since I am scraping every penny, I don’t part with my money unless I think I am getting a really good deal. And I surely hit the jackpot this weekend.

 

What else……………. I was on the metro today on the way home from class and this man on the metro was playing the accordion. Normally people that play the accordion on the metro get on my nerves because they play bad music, and they want money. And since I have no money to give, I have to turn my head and pretend they don’t exist. But this time was different. The man played good music. In fact it made me fantasize about traveling all over Europe. Plus, he wasn’t annoying either. He graciously accepted money and didn’t yell at anyone. And after he collected his money he stopped and went to the other section of the metro car. And he ended up collecting more money than other accordion players normally do. Now I would’ve gladly given him money if I had it.

 

Today I taught my 6th lesson to upper-intermediate/advanced students. We have to teach 7 lessons, so I have my last lesson on Wednesday. Normally the teachers make us use materials from text books to plan our lesson. But I decided that the reading material describing the history of trade was too boring for the class. So, I basically spent my whole afternoon designing a new lesson. Why read about the past when they can learn about what’s going on now?  I went on the Internet and printed a page from the World Trade Organization website describing what they are a good organization, and then I found an article by a group that hates the WTO. So my students could see both sides. Then I had them answer reading comprehension questions. We also worked on vocabulary words. I think that the students are tired of doing work out of the textbooks and were probably happy that I was I was giving them something new. I gave them more challenging material, and they were concentrating on finishing the assignments. I also think that my teacher was happy with the materials I made. Plus, I learned more about the WTO. Many people think they are evil. I don’t exactly know everything, but I would have to say that it is a very questionable organization after what I read today.

 

Right now as I am typing this I am listening to Nirvana. Kurt Cobain sings with such strong emotion. This was very popular when I was in middle school and it brings back so many memories……………..good and bad.

 

 I have to say that I could only bring 30 CDs with me. I mainly brought my Arabic/Bellydancing music along with other artists like Britney Spears and Ricky Martin. What I didn’t really bring was good ole’ alternative music. I brought one Linkin Park CD (LOVE those guys) but I overplayed them. I was just so thrilled that I found someone who let me borrow his Nirvana CD. I am busy playing the hell out of this CD.

 

Oh ! How could I forget about this morning ??????? This morning some people were doing construction at 9am. They were hammering so hard downstairs, and sound travels really well in my room. Not only could I not hear my thoughts, but my walls were vibrating. I was so mad, especially since I was mentally preparing for an exam. As I was leaving for school, I kindly asked the landlady (porteria) downstairs in my broken Spanish how long this would be going on. Well, at least the construction men are cute.

 

I am so happy that I brought my earplugs. Every night I sleep with earplugs and a blindfold. One of my neighbors is an older lady that yells at this man, about only God knows what. Too bad I can’t understand because it’s all in Catalan. She decides to do this around midnight or maybe later. Someone downstairs also decides at an ungodly hour to dump all his glass bottles into the recycle bin. Sometimes I hear this kid singing as soon as I wake up. When I first moved into this place, I was concerned about not disturbing my neighbors. Screw that idea. I now slam my doors when I leave the apartment. It’s easier than slowly turning the key quietly. I also listen to my music with the window open.

 

I also had my “Language Awareness Exam” that lasted for 2 ½ hours today. I wrote a lot and my hand hurt so much after. I am just glad that I got through it. I took up four pages of writing for one answer.

 

Okay, enough random thoughts for the day............

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Another post after a gazillion tries !!!

Hello Everyone,

 

Guess what ?? I finally wisened up a bit !!!  I DID type a couple of these blog entries a few days ago. But they are not visible because AOL wouldn’t LET me post them. So I decided to paste it to word and save it to a disk. But the computer at the internet café I was at prohibited me from using a disk, so I ended up just forgetting about it. NOW I am saving my blogs on a disk from my comp at home and just transferring them when I go online at the café. Okay, enough talk about that for now.

 

I have so much to talk about. First of all, I found out that I got an A on my Marketing Management course from my last semester. My professor FINALLY posted the damn grade !!! It’s about time. I thought grades were due a month ago. This means that I had a 3.4 GPA for the last semester. Overall I have a 3.2 GPA. Not too shabby, I say. Now all I have to do is wait for my diploma to be sent through the mail.

 

I am on my last week of this TEFL course. I finally turned in our biggest project on Wednesday. That was a relief !!  On Thursday the teacher was going over some grammar points and I swear almost NONE of us were listening. We were all burned out from the big project from the night before.

