Thursday, April 30, 2009

---> It's how I roll

Yesterday, my host mum called me into her room. So I paused writing my speech in Spanish on Vladimir Bechterev, ran downstairs to my host parents' room, and looked at what was happening on TV.
The National Anthem for Chile was playing, along with video clips from all around Chile. But it wasn't just playing on once channel, every single channel had the national anthem on it. This was because the president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, was about to speak. And guess wat she spoke about? The Porcine Flu. Which currently, up to my knowledge, isn't in Chile, but it's pretty close, because now Peru has it. So stay safe everyone.

What also happened yesterday is I made a complete goofball out of myself in my Theory (of Music) class. We were in the Audiovisual room (eg, the room with the projector), to watch a powerpoint and youtube videos of Arabic music. I was sitting on a chair, so were my friends, and some were on the floor (carpet, in there!) and so we were all spread about, and pretty relaxed because it was the last class of the day. So we're all sitting there, and the teacher is playing Arabic music, so me and my friends bust out the gangster as dance moves while sitting down - you know the ones, like the Indian one, when you clasp your hands above your head and move your head, and then I busted out the Sprinkler as well (one hand on ear, other stretched out in front and moving to the side to the beat of the music). Obviously I must have been busting out some pretty mean moves, because the next thing I hear, is practically the WHOLE ENTIRE CLASS chanting 'Anita! Anita! Anita! Baile! Baile! Baile!' (dance). And guess what? The exchange student turned bright red. And they didn't just say my name three times and the word dance three times, it went on for quite a while, and included the English version on 'Baile'. So I couldn't feign not understanding that time. 

That embarrassing moment eclipsed the time I was walking past my classroom, and did a double take, then carried on walking ahead, while looking back, and walked into the fire hose. Aren't I cool?

Aside from that little bit of excitement, this week has probably been one of the more stressful weeks for me in Chile, mainly thanks to a man that wears apple-green striped polo shirts, tucked into blue jeans, with brown leather shoes, black framed glasses, a gold necklace of the Crucifiction, has a round face and brown hair brushed to the side. Mr FilosofĂ­a Teacher. Who I swear has it in for every student in the school. On Monday, me, along with my group consisting of Juan Pablo and Sebastian, were supposed to present about Psicologia Reflexologia Rusa (Soviet Reflexology Psychology), but we hadn't started (having only been given the task the previous Thursday, and me being sick, not having a cellphone, etc, we hadn't been able to work on it.) So on Monday he called me up to see him, and said in Spanish, in a mean way, why I (yup, just me) hadn't done the work . . . And to be honest, I had no idea what we had to do, since (Welcome To Chile, Anita), all classes are taught in Spanish. So I spent the next few days researching the topic, which was VERY hard to do, even in English, and living in fear of this horrible monster. On Wednesday, after school, Juan Pablo, Sebastian and I met and since the school has no computers students can use, we went to the public library, where there were no books on the topic, but luckily managed to plan our presentation, so I went home and wrote a talk in Spanish about Bechterev.
One of the reasons why I was so scared of the teacher is that, the girls that did present their project, did so with a Powerpoint presentation, and were wearing formal uniform, and did what I thought was a brilliant job of it. Then the teacher basically critized the beep out of it. And my group couldn't do a powerpoint, not to mention lack of information about the topic.
Today was the day we presented it, and well . . . we did our best. We wrote key point on sheets of paper, Juan Pablo presented his information by heart, Sebastian . . . well, read straight from the sheet of paper in a low voice (but he can't help being shy!) and I said the introduction and my bit about Bechterev. Then came the critiquing time. Which I'm sure went very well for the teacher, but that means it didn't go well for us. The thing was, I absolutely love my class, they may be a bit crazier than classes in New Zealand, but I think part of the critiquing was quite unfair (that I could understand, because I had researched a lot of information, and not been able to translate it, and the other information in Spanish, not been able to understand the ideas, only some words). But one girl got angry and the teacher, and I'm pretty sure she was standing up for me, because I understood the words '2 months', and I have been here for that long. But still, talking in a raised voice at a teacher probably isn't the best way to go about things, especially when he was telling her to be quiet. So she got up and left the room. Then about five more people did the same. Then the inspector came. And after school I saw those people come out of the office, and the girls were crying. I'm not quite sure exactly what happened, but it was a very dramatic day. But I still said 'Hola, Profe' to the teacher when I passed him on the way to the English Conversation. 

