Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No Time for Boredom

For all of you worried that the trailing spouse is going to be bored or not have enough to do, well, it looks like I will have my plate plenty full now! I taught my first English class yesterday and met with the American School here in town.

I am not scheduled to start teaching classes until next week. (And I use the term "schedule" most loosely here, since no one has actually worked up a "schedule" for me...but next week is still 4 days away and I know better than to expect advanced planning around here.) But, Monday afternoon I got a phone call from the language school asking if I could possibly fill in for a teacher Tuesday morning at 7:30. Of course, I still hadn't been given the books I requested so I could get familiar with all the material, but I ran up to the school Monday afternoon and managed to get my hands on the book this particular class was using. I got my lesson plan ready to go, and bright and early yesterday morning I taught my first class. It went quite smoothly, and I am looking forward to getting to do that a little more come next week!

I had a 9:00 appointment at the American school, so I had to hurry after the English class to get over there on time. I met the school's director and then the marketing manager spent the morning showing me around the gorgeous 10 acre campus and introducing me to a lot of the faculty and staff. They are really excited to have a volunteer at the school, and everyone has all sorts of project ideas for me. It sounds like I will be doing a little bit of everything: reading to the pre-K class, creating a "college corner" in the library with resources for high school students researching colleges, helping with some administrative tasks for some upcoming accreditation reviews, and even doing some guest lecturing for the 12th grade environmental science class. Once I figure out what my English teaching schedule will be, I am going to get a regular schedule set up for my volunteer hours at the American school.

Several of the teachers and some of the parents from the American school have a book club that meets once a month. They were actually meeting last night and invited me to attend if I was interested. College sort of killed my desire to read, but I've been wanting to start reading more. This is going to be a great way to get me back into my books! I went last night (the school director's wife actually started the club and it meets at their apartment) and had a great time! There were 10 of us all together mostly consisting of expats from the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, etc. We sipped on wine, ate some awesome food, chit chatted about books, and laughed a lot! It was a slightly different fomat than most book clubs. Instead of everyone reading the same book, you just read whatever you want and then talk a little about it. Usually, someone else in the group had also read the book and gave their thoughts about it as well. Everyone loans their books to the book club "library" and each month you are able to check out more books that you are interested in reading. English books aren't always readily available here, so instead of trying to get 10 copies of the same book, this review/recommendation approach works really great and gives you access to lots of different books each month. I grabbed Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight which one member said was the best book she's ever read. (It's a memoir of an UK-born girl who grew up in what is now Zimbabwe, Africa which was a very dangerous and unstable place in the 1970's.)

Eric got away on his business trip last night, despite not knowing yesterday morning if he was leaving or not. The guy he needed to meet with today didn't get back to him to confirm their meeting until yesterday morning (soooo frustrating) and then Eric had to run around trying to get reservations made for flights/hotels. He got into São Paulo last night around 11:00 and had meetings there today. This afternoon he flies to Curitiba for more meetings and then returns home tomorrow night. While I miss having him here, I am really enjoying having custody of the car for a few days! Having wheels opens up all sorts of new shopping locations and social possibilities for me!!! (A note to my far away husband: don't worry, Dear, I'll take real good care of the car...and the credit card.)

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