Stressful Birthday Week!

Posted on 30/04/2012


First of all, I’m still not an aunt, and am beginning to get impatient waiting on this little booger to get here 😉

However, in other news…

This past week has been a bit hectic, between classes, picking up Easter & birthday boxes from home, dealing with my stomach issues that have resurfaced, and having to work all day Saturday at the university. Even so, I had a great birthday–I got a wonderful birthday box from my family, my students sang to me and gave me candies, and my co-workers smothered me with hugs and felicitaciones. And, although I wasn’t actually able to eat birthday cake, because of my digestive issues, I am totally excited about baking my Funfetti cake in the next week or two 🙂

birthday goodies

I’ve also been thoroughly enjoying my early birthday present from Ele–a Canon printer for my office!! Eee! Life in the office is so much easier with my new buddy:

On top of a crazy week, my co-worker, Doug, and I had to work at the Uni all day on Saturday. It wasn’t  SO bad, because I got to spend 2 hours talking to students about Alabama football this morning, and they are all now proud members of the Roll Tide Nation and know how to use “roll tide.” I dis this presentation as part of a program here at el Instituto de Idiomas called “Agenda Cultural” (Cultural Agenda). It is designed to offer students the chance to learn about different aspects of the langauge professors’ home cultures. Each semester, each professor is asked to do approximately 2 presentations about the topic of their choice that in some way deals with culture. I have done presentations in the past on “Southern Culture through Southern Music” and a short discussion on Southern culture after having students watch part of “Sweet Home Alabama.” My presentations generally focus on the South, and students seem to find what I talk about interesting 🙂

“The Alabama Football Phenomenon” presentation I gave today

After eating some pumpkin soup with chicken and rice, I spent the rest of my afternoon giving the TOEFL ITP to our outgoing students (students that have finished all 8 levels of their English courses). This is different from the TOEFL exam students use to get in to undergraduate; graduate programs in the States. The TOEFL ITP is basically used to assess students’ learning throughout the course of their English studies at el Instituto de Idiomas–they take it when they begin studying and when they finish.

After the TOEFL, Ele and I went to Buenavista to see the new Denzel Washington movie, Safe House. It was good, but we assumed it was more on drama/suspense and it turned out to be more action based. It did, though, keep us on the edge of our seats 🙂 We’re thinking of going to see another movie this week called Villa Amalia; it’s more of a cine-art movie and plays at a smaller, non-mainstream theatre. I’ll let you know how that one turns out…

Sunday, Ele and I went to check out a new department store that opened here in Barranquilla called Falabella. It’s a Chilean store very similar to something like Belk’s or Macy’s back home. We’re super pumped to have it here. We were stoked to find out they carry an English brand called Accesorize that we love:

The main reason for our “shopping” adventure was to try and find me some new pants. This is now a 2 week long failed mission. For some reason all the pants I’ve been able to find here are two small to fit over my calf muscles 😦 I wouldn’t be so worried, but Ele and I are traveling to Bogotá for the second 3-day weekend in May (18-22), and in Bogotá it can be quite chilly. Seeing as how I only have 2 pair of pants here with me (I don’t often wear pants here because it’s too hot), I would really like another pair… Hopefully, this week I’ll luck up and find some 😉

Today (Monday), has also been a bit crazy–my day started with a belated surprise birthday party from my level VII students 🙂

And continued with oral exams for my Content levels–they had formal debates on controversial issues, and now I am finishing up a weekly conversation club where we look at medical vocabulary in Grey’s Anatomy. While I love Grey’s and like using it to teach English, only one student shows up for these weekly meetings, so I am a bit demotivated. Oh well. Next semester I’ll pick a more enticing subject for my conversation group! FYI-conversation clubs are also another way el Instituto de Idiomas tries to allow students to immerse themselves in English outside the classroom. Each professor chooses a different topic for his/her club and ten students can sign up according to their individual interests.

After my conversation club, I am looking forward to some quality time at the gym to de-stress and even more looking forward to a day off from work tomorrow–the Colombian version of Labor Day is celebrated on May 1 🙂

Until next time…


Posted in: Colombia