Well, I have done about five weeks of teaching at the English Academy and next week it is holidays for Semana Santa. And I will be glad of the break. It's a little milestone.
I am loving the teaching - but goodness, it's hard work. I really do appreciate the job of teachers a great deal more now - and I only do 9 hours a week! I can't imagine doing many more than that and the thought of it being full time is mind-blowing. Well done teachers, I say!
And let's hear it for the pupils too. I have twelve different classes of students from age 7 to 18 and almost without exception, they are an engaging, lively, responsive bunch. Some a tad noisy than others, I might say; some shy, some very outgoing, all different. They have hit some milestones too in their conversation classes - and most can now differentiate the sounds 's' and 'sh' which was not the case five weeks ago.
Andalucia has a strong dialect and each province has a slightly different accent. Here in Jaen, the most obvious difference in the spoken Spanish from that spoken in Valladolid (where you hear a very good Spanish) is the absence of the letter 's' at the end of words. So 'buenas dias' (or good day) becomes 'buena dia'; 'gracias' becomes 'gracia'; 'dos' (for 2) becomes 'do' - and it's taken me a bit of getting used to, but it's also very infectious! I find myself dropping 's's all over the place - and Romy tells me off!
It even extends to names - I have one student called 'Francisco' but he says his name 'Franci'co'. So to encourage my students to practice the 's', 'sh' and 'ch' sounds, which are so important in English, we say tongue twisters such as 'She sells seashells on the seashore' and 'Which witch wished which wish' an other difficult (for the Spanish speaker) words such as 'wasps' and 'crisps' - always with hilarious results! But it's coming! Well done students!
My children have all come home with their reports for the end of the Spring term - their first here at school in Alcala. All of them were glowing; all their teachers are really pleased with them; all three have settled in, settled down, been welcomed and supported by the other children and I could not be happier.
It is an important milestone in establishing ourselves as a family here. Well done, my lovely children.
And whilst not actually a milestone - I will just report here that yesterday I saw a house that I liked. Really liked. It's a sort of milestone in that it's the first one for a long time that I have responded to with my heart. We have seen a few in our time here that we thought could be OK but not one that we'd fallen in love with. This one feels different. However, Cesar hasn't seen it yet - he's going later on today. And he won't buy a house on the basis of falling in love with it. It's not that he has no heart, but that in choosing the right house he will only engage his head. His heart will become involved after we've made it our own and put our own stamp on it. So if he likes it today, it will because it meets his standards of building, of potential, of warmth, of space and practicality.. that sort of thing. And if he likes it, I know it will be the right house for us. Thank goodness for team work; thank goodness for that essential balance between head and heart.
(I can remember very little about the house now other than it 'felt' right. Oh, and it had a pool....which was rather nice.)
So, for teachers, students, super kids, super husbands and families and folk everywhere - whether reaching milestones or heading towards them - good on you!!
Read what Susan B. Anthony has to say about milestones - I agree wholeheartedly.