Thursday, 17 March 2016

It's been a while! (Again)

Buenos tardes!

Wow, I really am late this time round! I haven't even been that busy really, but February seemed to whizz by. 
 I did some fantastic Valentine's lessons at school- it's celebrated pretty much the same way worldwide so instead I taught them some English pet names and common nicknames for friends and loved ones. It was so much fun because something that sounds so normal to me, sounds so strange to another country/language! For example, I told them that 'sausage' was a fairly normal one- I was called that as a child, and I've known couples call each other it sometimes, but the kids at school thought it was absolutely hysterical!! I got a similar reaction to 'muffin' and 'stinky', although I of course made sure they understood that you have to say it in a nice way!! 
It was also quite interesting for me to see which ones they had already heard of; 'baby', 'honey', 'darling', 'sweetheart' and the ever-notorious 'bae' were fairly well-known, and there were a few really random ones as well like 'babydoll' and 'pumpkin' that they'd heard from TV. Similarly with friendly nicknames, they'd heard of 'dude' and 'bro' from TV, but didn't know 'babe' or 'chick' or 'mate', so we had a good time, I quickly realised how many food-words we use as affectionate names in English, and they even told me a few Spanish ones! So the week or so after my last post was great fun.

Oviedo Carnaval Lego People

Something I had almost forgotten about that happened in February was the Oviedo Carnaval celebration! Unfortunately I missed a lot of the festivities because unbeknownst to me, they had been going on in a lot of different places on different days, but I did at least catch the parade! It absolutely chucked it down, but the costumes were incredible, and I saw a lot of great Samba Bands and Star Wars groups making their way down Calle Uría, all of whom were dressed to the nines in amazingly detailed outfits! (For some reason Dropbox has clearly sent those photos and clips to another dimension of my computer, but here are a couple of the other groups I saw that day!)
Carnaval! Ursula, Ariel and Sebastian

 The end of February to early March was by far the best part of the past few weeks, as my favourite person finally came to visit me, I had my 21st birthday, AND went to Disneyland for the first time ever (I know, I was neglected of Disney Magic as a child) in Paris. Let us begin...
My main failure at the moment is my cooking, so I took full advantage of my stay-at-home chef and much to his delight, I gave in to his begging me to try proper seafood and we made an absolutely delicious paella: chicken, chorizo, squid and clams! Although I loved the squid and clams, I have to say I was a bit freaked out when we went to the fish counter at the supermarket and saw a man buying 3 GIGANTIC spider-crabs still crawling and wiggling in the bag *shudders*.

Ta-Daaa! How pretty!?
We spent several afternoons wandering around Oviedo, we went to Avilés to have coffee and bizcocho with a friend of mine, and also spent a rather lovely evening exploring Gijón; a beautiful city which I'd only previously explored a little, and now can't wait to go back this Saturday! The weather thankfully stayed nice for us, and we walked along the harbour-side and then back through the town to have a nosy in all the lovely shops. Elliot's eagle-eyes spotted a convenient "bonbonería" and we found the most gorgeous little artesan chocolate shop! The owner was clearly very proud of her work, helped us decide which ones to buy, told us how they were all hand-made and even let us try a couple for free! In the end we decided on 6, and while I am well aware that the bottom two look less than appealing (!) they were each as delicious as the last:
A light lunch in Avilés

My only shot of Gijon was this rather poor panorama!!

 I had work on my birthday, and all day I had a stream of students approach me nervously in the corridors, whisper "How do you say 'Happy Birthday' in English?" to someone nearby and then give me the biggest grins when they finally said it to me- super cute. Since I couldn't spend my birthday with all of my friends and family, I wanted a fairly relaxed evening, so we found a bowling alley in the big out-of-town shopping centre, and spent a good few hours there bowling and playing in the arcade. After each game in the arcade, you could win tickets, and we (well, I say 'we', mostly Elliot) won enough to get me a Toothless (from How to Train Your Dragon) toy, which I was very happy with until I realised I would then have to carry it all the way home and to the nice restaurant we went into for my birthday dinner!! With Toothless stowed in my coat, we had a seriously tasty dinner of patatas y bacon con salsa brava y salsa ali-oli (basically fried potatoes with bacon, with spicy brava sauce and delicous ali-oli) and then an equally delicious pizza each!

