I feel like I reflected on everything I wanted to regarding 2016, so lets finally talk about 2017! In just a month I will be traveling to Barcelona to learn how to teach English and hopefully relocate. This is totally new to me, so I must admit I am a bit nervous. The program is separated into two components; methodology and teachers practice. From e-mailing backing and forth with the teachers and my interview they seem like extremely helpful and available people, so I have a great feeling my peers will be as well.
I feel that to teach it is necessary to be humble. I want to be the the type of teacher that views my students as my teachers. I am there learning from them right? I will be trying to teach them new vocabulary and grammatical structures, but their enthusiasm and extent to which I feel they are grasping the materials and participating is what will truly allow me to adapt and grow to their needs. I need to pay attention to them and listen to whatever they’re telling me even when their mouths are closed.
During my first lecture, I will introduce my name as Sherif Vuich, but say “that I want you guys to think of me as your friend, so to call me Pharaoh as my friends do if you like”. Regardless of what form I try to take, I know that there is no nullifying my goofiness. If I’m not joking around and enjoying myself as I teach them then I am doing it from a safeguarded way. I think that staying me — remaining present — will be my biggest challenge. If I’m here I’ll be able to remain goofy, attentive, and engage and give some Pharaohesque lessons. Wow, that didn’t get auto-corrected and is actually a word, LOL.
Although this next phase of my life is extremely exciting to think about, I can’t wait to simply be traveling again. I just talked about Seoul and how I felt traveling is the best way to access the soul, so I can’t wait for that level of presence, attention, and constant exploration.
This will be my second time visiting Barcelona. My first time was 10 years ago in between my junior and senior years of high school. I went with the French club in my high school, so it was chaperoned and I wasn’t able to fully experience what I wanted spontaneously. I remember all the tourist attractions I visited, so of course I want to revisit the Sagrada de Familia and this really awesome aquarium I remember going to, but for the most part it’ll seem like a completely fresh visit.
From googling around I found this labyrinth garden that looks like something out of Game of Thrones. I definitely plan on checking that out. There’s also an Egyptian museum 300 yards from my hotel, so as a Pharaoh that seems like an obligation to visit. I really have no expectations for the first 5 days prior to my CELTA, but I definitely want to explore as much during the day, talk to as many people as possible, and try to develop some friendships prior to the actual course beginning. The plan is no plan. I don’t want to objectify an experience.
Originally I wanted to get to Japan ASAP, but I now could see myself staying and gaining experience in Barcelona afterwards. I took four years of Spanish in high school, so with a little socializing, reviewing of verb conjugation charts, and maybe watching some Spanish TV (Mas Narcos) I’m confident I can pick it back up. I have no expectations, goals, or plans, but right now it seems like I will likely try to stay for at least 3-6 months after finishing my course.
I feel that the most important part of this transitional phase will be my devotion to my presence and consciousness. I feel that presence is the value that allows all other values to follow. Ive still been doing calisthenics and stretching exercises every day, or every other day if my arms get too sore. I can’t say I know what I’m doing in terms of fitness, but as long as I don’t overdo it and listen to my body I will be fine. This is a sad confession, but I can see my abs again for the first time in years without having to suck in. I really want to continue with my healthy diet of mainly chicken, brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and once my course is over and my knee healthy again to join a gym in Barcelona. Earlier I gave a lot of teaching plans or goals, but I must be able to consciously modify or abandon what I thought I would do if it turns out to not go accordingly.
I’m getting my knee manipulated on Thursday since it hasn’t straightened yet completely, and then its heavy physical therapy until I leave in February. It’ll be painful, and although I’ve started to enjoy my solitude and soul searching phase for the last four months I really am ready to get back out into the real world, work, socialize, connect, teach, learn, and continue creating and cultivating yours truly,
-Pharaoh Maktuk. Happy New Year!!!!