So, anyone who’s spoken to me in the past couple of months would have heard me brag about how I’m escaping the nasty New Zealand winter for the Spanish sun. To those people, I now apologise. I could see my breath when I was walking home from course today.
I think the river Congost read my blog and was offended at being called ‘piddly,’ because it rained all night and all day, and now the Congost looks slightly more impressive. I got drenched going to school and now it’s only 10º. But it’s okay (I keep reminding myself), the rain is only supposed to last a week, and next week, it’ll be sun sun sun for me! Just in time for when my course-load goes berserk.
I made myself stay awake last night by watching a movie. My body resisted, but I forced my eyes to stay open until it ended. I actually quite enjoyed the movie (The Kite Runner), but I was so happy when it was over because it meant I could go to sleep. That was 11pm. I woke this morning at 6.30am. It’s an improvement on the night before, but I’m still shattered. I wish I was one of those people who could function on just a few hours of sleep a night, but I’m not. Usually I need around 9. Seven and a half doesn’t cut it. Now it’s 7pm and I want nothing more than to crawl into bed. The cold isn’t helping.
Today was the first day of my CELTA course (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). There are only two others in my class: Kate, a girl my age from New York, and Simon, an older Brit who likes to spend as little time in the UK as possible. No cute boys. Sadface.
Most of the day was taken up with administrative and introductory stuff: explaining the course, the assignments, a tour of the building, doing paperwork and so on, but we also did some learning. “Γειά σαϛ,” said Penny, and motioned for us to repeat. “Yasas?” we replied, uncertain. Penny smiled approval at us, “Γειά σαϛ,” she said again, and waved ‘hello.’ The whole lesson was carried out in Greek and it was really interesting to experience that: being taught in an entirely foreign language. It was amazing how well Penny was able to explain what she wanted of us just with intonation and body language. She was speaking as well, of course, but we had no idea what the words meant. We introduced ourselves, learned the numbers 1 to 6 and five different types of drink, and practiced ordering a drink at a cafe. Not bad for beginners. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to truly experience the fear and embarrassment many students apparently feel when they enter a class room where they don’t understand a word, because I associate learning – and language learning in particular – with fun. I can totally understand being anxious when you’re in a foreign country and you don’t know where you are and you don’t understand anything, but in a class room, I can’t relate. I can imagine how scared some people might be, though, which I guess is the point.
We meet our first class tomorrow – we’ll be working with two different classes throughout the course – and we’ll be left to our own devices with them. Well, with a ‘getting to know you’ lesson plan designed by our instructors, but the instructors won’t be there overseeing us. There’s no homework tonight, so I’m left with nothing to do but think about how good bed would be right now. I could get a head start on the first assignment, but all I can do at this point is read about the grammatical structures we have to analyse, we haven’t learned the rest yet.
I’d love to be able to use this time to write more stories, but I’m literally falling asleep on the keyboard, so it might be movie time again. I dislike you, jetlag.