Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Albaicin: The Barrio of the Baeza People

The visit to Granada was great. The visit to Granada was the best. The visit to Granada was wonderful.
Spanish kindness in the form of Balien, showing us a good time.
Honestly that about sums up my feelings on the subject of my Visit to Granada.
Leaving the very homogenous atmosphere of Jaen and being transplanted to the mutli-cultural, alternative everyday life of Granada was just what the doctor order. Just as I was wondering when the homesickness would exit through the gift shop or when I just knew that the next Spaniard to comment negatively about my hair while tisking loudly about the color of my skin was going to be my prompt ticket home byway of the Civil Guard we took a little trip to Granada.
I bought no souvenirs, I didn´t make a life long connection with anyone I met at the hostel, and my visit to The Alhambra was regulated to the areas that dealt with King Charles. But who cares, I could not have planned a better trip.
I did meet some pretty great people at the Hostel, Makuto, whose travels across Spain seemed to be going quite well. I also meet this sweet little couple who in two weeks had traveled to 6 places and had 5 more to do before the end of the week. I was able to watch the sunset at The Miradora San Nicolas. There were so many street artist whose talent and skills went far beyond the norm idea for how objects, metals, images should be represented.
Then as the strawberry covered in chocolate topping  (I´m allergic to cherries) I attended the best guided tour anyone could experience. I signed up Thursday night for a Special Interest tour on the subject of King Charles and is impact on the Alhambra as well as the city of Granada. My tour guide graduate from university with a degree in Tourism and a master in History, focus on the development of Granada.
 The tour was on Sunday, it was in English and I was the only person to sign-up. It was more like a conversation focused on the Alhambra, past Kings and Queens, the Moor cultural impact on Spain and the history of Granada. I was able to see rooms and locations that I didn´t even know existed. My tour guide was obviously passionate about the subject and I´m even planning on attending a Wednesday night tour he guides about the roles of women in the growth of the city of Granada.
Alhambra at Sunset from the Miradora San Nicolas

Miradora San Nicolas midday from the Alhambra

View of the grounds from the Queens room.
On our first afternoon in Granada we ate at this little café called Cuatros Gatos and this college girl explained that while the city was great upon first arrival it could definitely get old after awhile. My plan is to visit often enough that it does get old- that we become old friends, with old haunts, and old memories that will last a lifetime.
Have you every visited Granada, please share your adventures and if not, is this somewhere you'd be interested to visit?
Until next time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, Be Blessed . . .
The Ladies and I enjoying the views!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Write Me Something, Anything Real

Toni Morrison at work.
This blog is just a piece of my thoughts or mind, your pick. It is not my entire writing ability, my complete thought process, or every bit of goings on from my daily life. Truly, you are taking part of the literal version of snap chat when reading a blog. Just a moment. No more.
Usually that works just fine for me honestly, I do plenty of my fiction writing in my free time that  I'm not bothered, but things have changed. There are so many things going on, I'm not able to free-write like I would prefer and due to my accepting the Independent Blogger Internship for CIEE I try to streamline this blog to aide future participants.
 What's a girl to do when the writing situation gets a little scrambled. Simple Journal. Instead of searching out random wisp of thoughts in my head I've decided to use a few prompts.
My new baby journal, so great! Mama loves you!
My journal is divide into sketch pages and lined paper. My first decision was to participate in "What I'm Thankful For" for every day of November. One sentence followed by a brief paragraph of explanation then I'm done. Next I answer a question from the following journal prompt page.
 There is prompt per day and the entire series for every month was designed to answer the same question for five years straight. Interesting.  
As for the sketch pages, once a week I have to sketch a drawing of what is consuming my life for the moment. The other days I have to choose a prompt from one of the following prompt generators. All prompt generators can be found on my Pinterest page, "Let's Have Some Fun". Stop on by for links to more!

 Not too creative I understand, but man am I excited to just write. So very excited.
Any suggestions for writing prompts feel free to add them or even share about your own writing preferences. All of you moving towards becoming Language Assistants next year, are you keeping a pre-trip journal? If so what do you find yourself writing about most?
Until Next time, Hasta Pronto, Adios, Be Blessed . . .

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Re-Education of D

I have taken two large steps in the growth department y'all and it feels good, real good to be honest. Let's start with the basics:
Co-teaching or even just aiding in subjects that I have no clue or memory registry about has opened my brain up to so much more information. In music I'm learning about the different instruments, the groups those instruments belong in and even the history of music in the middle ages. In technology I'm learning all the tricks and tips to Photoshop, how to weld metal, and how building structures work from every little angle. In art, well let's just say I'm trying. And math is a reawakening to words such as "exponent" and " least common multiple", these kids definitely figure out the equation before I do. I've always been an English and History buff, with very little deep interest in the other subjects, but now I have to be interested in order to aide the students in their language development AND I love all that I'm learning.
Awkard, and so naive on my first day at the private academy.
Now let's move to the hard part:
I was one busy baby one the school year started. I was headed to public school no later than 8:30, didn't leave school until 2:45. At which point I headed to private school around with the earliest arrival time being 3:15 and I set-up, planned for the days activities ( I taught five different ones, in a two day rotation). Finally I head home around 8:15, only to arrive around 9:30 and prep for dinner, hang with the roomies or work on graduate class homework. That's around the same hours I put in back in Texas with a lot less pay and in a much more enticing environment to have some fun. So I did the unthinkable after two weeks. I discussed the lack of sleep, extreme stress and lack of sleep with my Director at the private academy and we decided that no longer teaching my Tuesday/Thursday classes was definitely an option. I was definitely this overworked if not more in the United States and we had plenty of people who should've been qualified to aide in the workload, but after seeing so many of my colleagues fail at acquiring assistants in their hour of need I never spoke up and shouldered the battle. I know now that an as a work bee it is not my job to do all the work because others are to lazy or unaware of the position requirements, it is the person in charges job to make sure everyone is doing what they need to and doing it well. Just as ready as I was to say, "okay, adios" here I should have been just as ready to say "something has to change" back in Texas. Why we work bees, and women especially, feel the need to abandon all common sense and work our bodies into the ground while everyone else takes naps and orders drinks baffles me completely. But in a culture were siesta is an estimated time-frame and four day weekends are not rare there is the mind frame that overworking is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible because you only have one life and it should not be lived at a desk, but with what you love and hold dear.
Now I'm moving to adjusting to my new schedule, being ahead in grad class, watching some television, dedicating my Tuesday afternoon to Spanish learning and just enjoying Spain.
Please share a time you had to step-back and decide what is important. Or if you're interested in the Language Assistant Program in Spain feel free to ask for job requirement details or extra income options.
Until next time, Hasta Pronto, Adios, Be Blessed . . .