Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thanks a lot, Lima!

And I'm home! It was quite an eventful trip home, so we'll start there.

I left for the airport in Santiago the prescribed three hours in advance. Why do they tell you to arrive so early to the airport, when the planes never leave on time? Our almost 11 hour flight to Toronto was delayed for the most ridiculous reason. Apparently the air space over Lima was being used for something and we had to wait for them to finish. I'm sorry, what?!?

Whatever, Lima.

Air Canada made up for it by having those nice-ish chairs on the airplane with individual tvs. It's worth noting that I saw the WORST movie to watch on an airplane: Contagion. In case you haven't seen it, it's about a disease (basically avian/swine/elephant/porcupine flu on steroids) that spreads all across the globe, killing millions of people. Great. There I was, sitting in a metal tube, inhaling recirculated air, watching a movie about a killer airborne virus. Wonderful.

Okay, back to the delay. We arrived in Toronto around 7am. My connecting flight to Newark departed at 8:30am. Even with over an hour, I still missed my flight. For whatever reason, those of us entering the US had to retrieve our luggage before entering customs (all things I thought I would be doing in Newark). There was a large group of us who all missed our connections due to the fact that most of the luggage was delayed. Thankfully, I was able to get on a 12pm flight.

I was not the only one flying from Santiago to Newark that day. I joined forces with another American named Alexandra, who works as an English teacher in Santiago. After receiving a double dose of politeness, the guy behind the ticket counter felt compelled to bump us up to executive class and give us meal vouchers. Not too shabby!

After another delay, we finally arrived in New Jersey around 3pm. Only 5ish hours after we were supposed to arrive. It was nice to finally see my mom and Joe again, with a Dunkin Donuts bag in hand. Having left a country where it was 90-plus degrees, I was shockingly underdressed for the 40 degree weather that was waiting for me.

It's only taken me a few days to get used to the weather. And the fact that it's almost pitch black outside by 4:30pm. These past few days have been filled with reunions with family, friends, and Jeff Probst.

And today I had my first sensory overload while shopping at Walmart. The checkout line alone made me feel like Augustus Gloop inside Wonka's factory. They've certainly come out with many new candy bars since I left 15 months ago. Good thing I have two months to try them all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Thursday was the last day of school. It was a half day and we spent most of it playing our own version of the TV show "Minute to Win It". The kids had a blast. I highly recommend playing that game with children. Because each game only takes one minute, we were able to play enough games so every student got a chance to compete.

Thursday night we had the Prize Giving Ceremony at school. Teachers selected recipients for six awards: best classmate, outstanding in sports, outstanding in English, effort, highest average and student of the year. Because I already knew who would be winning, I always looked for the parents in the audience to watch their faces when their child won an award. It was a lot of fun. In the middle of the ceremony, some of the students in choir sang the Michael  Jackson song "Heal the World". My goodness, I had to force myself not to get teary-eyed. It was just too darn cute!

Now all I have to do is survive four more days of work and pack my bags and I'll be back home in time for Christmas. I'm very excited to celebrate with my family.

Though I suspect my mom is the most excited. Yesterday on Skype she tried to unwrap my presents for me so I could see them. Talk about a surprise-ruiner!

Ugh. Okay enough procrastination. I'm off to do one of the things I dread before every trip I take: pack my suitcases.

I'm such a liar. I'm going to sit here and watch another episode of Dexter. Then I'll pack. Maybe.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving last Saturday. It was in no way a traditional Thanksgiving meal. We committed the ultimate Thanksgiving faux pas: there was no turkey. But we wouldn't have had it any other way. 

My roommate Paula was in Patagonia on business so Júlia and I were left to fend for ourselves in the kitchen. And let me tell you, we rocked it.  We worked in shifts. Our kitchen isn't huge and it would have been a bit much for both of us to be slaving over the stove at the same time. Not to mention hot. Keep in mind we're smack dab in the middle of a nasty heat wave. So being near a hot kitchen is not exactly my first choice of places to be. 

Here was our menu:

For starters we had artichokes with blanched spinach and a mixture of lightly sauteed onions and red peppers au gratin. Served with a side of triangular fried cornmeal crisps. 

