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Thursday, June 16, 2005
I had a spectacular class today! It was, by far, the most successful class I've taught!!!

I was teaching comparative forms of adjectives and had no idea how to make this interesting for the class. The tasks in the book seemed boring and uncreative...I myself was bored looking at them. And I've learned, from the past two classes, that once this particular group gets bored there's very little you can do to get them motivated. They'll go through the motions, they'll complete the tasks, but you can see the boredom in their faces.

I stayed up until 2am trying to think of what I could do to make this lesson interesting and I came up with NOTHING. NOTHING. Went to school today discouraged, wondering if I should just forget about this whole experience. I wasn't finished with my work either and had to spend lunch finishing up, which meant that, again, I didn't get to eat.

Got to class, sat down, leaned back against the chair and asked the class a simple question: Should I stay in Barcelona after this course or go to Madrid? I was trying to introduce the lesson (comparative adjectives) and figured that this would be a good way to start. They had no idea that that question related to their lesson and started throwing advice at me. I manipulated their sentences so that they used comparative adjectives ("Madrid is hotter", etc). I could've kept that going for some time, but I'm still uncomfortable just being in front of the class like that. After a couple of minutes I asked them if they knew what they were doing, they stared at me blankly, and then finally realized that they were actually using grammar.

So the class started off well. I then split them up into three groups so we could play a game. I made it into a race and tried to explain the directions to them but they were still talking over me. I then, a little louder, told them they had to listen to the directions or else they weren't going to win and all of a sudden the one student who talks over every single person, who can't manage to keep his mouth shut, said " quiet, she's going to tell us the rules!" It was a GLORIOUS moment!!!!!! I finally got the class to listen to me!!!!!!!!

Put myself behind the scenes and let the class finish their game and complete their assignments. They were running up to the board, they were happy, they were learning. I just sat back and watched. And smiled.

Finished my lesson (got out of the hurricane) and was just really satisfied. It was just spectacular!!

Already in a great mood, I met with Angels after class for some coffee. It was so nice seeing a familiar face. And she is incredibly friendly. We went for coffee, talked for over an hour, and then instead of simply heading home she took me on a walking tour of Barcelona. Finally saw what made this city appealing to people. We ended up spending over three hours together before we finally made it home. I had a great, GREAT time with her. We talked non-stop about politics, history, life, New York...she's amazing.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 10:36 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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