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Until Next Year...!

Here it is, my last post before winter vacation.  How does one conclude a year?  Well, in Spain, you put 12 grapes in your mouth, one for each ding of the clock at midnight.  

This semester has been quite something.  It’s too soon to make sense of it, to process it all.  But I can say I am thoroughly happy with how my last week of school went.  A teacher I hadn’t been clicking with (read: I just stood during her classes while she lectured, sometimes being asked to define words) even sent me an email outlining her plans to incorporate me more into her classes.  Another teacher sent me a nice little holiday card via email.  I gave the biology teacher I work with postcards from a series devoted to women in science.  Roots have been planted in the school, I can certainly say that.

The plan for my bachillerato students’ short stories kind of fell apart, though.  I only see them once a week, so it’s hard to keep them on track.  I keep meaning to send them personal emails but just haven’t yet.  So, that’s on me.  I was able to go through the stories that had been given to me and write edits and responses to the writers.  I’m very curious to see how and if they incorporate my comments into their final drafts, which I’ll be collecting upon return in January.  I hope to get more organized for next semester!  But I’m also wondering how organized I am capable of being…  Mess fuels me.  It suits me.  I could be better, though, I could.

The most fun part of the last week of school was going tapas-hopping (tapopping, I tried…) with my fellow assistant teachers.  We had a grand time, walking from place to place, chatting over drinks and tapas.  I was thrilled to practice my Spanish.  Two of the assistants are fluent; they have spent either all or most of their lives in Spain.  When it was just the three of us at the end, I felt like I was really engaging with the language that I so desperately want to speak perfectly.  It’s a process.  A never-ending one.  And I’m trying to get used to that.

I caught the Fortuny exhibit at the Prado the other day (and then ended up on Calle Fortuny thinking how incredible it is that some of the streets are named after artists, the kind of mental and probably literal googly-eyeing one does when in a new and exciting city).  I feel like you know you’re truly living in Spain when you go to the Prado and end up not seeing Las Meninas…  At first I was distraught upon having this realization: how could I have been in the Prado and not seen it!  But then, I felt okay, because that means I must be a real resident now.  And I’ll see it next time : )

Well, that’s it for me!  I’ll be back in 2018 with more (more videos and pictures!).  Have a wonderful vacation everybody!

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