Teaching

October 31, 2008

I was a pretty good teacher yesterday.  The first class, rainy and cold at 10:15am on a Thursday morning, had 15 women and then, about 10 minutes into class, a guy came in.  When he did come in, I said, “Oh thank God, another one.  We gotta stick together, dude.”

We read a text on proofreading and then they got to practice by proofreading each other’s papers anonymously.  Their assignment is to edit their piece based on the comments of their peers.

The second class I put them into groups and they talked about 5 important issues and the positions on those issues held by Obama and McCain.

The third class we talked about couchsurfing, then read an article entitled “McCain for President” by one of the most German sounding Americans, Charles Krauthammer.

I had a two-hour break and went home for a bit and then went into the city again, this time for my “Understanding America” class with 5 students in it. I entertained and explained.

Now it’s Friday morning, I’m still tired at 10:12am, didn’t sleep too well, it’s cold and rainy outside and I barely have any food in the house and no cash.  I’ll probably find a way to get to the supermarket which is just 30 seconds walk away but still, it would be great to not have to go outside for a few hours.

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work

October 6, 2008

Tomorrow I have to get up around 8:30am, take a train and a bus out to an intersection and then walk two minutes to a company where I will teach 2 classes. I taught one class there in June and was ecstatic that they asked me about teaching a second class there, especially because my best paying school has their head up their ass and might not need me this semester. So this is a huge help.

I still have not hung the hammock, not sure how exactly I’m going to do it but want to have some expert help before I put my slightly overweight body on that thing. Falling down on a parquet flooris not exactly copacetic with a hammock.

I’ve been cold lately, mostly because it was hot as hell in California before I left. I have been havig trouble getting motivated to work out and/or jog because of the weather but I think something is gonna happen today.

Something else important that will happen today most likely is the beginning of a new book. Franziska is coming over later and will have some work to do so I am going to do some work of my own.

I turned in all the negatives from the Central America trip that I want to get enlarged. There are approximately 60 photos and I’m hoping to use 15 of them for an exhibition. I had an idea this morning to do an exhibition for Valentine’s Day with hearts but who knows if I’ll get around to that.

There is a new Rolling Stone article on John McCain that is a must-read. It’s pretty damning and delves into things that have been largely overlooked by the mainstream media.

We are 4 weeks away from hopefully having a chance to turn the United States around and bringing it back from the abyss but who knows, maybe we’re already too late.

Happy Monday!


Drinking with Colleagues

October 2, 2008

Last night was the first night I had gone out with colleagues in more than 2 months and did we make the most of it. The boyfriend of one of them was visiting from Wales and he added to our discussions with serious ruminations on police reports and “transporting language”, whatever the hell that means! We ended up hitting 3 places, all of us surprised that it was already 1:30am as we were leaving. But I had a great time, talking about Burning Man, various scenes and moments from Central America and childhood.

It’s raining now and I’m not too motivated to do much today, the most important thing I have going on is a private lesson at 7pm. I also get to see Franziska for the first time in a week and a half. She’s driving down from way up north with her folks.

I also picked up the photos from Central America yesterday. I wasn’t too happy with the photos but there are definitely a few good ones in there. I’ll be lucky to find 15 that could be used in an exhibition. I have to learn some more stuff about cameras and want to take a class or hang out with some more knowledgeable photographers because my zoomed shots were often grayed out for lack of light I’m guessing.

I had a phone call this morning with a company out somewhere (don’t remember the name of the town) but they would like to have now a second class with me until Xmas. That is enormously good news, that means every Tuesday I can earn 120 euros in a few hours out in the sticks. That’s 480euros/month until Xmas which is the foundation for most of my bills. I like…

It’s now noon, I guess I can clean up my room some more and try and organize some stuff but I’m caught up in reading news and wondering whether I could stay up late enough to watch the Vice-Presidential debates tonight, it’ll be on like 3am my time…


Alegria

August 14, 2008

Wow, where should I start? Should it be crossing into Honduras yesterday and as soon as all 23 of us were in the minibus, the police stopped us and made all of us get out and even frisked a few of us, us being all locals and an Australian couple and us. We descended from the hills and made it again into the lowlands, to a place I´m free to call a shithole called Choluteca, Honduras. Now I´m sure there are worthwhile things there (like the small turtle pond by the colonial church) but we checked it out yesterday and it was not to our liking. At night we actually ordered pizza hut and watched a little TV until a gigantic storm blew out the electricity.

This storm, while somewhat normal in Honduras possibly, was the biggest of my life. It lasted over 2 hours of constant pouring and seriously, it was nothing but lightning every few seconds and sometimes thunder, a very strange thing indeed. We swung in hammocks for a half hour and just sort of watched the occasional flashes of brilliance while drinking an Imperial beer.

