Thursday, June 16, 2011

Days 14-16

Wow our third week here in Spain has been flying by. We had a test on Tuesday so Monday we walked through la Alameda after classes and relaxed on the lawn to study. This test was a killer. I was so nervous about it but I think I did alright. We haven't gotten our results back yet. 

Tuesday after the test we experienced Segovia pizza. Yuck! It tasted like really bad Dominos pizza. (and we all know that's not the best pizza out there) We watched the movie Pan's Labyrinth on a beautiful day which was sad because I like to enjoy the nice days out. 
Wednesday came and we were able to sit in a third grade classroom and watch them learn the subject and predicate in sentences. I was so happy to be in this class it made me smile so big. The schools here are different from home. First off we went to a public school. There are a lot of posters on the wall with fruits and what is considered a healthy breakfast. They motivate the children to run around an play along with eating right. The teachers switch classes so not one teacher teaches multiple subjects. They learn english in school too. The classrooms are pretty bare (as far as student work goes) compared to the ones I've seen and I noticed there are no books/ libraries in the classrooms. Maybe they have a large one for the entire school. The teachers are pretty strict and straight forward; there is no sugarcoating anything. If you are wrong they will tell you in front of the class, no shame. The classes are taught based on direct instruction and memorization. No critical thinking to be found.

After the school visit we went to our last class of the day and then off to visit the Gothic Cathedral in the Plaza Mayor. It was very pretty inside and so much detail. I'm sorry that a lot of these places forbid picture taking. But I try to get what I can.
My experience with a blues/jazz band on this night was awesome! I was really happy to have gone and it broadened my music listening a little more. I went with Robert and Dr. McCarthy to see John Mayall en el Teatro de Juan Bravo. He is probably about 70 yrs old and plays a mean harmonica and keyboard while getting a few lyrics in there. It was a good time all around. 


I watched part of an eclipse that night from my terraza... not as fun alone though



  1. Cool pics Christina.

    About the teaching, do you think it is better? I think the students are probably more disciplined and respectful (and definitely in better shape since it's not so sedentary!). But, the critical thinking part is troubling. I have international student friends (from Asia not Europe so slightly different) but they also were not encouraged to develop critical thinking, so they don't really challenge what they are taught in the books. They never learn how to apply.
    But you can learn that...i guess eventually.

    Keep posting (when you can), the pics are amazing to see :)

  2. I agree. The students are definitely more disciplined and respectful. They teach: "this is a fact and nothing more." no application needed. Like I said nothing is sugar coated and I think that's a good thing in a way but I'm an out of the box thinker so I'm not sure how I would survive in a school in Spain! They aren't challenged but they actually need to work hard to get good grades here not like in the states!