The English Conversation was . . . well, a conversation in English. My school is public, and we have two Californians volunteering as part of a government programme to teach English. They're married (to each other), young, and are here for about 6 months. A friend from my class asked if I'd like to go along, so I did, and there were three of my classmate there, and another girl from a lower class. We introduced ourselves, and talked about what we like and don't like. Jason and Anna, the gringos, basically organised it to help the students who want to get better at English. I must say I was rathered challenged, but I think I did okay. . . It was actually really fun, and I had a chance to get out my panoramic postcard that my aunt gave me, which is a view of my town in New Zealand, and everyone was awed by the beauty of my town (so I think I boosted the tourism there too, because the gringos said they wanted to visit), and after we talked about food. And it was good to speak english again, and know not only the words, but manner of saying them, is being understood (by the gringos though). You do miss being sure of how you communicate.

Every Tuesday and Friday, I have band practice. And unlike my band in New Zealand, I play in a marching band here. Although the music is a lot easier, I have to learn 4 pieces by memory. the first time we went outside to practice playing our instruments while walking in form, all the music went out of my head, because I had to concentrate on making sure I was walking with the correct foot at the correct time. And we walked round and round the courtyard. Which was different. Not to mention, I'm in the first line. But I'm getting used to it now, just have to learn the pieces better.

I'm enjoying having flute lessons here. My flute teacher is really nice, and especially in my first few weeks here, I looked forward to the lessons, because music at least is an international language (although the notes are called Doh-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Te, not A B C D E F G). But last week, which I don't think I played too well because I was still suffering the aftershocks of the migraine I had last Tuesday, while I was packing away my flute, my teacher said to me 'Your grade, Anita. Six point eight.' And I thought . . . what? my grade? in a flute lesson? so I said "My grade?" And he said, "This week was a test". So I thought "Oh." Luckily, a 6.8 out of seven is actually a high grade, one of the highest that the flute students got, so I was quite happy. Unlike in English, when I got a 6.6, only because the two questions I got wrong, were badly written questions. 

Here's some photos of me and my friends at school. 
Me, Andrea and Eileen

Erica and I

By the way, do leave a comment! I do read them, although I might not reply to them (limited time, my friends). But it is rather discouraging to go to the effort to write a blog, if nobody is going to leave a little comment of feedback, or just a little comment. You don't need to have an account to do so, just click the 'anonymous' button. I swear I will turn emo if I do not get at least 2 comments on this post. 

7 comments:

Kelly said...

HEY ANITA! Loyal follower here! I really like your blog! I am estadounidense (I like that word because we don't have a word for United-States-ian in English) and I really want to go to Chile (or maybe Peru) in a year, applying this Agosto. I love hearing about the AFS experience and all the ups and downs of living in Chile. Don't stop the blogging, please (if Chile makes you emo I don't want to go!)

Emily said...

Hi Anita :)
I've spent practically my entire morning reading your blog (instead of working on my homework) about Chile. Its very interesting to read about the challenges you face and the experiences you enjoy. I'm considering going to Chile or another Spanish-speaking country and have found your blog to be very helpful in giving me an idea about what to expect. Keep blogging.. I'm excited to see your journey continue.

claire said...

Hi Anita,
I hadn't read this when you "Skype'd" thismorning! I would have been looking more closely to check for any signs of "emoism"! By the way,
Cam Murray (from AFS) very impressed with your blog. Love. Mum.

Lauren said...

Hey, Im Lauren Smith, you must know my sister, Ashleigh Smith whos in Chile at the moment. Definately dont stop writing your blog, it really interesting to read! sounds like your going really well, especially doing presentations in spanish already! I remember on my exchange I had to do a presentation in Phyisks, the words were really hard, and I remember I had to do it twice because the teacher couldnt understand me! not quite as big a drama as you had tho.

Lauren said...

Hey, Im Lauren Smith, you must know my sister, Ashleigh Smith whos in Chile at the moment. Definately dont stop writing your blog, it really interesting to read! sounds like your going really well, especially doing presentations in spanish already! I remember on my exchange I had to do a presentation in Phyisks, the words were really hard, and I remember I had to do it twice because the teacher couldnt understand me! not quite as big a drama as you had tho.

Lauren said...

Hey, Im Lauren Smith, you must know my sister, Ashleigh Smith whos in Chile at the moment. Definately dont stop writing your blog, it really interesting to read! sounds like your going really well, especially doing presentations in spanish already! I remember on my exchange I had to do a presentation in Phyisks, the words were really hard, and I remember I had to do it twice because the teacher couldnt understand me! not quite as big a drama as you had tho.

Anita said...

Today is a happy day for me -6 comments haha.

Thanks everyone for commenting! I'm not going to turn emo in a corner anytime soon, actually at school my friends call me the 'Kiwi Loca' (crazy kiwi). I have no idea why, I'm perfectly sane. I think.

But it is nice to know who's reading it as well . . . cough cough my friends who better have a LOT of homework and internals or otherwise are not special letters . . .

Lauren, I do happen to know Ashleigh, all the way down in Punta Arenas... one of my best AFS friends here, too. I hope you know her marriage plans . . .

Thanks everyone! Chau!!!