I woke up this morning feeling amazing. The sky was glittery and it seemed like the sun was patiently hiding behind the buildings of my flat– gracing with me with a light show as the clouds sifted through. I sat there while it unfolded, but inevitably had to get ready to go to class. My external radiance was inevitably diluted by the superficial giddiness of my colleagues.
I couldn’t be more grateful that this hell storm program is almost over. The work load has been extremely easy, and in terms of developing my lesson plans and completing homework I haven’t even been slightly challenged. However, dealing with the obscenely phony classmates of mine daily has been strenuous.
I feel that this course has caused me to acquire ill thoughts towards Barcelona, but when I’m outside of this school I am treated kindly and think the polar opposite. Although those I meet outside of this school are single-serving for the most part, they are extremely friendly and I’ve had a lot of enjoyable experiences here. I’ve gone to a multi-cultural disco with all sorts of non-hip-hop non-EDM music, a hashish cafe, sang my heart out at karaoke weekly where I met a mixture of tourists and locals, and wandered through this gorgeous city architecturally representative of a blend of the old and the new. Carnaval! Barcelona Week 3
At times I’ve wondered whether this trip so far has been a success or a complete waste of my time. The main goal was to pass this program, get certified, and gain some experience before inevitably transitioning to Japan. Even if I don’t find work in Barcelona and get to remain in Europe afterwards, I still will have passed my program, and will have had 9 lessons by the end of next week. I’ve been able to live in Barcelona for a month, and outside of the douchey colleagues in this program have felt joy while practicing my teaching. I also will be seeing Jason Mraz next month in Budapest, so will have taken one side trip while in Europe.
Although I’ve been struggling to make close relationships with other people, I know that I can’t expect to make best friends and for my life to be perfect here right away. I also can’t expect to stay here after the CELTA ends, but it is certainly the goal over the next few weeks. I’ve been revising and perfecting my resume and cover letter over the last few days with help of the department head, so will be starting to apply to schools in Barcelona, Budapest, and other parts of Spain this weekend. I’ll also start applying to schools in Vietnam and Japan to give myself more options.
I’ve wondered if teaching is for me several times. In the beginning I had elementary students and had a hard time grading my teacher talk to their needs, but with time facilitated them to practice their conversation and learn a plethora of new vocabulary. I can’t know what they thought or felt, but I felt happy when I was in their presence, and felt that it brought out mine.
We switched from elementary students (A1) after the first two weeks to upper intermediate students (B2) for the last two weeks. I’ve been able to use more advanced vocabulary, and feel that this allows me to use better concept questions to convey and check meaning, as well as a greater ease of personalizing my lessons. On Wednesday I gave a lesson on the constraints we had as children. ‘What we could do, had to do, were allowed to do, used to do etc.’ based on our parents and cities. They opened up and had contrasting views based on whether they had strict or more lenient parents, or grew up in a small Spanish village or Moscow.
I definitely prefer teaching more advanced students, but have enjoyed both. In a way teaching has helped me become more accustomed to single-serving friends. When I go out and meet random people at karaoke, meet-up groups, or raves, once I get past the initial small talk I feel that I vibe at a high frequency which has been reflected by the energy I share with my students. Prying myself out of my cocoon has been difficult, but I have gorgeous glittery wings waiting to be seen when I allow myself to emerge.
Not sure where I’ll be in the next month or so, but would like to stay in Barcelona, practice my Spanish, date some gorgeous European girl, preferably Spanish, and share an incredible language exchange similar to that which I had in Japanese with Manami*. I have no expectations, but will give it my all to see this through and stay in Spain. My life is a massive crystal ball shrouded in mist, but when the fog dissipates the view will be beautiful. For now, I’ll enjoy the mystery as it unfolds.