 

Yesterday one of the teachers was telling us about how to go about finding an ESL job after the course is over. It put me in such a bad mood. He was going into all the contract details and about how some places can rip us off. Basically language schools are a money-making business and the directors there will sometimes do what they can to pay their teachers as little as possible. He also told us about what the job situations will be like in various countries. It can be hard if youare a European citizen. It’s twice as bad if you’re an American citizen.The teacher told us that it was possible to find work and that many people do. But then again, he told us not to expect much. Gee thanks, buddy.  I mean, I knew most of that before I came here. But now that I am IN Spain and am broke and have to make decisions, it’s all the more real to me.

 

At that moment, I just wondered what the hell I got myself into. Was coming here and getting myself deeper into debt worth it ? Maybe my plan won’t work out after all. Could I be at home pursuing a career where I have job security and get paid more? I love this country to pieces, but I just spent 4 years of my life pursuing a business degree at a university and have a fat student loan bill to prove it. I am educated. I am tired of being broke. English teachers don’t get a whole lot of respect here. It’s fuckin’ ridiculous. Sorry Mom if you’re reading this.

 

But on the other hand, I didn’t get into this to become a teacher. I signed up for this because I saw it as a way for me to stay in the country, make money and learn Spanish. I also want to go to China and learn Chinese.( By the way, I thought things would be better in China, but I learned they aren’t)  I am doing all of this so I can do business better with people. But from where I am at right now, it looks like I have a looooong way to go.

 

Anyways, I better get back to studying. I have a fat exam tommorow. I also need to work on my resume. Here in Europe it´s called a CV (Latin for God knows what). I didn´t know what the teacher meant when he told us to work on our CVs.

 

I also forgot to mention that I am being taught by British people. And though we can understand each other, there are so many different expressions. And what may sound like "Improper English" to Americans, may in fact be correct to the British.

 

Anyways, I really better go now.

 

Ciao.

Friday, July 9, 2004

This is The Third Time I´ve Typed this Entry !!

Hello there my lovelies...........................

OMG !!! WTF ??? I have typed an entry for about an hour yesterday only to have it magically deleted by "AO-HELL" just as I was about to post it. SO I type another quick message only to go through the same thing. Now, let´s fast forward to today. I spend about an hour typing a nice, long entry only for it to get deleted ONCE AGAIN. Finally I can post something.

Well, let´s see what´s new in my neck of the woods........................... This week was rough at school, and the amount of homework I have to magically have done by Monday is unreal. One girl was on the verge of crying today. I can´t say that I blame her.

I am supposed to go out with the girls in my class tommorow night for some tapas. I just hope I don´t regret it. I just can´t stand being in the house all by myself all weekend. Plus, it would be good to shoot the breeze with my classmates.

As "teachers-in-training" we have to teach different levels of students. I taught 2 different classes this week, each for about 45 min. We have teachers that sit in the back and "observe" us. They usually write up a long, detailed paper of what I am doing right and what I need to improve.

I also have an individual student that I have to meet with twice. My student is a nice woman from around here. She has a PhD in Biochemistry or something like that. I will look it up again. She is very smart, and wants to learn English because all of the important medical and science journals are in English.

In one of our classes is one of those "rico-suave" Spanish guys who is a car mechanic. ¡Muy guapo! Oh Lord ! I mean, during our lesson I focus on what I am doing because teaching is like 50% of my grade and no man, no matter how hot he is can distract me from that.

But afterwards us girls just have a good giggle. One of my classmates is an artist and drew a picture of him while she was bored. Before our class began he moved by the fan and told me "I sorry, I move by fan coz I verrrry hot." I tried so hard not to laugh. Anyways enough about that.

Oh !! How could I almost forget to tell y'all that the mullet is back in style here. It is so GAWDAWFUL. When anyone with a mullet walks by on the street I always turn around and stare. I know, it´s a very bad habit, but I just can´t believe it. 

This awful hairstyle was popular 20 years ago in the US, and I just can´t believe that it made its way to beautiful Spain. I shudder to think that it might make its way back to the US.

Oh ! I also forgot to mention that I was stopped on the way home from school twice by tourists. First an American guy asks me where Las Ramblas are. A few minutes later a small group of American backpacker guys stopped me and asked me where Las Ramblas are in completely broken Spanish. They had their big backpacks strapped on with their baseball caps. I just told them both directions in English and told them how to read the street signs.