Dinner consisted of the following:

Summer squash baked with cinnamon and sugar and infused with clove
Fresh picked corn simmered in butter with a fresh basil garnish
Peeled potatoes smashed with butter and heavy cream
Homemade lasagna with julienned zuccini, carrots and peppers and vine-ripened tomato sauce
Free-range chicken roasted to perfection 

Spinach artichoke dip (with tortilla chips), squash, (frozen) corn, mashed potatoes, lasagna and store bought rotisserie chickens


Before dinner, we drank copius amounts of Chilean wine and Brazilian caipirinhas. I made the mistake of filling up on wine and not saving room for any of the food. Oops. 


Here's the whole group:

Having difficulties with the self timer

We finally sat down for dinner around 12. As in midnight. Talk about a non-traditional Thanksgiving. Well we did go around the table and say what we were thankful for. I was the first, but not the only person at dinner to give thanks for Chilean wine. I guess it's no wonder why my roommates have nicknamed me "Maggie White Wine".


Erick carving one of the chickens



We had a ton of food left over. So we did the only logical thing. We invited everyone over for lunch on Sunday. It proved to be too much for some. Before the inevitable food coma kicked in we pulled some mattresses out for nap time.

The Thanksgiving newbies sleeping off the chicken coma



Halloween!

Here are the Halloween pictures I wanted to post like a year ago. 

We had a party at the apartment. I dressed up as Mickey Mouse. 
Alejandra had the best costume. She dressed up as Frida Kahlo, complete with a unibrow. (She drew the line at a fake moustache.)

All in all the party was a success. Minus a brief run in with the police who claimed all of Santiago was complaining about the noise from our party. Oh piss off. 


Black widow, hula girl, hippie, Mickey and Frida

A cat and a ???? with my Mickey ears

Mickey, Frida, and a flapper
roomies!




I really have nothing else to write. It was over a month ago. I can't remember that far back. I place full blame on Blogger. 

Pictures!

Blogger works again! So prepare yourself for a photo overload. Back in October I wrote about the Alianza at our school. Here's some photos from the event:


The BEST class! 

Everyone helped make posters. My job was to finish coloring them once the kids got bored.


The girls created a dance for one of the competitions. 



Later they taught the dance to some of the boys.




I may be partial but my kids were, by far, the most spirited!


I don't own red clothes.


Even Mr. Hanky was rooting for the red team

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oatmeal

Warning:

This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with Chile or living abroad.



How long could you survive chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor?



I am OBSESSED with this website. It's called "The Oatmeal". And it makes me laugh. Go check it out.



And if you're answering the questions honestly, I highly doubt you'd survive any longer against the raptor. Unless you're the kids from Jurassic Park.

Turkey Day

"Thanksgiving commemorates the first harvest feast at which the pilgrims sat down with the Indians to thank them for all their help and to tell them, 'Oh, and by the way, we've decided we want the whole country.'"




I read this in the Bill Bryson book I'm a Stranger Here Myself back in January. After actually laughing out loud, I filed it in the back of my brain to use today. 




So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Month!

In exactly one month I'll be home!!

In no particular order, these are the reasons why I'm excited:


  • I get to see my family!
  • Snuggle time with the cats.
  • Hanging out with all of my lovely friends.
  • California/Colorado trip.
  • Seeing Ella and meeting Charley for the first time!
  • Snow.
  • No work for two months. (Okay that might be my favorite part)
  • No Santiago summer. 
  • Using a car instead of overcrowded public transportation.

I could continue, but I'll spare you the detailed list of all the sugary snacks I'm excited to eat. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Movies

So I just got back from seeing "Breaking Dawn"(no judgements, please). I'm not going to get into the movie, that isn't the point of this post. Okay, I'll just say that I'm still laughing...the movie was THAT bad...and that's coming from a fan of the (book) series.

Anyway, movie theaters here are pretty much the same as they are in the States. However, for a few thousand pesos more you can watch movies in a premium theater, which is what we did tonight. Let me just tell you, I doubt I'll ever go back to a regular theater again. 