His 4-Cheese and my prosciutto pizza
I'm sure most of you reading this are well aware of my birthday trip to Disneyland Paris for the weekend, so I won't linger too long on it, but safe to say, it was the best birthday present I have ever received, I had the best time despite the rain and snow (!), it was more magical than I could've hoped for and I can't wait to go back one day!

My favourite photo of the entire year

 I can't say I have much more to say, this week I've been doing about Easter and St. Patrick's Day at school (have to say, a shocking number of people didn't know that Ireland was its own country/used the euro etc., so I cleared that up!!) and I got plenty of happy reactions to my Easter powerpoint as it contained a good number of fluffy bunnies and other adorable Easter animals! The thing I enjoy most is hearing them talk about their own celebrations and traditions in comparison to ours, and I will be taking my parents and Grandma to a small local village party called 'Huevos Pintos' (painted eggs) on the 29th just out of curiosity! Thankfully the weather is starting to feel much more Springy (boiing), so hopefully it should be a lovely next few weeks!

Talk soon, hasta luego! xxx

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Back to Work!

Hello again! Sorry it's taken so long for me to start writing again; once you get out of the habit, it's hard to get back into it again!

I went back to work on January 11th, and after only 3 weeks back in the UK I have to admit I was *not* ready to work again- whose stupid idea was it to start the school day at 8.35?! January passed me by quite slowly, because there isn't much going on, and once you've covered the whole " was your Christmas? What did the 3 Kings bring you?" lesson, you really have to think of actual things to do! (Nb. For Spanish kids, it's the 3 Kings who bring their gifts rather than Santa Claus, so they get a 'Santa present' at Christmas, but have the majority of presents on the 6th January!)
The teacher I worked with retired before Christmas, but luckily her replacement was lovely; I think she was as glad of the company and help as I was, since it was her first week there, and she also offered to give me lifts to and from school throughout the month as well so I had a chance to converse more in Spanish with her in the car every morning, which of course is always good!
The last week of January was my last week in 'La Iglesia' (The building where kids aged 11-14 are taught) so I gave a somewhat rushed lesson on Burns Night in a bid to leave them with something more interesting that prepositions and the present continuous. Mind you, saying that, they did find it pretty funny when I spent part of the lesson stood on a chair or sat under the table to get them to practice "She is standing on the chair" "She is sitting under the table" etc. 
The Burns Night lesson worked better with some than others; I got them to find words such as 'sheep' and 'stomach', and then watched in amusement as they realised what 'Haggis' meant, and also got them to watch a couple of Scottish dances. With the nice ones, this was relatively simple and they told me about similar Asturian traditions such as the bagpipes and dancing, I won't go into how bad my bad classes were!!!

La Iglesia (church) opposite my school at sunrise
The weekend in between finishing at one building and starting in the other, was incredibly lazy, as I had no preparation to do for the following week; I'd introduce myself and do whatever the teacher had planned. However, on the Sunday I went to Avilés again to see a friend, and we had lunch in the cutest cafe I have ever seen. Crossed between a French patisserie, English tearoom and Spanish coffee bar, it was the nicest place I've visited in a long time! We probably should have had tapas or something, but I was so happy to be seeing 'lunch food' (i.e, not a full cooked meal as is the norm) on the menu that I was soon tucking into the most delicious smoked salmon/cream cheese bagel I have ever had. Not wanting to be too un-Spanish though, I did of course have a cafe con leche afterwards!

How adorable.

I was initially confused by the fake apple tree, yes.

Also love that when you order a drink, you automatically get given a small 'pincho' to eat as well!
Afterwards, we wandered around the town for a bit, walking across the river to a gallery (unfortunately closed) where we also found what looked like the beginnings of one those bridges where couples write their names on a padlock and fix it to the railings- cute!

