Tuesday, November 1, 2011

that teachery feeling.

!feliz dia de los muertos! (happy day of the dead!)

okay remember that other blog last week when i was like, "oh my goodness it was raining and i was wearing heels and all of this fantastic but not really fantastic stuff went down and i finally went to my placement but i swear i'll blog about actual placement on a later date"?

hello, it's that date.

what i'm actually supposed to be doing right now: having my laptop plugged in and doing my spanish homework. what i'm actually doing: sitting in the library with my laptop NOT plugged in (and now kip's battery is draining) blogging and doing fun things on tumblr and listening to the head and the heart.

SO. placement.

my second day of placement was last thursday. and what an exciting day it was, oh what an exciting day indeed.

it was sunny! warmish! happy! and i found the visitor's parking lot so i only had to walk twenty yards to find a locked door and the only another ten to find the unlocked one. and nobody at the office looked at me funny. that was pretty awesome.

i snuck into the classroom while it was dark. truth be told, i was standing outside of the classroom trying to stuff my coat into my oversized purse when a kid opened the door and scared the bejeezus out of me. i then slipped into the room while the lights were off and took my seat in the back.

when mrs. johnson turned the light on and saw me sitting in the back, she screamed. way to go, ms. hollenberg, scare the teacher on the second day.

i was then formally introduced. mrs. johnson told the kids that they could ask me five questions and it could be anything. then she added anything appropiate. way to go, mrs. johnson, saving my dignity.

only four kids had questions. they were fairly simple and answered like this: my name is ms. hollenberg. i'm a sophomore education student at alma college. yes, i like alma college and college is what the cool kids do, so get good grades. and... yes, i like spanish. otherwise i wouldn't be here trying to become a spanish teacher.

mrs. johnson then told the kids to call me senorita because let's face it, hollenberg is a mouthful, and i'm not even sure if she can pronounce it correctly. i'd rather have people mispronounce it than misspell it, honestly. so now i'm senorita.

i led a game of bingo. it was fairly straight forward, i sat in the back and read off vocabulary words for the kids to repeat back while they filled up their bingo cards. while i sat there with my large list of vocabulary words, i thought about all the vocabulary words that frequented my very intense 300 level spanish college class that i didn't know and how maybe i should get a tutor soon.

then it was tú and usted.

here's the gist for those you who know nothing about spanish.

1. there are two ways to say "you."
2. they are tú and usted.
3. you say tú with your friends and family, and kids younger than you.
4. you say usted with everybody else. doctors, teachers, people you don't know, and old people.
5. it's really not that difficult. if you don't know, use usted to be polite.

the class objective: read the paragraph describing this at the top of page ochenta y cuatro. that's eighty-four. then, with a partner, look at the pictures and decide if you address the people pictures with tú or usted forms. then write a sentence using the correct forms asking the people what they need.

que necesitas tú? que necesita usted? this was written on the board.

it was my time to travel around the room and make sure that kids were doing their work.

here is where i came across hugo. and here is where i switch into playwriting mode just for your enjoyment.

me: hey hugo, how's it going?
hugo: i don't understand this.
me: what don't you understand?
hugo: everything.
me: did you read the top paragraph to see what you're doing?
hugo: i don't know how.
me: it's in english.

GIGANTIC PAUSE in which hugo realizes that yes, that paragraph is indeed in english.

me: what can you tell me about tú and usted?
hugo: nothing.
me: that's because you didn't read. what did senora johnson say?
hugo: you think i was paying attention?
me: you should've been.
hugo: i was watching you. you're cute. i like your sweater.

another GIGANTIC PAUSE while i realize that i am being hit on by a sixteen year old kid with a pick up truck who raises cows.

me: focus on your work. tú and usted are ways to address people. which one is formal and which one is informal?
hugo: those are big words, lady.
me: it's senorita. look at the picture of this lady right here. she looks to be about fifty.
hugo: she looks like a librarian.
me: sure. would you address her informally or formally?
hugo: i don't know what that means.
me: is she your homie?
hugo: what?

well. that's about how that went down.

i'm not sure about me using words like 'homie' while teaching. but mrs. johnson was definitely talking about something being ghetto today when we were talking about their dia de los muertos celebration.

when i left hugo to his own devices, i found a group of boys in the back having a nice chat. they were talking about spanish and going through their bingo cards. i asked them if they'd finished the assignment and they said, "sure senorita, we finished it, we're not dumb, we're on top of that stuff."

i asked them to pull out their sentences, because i didn't see them.

you know that shifty eyed look you try not to give people when you haven't done something or you're caught in a lie and it ALWAYS gives you away but you can't help it?

oooooh yeah. did they have their sentences done? absolutely not.

students: 0. hugo: 0. me: 1.

it was about at that moment that i felt like a badass teacher.

today i didn't get to do much. i passed out some papers about the day the dead because the day of the dead is cool. and if you don't know much about it, it's like christmas but decidedly more creepy. mostly the part about people cleaning the bones of their relatives.

but seriously, don't judge. we dress up in weird costumes and beg strangers for candy. don't tell me that's not weird.


i'm not entirely sure what kind of teacher i'm going to turn out to be. hopefully i'll have more placement stories to tell. hopefully they won't involve being flirted with.

my biggest regret about placement so far: not being able to celebrate the day of the dead with my class tomorrow because i have classes of my own.

when i told them i couldn't come, they looked genuinely upset.

and i really wanted some arroz con leche.