Monday, October 4, 2010

"shrimp and grits." "y'all." "Johnny Cash."

These were the important terms I wound up writing on the boards today in my various classes. As it turns out, you can take the girl out of the south, but then she gets approximately 700% more southern. I spoke to about 6 classes today and introduced myself, and when you're supposed to introduce yourself and your culture, it's hard not to become a bit of a cliche of your own region.

Other highlights:

One of my coworkers at the school is also new and she is super friendly and she invited me to her village and to go see an Athletic game with her (her brother is a socio and can hook us up with tickets). Awesome!

The student (a girl) who asked me, "do you like Basque boys?" This was in the most out-of-control of my classes and by far the most hilarious.

The class that got way more entertainment looking for all the Springfields on my US map than I would have ever dreamed possible.

The roller coaster of excitement and confusion that is Basque school. All the professors speak to each other almost exclusively in Euskera, which as it turns out is pretty intimidating. But then, I have short conversations with people and it feels like the biggest accomplishment ever. "Good morning," I say. "Good morning," they reply. Sometimes I say "Hi," and they say "Hello." Most impressively, yesterday I asked the lady at the front desk, "where is Esteban?" She told me in Spanish, but I still felt pretty good about it. I think I'm going to take it to the next level tomorrow and ask "where is Esteban, please?"

Anyway, next week I am planning to do music activities with my classes. My higher-level classes are all getting Johnny Cash day. A selection of the vocabulary I will be teaching them from "A Boy Named Sue": booze, ain't, honky-tonk, stud, cuss, saloon, gouging.

Euskera of the day:
Esteban non dago, mesedez? "Where is Esteban, please?"

1 comment:

  1. More Southern culture you can share with your students (with pronunciation tips):

    Fried okra (pronounced OH-kree)
    Pawn ("Paw-uhn") shops that double as laundromats and bait shops
    Snuff - "Just a peench between yer cheek 'n' gums!"
    bass boats - and, of course, Billy Bass (BEE-ull-eee BIE-uhs)