Pretty rainbow bridge in Avilés
 And also a pretty church I couldn't resist taking a photo of, which oddly enough seems to be dedicated to Thomas Beckett of Canterbury!?
Iglesia de Santo Tomas de Canterbury (Yep, Thomas Beckett!)
My first week with the older students was both fantastic and strange. Fantastic because the students were mostly old enough now that they don't act like children, so they were *much* easier and nicer to talk to, as well as being able to understand and speak more English. Strange, because I am in some classes where a few of the students are actually older than myself!! There seems to be a sort of college, for want of a better word, taught at the school, for students aged 19-23, who may or may not have been to university, which is for courses on 'Electricity' and 'Automotives'  and they have to do a certain amount of English as well. I will obviously try my best with these classes, but I fear I am largely lacking when it comes to talking about cars or circuit boards.
The first time you meet a new class is usually fun though, as they have to ask you questions about yourself or your country/culture, although I have to admit it would be a lot easier if I had a favourite football team or played sports! I tend to get asked "Do you have pets?" which is then followed by smiles and 'awwwww' when I show them photos of Marmalade, Princess and Tetley; "Do you like Spanish food?" (haha, they think I can cook) 
However, with age comes opinion, and there's always that one student that asks my opinion on something genuinely important, like "Do you think the UK will join the EU?" (What? You think I know what's going on!?) or "I think UK schools are discriminatory for having 'sets' instead of having everyone together" (Oh...well, sorry...I erm...disagree?) which means I have to think pretty hard before I speak in case they take it the wrong way! Some of the younger classes I have are studying technology at the moment though, so I've been asked to maybe teach them some 'text speak', which should be pretty fun! 

It was Carnaval this weekend too, but the Oviedo party isn't until next Saturday, so hopefully I'll have more to tell you about that next time! 
Wow, this seems to have been pretty long, that's what happens when you let work build up and love procrastinating!!
Until next time- hasta luego xxx

Saturday, 5 December 2015


Hola de nuevo! Sorry I'm super late with this again, I keep *thinking* about writing it, and then I just don't. But I do have a few photos and stuff to put in this one to make up for my lateness.

 So school has been really fun recently; last Thursday I even went with a few of the English classes on a big school trip to the Gijon Film Festival, and we saw a new film called 'All The Wilderness'. It was a bit of an odd film, but films at these sorts of events often are, because they're being celebrated as being 'different' and 'interesting', so I embraced it and thoroughly enjoyed it. All The Wilderness was a bit like Perks of Being a Wallflower, in that it was, in essence, a sort of coming-of-age story and how one teenage boy was coping with things that had happened to him in the past. But it also reminded me of Perks of Being A Wallflower because the film had some quite dark and serious themes running through it, and the coming-of-age stuff was a sort of cover for what the film was actually about- coping with death and sadness. It was incredibly effective, and although some of the students didn't really like it, I think they all followed it, and enjoyed it all the same. 
 I really liked going on the school trip, because I got to talk to lots of the students in a non-classroom-y setting, which was mostly them jibbering in Spanish and then quizzing me in broken English about various things! Some of the girls even saved me a seat so I could sit with them during the film (I know, adorable.) Some of them wanted selfies with me and wanted to know all about how I learned Spanish in England and school etc, and I now even have about 7 of them following me on Instagram!! It was just a really lovely day.
 Something else I've particularly enjoyed recently at school is that now it's December, I can start talking about Christmaaas!! I'm so excited about going home for Christmas, so it was really fun talking to the students about mince pies, advent calendars (of course I told them about my awesome PlayMobil one), Christmas pudding, and the importance of brussel sprouts! In order to have a bit of context for talking about how I celebrate Christmas, I asked my friend who I give conversation classes to, how Christmas is celebrated here. The main differences, are that here in Spain, traditionally Christmas Eve (la Noche Buena) is the day when Christmas Dinner is eaten, all the family gather together, and they'd have the leftovers for Christmas Day. Also, Santa Claus is not really popular here- I was told that sometimes they get a couple of 'Santa' presents, but mostly they receive their gifts from the Three Kings; they leave out offerings for them and their camels in the same way we leave out mince pies for Father Christmas. Also, one of the funniest questions I was asked was about Christmas Stockings, because the word for stocking is the same as 'sock', so several children asked me how on earth Father Christmas is supposed to fit all our presents into a sock, which I found quite amusing to explain!
  The great thing about fun lessons like these, is that the students actually listen, behave, and want to learn about it, because it's such an important celebration and they like to tell me how they celebrate it, and ask me hundreds of questions! They were so good in fact, that the quick, 10-minute Christmas song-learning activity I had prepared turned into a full group singalong which had all the students sat on the floor watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the smartboard, and singing all the words! I can't wait for next week when I can do another one with them!

