I taught my first class this morning and just as it has been the first two years, I think to myself "I can't believe I get paid for this." Every morning, I get ready while it is still a little dark then head out in the early light and walk down hill past colorful houses with curling wrought-iron balconies that are full of plants. I hit the main plaza and stop to get a tea* at OXXO, a convenience store (and new way to sign letters for my friends who also know OXXO) and head back up hill to the campus. The walk is through a series of tiny alleys (callejones) and steps built into the pathways. My U.S. brain wonders about folks who use wheelchairs or baby strollers and then I refocus because the guanajautenses have always gotten along just fine without my meddling, thank you very much. I continue up the stairs and through the gate into campus patio and up to the second floor where I teach. This summer, I have 17 high school teachers from the Northwest, the Midwest, California, and even the Bahamas. During class, we analyze language teaching, language learning, theories, practices, all the things that I enjoy. Two hours fly by quickly, at least for me.
After class, I'll either have an empanada from the campus stand and sit in the patio or I'll head to a favorite cafe or tea shop. My favorite cafe from last year has relocated into an old house and each room is unique. My favorite tea shop is smaller, with shelves of books all around to browse, trade for, or purchase. Their tea list is great, they have a nice lunch menu, and you can buy things to go like kilos of Mennonite cheese or soy burgers. At these cozy establishments, I grade any homework that has come in, re-read the articles for class, and prepare my lesson. Then I might go to lunch somewhere and the afternoon is dedicated to article revisions and preparing a conference presentation. That and some blogging and other social media including the old fashioned email.
In the evenings, I cook, go out, or get take-out. The menu options here are quite affordable and economical. I check email again, wifi permitting, do a little reading, watch the news in Spanish, shower, talk to Austin, and go to bed early.
*Getting a tea at OXXO means I didn't get the stove to cooperate to make my own in my lovely kitchen.