All of the sudden, I’m tearing another page off the calendar in my room (and, yes, it’s a really Spanish one with the Virgin de la Esperanza that I got at Las Golondrinas and includes the names of the saint days. TOMA. I am practically half Spanish).
I can’t believe it’s May already. Last year I was doing a lot more traveling, going out till all hours of the morning, and the time passed quickly. Clearly. But this year, I don’t know how the time has flown by . I consider myself fortunate enough to be here in Spain for three more months, but the uncertainty of next year is giving me that hurried feeling I get when things wind down.
There’s a saying in Spain: “Las cosas del palacio van despacio” which pretty much means that beauracracy really slows things down here. I know this all too well, as do Spaniards, and the province of Sevilla has a bad reputation for tardaring even más. I’m still waiting to hear whether or not I get a grant to teach again, then apparently I have to wait for a school assignment. Fine, but my documents expire in mid-June, and they need to be renewed before I leave the country or else I need to get a new visa in Chicago this summer, which pretty much guarantees I can’t start the school year on time in October. Vaya tela.
Today I got that feeling that things are quickly coming to an end. I stayed late at school this afternoon to go to Convivencia, which is pretty much like team-building and learning how to be a good citizen. We started with a two-hour lunch of tortilla, chachinas, fresones, queso fresco, ensaladillas and other goodies. I realized how much I would miss not working at Heliche next year – surely no one would welcome me to school every morning by calling me a bug like Emilio does (or a variation of “Hola, mediobicho/gato/saborilla!”).
It’s funny – I’m not a real teacher, but I have my own mailbox and pin to the copy machine. I’ve been at the school now two school years, which is more than a significant number of my compis. I know high schools change drastically every year, but I feel much more a part of that school than ever. I write the consejeria funny notes when I send kids down for chalk, Felisabel tailored my flamenco dress, and I eat lunch at Nieves’s house every so often. Sure, I’d miss my students, but I would really extrañar my coworkers and their dirty jokes.
One of my bilingual students, Irene, asked me today in art class if I would be sticking around next year. I said most likely, and that I wanted to. She said, “I hope so. We’d probably get someone who isn’t as funny and nice as you.”