Plaza del Fontán Marketplace Mistletoe
  It's really beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas now too ("eeeverywheeere you go...") because the past couple of weeks have been so gorgeous and cold and frosty in the mornings! I sit in the staff room wearing a tshirt most days, and one of my teachers always looks at me in shock and says "How? How are you wearing short sleeves, I look at you and I get cold!" but the school is always 100 degrees so I refuse to wear winter clothing unless I'm sat outside when we go for a coffee at breaktime, but even then it's beautiful sunshine! My advent calendar is doing a great job at making me feel festive, and I've whacked out the Christmas playlist on Spotify for when I get ready in the mornings so I'll be in full Christmas mode when I come home in 2 weeks. Yep- TWO WEEKS! *happy christmas dance*
The lovely mountain view from my bus-stop

 Last weekend I went to Parque Principado- a big INTU Asturias shopping centre! - with a couple of friends, and it was so nice to just wander round the shops. There are plenty of good shops in Oviedo city centre, but they're all quite well-dispersed and some can take quite a while to find, so the shopping centre was lovely! It had a huge variety of places, and the McDonald's even had its own fancy little coffee bar which sold Macarons (or should that be McMacarons?) and posh pastries! I liked the shops so much I actually went there again yesterday morning, as there is a bus every half an hour from a bus stop just over the road, which takes you to right outside the entrance of the shopping centre. That is one thing I do like very much about where I live in Oviedo, it's *so* well-connected, I can get on practically any bus I need to in a maximum of 15 minutes' walk. Anyway, yeah! So that's another thing found which I can do at the weekend, and I expect I will explore more of it in the weekends to come. 
 I've also been walking to the library in the old towny bit near the Cathedral a lot recently, just to print and copy various things when I forget to do so at school! But it's been quite nice because although I explored that area thoroughly at the beginning of my stay here, because that's where all the Town Hall important places are, I haven't really been there much since, so it was a good opportunity to remind myself how much I liked it! I had a wander round the market in Plaza del Fontán, which this time of year is overflowing with people buying and selling poinsettias (reminded me of you by the way Mum) and sprigs of mistletoe in little beribboned bags. All very pretty!

The market just outside the library!

Last week I also had to go and find the special courier parcel-delivery collection place to collect my surprise advent calendar ( :D ) which meant I had to wander round a far-flung part of Oviedo I had never explored before! But luckily, it was on my way to the house of the little boy I give English classes to, so I could hop on a bus and get off a couple of stops early to go and find it. Once I had found the first street I had to walk up (Google Maps is despairingly bad here for some reason) I only had to walk in a straight line for 10 minutes and there it was! Since I had expected it to take me a lot longer than that, I had a bit of time to wander about taking photos of the very colourful and funky-looking buildings in the square nearby!

That's about it for my recent adventures! A friend is hosting a Sunday roast tomorrow, so I'll be going to that in the little town she lives in nearby, and I can't wait for amazing UK-style food!
Hopefully I won't be quite so late with my next post, but if nothing happens between now and next week, I'll probably wait until after Christmas to write again. 
Feliz Navidad!

Pretty sunset with the view of the mountains and the cathedral

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Hello again! 
Sorry this one's a bit late again, I wanted to be able to write a decent amount for once! I continue to have a lovely time here in Oviedo; the weather has been simply gorgeous, my lessons have been easy to teach, and I was helped along by a mid-week parcel from home as well!