We couldn´t sleep because of bugs (again) so we were up by 7, walked around the ¨colonial¨part for a bit, found the turtle pond and thought okay, that´s enough. We took a taxi to the station and then a bus to the border, took a motorcycle taxi across the border and then a bus that was blaring the movie 300 way too loud and then another minibus and then another bus before getting to Alegria. This small village, 5000 feet up in the mountains of El Salvador is our first favorite place of Central America. It´s quaint and colorful, there are photo opportunities and the people are nice. We are going on a hike to a crater with a lake in it tomorrow.

Two days ago we went on a hot ass hike to a waterfall that underwhelmed us. Now we are nice and relaxed. I had a real sweet tamale yesterday on the bus for about 20 cents and today I bought a semi cooked ear of corn for a quarter. It was delicious…


Liberia

August 4, 2008

I am curious how my lunch will feel as it digests. We are the bus stop and have another 90 minutes to kill before our bus to Liberia. The first 3 days of our trip have been fantastic, staying in a Marriot as a gift from my folks. I sure hope the lil lady doesnt get spoiled from that. Our 5 hour bus ride today costs about 5 bucks and hopefully we will be couchsurfing with our first host of the journey. There are very few couchsurfers in this part of the world, a mere 47 in Nicaragua on hospitality club when, in comparison, there are more than 1,200 in Freiburg alone!

San Jose is a chaotic place and only reminded us not to venture too often into the capitals. The most poverty and danger await there though we have felt safe to this point.

It has rained every day so far at least a little bit except for the first day but it is humid as hell but the travel companion has made it all worth it. I also realize that I am a jackass for not having improved my spanish before leaving on the trip, I can usually say what I want but it is an adventure trying to understand what they are saying to me! hahahah

anyway, next update will probably be from Nicaragua, adios!


A typical Thursday

July 17, 2008

it wasn’t.

I had to go to a meeting 45 minutes before class about money.

I sat in a cafe for my first class.

I talked about aliens possibly building the Egyptian pyramids in the second class.

I administered an exam in the third.

It started raining like all hell just minutes before my 4th class started and people were running for cover.

The last class of the day went about as normal.

I bought 18 euros worth of stuff at the market and ate some meat.

I have a long, stressful and rushed week and then I have 9 weeks off.


Quintessential Summer

June 29, 2008

I’m sitting in a darkened room with a fan on…

There is an amazingly beautiful day outside, probably a little hot actually and in 6 hours is the Euro Cup finale with Germany and Spain. It’s going to be wild to say the least.

Yesterday was an interesting day. I helped a friend move for a couple hours and then cleaned up and went to another friend’s little afternoon garden party. There were about 8 of us drinking a few beers, eating some good barbecue food and chatting about everything and nothing. I stayed there until about 7pm and then some of the other guests walked with me into the city and then we enjoyed the weather, sitting and having a beer in 3-4 public places last night. We also got to see 10 minutes of a concert in a church with a violinist, and a cello player and I couldn’t see the other guy but it was transcendant music and put me in one of those moments where you know that you are in Europe, something that is so foreign to most people back home, sitting and drinking beer in a small square with a church and then just happening to have small concerts that night for about 5 bucks but they let us in to watch the end of it, then we went to the main outdoor chilling area in the city and were with about 200 other people sitting on steps or cobblestones and just chilling and drinking and talking and more friends joined us and we got talked into going to a club and then were sitting on a couch on a small balcony overlooking the even smaller dancefloor, enjoying the vibration of “wrong song played” to “this is the right song to play”, deciding all of this based on how much the people danced to it.

There were also a huge wine festival in one corner of the old town and there thousands of extra people in the city, also at the main church, people eating and drinking and having a great time last night, the night before this huge football game.

We’re still up in the air about going to Rome. I’ve been trying hard to find a host there and we have found one for Friday but not for Saturday or Sunday yet and for some reason this morning it discouraged me. The thing is, that little 4 day trip will easily cost me 200 euros and Chick F a hundy and we’re about to go on a HUGE, and somewhat expensive trip for the WHOLE summer so maybe if we didn’t spend 300 euros next weekend, and instead just went for the day or even one night across the rhein river to Alsace in France in a small, charming village and spent 100 euros total, ya know? Rome kicks ass (although I can’t say I loved it the first time I was there) but it will be there next year too.

We’ll see…I haven’t seen Chick F for 9 days and she just got into town about 9:30am and has been sleeping the past couple of hours. I’m looking forward to seeing her and we’re planning on watching the game together.

Ciao, people!