First off they serve food. And I don't mean licorice and milk duds. Like real food. Burgers, salads, even sushi. I'm boring so I just stuck with popcorn. People with premium movie tickets have their own special room to wait in prior to the movie. A room that rivals a fancy restaurant, complete with vases of flowers and a very eager waitstaff. 

After finding out seats (which we selected online ahead of time) a waiter brought us our food and drinks. Each seat has a small rotating table attached to it, so you can push it aside if you don't want to use it. The seats put those in the first-class section of an airplane to shame. Seriously huge and seriously comfortable. Even with my legs stretched out in front of me as far as they would go, I still couldn't reach the seat in front of me. Okay, so I'm a little vertically challanged, but I can imagine this would be more comfortable for all those tall people in my life (Joseph, I'm talking to you). 

Even after the movie began, the waiters were still walking up and down the stairs to deliver food. I thought this would be distracting but after a few minutes I honestly didn't notice it anymore. However, that might have been because I was so distracted by the horribly funny movie I was watching. (Whoever thought talking wolves would be a good thing to include in the movie was seriously mistaken.)

The interesting part of the whole experience was the cost. The tickets were around 6500 pesos, which is roughly equivalent to 13 dollars. Compared to the price of a ticket in the US (which when I left it was around ten bucks), I'd say this is a pretty good deal. 

And if anyone is interested in watching a movie that I'm sure was not intended to be a comedy, go watch the newest Twilight film.  


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My kids are funny

Things my students ask me on a daily basis:

1. Miss, do you have any liquid?

2. Miss, can I have a rubber?

3. Miss, do you have any scotch?

4. Miss, can I have a stick fix?

5. Miss, can I have your Coke Zero?



Translation?

1. Wite-Out

2. Eraser

3. Tape

4. Glue stick

5. Okay, well this one needs no translation, but they do ask me this every day.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grrr

Dear Larry and Sergey,

How am I supposed to make posts when Blogger won't let me upload photos?!? It hasn't worked for three days. Come on, Google...get your act together, please. I have Halloween photos to post!

Sincerely,

Maggie (Loyal Googler)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

MASH

Yesterday during lunch I taught two students how to play the game MASH. In case you're not familiar with it, it's a game that will predict your future. There are categories on who you'll marry, how many kids you'll have, what your job will be and so on.

Today during the first recess, almost everyone was playing. One boy asked me if I found the game on the internet. Everyone was shocked when they found out that when I was growing up there was no internet. There was an audible gasp when they realized I didn't have Facebook as a child either.

Anyway, one girl wanted to predict my future and I figured I'd share it will all of you.


Luckily for me, I will marry Chris Martin (it was between him and Justin Beiber). We're going to live in a mansion in Germany and have 15 kids. I will be a chef and we'll have a pet pig. Not too shabby.


Someone better let Gywneth Paltrow know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'll Be Back

Every week I give my students ten spelling words and for homework they need to use each one in a sentence.

This week many of the words came from the new unit we began on fractions.

Here is what one student wrote:

"Numerator rhymes with Terminator."

I gave her a big check mark and a smiley face for that one.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Teacher's Day

Today is Teacher's Day. In my opinion it's better than Christmas. This morning when I arrived to school my kids were basically throwing presents at me (not literally...that wouldn't be nice). My favorite things to receive are home made cards. I know, it's super cheesy. But my kids write the cutest things!

Example number one:

For this one to make sense you need to know that today students leave early and the school takes all the teachers out to lunch. We're going to a Brazilian restaurant called 'Acuarela'.


"Hello Miss Maggie, I am Carlos, have a very nice day in the restaurant "Acuarela". I recommend you to eat the fish."


Example number two:

"Because you are the best teacher in the world I would write you a poem.

For the best teacher,
Is this poem,
Because I can not,
Give you roses.

You're special,
You're the best,
You're the best teacher
And you give us tests."

I mean come on...my students are ADORABLE!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Post about Ducks


Today a student shared a piece of information with me that I felt compelled to pass along to my loyal readers.

"Miss Maggie, did you know that the penis of an Argentine Duck is half the length of its body?"

I responded with something like "Oh, cool" before fully processing what he had told me. (It was before 8am...I was half asleep.)