I had a four-day weekend again last week, as the teacher I work with on Mondays was unable to come into school, and said I needn't bother coming in either! I took advantage of the extra time, and did my first proper food-shop at Carrefour, which is like a monster Asda selling everything under the sun. (Everything....except mincemeat. But I'll come to that later.) I also spent my Sunday afternoon with my friend for our regular maccy's meetup in town, which was lovely as always!

If anything, one thing which was a bit more of a challenge this week was working out what I was going to do in my classes, since there aren't really any other celebrations in England until Christmas now. However, my teacher friend who drives me to and from school most days, has spent a lot of time in the USA, and so suggested I do Thanksgiving! Now, aside from the wonderful Thanksgiving episodes of 'Friends', I can't say I know a lot about Thanksgiving, but the story turned out to be very straight-forward, and I learned a lot as well! And, with my bilingual classes, I even got to watch a few clips from 'Friends' to ahem..."practise their listening skills." They all found it very funny when Joey gets the turkey stuck on his head, so I'd say it went well!!

Going back to Carrefour: I wanted to let the teachers at school and maybe some of the students, try some typically English or Cumbrian food or sweets, since I'm spending my year eating dinner at 3pm and tea at 10pm (still weird). However, as hard as I tried, I could not find any ingredients to make the things I wanted to! I had originally planned to make my own Cinder Toffee in time for Bonfire Night, but nowhere had Bicarbonate of Soda, and golden syrup was nowhere to be seen! So I enlisted my parents, and they sent me 3 huge bags of cinder toffee, and 6 bars of Kendal Mint Cake- brilliant!! Unfortunately, Kendal Mint Cake doesn't stretch far enough for all my students to try a piece, but I did manage to give a bit to the majority of the teachers, to which they all replied "Ooh, minty!?" but I think it was a hit :D Luckily, there was enough cinder toffee to sink a ship, so all of my students (well, the well-behaved ones that is) got a small piece each, and several rushed up to me at the end of the lesson to ask me "What is it? Can I buy it in Spain? How do I make it!?" so I apologise in advance to many sets of Spanish parents whose kitchens may be filled with overflowing pans of toffee this week!!
One thing that I am still struggling to cope with however, is mince pies (I told you I'd come to it!) since it is almost impossible to find currants or sultanas here, let alone mixed peel or a lonely jar of mincemeat, and I'm blowed if I'm going to spend £20 on postage to get a jar of Waitrose's Own Mincemeat from Amazon!! I really really really want to make some so that my flatmates and teachers at school can maybe try some since the sweets were such a success, so I think this weekend I'll be exploring some more supermarkets in a vain attempt to find some. Fingers crossed.

Steering myself away from food now, I can't believe it's only a month until I come home for Christmas! 4 piddly little weeks and I'll be en route to Stansted airport. Hoooww have I been in Spain for this long already? It seems to have flown by, and I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing- part of me wants to live in Oviedo, and part of me wants this year to be over and done with so I can carry on with life back home! I've been so happy here so far, and my Spanish has improved dramatically, but, despite not being homesick, there are definitely a million things I miss about home. Especially at Christmas!

That's all for this week! Sorry there hasn't been any photos this time, when you go to the same places all the time you sort of run out of things to take pictures of haha. Speak soon! xxx
PS- Helen, I started writing this as soon as you told me during mine and Alex's phone call!!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Better late than never!

Hola a todos!

As you might have guessed from the title, I completely forgot to write this until now! Although, I haven't had internet for the past 2 days so perhaps it wasn't entirely my fault. Luckily it is fixed now, thank goodness because I was sure I'd turn mad if I had to spend any more time playing Candy Crush on my phone or watching peculiar Spanish television (there was The Big Bang Theory, but listening to Sheldon in Spanish is not something I intend to make a habit of!!)

I've had a lovely week-and-a-bit, all my lessons have been running smoothly and after about a month of desperate trips to Santander down the road, my bank account is finally sorted so I can pay my rent. WOOHOO! I know I'm not the only Year Abroad student to have had problems in this respect by far, and I can tell you now that it *does* get easier. I was lucky enough to find a branch in which the man spoke a little English, so he helped me every time I returned with some new disaster. To be honest I think my ever-obvious Englishness was a source of quiet amusement for him.

