Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And life begins to settle down....

Even when you go on wild and crazy adventures to exotic locations, I guess that life eventually settles down. For the first several weeks, we were busy for every waking moment. There was so much to do: getting our foreign national numbers, finding a place to live, getting a bank account, getting the apartment set up, getting myself established at the school, and on and on. As of Friday, we will have been in Córdoba for one month. It's really remarkable how much we've accomplished in that time.

Still, it's good that things are slowing down. I think the human body (and the human mind!) wouldn't be able to maintain such a frenetic pace indefinitely. The other night, I was rather surprised to find myself at loose ends. Here, I can do the same things I'd do back in the USA: read a book, write in my journal, or play on the computer. I just found it a bit surprising.

One thing I'm finding a bit frustrating...I'm having trouble scheduling things with my colleagues at the school. Everyone seems happy to have me there, and they like having me in their classes. I have certain regular classes, and certain unscheduled hours during which teachers can request my support. When they do so, I set up a time with them to go over lesson plans and prepare for the class. Very frequently, when I show up for the meeting, I get stood up. It usually comes down to some kind of misunderstanding. After one occurrence, I figure it's a fluke. After two, I begin to get insecure about my language abilities (although I'm certainly not having any other difficulties with communication!). After five or six, I'm beginning to think that I'm dealing with a different attitude toward scheduling in general. Part of it is the "mañana" attitude, which is by no means limited to Mexico. Another part is that the teachers are very much regimented by their class schedules, and don't do very well with things that fall outside of their normal routine. The final, and most humbling part, is that I'm very low on the totem pole around here. Actually, I'm not on the totem pole at all; I'm buried in the mud down underneath the totem pole. The worms crawl higher than me. People are all very friendly, but I don't think they worry too much about missing meetings with me.

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