Seventeen weeks since the school started and a number of students have come and gone in that time. After returning for the holiday break, for the most part the class was new and seemed like that first week back in September. Looking around and wondering what the story was behind the students filling the seats.
At this point I have gotten used to the rotating door of people that come and go. Generally new students are placed in the class on Mondays. Teachers are given contracts for the entire month or the length of the course. Many people come into school for a 2-week period to work on their skills during their vacations. We were joined by 10 other students and it occurred to me that after being with them two weeks you would enjoy hearing their story.
Antonia who had left class last week to my dismay returned making me feel like a lottery winner. She was miserable at the thought of commuting to the new job that was far and not completing the class she had begun. Maeve and Juan Marcos have already been spoke of so many times that they should be familiar players in the show.
We have shifted from the heavy Middle East influence to a Latin American majority. Daily the teacher finds new ways to split them up so they do not confirm words in Spanish when challenged. Maria is from Spain; she is a teacher there and here for a two week vacation brush up. I’m grateful she came into class, relieving me of my status as the lowest preforming student. Unfortunate she will be gone soon and I’ll be back at the bottom.
Beatrice is from Spain as well, and after the second week of class, the teacher told her that she needs to go up a level. I heard she already took this level, but was placed with us because she did not express herself as confidently as she does in class when being evaluated.
Ricca, who is not Spanish, will also be leaving us this week. She is also working at a higher level than the rest of us. I’m not too secretly happy to see her go. She is a very young pretty girl from Finland, and has a bad habit of rolling her eyes with almost every word she speaks, making her seem snobby. It could be a culture thing or age or just that she really is better than all of us.
Paula from Spain, was in class for 2 weeks and will not be back Monday. She needs to go to work and then she starts another school where she will study English. We just got a new student from Mexico the other day but she came in late and never was formally introduced to the class so I don’t remember her name yet.
They’re all Sofia Vergara wanna be’s and too young to know they really are impersonating Charo, the original Latina goddess. It makes me want to do a Love boat marathon. They are funny, young, pretty, curvy and friendly. I like them a lot, but I miss the balance that having more male in the class can offer, and poor Juan Marcos is the lone rooster in the hen house.
Then there is the assortment of Asians in class as usual. Rachel from Vietnam is back in class, but I don’t count her as part of the original four of us that came from Pia’s class. she came in to our class much later than the rest of us and we just never quit clicked.
Mary Grace from china is competing with Anna from Romania for the role of Sara. Trying her hardest to answer every question quicker and louder and better than the rest of the class. She is a nurse and a mother and I imagine that she is so friendly the patient’s love her and the other nurses wish she did nails. She is cute as a button and it should be hard to hate her, but not for a seasoned pro like me.
We do have a Sarah, that is Chinese, but she is not like her namesake from the old class. I had to school her when she made a comment about the United States. It was something that was little to general and off putting for my taste. I explained that she was wrong in a polite way and try to be nice since she is in completion with me for the worst student placement one Maria leaves. She is also very young and it is easy to make silly comments at any age, but especially so when young.
As I mentioned before, Anna, from Romania and has beautiful creamy skin excellent figure, would be the smartest in the class if Mary Grace didn’t compete with her. I had met her a few times in the past. When went to do a mixer with her class the second week of school with Olivier. Also, I was accidentally placed in her class for one day back at the start of A2. It seems that Maeve was in her class for a few weeks before they moved her to our class, so she already knows her as well. Anna has been absent the last two days of school, so I am unsure if she is coming back.
Finally, of the new students we have Marvy, from Turkey. Not even close to as cool as my dear friend Azer, but I decided to like her because I seem to get along with Turkish female students. Very stereo typed but it is much nicer than me associating her with students of the past I dislike.
So, moving on to the head of the class, I am not as happy with my teacher as I had hoped to be. The last two made such a great impression on me, it is hard to replace them. I remember being a bit concerned when Pia started. She has talking so fast, it was hard for me to follow, and gave us so much work, and I was just stressed. I try to think that perhaps I’ll feel the same about this teacher after another week or so, but I doubt it.
She was out the first two days of school, and returned to us with some great exercises that have been helpful. Her style of teaching is very different and I miss my Pia. She is sarcastic, which I like, but in a different language it is harder to appreciate. I think she would be a better teacher for someone at a higher level, but for me, there just seems to be a disconnect.
In a way, it will make it easier ending class in another 4 weeks. She pulled Juan Marcos aside the other day and told him he needed to make improvements. It was a bit shocking because he is very good, just a little quiet. I felt protective about him and am still a bit mad at her for upsetting him. All in all, she did him a favor, he came back stronger and has been working even harder at using full sentences and speaking louder.
Pia confined in me that our teacher is losing her hearing, so we are all trying to speak louder. We were all becoming very defensive with her saying she couldn’t understand us. Pia build us up so much and Ana, our teacher (yes same name as the classmate) sort of made us feel put down. The fantastic four; Maeve, Antonia, Juan Marcos and myself, all seem to participate less allowing room for the Charo-Sofia’s offspring, the Asians and the Sarah’s.
I don’t see myself getting to friendly with any of them, but It is ok, I adore the friends I have and am enjoying making it stronger. It is sad on the weekends when we all go our separate ways knowing that our lives don’t match up completely. I happily have almost every other Saturday during the day with Claude and that is a wonderful treat.
He got to Ikea this week, so we spent the morning assembling the new couch bed that is open to anyone that wants to come visit. Hint Hint. The National “Soldes” sale is going on and everyone is frantically shopping including us. Hopefully my bed frame will be assembled this week and I found curtains at last for the bedroom.
Everything is coming together and I even brought a note to school from a salesperson that thought I was doing well with my conversational skills. It is colder than I imagined it could be, but it is dry and there is no sign of a storm. I like to say its dry like the heat in the desert. Like it makes a difference.
I wish there was rain coming, since it is cold enough for snow and I’d enjoy seeing it. I hear it is a colder winter than usual and it is good to work on our home. As soon as it warms up Claude and I are excited to ride the tandem. Maybe I’ll painting in front of a monument, or strolling a museum with a friend.
But for now, I’ll continue to struggle from the bottom of the class and impress shopkeepers with my desire to speak. Hopefully I’ll be warmer soon, and laugh at the life lessons that I don’t see humor in now. Who knows where I’ll be in another 17 weeks.