I also have more stories, but I will update soon. If I don´t its because I can´t get this darn computer to listen.

Ciao

Sunday, July 4, 2004

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon

Hello everyone,

Well, last night I went to see the Bellydance Superstars show here in Barcelona last night. It was SOOOOO beautiful. The dancers are from the US, most of them from California. I bought some mint tea to take home. Wonderful stuff.

The show was so beautiful for many reasons. First of all the dancers were just beautiful. They all had beautiful long hair with elaborate costumes and makeup. Before I saw the show I was thinking about cutting my hair short. Now I just want to let it grow out as long as possible.

I also loved the show because the dancers had such perfect moves. They executed each move so precisely. They also danced with doubleveils, swords and candles. But what I loved the most was how the dancers incorporated their hair into the dance. When they spun around, their hair also flowed, just like their dresses did. I am definitely dancing again here after my classes are over or when I go back to the US.

Today I got up and looked at my first apartment. There was a single room advertised for 270 Euros and a double for 360 Euros. Well, guess what..... Only the double was available, which kinda irked me a little because the single room is the cheapest and I wanted it. The double room is expensive, but it was pretty.

The girl there was nice and she made me some coffee. I was happy that she has an Internet connection there as well as a dryer. I have neither of those right now. I am going to try to look at other rooms, but we´ll see what happens. I don´t have all day to look at apartments right now.

I did some shopping yesterday and bought some food for the week. I also bought the new Marc Anthony CD, which is all in Spanish. I love his voice. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

I did some homework yesterday, but I have to finish it all tonight. I still have soooo much left to do. I also still need to do my laundry. The weekends sure do go by real fast here.

I would like to post some pictures up here soon, but its hard now. The ISB port here doesn´t recognize my ISB cable. I am going to have to wait until I move somewhere with an internet connection.

It seems like EVERY time I am here typing my blog someone next to me is annoying me somehow. For example, yesterday the man next to me smelled gross. Today the man next to me keeps shaking his leg really fast next to me and I can see it out of the corner of my eye while I am trying to type this. A few days ago this woman wasshouting really loud on the phone to someone for the longest time. I think her boyfriend/husband cheated on her. Who knows ?

Anyways I will try to update this as soon as I can, which will prob be next weekend.

Ciao

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Week One in Barcelona

Hello Everyone,

I have a lot to write about, especially because I am so busy. I don´t even know where to start. I guess that I can start talking about school.

Basically you already know that I am taking a TEFL course.( Teaching English as a Foreign Language). I am going to the Windsor Institute which has locations in Barcelona, Madrid, London and Prague. The school is run by British people so I am learning a lot of British English.

The school is also moderated, which means that there are people that will examine us at the end of the course. Their job is to make sure that the teachers are teaching us everything properly. They are the ones that decide if the students pass or fail.

The classes last for four weeks and are Mon-Thurs. from 9:30am until 10:00 pm. On Fridays classes end at 5pm. This course LITERALLY feels like a normal semester of four classes crammed into a litle less than a month. That´s how busy we are.

This week we went over a lot of material. To keep it short I´ll just tell you that we had to learn Indonesian for 1 hour a day this week: It was fun, and the purpose was to show us what it feels like for students to learn a new language. The other purpose of this was to show us that is IS in fact possible to teach students that can´t speak a word of English.

We also started teaching other students. I taught a group of upper-intermediate students for 30 minutes. I felt comfortable and did well over all. We were also each assigned individual students to meet with and assess their level of English. My student is woman from around here named Sara. We will have our first meeting at a bar after class on Monday.

Overall I like the classes, especially the teachers. It is very hot, but I have a nice view of the apartments across from our window. I don´t know how to explain it, but it looks very Spanish. However, sometimes when it gets really hot the cats outside moan/scream. It sounds so awful it´s funny.

I was told that the classes usually have a lot of students from England, but this time most of us are from the United States. There are also people from Australia, Scotland and Holland. There is no one from England.

The weather is very hot and humid here. When I come home, my face is always covered in oil. A lot of women carry fans around here, and I am going to buy one very soon. I am wearing lots of skirts. I bought one for very cheap.

I am very happy that I don´t have school today. I slept in late and met my new roommate who is Spanish. She seems very nice and we talked in English and Spanish. She helped me read an article in the Cosmopolitan magazine.

I have so much to write, and I wish I could write more, but I have to go. The man sitting next to me on the other computer just stinks. His cologne just doesn´t agree with me. But I will update this soon.