Something fishy…I mean swiney

As the midway point of camp arrived, all of my students were getting lethargic. During the day, they have absolutely free time to rest or realx…it´s class, lunch, buses to activities, showers, dinner, parties, bed. But of course sending kids to bed at 11pm doesn´t mean they won´t stay up late talking to their friends or texting their boyfriends. Every morning this week, the kids have looked more tired and more bored with class.

For this reason, I devised a gigantic camp newspaper project to keep them interested. We had to study reported speech and expressing opinions on the grammar side with a study of headlines and oral news reading, so I split the kids into groups according to interests and we devised a masthead (Forenews) and article ideas, identified sources and wrote questions, and then I tracked down all the sources and they came to my class (some with a translator so the kids would be forced to speak in English!) In reading over the transcripts, I was impressed with their enthusiasm and great questions, and was looking forward to reading the investigative piece about who wrote on a bus seat and seeing the pictures my students took at various parties.

Then, the biggest story of camp broke: SWINE FLU CONFIRMED AT LANGUAGE CAMP. Yes, my friends, all those sick kids were coming down with nasty colds and coughs and flus and there has been at least one case of swine flu. The sickest children were contained and isolated, all the kids have been tested and monitored, and we, as teachers, are responsible for reminding them to wash their hands and not be smooching all over the place. The press is stalking, waiting at the bottom of the driveway and parents have been coming for their kids from all over Spain – resulting in a mass exodus from the camp. Yesterday I had 15 students, today 12 and Monday I´ll have just four. I understand the parent concern of so many kids with such a strange disease that has been fatal, but I think the camp is doing the best it can to continue classes and meet super high health standards. I had a monitor test my temperature and got a good report, and I´ve just been tired from going out and not sleeping so much.

I’ve got just a few more days in A Coruña. Tomorrow is parents day, so were recommended to not go out I don´t want to be tired anymore, so we´re ordering pizza and the monitors are hosting a Feria de Sevilla night for the kids. I´ve been told I have to come help teach Sevillanas to the kids, and they’re going to make me a traje de flamenco. Hope it will be fun…then off to Santiago de Compostela for the day mañana!

I can´t believe I´ll be back stateside in a week…Eleven months is a loooong, long time! Hasta la pastaaaaa. I´ll post pics of camp and my kids and los teachers soon! maybe once my computer isn´t broken…oh life.

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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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