The GoGlobal Blog

A Sweet Internship

A Sweet Internship

I’m just about to start my fourth week of class. Man, does time go by fast. I arrived in Santiago on January 10 and have completed almost three months since then. All the other students and I are talking about it – we’re at the halfway point. While that’s a little sad to talk about, I still have three months here that I will take full advantage of.

Unfortunately, my classes have been just okay. From what I gathered, the professors talk almost the whole class with few questions or comments from the students. Professors usually don’t ask students questions, and therefore the classes can seem to drag on for a long time. Plus, they are a little longer than my classes at Loyola, each session is a minimum of 1 hour and 20 minutes, with my two back-to-back classes lasting 2 hours and 40 minutes apiece. Chile Colonial is definitely my favorite, the professor is very good and the material, including the texts, is very interesting.

I tried out for the basketball team here during la selección and I made the team! We carry 12 players, practice twice a week, and have games once a week. For me, it’s the perfect balance between competitive yet still fun. The coach doesn’t mind if you miss some practices and the players are all very friendly and chill. On Thursday we had our first practice game, losing 46-40. My game is still pretty rusty after not playing organized basketball since high school, but it’s slowly getting better. I would compare the team’s skill level to a varsity basketball team in the States, with less fundamentals. Surprise! I can dunk here! Not sure if it’s because of the elevation, the gym, the hoop, or my athleticism (probably not that one) but it’s nice to throw down lol.

Two weekends ago I went to Curicó with mi amigo chileno Cristofer, who is on the basketball team and another exchange student (because he is not from Santiago). There I stayed with his family, who are very nice, and we went to la Fiesta de Vendimia, a wine-tasting/concert event. For those of you from Independence, I would describe it as a very large Home Days. A bunch of food booths are lined up in the plaza where you can eat, taste wine from the different wineries near Curicó, and listen to music. The main reason I went was because Yandel was singing for free there Saturday night, but it rained and they had to cancel the concert, but the weekend was still fun.

As part of my Poverty and Development class, I volunteer at a local high school and am an English teacher’s assistant every Friday. I’ve now gone twice and so far thoroughly enjoy my time there. Basically I follow around the English teacher, Martin, and help him with anything he needs. This past Friday I graded some quizzes, helped him teach for two classes, and even taught a class alone! The internship is awesome and a lot of fun – it’s great to do something so similar to my minor, English as a Second Language!

Without a doubt, there are some challenging parts to the internship. For example, the school – which is a vocational school, or una técnica – is located in a very poor neighborhood of Santiago, called Cerro Navía Joven. It is also somewhat dangerous there. Due to these factors, the students typically live in poverty, have family issues, and have received poor education before attending Colegio Don Enrique Alvear (that’s the name of the school). The majority of them do not want to learn English, a third of the students listen to music with their headphones during class, and many are disruptive – although there are a handful of role model students in each class. Despite these obstacles, I am determined to teach them the best I can. Although they may not be motivated to study, they enjoy having me in their class and have already asked me a barrage of questions.

Martin has allowed me to make a lesson plan for next week. Still not sure what it will be yet, but I’m hoping to do something interactive with the computer. We are teaching them simple present verb tense right now. Any suggestions?

Hablamos,

Tom

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