Friday, February 10, 2012

Enjoying a few nights off and my debut in a local newspaper.

Until this Wednesday, I had been enjoying a relaxing week and a half of free evenings. The students at the language school were taking their exams, so I got a nice little break from teaching at night. To some extent, it has spoiled me. I was reluctant to return to spending twelve hours a day in schools, as you might imagine. During that week of liberation, I spent some quality time with my roommate. I found a brochure advertising the "Ruta de Perolicos," an excellent economic initiative for local businesses. Basically, for one week a bunch of the local bars in Teruel make their own soup and they sell you a serving size for a euro. The idea is that you will go around trying all of the soups, buying a little bit at each place. It worked well for us because we went out three nights in a row and ate for next to nothing. There were soups with seafood, cheese, chorizo, beans, and vegetables. Each one had its own special recipe. They were all delicious. I'm sure my opinion was in part influenced by the fact that it was below freezing outside. 

The last night we went out was last Thursday. We decided to end our trek with a stop at a basement bar that has jam sessions on Thursday nights. The guys who played were impressive. They played a lot of rock music with flamenco influence, which I really enjoyed. Ana, her friend, and my roommate's friend joined us. Ana decided to convince the owner of the bar that I should play bass with the band. My roommate's friend and I joined them and messed around for a bit. It is awkward doing improvisation when you don't know much about musical scales or styles outside of what you normally play. I had a lot of fun, though. Pictures were taken but I don't have them at the moment. I'll add those when they're sent to me.

Last weekend a cold front moved into Spain. The news footage of Barcelona and San Sebastian's beaches being covered in snow deterred me from traveling north. I decided to stay in my apartment and study Spanish instead. It's nice to sit inside and watch it snow from the comfort of my desk. I started reading a book on the history of anarchism in Spain. I'm improving quite a bit because I don't have to crack open the Spanish-English dictionary seventeen times per page at this point. I have made quite the vocabulary list from the words I want to be more familiar with and especially the ones I had no idea of when I was reading.

My study time has been cut short by my class load once again, however. I did make the decision to stop my private lessons indefinitely, though. So while I do spend entirely too much time teaching English, I now allot several more hours per week to practicing Spanish. This weekend I plan to watch a film or two about the civil war and to visit some trenches in the mountains with one of my students who prefers to speak in Spanish, so I'm excited about that. 

This week I received some prime scrapbook material from my colleagues at the language school. I now have a program of the events that took place during the week I gave my presentation and a newspaper clipping that explains my lecture and has a picture of me. I'm going to be famous.

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