Wednesday, January 04, 2006

¡Feliz año!

I hope everyone is enjoying 2006 so far! As for me, my lack of posting recently is because for once in my life the new year is actually starting off with a bang and lots of changes. Usually my life is ruled by the school year, and january 1st means not a whole lot. But after a slow months and a week off from work filled with movies, food, hanging out, and traveling a bit, I'm suddenly finding every minute of the day filled. I worked a shockingly pathetic 26 hours in all of last month, and I'm already going to work that many or more this WEEK. Monday and Tuesday I subbed at Jezreel International Christian Academy, the crazy religious elementary school where my roommate sara and cayanne are subcontracted through the experiment. After hearing all the horror stories from them I was curious to get in on the experience. (And excited to get the 6 hours a day!) Oddly enough, that was my first time really doing classroom teaching in a school! It went well... the kids are super cute and way better behaved than their american counterparts. I got called "miss rebecca" by 2 7th grade classes, to which I taught grammar and played some games, and 1 8th grade class, during which I really felt like a sub because they were reading a story and doing exercises, and I basically sat around pretending to be helpful. The real highlight was the morning prayer service... the teachers are required to be there at 7:20 for their own personal service, even though kids don't come until 8 and most classes don't start until 8:30 or 9. The director of the school, who is this pompous lawyer who knows nothing about education and just wants to make a buck / show off his faith, leads the prayer. I'm actually at a point in my life where I'm not automatically wary of religion and religious people, and even enjoy certain aspects. But Dr. so and so really pushes the envelope. It's not praying, it's being prayed AT. He just gets up to the pulpit and rambles on about how god should bless everyone there and help us change our lives and help kids, blah blah, and literally every other sentence is "EN EL NOMBRE DE JESUS!!" And some of the teachers really get into this exhibitionist prayer thing and start waving their hands around and praying out loud, in an embarrassingly blatant attempt to impress others with their faith. And then there's the guy with the guitar who leads the hymns. I was looking forward to that at least. But it was even worse... during one of the songs he played he asked us to look at a friend and sing to them... ok... not so bad... sara was there so she sang to me and i stood awkwardly, not knowing the song. But that wasn't enough for him... he stopped the song and literally made everyone turn and face their "friend", hold their hands and sing meaningfully to them. God. Everything in that school is like that... The director treats the staff like they're about 5, and just gets off on ordering them around. So once the service is over, the director goes back up to the pulpit and lectures the staff about various things like attendance, all the while fingering the bible with authority, and eventually gets into this 20plus min discussion of the dress code (they have a variety of uniforms to wear on different days, and i guess no one was), during which the teachers start arguing with him because the rules are dumb and the clothes are crappy and such. It was sort of funny once, but I couldn't believe sara and cayanne have to waste their time with this every day.

After Jezreel I subbed for ANOTHER class in the afternoons, plus I have all my regular classes this week. My paycheck will thank me. Other changes... Jennie, my wonderful british roommate left yesterday to travel for a few months, so I'm adjusting to sharing with only sara who 's just back from spending the holidays in st. louis. And then a new roommate is moving in today or tomorrow. I'm trying to be not bitter that she's not jennie. I've got to run to the first choir rehearsal of the year, but when I get a chance later this week I will put up the photos of my trip to mindo and new years... both great times. Definitely worth coming to quito just for last week. Can't wait to do a lot more traveling in Ecuador this spring and summer. Then the plan is to travel in S.Am. for a few months and be back in the us by thanksgiving and out to CA by this time next year! Stay tuned to see what really happens...


  1. If Jennie's traveling for a few months, does that mean you'll get her back when she's done, or is she gone for good?

    I just got a bunch of your digital photos from our road trip printed, and I'm combining them with my own prints into a big ROAD TRIP PHOTO ALBUM which will hopefully be ready by the time Richard and Lauren get here! Um, not that they haven't seen these exact photographs 18 million times already via us slash this blog... but I'm excited. As I expect you will be :)

  2. dios mio! evangelicos! (i just made that word up.) i'm kind of weirdly jealous but you probably knew that. and mil gracias for the scarf! it is muy hermosa. and the impending postal increase has motivated me to get off my butt and mail your dia de los tres reyes package!

  3. Sadly, jennie will be back for a week or so before she flies home, but that's it. She's been here since march or something. She thinks american road trips sound exciting and now she knows all these americans so i'm trying to convince her to come out and do it with me. Speaking of road trips... PICTURES!!!!!!!!! Those pics really never get old. Best thing ever.
    Jenna - I'm sure Sara would gladly let you take over for her at Jezreel... everyday she seriously considers quitting. and, ooh, package!! Hmm, I really should demonstrate more excitement over your package than pictures I've seen 500 times (/took myself). PACKAGE!!!!! That's better.

  4. I'm imagining having to look into people's eyes and sing meaningfully to them at the sing. Ew. (present company excepted, of course.) H
    ey thanks for the chocolate! I found the spicy one on the first try. Dios mio! (Yeah, I don't know Spanish.)