| FEBRUARY 2015 |
Greetings readers, hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer! Amy and I are getting ready to head back to Spain with our friends Maggs and Homey, and we’re absolutely scrambling to get these blog posts to you before we return for more. (No worries, seeing Amy scramble is one of the great joys of my life.)
This post leads up to our amazing experience in Ronda, a small town in Andalucía that requires a trip through Málaga; but, we loved our visit to Málaga so much that we wanted it to have its own post.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this trip with you, mostly because of Amy’s photos, but also to explain several epiphanies I had during our journey.
The few weeks previous to our weekend in Málaga and Ronda had been challenging in the sense that opening a jar of pickles would be if you didn’t have hands. We’d started working for a private academy in the afternoons, along with teaching in our schools, and giving private lessons in Cartagena on our days off. The students had been grating on our nerves, we were exhausted from traveling almost every weekend, and we were barely getting enough sleep to keep a lab rat alive. Fortunately, we had each other.
As many of you know, Cat is a graphic designer and I am a writer. We didn’t go to college to become teachers, but teachers we were. Before my epiphany in Málaga, my opinion regarding teacherhood followed these lines: lesson plan, teach, try not to maim any children, repeat.
Maybe it was our lack of training, or the speed with which we had to learn to be teachers (about 30 seconds,) but I was burnt out on teaching. I was doing anything and everything possible to get through the day. And I think Amy was in a similar place. We had lost touch with the reason we came to Spain, and it was here, in my mental dark place on the way to Málaga that I hit rock bottom. Luckily, I took a bouncy ball down with me so I bounced riiiiiiight back to the top with these thoughts:
Being a teacher is more than throwing together a lesson plan and giving grades. It’s an amazing opportunity to not only inspire other humans, but also to show kindness and compassion that boosts the self-confidence and esteem of children. It’s a chance to be whatever and whoever you want to be in front of a group of students who are, in most cases, in need of some serious mental bubblegum. And it’s also a chance to create a positive change, however small, in someone’s life, which is incredibly and beautifully significant.
Other than the garbage men (the unsung heroes of life), I believe educators to be some of society’s most important citizens. Who else has the power to positively affect change and thought through creativity while inspiring action in others?
Amy and I can only claim so much fame, as we aren’t traditionally taught teachers, but we really appreciate those who are. No matter the place, no matter the subject, we have great respect for all teachers.
I’m happy to report that after this trip some switch flipped and the creative juice train started chugging away. Amy turned into a teaching tornado, and I developed Kit, my teaching alter ego, who is without question more popular (and patient) than regular Kate.
Málaga and Ronda were places that inspired great inward discovery, so maybe perusing Amy’s photos and accompanying commentary will inspire you.
Bodega Bar El Pimpi – All those photos on the wall are of famous Spanish people eating there!
Bobadilla, en route to Ronda! “There’s Kitty at the fountain. Don’t jump!!”
Hug a teacher today!!
Best to you,
K & A
Spanish Phrase of the Day: Where’s Kit? | Dónde está Kit?
Song of the Day: La Rebelión | Joe Arroyo