In my lessons last week, I did of course cover Guy Fawkes Night, and I have to say how jealous I was seeing everyone posting on Facebook about fireworks and bonfires! I think the students were interested in it, because of course they don't celebrate it here, and predictably all the boys demonstrated the effects of gunpowder with fabulous sound effects! I had to laugh though as at one point a girl asked me if we had the day off to celebrate- pffft! She looked completely shocked when I told her we didn't have very many bank holidays or festivos, buuuut they did seem to like the idea of half term, having two weeks holiday in the middle of October!!

The weekend was lovely as well, as the sun came out and I could happily wander along the road to Carrefour to do my weekly shop, and then on Saturday night me and my flatmates ordered Chinese takeaway - something which I have sorely missed about Leeds! - and watched Aladdin (in Spanish of course) on the TV. I found it interesting that so many of the lines lost their meaning in translation, like for example, the Genie turns into a sheep and says he feels sheepish, which of course would not make sense as the words are different! And again, he buzzes around Aladdin's head telling him to "Bee yourself", which again would not be funny unless you understood the English play-on-words! Even so, it was was a nice evening as we don't often get the chance to all sit down together, so perhaps we will do more often in future.

Autumn has arrived in Oviedo!

I'm finding it hard to believe it's almost the middle of November already, I'll be coming home in just over a month! There are a few similarities between Asturias and England, but one of my favourites has got to be the weather. I know the majority of people go to Spain for the southern sun, but when I leave my flat in the morning to walk to get my lift to school, I love nothing more than it feeling like an English November morning; cold, crisp and beautiful wintery sunshine. All it needs is a touch of frost on the grass, and perhaps I'd forget I was even abroad! (Although I suspect the palm trees might give me a hint)

Cold, sunny, clear skies outside my flat
I'm sure I'll have more to talk about this time next week, and I might even remember to post on time! That's all for now, Happy Belated Bonfire Night!

Hasta luego xxx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Hit the 6 Week Mark

Buenos días!

 Another good week gone by, can't believe I've been here for 6 weeks! Had another fun week of Halloween lessons, and even got to watch a bit of Harry Potter with a few of my classes (I said it was to improve their listening skills, but honestly, who doesn't want to watch a bit Harry Potter now and then?) so now I'm all geared-up for a couple of weeks of Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night! It's bank holiday yet *again* tomorrow so luckily I have fewer classes to plan, and more time to plan them, which is nice.
 Can't tell you how weird it's going to feel on the 5th of November and not going to see any fireworks though, really going to miss trekking down to Hyde Park in Leeds with everyone, buying a ton of sparklers and trying not to get shot down by one of the many inevitable people who brought their own fireworks to the show! 

School decorated for Halloween!
I didn't do anything other than school festivity for Halloween either actually, although I've found a goldmine of old Doctor Who episodes so instead of celebrating I've been immersing myself in David Tennant and Billie Piper (the golden age, let's be honest.) 

I did have my two private lessons again this week, which are always so lovely. Learning farm animals with my four-year-old pupil with the help of a few colouring pages, as I had naively believed I would be able to leave him to do that by himself, giving me time to work out what I could do next. However, he handed me every red crayon in his pencil case and insisted furiously "Pintas! Pintas!" and then proceeded to colour over all of my colouring with his own crayon! Adorable, but perhaps not quite what I intended, so this weekend I managed to find a book of English children's songs with a CD, so hopefully I will be able to use that to more success!
My conversation classes with the English teacher are particularly enjoyable as it feels more like I'm going to see a friend for a chat (albeit a friend who occasionally asks me about relative pronouns and the like.) This week I had the pleasure of meeting her family as they gave me a lift home. Normally, you can't help but feel a little bit doomed when they ask "Do you speak much Spanish ?" and while you plan to answer "A bit", your friend replies "Oh yes, very well!" *gulp*, but they were very kind and all seemed pleasantly surprised and encouraging over my attempts at fluent conversation! 

