Irony all around us!…

Irony at its finest…

A week ago I should have posted, I know, I know…but 2 great things to report in two weeks, can you beat it?

This week turned out to be a great experience of food as well as last night. I am really liking the tutoring gig, as I mentioned before, AnaPaulo and Andrés are awesome students, they make the end of the week and the beginning of the week quite pleasurable – and we get a lot down and done in an hour and a half session, while having fun, what more could you ask?

Putting the final touches on the New York trip for the students to finish the literary magazine, all of us can begin to feel the excitement!

Before we start the news of the week, let me say, Alianza (last Friday’s restaurant) was a GREAT restaurant to hide away and catch up with friends, and enjoy a good, filling, dinner! (The coffee is gooooood too!) Check out the review on the restaurants page.

Speaking of irony, often I hear of these places and find them, but have no idea where they are, (there is a story on this, later on for this Friday!). The menu, which I put on the restaurant section of this blog, you will see, is VERY reasonable, and ohmygosh, the burger was DELICIOUS – it was VERY large and VERY good! Then though we chatted forever, the manager was very accommodating, friendly, and inviting in everything from helping us understand the menu to letting us chat the night away. It was cool that he had tennis on the television and that he loved tennis! From the coffee, to the main meal, to the dessert, this was a great overall experience! Nestled in a small, out of the way location, the atmosphere was VERY conducive to friends and a relaxing dinner and night.

This week there were a lot of substitutes out, and Elaine and I volunteered to teach classes and fill in. Turns out Moct (yes, his name is actually Moctezuma!), and even Gabriela too!, all of us substituted to help out the shortages. I found out Karen Herschleb’s class was covering Lord of the Flies, so I thought it might be interesting to create a Wiki where the students could put their answers, and then Ms. Herschleb could use it later with her classes! Would we be able to do this in two days?! Yes! We did the lab and laptop, and even though I was learning alot as we went. I did get tangled in not having the students create their own passwords at first, and this did cause some students to save over other students’ work on the table in the Wiki….:( However, come Wednesday, we had a full-fledged 2 pages per period Wiki, and all looked great! Amazing! Yes, the technology did not work put perfectly, but working through the assignment with the students helped me, and what was it like to be in the classroom again. WOW!; I had that same exhausted feelings after nonstop advising and consultation on the task at hand, but at the end of Wednesday, it was awesome to know I could still do it!

With a chronic sore throat, slight irritation with ears, I finally headed to a ear/throat/eye specialist, Dr. Delint. Seems as if I just had to …GET MY TONSILS OUT?! WHAT?! I am going to try and have it looked at again, but if this solves the problem of those above mentioned issues (reddish eyes, ear aches, headaches, dizziness, etc, darn, I guess it needs to be done? 🙂

We finally managed to donate the previously weeded library books to
Under the Volcano Books
(6 boxes!) and we hope they can use them! Only to find out, Grant, has come down with Swine Flu, so wishes are for him to get better.

Thursday was a complete conference day, so I was able to do some housekeeping, and Friday YEAH!…FRIDAY! I look back and am quite proud of the tasks we have been able to pull off and are moving into. The initiative to involve classes in Mexico with classes elsewhere virtually, students and adults is quite exciting! Check out out P2PU initiative with students and adults working together, we hope this will lead somewhere else, and would love to have as many interested parties a part of this! Grant writing opportunities – interactive, and across the world? AWESOME idea!

As New York looms closer and closer to the students in my lit Mag, I get more and more excited as well. Additionally, the initiative to involve my students in articles for the school magazine, The Focus, is also quite exciting. After racking my break for ideas possible topics, I thought having our students answer or respond to what makes them feel they are prepared for the world based on their international experience at ASF, and things they do not feel prepared for, all seem to be in the realm of revealing some exciting things. Students range from France, Korea, New York, Mexico, and more, and I think we will get an exciting mix of responses in return. I have to say I am blessed again with some outstanding students, and I have a surprise for them I am brewing when we take them to New York, the chance to….oops, sorry have to wait on that one, since they MIGHT be reading this!, but it does have something to do with SOMEONE and SOME THING in NY and it will BLOW THEIR MINDS! It is so fun thought to be able to joke around with them and laugh, and yes, I am very lucky and blessed to have been given the opportunity to take on these adventures with such a studious and dedicated staff!

Friday! Tutoring, and as usually the two students were hysterical and fun, and we started to look at Great Expectations and The Samurai’s Tale. Also, preparing the format for writing an essay, as well as sentence structure, (I know it is not that exciting, but I want them to pass the ASF entrance tests and be prepared more than the average 7th and 9th grader!)

Finind the menu actually lying on the street, I decided to try it. Coming into Friday night’s restaurant, Deli Ziatto, DELICIOUS! Funny thing is I could not recall where Biajio and Monterrey was and I walked the wrong way on Monterrey, almost three times realizing, wow, the restaurant was 2 blocks shy of my house! I was on the other side of Monterrey almost all evening until I realized – oh, try the other way! AGH! I got my walking in, but as I was on my way, I was thinking, hmmm, I feel better?! Much! I have been running a lot lately, and it is finally starting to click in , and my lungs and breathing FINALLY seem to have gotten used to the running and elements, and of getting ready for the 10 miler in the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C., April 01 2011. I want to make a good showing!

Looking back, I love the fact that we have 4-5 exciting initiatives of grant writing, technology, and great students doing great things. In the process, Mexico tips her hat to us, and I salute Mexico back with the many exciting things on the horizon. Amid all this, I think how exciting it will be to see all my friends again over the summer and see the changing person I am becoming, relaxed (yeah, get THAT!), able to laugh, look back and cherish the times I had with each of them. I am lucky in many ways, and am grateful for the way my students and friends have gone out on a limb for me so many times, I hope I can do the same for them and be there when they need someone. I carry them around with me everywhere go, and yes, that makes all the difference.

I hope my Mom, family, and friends will see the difference in my when I return, and each day I feel I progress thanks to patience and energy to try new and different things. I keep thinking how strange it will be to come back to Delaware over Spring Break while also coming back over summer, in doing this, it feels all so different and new, yet, I think deep down I will become a better person all around and as a teacher. I am excited about what these young people I have been with will create and accomplish in the next few months. Whatever it is, it will be pretty terrific, you can bet many, many pesos on that!

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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