The job hunt begins.
Hello there everyone, time for another update.
So this week was sort of a closing week. We had pretty much learned everything we were going to learn the weeks before. We were done reviewing grammar by Wed and everything else was more or less about how to present yourself at a job interview and how to conduct yourself at a job interview.
In any event the certificates were printed by friday, and I'm happy to say I passed, though not with distinction. They told me I would have been a strong canidate for that except that I was sick and missed four days during the course (the course was only 4 weeks long...20 days, and I missed a fifth of them). Thats fine though, my marks were very good in the class and my resume was sent out to about 200 sister companies on friday. I've recieved two emails in response so far of people looking for me to come in and interview, so I have those coming up next week. I'm also going to post online and hopefully make some connections that way (it was after all how I got my apt). Next week will be interview week, and after that--work.
Getting back to yesterday though, my teacher in the class was an american who was very anti-american. He had been taking potshots at America and certain beliefs...specifically those of not socialists... for a long time. Yesterday, funnilly enough, two of us had pretty much had it, and since the degrees had already been printed and we'd all ready been reviewed I think we both felt it was ok to speak up. The comment that push myself and Trip, a georgia boy who is about 25, a little bit over the edge came on the heals of a story about a german in someone's apartment apologizing for the actions of her country sixty years ago. The comment was "well the way we're going, our kids and grandkids will have to apologize for our countries actions too." Think about that...pretty much comparing the US now to nazi germany. Well needless to say that sparked a pretty heavy debate, and I think he was more stunned than anything, he had assumed that we wouldn't react cause we hadn't for the entire course. The conversation turned to wallmart and whether those were a good thing for a local economy or not, and while he maintained it was a naive position to think it was beneficial, he couldn't offer one bit of evidence on how it was detrimental...other than the closing of local buisnesses that provided goods and services at a higher price (and I volunteered that as a negative, not him).
So it was an interesting friday. That afternoon I taught a bunch of intermediates and had some advanced dumped in there too...very diferent levels, but I think I managed to make it work. It was a great class to end on.
Last night the teachers got together and had a celebration at a local restaurant with the meal provided for by EBC. It was a good time with Spanish food. I have some great pictures from the restaurant... its a shame I still can't download them. Afterwords we went to one bar and had a few drinks and danced a little before going to an outside bar where we had a few more drinks and some of our students met up with us! That was fun becuase the tables had turned a little and we all were speaking spanish to them rather than they speaking english to us, but we had a good laugh.
The tentative alliance between Trip and I, though, was crushed in a discussion that we had with one of the spaniards about which state was better. Despite being in a foreign country, we felt comfortable enough to joke about a little sectionalism and he talked about how much better and more homely Georgia was. I told him, great you have a warm ocean and more homely people down in Georgia...New York has everything else and we all laughed. Then the spaniard said in Spanish, well isn't New York the better state because Georgia was a rebel state and they lost. I looked at trip and we both laughed and I was like, "ohh hell, I didn't say it" It was pretty funny in any event.
Later we all went to Capital which is the biggest dance club in Spain, 7 floors and very expensive. Again it was a pretty good time, we ended up being out till about 5:30. I wanted to leave earlier, but the students were telling me thats not how you party in Madrid, you have to stay out all night long. In any event it was a good time and things are going well here.
Katrina and other political thoughts (liberals turn back now)
I'd like to just mention a few things about Katrina and whats going on in New Orleans as well. You all know I always have an opinion about everything and you would all know it if I were there. I would like to think I have a unique perspective on things because I'm a little more removed from the situation and am seeing it as a Spaniard sees the event, but in actuality I get most of my information from cnn.com and other american news sources. Spaniards for the most part seem surprisingly unaffected or unmoved by the events in New Orleans.
In fact I was reading "El Mundo" a leftist newspaper here in Spain and their view was very unsympathetic. In the op-ed part of the paper they had two cartoons. One as Bush with an EEUU (USA) label on his shirt, dressed like God and meddling in world affairs. The next one had him, still dressed like that, running away from a huge storm. Another one had a picture of a large woman called mother nature taking a huge bite out of the south of the United States.
I don't know, I was pretty disgusted by images like this. You certainly didn't see sort of thing when the tsunami hit souteast asia and cartoons and editorials like this are politically motivated. I had half a mind to write a scorching letter to the editor, but I figured I wouldn't give them the time of day. There is a reason they aren't the biggest newspaper in Spain. I just felt disgusted...
As disgusted as I felt when I saw the images and read the articles of the mayham that New Orleans has fallen into. For starters these people had 72 hours to evacuate. They were BEGGING people to get on busses to get out of the city and people refused to leave. They are singing quite a diferent tune now. CNN did a great job of showing a video of someone refusing to leave before the hurricane and begging to be evacuated afterwords. What really sickens me were the reports yesterday of looting of not just food (again, wallmart was wondeful, in addition to donating millions of dollars of aid, they opened their doors to all their stores in New Orleans and said to take what they had) but jewlrey and electronics as well. Police were holed up in their police stations fighting off armed gangs. People were being attacked and raped walking on the streets and there were even stories of rapes inside the superdome. I'm just sickened and saddened by this turn of events. I would have liked to have thought that Americans and people struck by a disaster such as this would have unified in the face of such an event (like New Yorkers during 9-11 and the black out) but it really is mayhem down there.
I also noticed it hasn't taken long for the anti-americans to start criticizing bush's handling of the situation. Again, it would seem to me that people should pull together to deal with this problem and then talk about how it was or wasn't handled afterwords. It seems though, every event that happens now adays is an oppurtunity to attack bush and his policies...even when we should be unified in such a disaster. No question of race had yet been brought up in Spain, but already it has been raised in CNN.com. I suppose I should be amazed that we managed to make it this long before some of the elites noticed that the majority of the people in the pictures are black. CNN has also mentioned how many warning signs were ignored before the hurricane and how Bush should have seen something like this coming... It just saddens me I suppose that its come to this in the States... and it saddens me that the stories of heroism are overshaddowed by those of looters. I just wonder what the response would have been if Clinton had been president over an event like this. (The liberal response would be, "it wouldn't have happened if he had been president." Wrap your brain around that one for a while. )
Also has anyone noticed how large some of these people in these pictures are? It seems to me maybe a few of them ought to go a few days without eating.
Ok ok, that last one was a little mean and maybe uncalled for, but slightly true. I was just surprised at how large some of these people are in the pictures I've been seeing.
Thats enough for now I think. I just thought I'd share some of my thoughts on whats going on in New Orleans right now. They as well as the rest of you continue to be in my thoughts and my prayers. Please drop me an email and let me know how you all are doing.