That's just his foot.
He told me he found the information on Wikipedia. Prior to writing this post I too read about the unique characteristics of the Argentine Duck's penis online. You know, for scientific purposes.  And now I'm sorry to say I know more about the genitalia of ducks than I ever really wanted to know.

Turns out not only is the penis half the length of the bird, it's also in the shape of a corkscrew.

Now you'll have something to talk about around the water cooler tomorrow at work. 

You're welcome.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Alianza

This past week we celebrated our school's anniversary. The main celebration consisted of an Alianza, or color war between the students. Apparently this is quite common in Chile. Everyone I asked told me their schools have color wars every year too.

The school was divided into four teams based on the seasons. Primavera was green, verano was blue, otoño was red and invierno was white. Each class was assigned to a team and students and the teachers came to school dressed in their team's color.

When I found out what the colors were, my first thought was that I didn't want to be on the red team because I don't own red clothing. But seeing how the world doesn't revolve around me (shocking, I know), my class was assigned to the red team.

So for three days my students watched and participated in different events. At the start of each day students would line up in front of my desk so I could draw and write on their faces with a face paint stick. (Turns out it's difficult to remove, even with water and soap. Oops.)

Some of the activities included dancing, music, sports, and my least favorite, eating contests. The last day we watched as four older students tried to eat a combination of incredibly disgusting things. All I know is one of the ingredients was chicken hearts. Seriously? Who thought that would be a good idea? The students were given a glass of coffee, soda and cream to wash it all down with. Let me tell you, it was not fun to watch.

On the second day of the Alianza students in the middle school went to a nearby stadium to participate in a variety of sporting events. By far the two most popular choices were soccer and quemada, the latter being the Spanish equivalent of dodgeball.

As the students played, I was recruited to play on the teachers vs. students game of quemada. They obviously didn't get the memo about my lack of athletic ability. Even so, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to make a fool of myself play. Unfortunately we ran out of time and had to return to the school before we could play. I guess there's always next year.

The winners of the Alianza will be announced on Tuesday when we return to school. (Monday's a holiday!)

I took almost 100 pictures during the three day celebration. However, I left the cable for camera at school  so you'll just have to use your imagination until I am able to post the photos.

Just pretend you're looking at a bunch of happy faces of my 11-year olds wearing red clothes and red face paint.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And the Countdown Begins

Tomorrow marks the start of term three.

There are 80 more days until the last day of school. Thankfully that includes the weekends.

Eight days after the last day of school I leave for the US and can ignore my alarm clock for two whole months.

And somewhere between now and then there are four glorious holidays. (Holidays = no work.)




Okay, this might seem like I don't like my job or I don't like living here in Chile. And that couldn't be more wrong. Teaching is a very demanding job and I'm very much looking forward to sleeping in for two months. And of course, visiting friends and family in the States.

Friday, September 23, 2011

El Dieciocho

September 18th is the Chilean Independence Day, or more commonly referred to as the Dieciocho. It is the start of a two day holiday celebration known here as Fiestas Patrias. 

But before I begin my post about how I celebrated the 18th here in Chile, I have much more important news to report. The 18th will hold an even more special place in my heart because it is the day that my niece Charley was born. Charley is now tied with her big sister Ella as being the cutest nieces in the world. So congrats to my oldest brother Eric and his wife Penn for creating yet another adorable child.

I get to hold her in just 4 short months!
 

Okay, back to Chile. The most common way to celebrate the Dieciocho is by attending a fonda. A fonda is similar to a county fair, but with no rides or deep-fried Twinkies. Vendors set up stalls selling various types of Chilean cuisine. Copious amounts of alcohol are consumed including pisco and chicha, a fermented wine based drink. In the larger fondas you can find dancing and rodeos. 

All of this information I collected from my two main sources of Chilean culture: Wikipedia and my mom. I didn’t actually attend a fonda this year. Instead, my friends and I went walking through an area of Santiago called Patio Bellavista, an outdoor area comprised of numerous bars, shops and restaurants. We settled on a bar serving the third most popular type of Chilean food: sushi. (First and second on the list are empanadas and barbecued meat, or asado as it is referred to here.)

