Monday, December 14, 2009


Now, I'm not going to say that the American educational system is better than the Spanish educational system...
Wait. Yes I am!

Honestly, school is what I miss most. Today, two of my classes consisted of the teacher talking with the students about their weekend or something, or whatever the hell it was, it certainly wasn't French.

My history teacher, is quite the card. He's a very learned man...but in terms of teaching norms, he's something else altogether.
For instance, if the class is too noisy, he blows a whistle. A really, really, loud whistle. This is of course, ironically, a whistle used to diminish the already noisey classroom. Head desk.
He also is typically Spanish in the sense that he switches before really happy and really upset very quickly. In my first class, he threw two students out of the classroom, and sang the Spanish national anthem.
Which is how we spent gym class: singing Christmas songs.

Gym class by the way, is an absolute joke. The gym equivilent of a test is a series of little physical tests of ability. HOW LONG CAN YOU STAND ON THIS L SHAPED ROD? HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU STAND AND SIT DOWN IN 12 SECONDS? HOW FAR CAN YOU JUMP OVER THIS BLOCK? RAWRAWRAWR.

I miss learning. Mucho.
Not to say we don't learn here but, Spanish public schools don't have levels. So everyone is at a different ability but has to be taught the same (reminds me of a few certain standarized tests I could mention) and it really does not work. I walked into French class with absolutely no French like half of my class, whilst the other half had up to four years of French. And the French teacher is a tool. He asked me today if 'everything worked down there' when I came back from the bathroom, and refuses to speak to me in Spanish. If I don't understand him in French, which I couldn't possibly, he switches to English. Such a waste of my time.

WHICH REMINDS ME! Everyone here tries to practice his English on me. Some of them actually want to learn, but most of them are too lazy to speak slower in their messy Spanish.
SPEAKING OF MESSY SPANISH, everyone here calls eachother 'picha' like 'dude' or whatever. Except 'picha' means penis, not a pokémon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

¡No Me Toques!

As I've already mentioned, Spainards are much more touchy than Americans. But as I've learned, Spanish stereotypes become more typical the farther south you go (sort of like American stereotypes. There are more fat, war-loving, Protestants in the South than the North)

So the touching here is more exagerated here. One of my amigos here likes to kiss all of her male friends on the cheek and sit on their laps. But she has a boyfriend. Two other girls tackle eachother in hugs and kisses in the middle of class until one of them says uncle. A boy and girl rub the underside of eachother's arm for ten minutes non-stop, without any non-plutonic implication. All the boys do that manly arm-around-the-other's-shoulder when talking to eachother. At first it looks fairly normal: until one of them leans over and kisses his friend on the neck.

Which brings me into my next point: the Spanish are much less shameful of their bodies. Kids watch TV shows designed for their age group that have multiple sex scenes per episode. Magazines about music for teens have more sex articles (and corresponding cartoon images) than Cosmo. The boys in gym like to wear their shorts like a thong as a joke, showing everyone their fannies, and any teen that has had sex, has told his parents, including details such as with who, when, where, etc. (and all the parents respond with, "Have fun, and here's a condom")
One of the first questions people ask me is if I'm a virgin, and who I think is attractive and would like to sleep with, and then think it's weird when I don't feel like answering all those questions with someone I barely know.

But at the same, no one dresses like a slut, and they only sleep with people they're dating, which is a lot more than I can say for many Americans. I think Americans put a lot more stress and importance on sex and the human body, as if it were some holy sacrament. But I think this pressure makes it a lot harder to openly and honestly talk about those things, which leads to ignorance, and dumb choices, like sex without a condom. The teen prgnancy rate is much lower here. A lot of American parents like to say, "La la la, that doesn't happen, don't tell me I don't want to know," something that Spanish parents frankly are smarter about.