Perils and joys of being a perpetual student 

Today
I’m over it! Yes. The shouter gets to me! How can you deliver a new concept and expect an immediate application by shouting answers at people trying to apply them to complex sentences? WELL??? See……. A peril when you have a bad teacher!  Sigh. Us permanent students can come across this type of situation. Sigh. Again. 

 I know I’m learning a lot but I don’t like having a teacher like Marisa who asks the same question everyday: what did you do after class yesterday? and always starts with the same person and goes around the class in the same direction. I’m respondent #4. To the saaaame question. What did you do after school yesterday? Agggghhh

After a discussion before the class person #1 announced that after class yesterday she visited 2 planets, did various other strange things and was tired today as a result. My response was less interesting but I moved away from the formulaic ‘and then I ate lunch, went to the park and then the supermarket and bought…’ Ugh. Boring and I’ll bet it bores Marisa as day in, day out, week in, week out, she asks the eager faces in front of her this same question. I know she’s been doing it daily for at least the 5 weeks before I started with her and my 1.5 weeks with her! 

Why would anyone subject themself to such exquisite daily torture! Fancy doing it.  I suspect it’s more a matter of NOT doing…. Perhaps she is too bored by her job and by foreign students to prepare anything. Perhaps teaching too long is the problem.  

This process usually takes about an hour, often an excruciating hour, as we laboriously go through our boring daily routines. A different question daily would be of considerably more interest and value as her intent is good, to ensure we each speak for a little while. But her very rigid approach isn’t. In my experience, it’s lazy. 

 If you are unemployed in Spain nowadays though life is grim so I guess no-one voluntarily changes their jobs, if indeed they are lucky enough to have one. And in my experience Don Quijote don’t ask for student feedback on their teaching staff. I’ve had about 9, maybe 10, different teachers over my times with them. Not once do I remember being asked what commendations and suggestions we have for their teachers.  In this case I’m giving a small present to teacher #1 as she is great and works at it, and giving (unsolicited) feedback about both to the boss. 

The last 20 to 30 minutes in the shouter’s class are when we get new material. She usually provides no lead-in to extend our vocabularies nor does she facilitate a discussion of something that will have that function. No, for example, this morning’s new tense was introduced by her listing on the board  the changes to the regular verbs followed by those to the irregular verbs for it, the conditional tense. Only after she’d laboriously written all that on the board did she cursorily outline its uses. 

The shouter, Marisa, only shouted once when I was involved today. And no, I don’t understand much when it’s shouted. Don’t care what language the words are in. The effect is the same. I have a reflex that makes me grit my teeth and think of things outside the room. Funny, the word for ‘shout’ in Spanish is ‘gritar’. How apt it seems as I ungrit my molars! 
So, I’m not over ‘it’ so much as over Marisa. If I was to be here for another week I’d ask to be moved from that class.  And I’ll ask not to have her when I come back. Ughhhh. Too much of a bad thing.  6 days down, 3 to go. 

An excellent teacher

The contrast: Edurne, our first teacher every day, introduces new vocabulary by starting a discussion on a topic. She provides considerable joy to my life as a student at present.

She gives us short articles, facilitates discussion and within 10 minutes we have many new words and everyone has contributed. Yesterday she introduced the future tense. How did she introduce it? Easily, through a discussion of possible future developments in the world and how this might change it over the next 100 years; the changes made to verbs and we gradually applied it. And our homework tonight is to predict the future of our neighbour in the class, having photographed her palm. Introduces many new words and we necessarily must practice future tense. See. Good teaching. Very good teaching. 
And I loved the cultural lecture last night on the Spanish press. I understood about 85% of the lecture and loved the depth and breadth of philosophical concepts covered. Very stimulating. So more joys than sorrows. Very definitely. 

Future

So today, I am pleased I have a break from school coming up. J arrives Saturday and we head off to Salamanca on Sunday by train.  A few peaceful days and then an interesting bus trip. Yes. We catch it at 02:00 in Salamanca Yes, Mabel, at 2 in the morning. This is the only way I’ve found to get there even with help from a couple of travel agents. Given its Spain it’s not really an issue. There will still be signs of life in the Plaza in Salamanca much later than 2am. Much. Especially as uni there must be finishing soon. 

 So, we will arrive in the following new town on Tuesday at 05:30. Yes. Still in the morning but the hotel we are booked into has agreed to check us in at that hour. I have to make sure our lights are working as it looks like a very small town and even the birds will still be sleeping at that hour. Why that town? ‘Cos it offers the best place for us to start walking the last 170-180km of the Via de la Plata Camino. 😃

For future reference, I think I need a week off straight after four weeks of school. And, I’m going to ensure I do this when I come back. Perhaps a week somewhere interesting, 4 weeks in Salamanca, a week off and another 4 weeks at school in Madrid. Who knows? 

2 thoughts on “Perils and joys of being a perpetual student 

  1. I love #1’s answer to her afternoon away from school. Maybe you can create an equally interesting story of visiting the audiologist as you have noticed your hearing deteriorates after class.

    2 more sleeps in a bed and one sorry excuse for one. Bag almost packed and ready to go😊

    Liked by 1 person

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