Worth noting is that I did drink Chilean beer that night. The bar was serving Kuntsmann beer, brewed in the south of Chile. I just ordered it because the name made me giggle immensely.

To end, here are some photos I took from the roof of my friend’s apartment building overlooking downtown Santiago.

View from 21 floors up

Gabriel and Seba

Me and Ale

View from the other side




Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jamón

This is a post about sandwiches.

Ham is one of the most popular foods here in Chile. In fact, it is so popular that if you go to a Subway restaurant you can get a ham sandwich for one luca. (Luca is slang...similar in meaning to a buck.) Now this one luca sandwich comes with ham (obviously) and an assortment of other free toppings (cheese, vegetables, sauces).

If you go to those same Subways selling ham sandwiches for a luca (about $2) you can also buy a vegetarian sandwich. You know, the ones that don't have any meat on them. So one might assume that a vegetarian sandwich would be cheaper than the ham sandwich seeing how it has no ham on it. Wrong. A vegetarian sandwich actually costs more than twice the price of a ham sandwich (over $4).

So I am paying an extra luca to Subway for them to NOT put ham on my sandwich.

I know what you're thinking, order the ham sandwich and then take the ham off. Well, this vegetarian prefers her vegetables to not be tainted by pork products thank you very much.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

18/9


Even Google has gotten into the spirit of the holiday. 





Today is Chile's Independence Day.
Heading out for the day...more to come!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Year One


No, this isn't about the Jack Black movie.




On Thursday/Friday I celebrated my first year of living in South America. Why Thursday and Friday? Well I left home on September 8th, 2010 but did not arrive until the 9th. I'm that far away from home. 

I thought I'd celebrate with a cake. So I made this:


Veggie Tales!

No wait. That cake wasn't for me. I found it on Google. 


I celebrated my one year in South America by having 29 parent teacher conferences. Sounds fun, right? 





Sept. 2nd

About a week ago Chile suffered a devastating blow. A plane crashed while trying to land on Juan Fernandez Island. All 21 people on board died. Among those who died was Felipe Camiroaga, an incredibly famous TV personality, well loved by most Chileans. Also on board the plane was the father of a second grade student from my school.

Camiroaga worked on a morning news program called Buenos Días a Todos (Goodmorning Everyone). He was traveling to the island with his crew to report on the reconstruction on the island following the earthquake and tsunami that hit last year.

Felipe Camiroaga




A makeshift memorial has been set up outside the TV studio where Camiroaga worked.


Rio

Thursday was the last day of the second term. The students left at 1:00 and then we had parent-teacher conferences for two days. But I'll get to that part later. Anyway on that last day my kids watched Rio. In case you haven't seen it, Rio is about birds with a few humans thrown in for fun. The main human character is a girl named Linda, who my students decided was my animated doppleganger. Once she came on screen they started saying that she was Miss Maggie (that's me). Of course my immediate response was that my glasses are nowhere near as big as hers. They quickly pointed out that we both wear a clip in our hair, so of course we're identical. It's hard to argue with that kind of logic. 

Anyway, here's Linda (and Blu). 



Okay, on to the parent-teacher conferences. The only thing I wanted to mention about those was that this term I did not use a translator. That's right. I did them by myself. In Spanish. Feel free to be in awe of my mad skills.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Empanada Party

On Friday we had a school-wide celebration for the upcoming Chilean Independence Day. Students in all grades performed traditional Chilean dances. 

After the assembly students continued the celebration with an empanada party. It's not really called an empanada party. I just made that up. 

One of the parents brought in two types of empanadas, cheese and pino. In case you're not familiar with empanadas they are similar in design to a small calzone. Some are fried and others are baked. The cheese ones are well, filled with cheese. And the pino ones are filled with beef, onions, black olives, raisins and hard boiled eggs. Yum. (That sentiment should be read with excessive amounts of sarcasm.)

Anyway, here are some pictures from the assembly. Students in fifth grade were assigned the national dance of Chile called Cueca. Those who participated spent about one month learning the dance. 

national anthem and raising of the flag

This was one of my favorite performances. This student danced alone, almost in a salute to the flag. 



These were probably the youngest dancers.

super huge "awww" moment

traditional dance from Northern Chile

These older students performed a traditional dance from Isla de Pascua 
(or Easter Island for you non-Chileans). 