The short walk to the shop down the road

Despite having plenty of time on my hands, I very rarely get much done, since I'm usually a bit drained after a morning of unruly children, but me and a couple of other language assistant girls (from that WhatsApp group I mentioned a while back) made plans to meet up on Saturday. Unfortunately one couldn't make it in the end, but the remaining two of us spent the afternoon shopping, and of course, went to Primark and Maccy D's as a kind of pilgrimage. I think that's one thing I definitely miss about England is the shopping. There are some shops in the city centre, but not the ones you can spend ages meandering about in, and I sort of miss the Leeds Student Union's little card shop and going to Muffin Break for lunch. But anyway, these little weekend meet-ups seem to be becoming more frequent, so hopefully I won't be spending the majority of my Saturdays in bed eating nutella on toast :D

And with that hope, I'll be off! It's getting a bit more difficult to find things to talk about really, so fingers crossed for my Guy Fawkes Night lessons being worth a good post next week!

Besos xxx

Iglesia de Noreña, outside of my school

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Halloween Games and the Great Asturian Weather

Hola de nuevo!

 Now that my teaching has properly kicked off, I've been super busy this week which is why I'm a little later than usual with this post! I've loved it this week though, I thought I'd be a lot more stressed-out after a full-blown week of teaching, but I actually had a lot of fun! I'm one of those people who loves making lists and planning, so imagine my delight when I could not only plan the activities for 11 lessons, but rush in a teacher-ly fashion to and from the photocopier, printing and collecting various worksheets and seating plans! I know it sounds lame, but it was so satisfying picking up a huge stack of paper still warm from the printer, knowing that it was all entirely my own work and I was ready to go.
 Now of course, things didn't always run totally smoothly! Some of my classes are completely angelic, and a pleasure to talk to; they learn the words, they want to use them, and they try to speak it as best they can. Others...well, they seem to be training as apprentices for Satan. They talk over me when I try to help, and then stare incomprehensibly at me when I tell them in my most simplified English (which by the way, they've been learning since they were 4) the instructions for a task. It never occurred to me that I'd have to tell people off! I feel a complete fraud when I put on my best teacher's voice and say sternly "Sit down, be quiet and do the work. It often helps if you pick up your pen." But hey! Part of the learning curve, right? My teachers are all really lovely and help me as much as they can, so thankfully I haven't been in that situation too much! Mostly, this week has been hours of playing Halloween games and teaching useful, practical words like "Goblin" "Cauldron" and "Werewolf". 

The bar where the teachers and I have a coffee every day
 Something else relatively exciting that began this week was my first conversation class as an English conversation tutor! I have two appointments in a week at the moment, one with a really lovely lady who works as an English teacher outside of Oviedo, who I have the pleasure of meeting every Friday simply to chat to so she can practice and modernise her English, and the other is with the adorable 4-year-old son of one of the teachers at my school! Quite a contrast, since one is practically a native speaker, and the other has only just learned to speak his own language let alone another! But I had huge fun watching Peppa Pig for an hour, and by the end of the class, I am pleased to say he could, just like Peppa's brother George, say "DINOSAUR!" with great enthusiasm! :D I've been told there might also be others who want to try to arrange sessions with me or for their children, so possibly that'll be a thing by next week too!
Another thing that properly happened this week was the infamous rainy Asturian weather! The photo above obviously isn't representative of this, because luckily so far the weather has been beautiful! Everyone here tells me that October here is always guapo (a word which, in every other part of Spain can only be used for people, but here they use it for everything!!) but at the start of the week, it absolutely tipped it down. Cats and dogs, stair-rods, you name it, it was coming down, so much so that my ill-judged speedwalk to the bus stop one morning wearing my completely un-waterproof coat over my head, had to be stopped as I dashed into the nearest chemist and bought the first umbrella I could get my hands on! 
 I'll be continuing with my Halloween-themed lessons next week, but I'm quite looking forward to moving onto Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night, since they obviously don't celebrate that here, so the next couple of weeks should be pretty good! Whew, that was a bit of a muddle of things, hope you are keeping up- I tend to write this the way I would say it, so I apologise if it's a tad hard to follow haha!

Hasta pronto! xxx