..that thy bed shall suit its dweller!
I have left it long yet again between posts. I am sorry! Lasting personal laptop issues have forced my reluctance upon actually making a post on a computer other than my own. I´ve even re-downloaded photos onto the current, cast-aside laptop of my roommate`s boyfriend, who is so kind as to allow me to use it (do note the glory of the above photo´s latent content).
Things have been great here all told. It has now been longer than 5 months living here. And although I am still technically an illegal alien, and although I still don´t get paid on time, and also despite the fact that my new ^king^ bed is actually two twin beds squished together under new king-sized sheets, I am living comfortably, happily, almost kingly.
I have been doing lots of things. Work has continued in a promising way. I am making more friends at work, becoming more comfortable in the teacher`s lounge (due to lack of a PC!), and I´m certainly growing as a teacher. I have been called in last-minute to hold final oral exams for various classes. I learned how to use my cell phone to calculate grades, both in the 100% scale and the 1.0-7-0 Chilean grading system. I have been asked and have accepted long Saturday morning classes of intermediate university students. And last night, I even taught a class during the Chile national team`s match against their bitter northern rivals Perù (I did, however, show up with my Chilean soccer replica shirt, a gift from a previous student ).
I´ve been doing lots of activities. I´ve been running in the park. I´ve been ice skating. I went to the gay pride parade (see some of the totally fabulous pics below!) I´ve danced all night in discos. And this weekend I´m taking an overnight bus journey with my friend Fran to see Chile`s 8th region. I´m really excited to finally see a little bit of the south of Chile. Fran has a family farm somewhere down there, and apparently there´s a lovely little Italian town nearby.
Also, I will have 2 weeks of winter vacation coming up in just 10 days. I´m really excited, as I´ve decided to journey north again to Calama to spend it with my old host family. Hopefully I can visit my old school and see my students, although they´ve been on a strike for a few weeks now. Lots of strikes and marches and protests these days. I forgot above to recount some of the student strikes. Tomorrow is due to be another big one, with thousands of high school and university students taking to the streets, armed with signs and cut lemons to fend off the effects of tear gas. I am scheduled to be right in the middle of it, as I´ll be working just two blocks from the capital palace.
I´ve also been reading a lot. It should come in handy, this binge-reading, as I´ve been rewarded with my sucking up and shutting up at work (about late, %50 paychecks that is!) by increased hours AND an American Literature class next semester. I´m very excited and nervous about the opportunity. I have made a great new friend at work who has taught the class before, so I´m quite pleased to have such an excellent, accessible resource at hand.
By the end of the week I will have finished my first semester at the Professional Institute and by Monday I will be teaching teenagers for all of 6-days in a sort of English camp. Rumor has it that a day out bowling is in the cards. Boo-yah. After camp will commence a likely (bus) journey due north to the vast Atacama desert, to the city of Calama. Of course, you can bet your crown jewels I´ll be perched atop a king-sized throne, one beset for such a well-meaning and opportunistic gringo English teacher.
-The Shadow of the Wind (fiction) – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
-Skipped Parts (fiction) – Tim Sandlin
-Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors (non-fiction) – Nicholas Wade
-Mavericks of the Mind (various interviews) – David Jay Brown, Rebecca McClen Novick, Carolyn Mary Kleefeld and Sara Huntley, eds.
-Hopes and Prospects (non-fiction) – Noam Chomsky
-At Home: A Short History of Private Life (non-fiction) – Bill Bryson
-Pride & Prejudice – -Jane Austin
-Love & Mr. Lewisham – –H.G. Wells
-The Problems of Philosophy – Bertrand Russell
-Disappearances – Luke Bergeron
-The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
···supplementary gay pride parade photos:
the herd commencing at Baquedano
Micky & Micky (or Minnie & Minnie)!
completing the march (La Moneda prez. palace behind)