Here's a video of the beginning of the dance. 




And now on to my 5th graders!

Dancing the Cueca


Here's a video of them dancing the Cueca. My kids are the ones dancing in the background.




After my students performed, some teachers came down to join them in the national dance. 




Some of my students couldn't focus on the dance because they noticed this little boy sitting across the field....recognize him?

It's Kenny!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Muchos Paros

I should have blogged about this a long time ago. For the past couple of months university students have been on strike because of the cost of education. (More on that later.)  Now I feel I am so far behind I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll start with happened most recently.

I don’t feel like paraphrasing, so I’m just going to quote the article I read on the Guardian website:

            “What began three months ago as a series of isolated classroom boycotts by high school and university students demanding improvements in education has grown into a mass movement calling for fundamental change in Chile’s topdown form of government.”

That brings us to the events of the past two days.  On Wednesday and Thursday of this week there was a Paro Nacional, Spanish for ‘national strike’.  Joining the students already on strike, more than 80 unions banded together to protest a growing list of complaints against the government. Among those on strike were many transportation workers. This threatened to put the city in a stand still.

As people took to the streets for a peaceful protest, the streets were lined with pacos (Chilean slang for the police officers) dressed in riot gear. Of course while all this was happening I was at work in the middle of a science lesson. So I’m not exactly sure at what time things went sour. But at some point, some protesters decided breaking things and lighting things on fire would be a better way to get their point across. However, I'd be willing to bet that the majority of people resorting to violence and destruction care very little about the strike. But rather they see this as an opportunity to act out in an uncivilized manner.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the results of the strike are. But here are some photos of the protest. And if you think I took these photos then you don’t listen read very well. I wasn’t at the protest. I was teaching kids about the solar system.



Why so serious?


The riot police is quite fond of tear gas.

This doesn't look good.

Neither does this one. 
Pacos are equally fond of water cannons.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Snow!

It's snowing. Right now. In Santiago. Huge snowflakes are falling from the sky. Maybe the biggest snowflakes I've ever seen. My students are going nuts. They keep asking me if they can go to the bathroom because then they can walk outside. They're quite sneaky like that. It took me about 3 minutes to figure out what they were doing.

You should know that it almost never snows in Santiago. They told me it has been three years since it snowed here. I looked it up and somewhere it said the last time it snowed was in 2007.

I guess if I hadn't seen snow in 4 years I'd be excited too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Poor Neglected Blog

Sorry for the lack of posts. We're heading into the final stretch of the second trimester at work. And well, I've been super busy.

And I got sick from all the nasty little buggers I teach.

So yeah. I've been pretty tired.

But on the plus side, today's a holiday! Something about Mary. (Can you tell I'm not Catholic?)

And on the even more pluser side (yeah that's definitely not a word) only four more weeks in the trimester and then I'm off...for two weeks!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Andate a la Casa

On Thursday five students were absent. As the day progressed, students were dropping like flies. In all, I sent seven students to the nurse, three were sent home, and two more would have gone home if someone could have come to pick them up. During lunch, my class was like the infirmary. I had three girls laying down while some of their classmates played nurse and fetched them water. One of the students wrote this on the board:


She named the virus "Go to your home"


On Friday nine students were absent. Nine. Out of twenty-nine. It was crazy. 

So needless to say, with so many sick children I spent all day yesterday in bed feeling like crap. Luckily, today I felt better. 

All I can hope is that the 5B virus has passed and everyone is back tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

¿Por Qué Chile?

For Spanish homework Alejandra asked me to write about why I came to Chile. And after I had finished it, I figured it would be the perfect first Spanish post for my blog. So here it goes:


Yo vine a Chile por tres razones. No, cuatro.

Primero, yo quería vivir en otro país. Yo soy chilena, entonces la decisión fue muy fácil.


La segunda razón por la que yo quería cambiarme a Chile es porque tengo mucho familia aquí. Yo quería conocerlos mejor. Y tengo familia en Chile que yo no conocía.


Tercero, yo quería aprender castellano. Mi mamá y casi todos en mi familia hablan en castellano. Tengo parientes que no hablan en inglés y si yo querio hablar con ellos, tengo que aprender castellano.


Finalmente, la cuarta razón por la que yo quería cambiarme a Chile es porque ¿Por qué no? Chile es un país muy bonito. Hay algo para todos los gustos. En el norte hay un desierto (
el más árido del mundo). En el centro hay una ciudad muy grande. Hay montañas, volcanes y lagos en el sur. Y en el oeste está el océano pacífico. ¡No hay muchos lugares como Chile en todo el mundo! Y yo creo que todos podrían venir a Chile. (Pero por favor no vengan todos al mismo tiempo, el metro ya está demasiado lleno de gente.)




I don't really feel like translating it, so if you're super curious just copy and paste it into Google Translate and I'm sure it will accurately translate about half of what I wrote.



Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Official!

My class has a theme song. And no, it's not some awful Justin or Miley song. (As if I'd allow that.) It's an old one-hit wonder by Bobby McFerrin. Never heard of him? I'm not surprised. But I'm sure you've heard his song called "Don't Worry, Be Happy".

Anyway, it all started about a month ago. One of my kids got that song stuck in my head. I mean like seriously stuck. I was whistling it all day. And by the end of the day, a few of the kids would sing along with my whistling.

Fast forward to last Thursday during art class. I told the kids I'd bring in my iPod and we'd listen to music. Surprisingly, most of the students have really good taste in music. Okay, well the boys do. The girls prefer sugar coated pop songs. The boys? Queen, Rolling Stones, Green Day, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, and of course, Coldplay. So I set off to make a killer art class mix with a few Beiber songs thrown in to keep the girls happy.

Anyway, the first song I played was "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and I'm not kidding you, almost everyone in the class sang along. Well, to the chorus at least. It was super entertaining. I wish I had had my camera to record it.

In case you're not as fond of one-hit wonders as I am (my favorite is "Come On Eileen") here's the music video. And the awesomeness of the song is almost overshadowed by the seriously amazing acting and dancing skills of Bobby and his friends.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Las Montañas

Okay back in November (have I really been here that long??) I mentioned in a post that the view of the Andes from the teachers' lounge was incredible. I had planned on taking a photo to post on here, but it seemed like every time I had my camera with me, the mountains were covered in a thick layer of smog. 

Anyway, eight months later, not only was there no smog but the mountains were covered with snow. And! I had my camera. 


It's okay to be jealous.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Football

I think it goes without saying that obviously I am writing a post about soccer, not football. Why is this so obvious? Well for starters I'm in South America, where soccer is like the major religion. And second, because American football sucks. 

People go a little (okay a lot) nutty here during football games. And now it's gotten even crazier. Right now we're in the middle of the Copa America. Which is basically a huge football competition being played by teams across South America, a few from Central America, and Japan thrown in just for fun.

Even if you can't make it to a stadium or pub you can still feel (and hear) the energy radiating from the city. When Chile misses a goal you can hear swearing and booing from any open window in the neighborhood. If they score, the cheers and car horns can be heard for a few minutes. And if they win, well, you better dig out some ear plugs because people will be screaming celebrating until the wee hours of the morning. 


I found this awesome post about watching football in Chile and I thought I'd repost it here for those of you who are interested. 




I  really wish I'd written the post How to Watch a Football Match in Chile.  But I did not, and I'm not going to take credit for it. But I think it's quite funny and incredibily accurate.

Okay I'm off to cook and clean before the madness begins today. We're watching not one, but two games. First up, Brazil vs. Paraguay (remember, my roommates are Brazilians) followed by Chile vs. Venezuela. The girls are making some traditional Brazilian cuisine. My contribution? Chocolate cupcakes with nutella frosting. We're expecting a fairly large crowd so it should make for one entertaining afternoon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bulletin Board

In my classroom I only have one bulletin board. At first I wasn't sure what to use it for. In the end, I figured it was the best place to showcase some of the amazing (and not so amazing) artwork of my students. Now it has become a competition among a few of them. They are trying to get as many pictures up on the board, so space is running out.

Some of my students are really quite talented. Take a look.


The whole board.




Love the colors.


A student showing some Coldplay love.