Hello everyone! This post is a few days late, but here is what I did last week! Last week was Music Week at the school, which meant that everyday there was a different concert or performance going on, from teacher’s karaoke to a rock concert at the end of the week. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to find myself a violin just yet, and because I only found out about Music Week on the Friday when I went to the music workshop with Filipo, I wasn’t as involved as I would have liked to have been. Regardless, I had a really fun time watching all the different performances!
Here’s a rundown (in Spanish) of what Music Week consisted of, though, Filipo told Angie and I that the poster was riddled with mistakes so it’s not entirely accurate!
It’s finally light in the mornings when we arrive at school! Well, semi-light: the sun is rising when we get there. It definitely feels a lot nicer getting there when it’s not pitch black, like when we first started in August, and it makes for some beautiful skies that we can see from the balcony.
In our workshops this week, Emily and I have been focusing on the exam questions the children are going to have to answer in their aural exam. This meant going through sets of photos to find the odd one out with the students, and understanding ‘why’ and ‘because’. Emily and I are constantly astounded by how much they’re expected to know, as they have to explain why one photo is the odd one out in English.
We were also looking at the actual questions they will be asked, incorporating it into a game called ‘Bam!’ which I found on Pinterest earlier (thank god for Pinterest honestly).
Music Week began with the teacher’s karaoke. Often when the music department want to perform something, they set up a wooden stage in what could be described as the courtyard, so that the older children can watch from the balconies and the younger children can watch in the courtyard. We didn’t get to see to many teachers perform, but it was a lot of fun!
The initial stages of The Voice competition also took place on Monday, but we didn’t go and see them.
On Tuesday we carried on with our workshops. Today was the day of concerts for the band I watched practice. I actually ended up going to two, one in the morning with Pre-kinder and kindergarten (I got lots of hugs during that concert), and another one in the afternoon when Emily came with me and the parents were invited to watch their children perform.
The group performed the theme tune of ‘Gravity Falls’ (the 3rd grade students in the last concert were all singing along and it was possibly the sweetest thing I’ve seen), and an old 70s German disco song (I still can’t remember the name). They all did so well and I’m so proud of them all. Below is a video of the second concert I went to (only because I recorded the whole of the song), I hope it works!placeholder://
On Wednesday afternoon we went to watch the orchestra perform with 4°B. It was generally calm, but I had been put in charge of two students who had fallen over and needed to go to the nurse’s office. Unfortunately, Mónica (who is the school nurse) was on her lunch break so after about 10 minutes of sitting with the children (who were feeling a lot better and laughing), we all walked back to the sports hall to watch the orchestra play.
The orchestra at school is mainly made up of strings (the 1st and 2nd violin sections probably outnumber the rest of the members), but there was a flautist and a pianist too. They played one song which I hadn’t heard before, and another one that they played when I went with them a few weeks earlier.
After watching them play, Angie invited Emily and I to the last bit of her class with 3°A, who we hadn’t met before. They were the first class that were able to say my name properly the first time! We had a lot of fun asking each other questions that they had been practising (‘how often do you dream of spiders?’) and it’s always a joy to watch their faces of approval when you tell them your favourite animal is a dog, or see them ecstatic that you have the same favourite colour as them.
I feel like I need to write a post about all the dogs I see during the day, because on the way home on Wednesday Emily and I watched a dog get on the bus and just curl up under a seat (I don’t think he swiped his Bip card though…)
This was the best photo I could get without disturbing him.
On Thursday, we didn’t have any workshops as Angie wanted to work with the whole class, so our main event on Thursday was watching The Voice final in the sports hall. There were a wide range of acts, from a Rock band to a 5th grader singing folk songs (he was incredible). This as also our first time around the older years (we generally only work with children from octavo and younger, so 4-14 year olds), which was a bit daunting at first – we ended up sitting with some 5th graders so that we were in familiar territory!
This was the rock band that performed first. It was really nice to see that the majority of the students were really supportive of their peers.
It was also back to the (literal) drawing board for me, as I was tasked with making instruction posters for the 4th grade classrooms, since their English exams were the following week. The photos were taken by Angie, who is very into photography, so they look a lot better than my normal ones!
On Friday we were back to our normal workshops, and we had our best workshop of the week with a group of boys from 4°B. They really got into the game and it was a lot of fun to work with them.
In the evening I went to a trampoline park with Lindsay, Max, Lindsay’s younger cousin Connie (who is in 6th grade at Undurraga), and Max’s friend Nicolas. While exhausting (we were all flopped over trampolines at some point in the evening) it was a lot of fun! Lindsay also told Nicolas that I knew ‘un poco’, a little, Spanish. While this still is small, she used to say that I knew ‘un poquito’, a tiny bit (of Spanish), so I think I’m improving. I also managed to have a proper conversation with Nicolas too, which was really nice (he knows quite a bit of English but didn’t really use it). After we walked Nicolas to the bus stop, we all walked home. Walking home was the first time I’ve properly felt that this was my neighbourhood, so I guess that means I’m finally settled here in Quilicura. I think it helped that we actually walked around more so I got a better idea of how the area is laid out and where things are in relation to our house.
On Saturday morning, after the exhausting evening and late night for both of us, we were woken up by someone cutting the grass at around 8am. This pretty much set the scene for the rest of the day, as we didn’t really do anything aside from sleep. Monica’s parents came to the house for lunch, but aside from that it was a very uneventful day. What their visit has reminded me is that I am determined to be able to understand Monica’s father, as currently I can only understand a few words he says. This is one of my goals for the year!
While still relaxed, Sunday was a bit more eventful. The people in Chile love a party, and so most weekends you can hear music (both traditional Chilean and English) playing from at least two houses in the community. As such, we didn’t get much sleep during the night so Breakfast was a bit later than normal.
On Sunday, Emily and I decided that we would cook lunch for Mónica and Miguel (Lindsay had gone to Max’s grandad’s birthday party), and so we went out with them to buy ingredients. Since we usually have lunch at around 3pm at the weekend, once we got back home (at around 1:45), we went straight to the kitchen to start preparing the food.
We had decided to cook apple crumble for pudding (very traditionally English) and pasta bake for the main meal (less traditionally English), so I was put in charge of peeling the apples which was fine, other than I had to do it with a knife since Mónica doesn’t own a peeler. While I think I sacrificed more chunks of apple than I should have, I can say that I’ve learnt a new skill (are you proud of my basic cooking skills mum?)
We managed to finish on time, and it was a great success! Mónica and Miguel loved both courses, and we’ve decided that we want to cook more for them since it’s so nice to give something back to them as they do so much for us.
We’re thinking that we want to cook them an English breakfast soon (perhaps over the long weekend we have coming up), but we have some technical things to sort out first – they don’t have ‘sausages’ as we know them here and I haven’t seen bacon, so maybe we’ll make pancakes instead. Regardless, I think this is something we can start doing for them, which will be really nice.
So much has happened this week! It’s been slightly mad but it’s been great getting into all the school activities. I’ve been told by Filipo that there will be more musical things happening soon and in the academic year and that I need to join in, so hopefully I can find a violin soon! I really miss playing, and it would be great to get more involved in the music side of things at the school.
This coming weekend is a long weekend, as such I won’t be back at school until Wednesday. Since this week has been kind of uneventful (4th grade English exams have meant that the workshops have been cancelled), I think I’ll post my next update on Tuesday or Wednesday next week so that I can talk more about the long weekend. I hope you’re all having a good day,