After the rather unique event described in the last post, I’m serving up this: a description, cut and paste from a recent email, of an archetypal day of my life here in Querétaro. In fact, a day so archetypal that it hasn’t actually happened – it is just an archetype.
[written about a week and a half ago]
Let me tell you a typical day, seeing as you asked about my students etc. Say on a Monday night I go to bed watching David Letterman interviewing somebody on TV at around 10.45pm (so early, I know) then I wake up on Tuesday morning at 5.45am, get dressed etc and walk out to meet my colleagues on the road beside my house. It is COLD right now (for Mexico) so i will wear a hoodie and maybe a scarf too. After a 45 min drive chatting about cricket with Mark, or ESL with evrybody and/or singing Mariah Carey, general Christmas Music or Elvis with Morgan and Lety I give an hour long class (which usually starts fifteen minutes late) to 3 or 4 middle aged professionals. Intermediate level. Then I ride back to town and make it home for breakfast by about 8.50am. And my free time begins. Maybe I go online for a bit then watch Felicity (my new fav show) from 10 till 11. Then maybe I go to the laundry or supermarket or have a cup of coffee and read or do whatever for a few hours. By 2pm I am checking what classes I have that afternoon and prob preparing a little. At 4pm I will teach, say, Juan Carlos and Francisco (aged 14 and 16, elementary standard) a basic class on grammar structure, littered with references to baseball, soccer or attractive actresses. At 5pm I teach Emanuel, 10, Fatima, 7, Mariana, 11, Karina, 10 and Adrian, 7. I am a nanny for an hour basically. We play games in English and I boss the kids as much as I can, telling them where to sit etc. The next two hours I will have varying conversation/grammar classes with a range of students aged maybe 25-55, generally either mid-twenties or middle aged. Generally higher standard. We might just do some grammar but, for example, I have designated this week as "German History Week" so I have my German flag up next to my map of europe and we will look at articles and have discussions/roleplays related to the Berlin Wall. At 8pm I will have my last hour of classes for the day, maybe with Adriana, 16 and Cesar, 15, (elementary standard) a brother and sister who are good fun and do what they are told (apart from actually conversing consistently in English). I go home after that, eat and sleep. It's a weird schedule but I quiet like it and I enjoy the vagaries of being a teacher. (I am not jaded yet)
Notice that my free time begins at about 9am. That is the equivalent to the feeling of 5.30 or 6pm in an office job when your working day ends and you can start to do what you want. It is weird but I like it.