Monday, February 22, 2010

Dani, 3rd grade's "bad boy" (cute glam shorthand for "unparented neglected and probably hit kid with lots of aggression and no attention span") (who I think has made a lot of progress this year, what with special tutoring etc., and the first time he raised his hand to answer a question I nearly cried, and since then he has paid more and more attention in class, although his contributions are usually shouted word-associations)(also he has a rattail and laughs "ha-ha" like the simpson's bully) drew me a picture.

Pictured: two blue clouds snowing on a centerpage mountain with a brown peak. A sun shies away from the clouds, openmouthed. The mountain says "R" (scribbled out) (ha, was it originally for the other teacher's assistant? Her name starts with "R") and "Para Soufi." Spongebob stands front and center, proffering hugs. To the right, in a sheer skirt and either yellow boots with striped tops or green pants with striped bottoms, I am climbing the mountain.

Do you remember how long it took to draw those "snow" pictures when you were in school? I remember the snowflakes getting bigger and bigger as I went along. Dani's are pretty even, but they don't reach the bottom of the page.

Also, can you tell? Spongebob's legs were erased and redrawn. My striped cuffs are six-tone. Kid worked on this. He put it on the teacher's desk as soon as he got in (tardy) and spent about half the class trying to signal that it was for me, then that I should open it. (Dani is about the only student in the school who hasn't figured out that I understand Spanish). After class I squatted by his desk and opened it, and he hid his face. Waaaaaaaah.


(Also it's funny that in all of 3rd grade it's the two most difficult students, I mean the two I have actually yelled at, who have drawn me pictures) (And who both think I am named Soufi).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

She came! And noticed things I'd never, like how the Madrid gov is hip to graywater and doesn't waste freshwater on it's public lawns nor streets. I'd only ever whined about how wastefully often the streets in the center are hosed down.

And noticed, on her own, things I had once noticed, but since forgotten. Like the extraordinary giant in the Cathedral of Toledo. When I went to the Cathedral, as a student, I had thought the giant mural represented Goliath (he being the only biblical huge guy I knew of) (is the respectful term for giants "big people"?) but was laughed at by a friend from these parts, who explained that the dude was lucky, a Saint whose image conferred blessings, and therefore was often represented out of scale for extravisibility. The internet just says it's Saint Christopher; apparently he was very big. Who knows!

There's old Cristobal. I think he's especially striking in person because HIS person is the entirety of the fresco. No background, yknow?

Ms. Aunt Darling also enjoyed and photographed many of my favorite places and people in Madrid, luckily for both of us:

The Reina SofĂ­a extension entrance.

A charming fachada near my neighbourhood.

My Swedes, at their goodbye party, in a beautiful ancient bar.

Post-prandial silliness with my housemates.

And the same with Lolin! Who, along with all my friends/Spain, was very taken with my beautiful aunt.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Explaining "As much use as a chocolate fireguard" to an adult student:

"So a fireguard is a little iron wall, and you put it in front of the fire for safety. So the children can't get near."

-"Aaah, yes, I know.

"So, how useful is a chocolate fireguard?"

-"Not useful!"

"Good! And why not?" (I want to see if he knows the word "melt.")

-"It is not useful! The children will eat it!"