Jun 15, 2008

taking just a breather

Whew! For the last couple of months, I've been in "teacher training" in two places. I wrote earlier than I was called by ICPNA (Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano, which is the Peruvian Cultural Institute of North America, or something similar). I got through the screening tests and am now in the training seminars for prospective teachers. My schedule is crammed full and my days are hectic. I'm not having much fun right now, but I'm hoping that it will calm down by the end of the month, when we are informed as to whether we have the job or not.

So I'm up at 5 am to let Celeste run her guts out before she has to be shut up in the house for 5 or 6 hours, till O comes home at lunch time to let her out again. Then he's usually home again at 2 or 3 pm till 4:30, when he goes to class. I leave for teacher training at ICPNA at 7:15 am. I take the bus across town to Miraflores. This bus goes up Angamos Avenue and drops me practically at the door of ICPNA, which is really convenient, but cripes, the ride there is like mashing myself into a sardine can. By the time the bus arrives at the stop on my block, it is already filled pretty much to capacity. A couple of people get off at my stop, so I can get on. I push myself through the mass of people to a spot where I can kind of breathe, and off we go, stopping every few minutes to let people off or on. It takes about 40 minutes to arrive at ICPNA.

I have a class to observe at 8:45 am, so I am there a little early. I have time to eat something in the cafeteria and read over the lesson for the day. Then I go to my class to either observe or teach the class. In order to complete the training successfully, I have to give demonstration classes in whatever topic the instructors choose, whenever they choose, and teach three regular classes, observed of course by the teacher who normally has the classes. There are also seminars that we have to go to, there are dress code, attendance, participation, and attitude requirements to fulfill. I hope I'm doing okay so far with the whole course. At 3 pm, we are finished for the day with the teacher training, so I catch another bus that takes me 30 minutes down Arequipa Avenue to my usual job. I arrive at about 3:30, get some lunch, prepare my 4:15 class and start working there. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I work until 10:15 pm and take another bus home. On Tuesdays, I get home about 6:30 pm. On Thursdays I work until 8 pm and get home about 8:30.

Then it's all about Celeste for about an hour. We go outside to play and do whatever business she may have, brush her coat, then walk and run for a little while. By the end of the day, my feet are KILLING me, so I'm happy to change into tennis shoes and walk some, but I don't feel like wrestling or playing rough. After Celeste gets her time, I prepare whatever I need for the following day and then fall into bed and am unconscious till the alarm goes off at 5 am the next day.

One of the things about a heavy schedule is that I'm so tired all the time. I'm terrified that I'll fall asleep on the bus, if I manage to get a seat, and that I'll sleep past the point that I was supposed to get off the bus, or that someone will rob me while I'm dozing. It was explained to me that here in Peru, many people are taught to steal whenever possible...not violently, but in an underhanded, pick-pockety way. One of the people I work with, Hilda, told me that people are considered stupid if they don't take advantage of a situation or person whenever possible. When I asked her if that was how she behaved, she responded with, "Of course! All the teachers do it here," smiling broadly. As usual, I spoke before I thought...it flew out of my mouth - I told her that was very low-class behavior and attitude, and that I didn't associate with people with whom I constantly had to be on my guard. If your friends are so willing to rob you and take advantage of you, what on earth are your enemies willing to do? So Grandma's best friend may help her cross the street just for the opportunity to rob her blind. Sheesh.

So. I've been learning several lessons recently. I suppose that's just life in the big city, but it's one more thing that I have found that disappoints me.


Maggie's Farm said...

I love to read about people's daily goings-on, so thanks for the update. I am curious - what does attitude training entail??? That's very interesting!

JC said...

What a busy life you have right now! Congrats on the Birthday you will soon be celebrating! I wonder when age really catches up with us? I still feel 20, oh, other than all the aches and pains, that is! It sounds like Celeste is doing great, always good to hear from you and I hope all is well in your world today. Give Celeste a pat for me!