Every once in a while I like to do a “Day in the Life” post. Mostly because I really find other people’s day to day really interesting and I’m hoping someone might find my day to day interesting, too. Maybe.
Yesterday morning when Fred woke me up (Fred is my dog, in case you don’t follow me on the Insta) I thought for sure he was early and it was the middle of the night and he would surely lay back down and go to sleep. But he didn’t. Because it was about time to get up. But I was really tired. Even though I had gone to bed at 9:30 the night before. So we went up to the roof so he could pee (again, he’s a dog) and when we came back down I still wasn’t ready to get up, so I lay back down in bed and cruised the social meeds for a while. Eventually I got up and made hot chocolate and walked across the street to school.
During arrival time one of my student’s gave me a note from her mom, which made me a little nervous because you never know what’s going to be in those notes. Fortunately it was a happy note! An invitation to watch my student dance at her church’s anniversary celebration!
The day passed pretty uneventfully. There was some time there in the middle of the day when I almost lost my mind, but by the grace of God I kept it together without yelling. Sometimes I just find myself standing in the middle of my classroom or sitting at my desk with literally 10 children talking to me at the same time in 2 different languages and it seems the only appropriate response is to put my hands on my ears and scream until they all sit down and shut up. But of course that isn’t the appropriate response. So instead of doing that, I shut my eyes for a minute to gather my wits and my patience and my calm voice, and then I said, “Everybody stop, hands on top!” and that attention-getter mostly worked!
This school year has started really well for first grade. I feel a little wary, like it’s the calm before the storm and some major behavior issues are about to go down. But let’s hope this is just how it’s going to be. A little noisy sometimes, but mostly alright.
Once all of the children were out of my classroom I got my lunch (sloppy joes, french fries, and mixed fruit). I ate my lunch in my classroom while Ms Fredi Linda was cleaning and at one time I speared a piece of fruit on my fork and asked her what it was. I have a love-hate relationship with fruit in that when it comes to any one fruit I either love it or hate it. I had been chomping merrily along on the bright yellow pineapple, but this bright yellow fruit looked squishier. So I asked Ms Fredi Linda what it was and because she was across the room she said, “Pina? Mango? Lechoza?” So I took my chances and put it in my mouth and then immediately spit it out because it was a mango and I’m a child.
After lunch I came home even though the power was out (our school has a generator, so when the generator is on at school, I know the power is out at home – I live directly across the street from the school) because I wanted to let Fred out and I also wanted to sit on something more comfortable than my hard desk chair. After a trip to the roof with Fred I lay down on my couch, read for about two minutes, and then fell asleep. When I woke up the power was back on! Hooray! I read some more, got my clean laundry off the roof, and hung out with Fred outside until my tutoring student showed up.
For the past three years I have, in addition to teaching during the school day, tutored various kids in English in the afternoon. It’s a way to meet a need at school and also a way to get some extra cash. Well this year is my first year tutoring a student in Spanish. Our new sixth grade teacher and her family moved down here just a few weeks ago with almost no Spanish. They are brave and I love them. It was kind of odd tutoring Spanish, going back to the basics and the beginnings that I learned 12 years ago. But it was fun.
When our tutoring sesh was over (she came to my house, which makes me love tutoring even more because I don’t have to put on tattoo-covering clothes or get off my couch) I walked Ashley down to meet her dad and then jumped on a moto (motorcycle taxi) to go get myself dinner. There is almost nothing to eat in my apartment (I mean this so literally) and I’m going out of town this weekend (hooray!) so I’m trying to eat as cheaply as possible this week in order to have as much weekend-vacation money as possible. And when you’re eating on a budget in San Pedro and actual nutrition is not a concern, you’re going to a Pica Pollo. Pica Pollos are fried chicken restaurants all over the place. I went to a close one and got a fried chicken breast, a bunch of fries, and a Coke for 100 pesos (that’s about $2.50 USD).
I hopped back on the moto (I asked him to wait for me) and headed back home to watch Ink Master while I shared my dinner with Fred and Daniela (dog and cat, respectively). I’ve been watching Ink Master online and yesterday I started Season 4. It was exciting because I’ve never seen any episodes from that season and because the contestants had to earn their right to compete by tattooing convention style! It was also exciting because of this guy’s face.
I only made it through half of the episode before I had to jet out to watch my student dance at her church’s anniversary celebration! Her mom’s note said it started at 7 but I knew it would start at 7:30 at the earliest because I’ve lived in this country for 3 years and while Dominicans are known for their hospitality and service and rice and cleanliness, they are not known for their punctuality. I definitely contemplated finishing up the episode of Ink Master but then I thought about how my student’s dance would probably be first because she’s young and what if I showed up late and they actually started on time and I missed the one thing I wanted to see?! So I went at 7 and got to sit in an air conditioned church for 45 minutes while the band did sound check.
I had never been to this church before and I didn’t know where it was, so I took the note down to the corner moto stop and showed it to my moto friend Alex, who knew right where it was! On the way to the church I thought about how a couple of years ago I never would’ve dreamed of going to a random church by myself on the back of a motorcycle when I didn’t even know where the church was. Nowadays it’s just another Tuesday night!
My student’s dance was adorable, of course, and the music was phenomenal! I only stayed for about 40 minutes (after it started) because at that point it was 8:30 and I knew there was no way I could stay till the end of the service and still make it back for my 9:30pm bedtime. Plus, let’s be real, I wanted to finish that episode of Ink Master.
After dipping out during one of the songs (which were awesome, but hard to sing along to since I didn’t know them and there were no words on the screen) I walked to a nearby ice cream shop and got me some brownie ice cream. I also got “blue” because if you order two scoops you get to pick two flavors and I love that blue flavor. It’s like Superman and reminds me of childhood trips to Meijer. My ice cream and I hopped on another moto and came home for a couple more trips to the roof (so Fred could pee), a conversation with a neighbor/teacher friend, and the rest of that episode of Ink Master. After all that I still wanted to read for a while (I’m reading The Night Circus and it’s awesome) so I definitely didn’t make my 9:30pm bedtime. Luckily my puppy alarm is relentless and doesn’t ever let me sleep in, no matter how late I stayed up.