June 14, 2017
This blog is a bit late again…oops! The primary cause of my tardiness can be traced to the fact that as of last Friday (5 days ago) the wifi in my apartment building broke. And although we were told it would be fixed that same night, it still remains broken. This is not completely bad though. Yes, it prevents me from contacting my family, writing my blogs, and sharing my adventures on social media, but it also forces me to live in the moment and really take in my surroundings. Thanks to this wifi mishap, I have spent more time exploring the city and neighboring areas, and I’m more invested in observing my surroundings instead of being consumed by social media. Luckily I was able to connect to the wifi at the school where I work, so I am able to use the internet for a brief amount of time while working to do my more time-sensitive tasks (like contacting my family and finally writing this blog)
This past week and a half has been quite exciting. I’ve finally gotten the hang of things at work and feel a lot more confident approaching students and starting conversations with them. The other day I even had a three hour conversation with a student completely in French! I still feel like I need more practice though, so I am definitely trying to speak as much as I can. Sometimes I feel a bit insecure about my speaking skills and my accent, but I know I should not let that prevent me from talking, or else I will never improve. Usually in times like these I like to imagine myself speaking with someone who’s learning English. I remind myself that when I’m talking with a non-native speaker I am very patient and understanding with them, and I feel that a lot of the students that I speak with feel the same way towards me.
Besides speaking with students, I’ve participated in other activities at work such as singing and dancing, playing games, and just helping to create a fun atmosphere. They’ve also given me different tasks to do to change things up. I have facilitated and proctored exams, checked students in, and helped them find where they need to go.
Something I wish could be different is being able to see the students I meet again. Essentially, these students come from all over the country to take an entrance exam with the hope of being accepted to this school. I start conversations with them to help them be less nervous, but when they go to take their exams I never see them again. I have had some pretty engaging conversations with many students that would have been nice to continue.
Lastly, I’ve attached some videos of work and the city: