I have had some excellent experiences since the last post. Spanish nightlife is terrific. My flatmate took me to hangout with his friends this past Saturday in Madrid as his parents have an apartment in the city. We met up for coffee with his crew at around 6 pm and the night for us did not end until about 3 or 4 am I believe. The clubs typically remain open until 6 am! Such a contrast to the prompt American “last call” at 2 am. I also appreciated that the emphasis, at least with this group, was not on getting wild and crazy, but having a genuinely excellent time enjoying one another´s company. We toured some highlights of the city including the King´s Palace, the Senate building, a monument delivered by the Egyptians during the time of Franco, and more. It was also so pleasant (and European I suppose) to stop at cafes every so often for coffees or a cold beer! The emersion is forcing me to communicate in Spanish and it is starting to become slightly more natural to me.
Today was my first time on the job! So far so good. My boss is a very energetic, passionate man from Chile and he has many, many creative ideas about engaging the students and encouraging them to speak in English. I think that he is going to be a really great guide for me. The staff seems to be really friendly and supportive and my impression is that the teachers there all possess a shared vision for the success of the students. What more could you ask for? They are all fairly young – late 20s\early 30s and I think that this also contributes to an energetic, vibrant atmosphere. The students are going to be a lot of fun. I have not begun working with them, but they seem like a load of laughs. Now, strangest of all…my colleague, my partner in this English mission, is TCNJ alumni, class of ’97!!! I am still very beside myself on that. We had a full out conversation about the reign of Eickhoff, the days of Decker as the cafeteria, and all the changes that have occurred since his time. Unbelievable. I miss my alma mater so, so much, but here it is chasing me half way around the world!
I like having a professional life. It´s very exciting. I will try to start posting photos soon!