Fin del Curso


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.”


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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

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