There have been many changes and things that have happened or I have done since the last time I wrote anything. They are so intertwined that it's hard to start somewhere, so I'm just going to start with one throughout and explain EVERYTHING in between.
There are some people in this world that are just not designed to learn a language. I very recently started a new job. Well, a new side of the teaching thing. Last week the institute that I work for offered me a deal where I would travel to Paysandu, a small city in the countryside of Uruguay and teach there. I would travel Sunday night and come back Thursday night. I would be teaching students from two different private companies. I would stay in either a company house or a hotel. The money was good, so I said yes. Not without reservations, mind you. Several things kept me from making a decision faster. For example, I have started dating someone new with exciting body parts (i.e., he's a boy. I will come back to this "detail" later) and it kind of sucks to be apart from the person that you like for so many days a week. But, money. Also, Paysandu is pretty far from Montevideo and I didn't know anyone there (still don't, no one worthwhile, at least).
But the main reason I didn't want to go is because I am very depressed. Despite the relative ease of my life, how little I have to worry about starving and/or my family dying because of suicide bombers or mass murderers, despite the fact that I am not terribly deformed, starving, or stupid, I feel like shit. Despite the people who say love me/like me/miss me, I am a worthless piece of crap with poopie on top. Why I feel this way will be the eternal mystery till the end of my days. Anyway, I mostly feel scared and very extremely astonishingly not ready to:
move to Sweden in a couple of months. I was awarded a place in the University of Stockholm's Master Film program. Pretty fancy, eh? Well, I am unprepared and fooling everyone. I so don't feel ready to live in a country where I don't know anybody, learn a new language from scratch, study in GRAD SCHOOL (when, let's face it, I barely made it through college), find an apartment, and get a job that pays me enough to support myself entirely. This is not high school or college, children. This is real life. Yes, I would love to study film in Sweden and be independent, but, will I love that more than sleeping and food? Who knows. My money (?? haha money) is on "not so much". Will I be able to wake up on time, go to work for 8 hours, go to class, study, write, cook, eat, have a social life? eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee is the only sound my brain makes when I think about all of this too hard.
HOWEVER, money. Because Sweden. So, I said yes to the job. And right now, I am on a bus on my way *back* from my first week as a small-town English teacher. And let me tell you, there are people who cannot possibly ever learn a new language. I have this one group, right, comprised mostly of mechanics and field workers. All men.
I, as a 24-year-old girl (woman?) who spent three years of her life surrounded only by women and loving it, feel kind of uncomfortable in a room full of men. But I do NOT let it show. In fact, it kind of fuels a strong sense of power, and I am much more domineering and strict with the men than with the women. HAHALOL. Now, in the last, like, month, my views on male/female relationships have changed drastically. To be more exact, the relationship of me, Lau, a womangirl, vis a vis the MENFOLK have changed a lot because I
started having sexy (and other) times with a member of the penis-having party. Yes, omfg, giggle snort, this is ridiculous. I found a boy I like and I am keeping him. I have sex with him and I like it. Don't tell my Smith friends. I still consider myself a lesbian, my identity and political self have not changed. I just happen to now like *A* weener. I really cannot say much more about it, because the whole deal is semi hush hush, semi not.
But obviously this fact has had an impact on my views of men. It's weird now kind of thinking: "Oh, you are a guy, I touch one of you." I don't know, it's all very teenagery and weird, but real nonetheless. And it definitely changed something in me that I cannot pinpoint. More on this later.
|me and the people I'm attracted to.|
Back to the people incapable of learning a language. I supposed I'm being an extreme bitch when I say this, but it's true. And, unfortunately, (and even bitchier of me), the people in this below-zero level of English course are all, as I mentioned, mechanics or field workers. Some of them haven't finished highschool. Some of them haven't even reached 10th grade. Why is it so hard for them to understand? Is it them? Is it their fault? Is it because they decided to drop out of school? Did they even make that decision themseles or was it something bigger? Is it society's fault? Is it the fault of a flawed education system designed during the Uruguayan dictatorship in the 70s? Is it my fault?
Fuck no, I'm a great teacher.
Who knows but the issue remains that in the past three days I have witnessed some truly incredible lack of synapses. Only language teachers know how frustrating it is to repeat a word, in one case, "give", so many times, and I am talking literally 40 or 50 times, and getting "bep" in return. Over and over and over again. And again. I highly doubt some of these people will be able to learn *anything* if they cannot even emulate sounds. When I asked them where the verb of a sentence was (in Spanish, of course, we are not into such sophisticated language as "what" or "is" yet), I was answered with blank stares and a bit of corner-mouth drool.
I remember when I was in high school or middle school here, in Spanish class, the teacher could not make the rest of the students understand what a verb was. And like, she was trying. So what the fuck can you do with that? People in Uruguay often say we are one of the better educated countries in Latin America or whatever, but the level of stupidity in this country says otherwise. And it's not sheer ignorance, either, it's the lack of will to learn. I remember middle school man. My classmates went out of their way NOT to learn. Our teachers were smart. We had text books. The assholes even showed up for class. It's like they were proving something by showing up and not learning. When did knowing things become so devaluated?
But there is one thing I noticed about my stupid (Is that too harsh? Eh, whatever, it's not like they're ever going to read this) students. They laugh a lot more than my other students, and a hell of a lot more than myself. So maybe they have something there.