Month: November 2014

A Day in the Life: Logan

Hi Guys!  As Shannon already explained, there is a lot more to our Spanish life than traveling and generously priced food.  We unfortunately do have to work.  Now that I have my weekly routine all figured out, I think its time I share what I do.

My official job title is Auxiliar de Conversación, and that basically means I pretend that I totally know what I’m doing in front of a highly critical audience made up of 11-18 year olds.  I have exactly zero teaching experience and was pretty much thrown into it.  Essentially, they pay me for speaking English with my “perfect American accent” (their words, I swear).

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7:30 AM: Wake up and get ready to educate the future of the Spanish people.  Schools here tend to be pretty relaxed, and like Shannon, I don’t have much of a dress code to adhere to.  I can wear jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.  I try and keep it moderately profesor-y with a minimum of jeans and a collared shirt.

8:40 AM: I (ideally) leave my house for my commute.  Its a grueling 15ish minutes…foot and on the metro (aka its super close).  I really lucked out with the location of my school, and the fact that I can walk there is almost unheard of in Madrid.  Unlike Shannon, however, I work Monday through Friday.

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9:00 AM: Start working.  Everyone at my school is amazing and the teachers have made me feel like a part of the team.  Everyone values the work I do, and it is really nice to feel like I belong.

I am mainly responsible for conversing with the students.  This can range from just asking them questions about their lives to creating vocabulary worksheets.  I do some lesson planning, but it is all based around conversation stuff and never anything like grammar.

11:00 AM: Break time.  I just go to the teachers lounge and hang out and practice Spanish.  I normally have between 1-3 classes between this break and when I start at 9.

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11:25AM-End of day.  My end time varies a lot more than my start time.  Monday-Wednesday I finish around 2, and Thursday-Friday I finish around 5.  I have anywhere between 3 and 6 classes each day, and I am anywhere between 50% and 100% worn out when I’m done.  Its not that the job is hard, but I spend most of the day on my feet using my “teacher voice.”

Tuesdays and Thursdays I also have private lessons that I do on the side.  I don’t really love doing them, but the money is good and I enjoy teaching the students.  Overall, its not too demanding, and I am enjoying things here in Spain.  I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my life here.

Besos y abrazos,

logan

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Adventure Time: Granada

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Last weekend Logan and I made the short journey to the southern city of Granada. Granada is most well known for their copious (and delicious) tapas, the Alhambra, and their white washed houses. It’s only about a 4 hour drive, and we found a cheap BlaBla car for Friday morning. We stayed in a wonderful AirBNB with a balcony and a central location (it was also mega cheap). We decided 2 days was enough time, so we got down to business right when we arrived.

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Our first stop was finding a couple bars to drink and eat lunch. The tapas in Granada were pretty good, but Logan and I thought they were pretty similar to the tapas we’ve had in Madrid. After filling up our bellies with vino tinto and our fair share of free food, we trecked up a huge a** hill to _____. This is the best place to see La Alhambra, and it’s one of the most popular destinations in Granada.

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We spent the night bar hopping between the many bars that litter Granada’s streets. And we were not disappointed. The alcohol is cheap, and the food is delicious. My favorite bar was one where they gave us a seafood tapa (a whole plate of fried shrimp *nomz*).

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The next day we were up bright and early to trek to our main destination, La Alhambra. La Alhambra is one of the most visited spots in Spain, and is a Moorish citadel and palace. Since it’s so popular you have to buy your tickets in advance.

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If you could tell from my previous pictures, La Alhambra is situated at the top of a giant f*cking hill, that we had to climb at 9:30am with a bit of a tapa hangover. It was long, and a bit tiring, but TOTALLY worth it. La Alhambra is MASSIVE, and we spent a good 3 hours walking around the beautiful grounds. We decided to get tickets that included everything other than the Nasrid baths, and I have zero regrets.

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This part of Alhambra is called Generalife and it’s filled with beautiful gardens, fountains, and ponds. It was so so so beautiful, and because La Alhambra is so massive, there were never too many crowds anywhere we went. Also, the weather was PERFECT, look at me guys, I’m wearing shorts on the first day of November!

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The other main part of La Alhambra is the Alcazaba, this is where you get the best views of the beautiful city. The clusters of white houses make my heart swoon, so beautiful!

After we left La Alhambra, we ended our trip exactly how we started: with a few more rounds of tapas.

Besos y abrazos,

Shannon