¡Saltando como un camaleón!

It’s my first day back at school today. Fairly low-key day, considering. Mostly we listened to songs by King Africa, who is totally insane and therefore fascinating. Also helpful, since his music is just kind of yelling phrases in Spanish, like ¡Agua, agua, agua! ¡Agua mineral!

We “jumped around like chameleons” as instructed by his music, and it was fun. I have some pretty sweet things planned for this week, that I think they’ll enjoy. As much as I was dreading today’s return to the grind, I was kind of excited because break gave me the time to regroup, adjust my attitude, and think of some good ideas.

But today I stayed late at work trying to actually realize some of those cool things, and already I’m remembering why I wasn’t a perpetual fountain of creativity and joy before break. I’m so drained already. My voice is fried. This morning I had to raise my voice above my first class, 30-some 6th grade girls. I startled myself with the sound of my own voice. “Wow,” I said, “I haven’t yelled in over two weeks.”Now my throat is worn out and scratchy and I feel defeated.

I’m also doing a lot more with YFU. I was gradually easing into training with another area rep, but due to health problems she suddenly was out of commission over break, and so I am getting a sort of crash course on mentoring exchange students and their host families. It is a decent (albeit flexible) time commitment, but I’m already enjoying the chance to meet the students and host parents, and do some mediation and problem solving. I think I need to do volunteer stuff like this, even selfishly… I feel very powerless at work sometimes, and it feels more feasible to do some good in these more individual interactions.

Break, by the way, was wonderful. I got to catch up with a lot of people, and have some adventures. I’ll share some pictures soon.

I don’t do the whole New Year’s Resolutions things, but I do have a lot of what you could call New Year’s Plans. Something I am trying to do now that I’m back to teaching is spending at least one hour a day doing something productive that is not related to teaching.

So, for tonight that’s going to a Spanish language meet-up here in Royal Oak… ¡oye!

Pues… hasta luego.

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