Sidewalks

I turned in my Chronograma and my Fases today. They are lengthy forms required by the public schools here to document teacher lesson plans. As I have altered a lot of my plans due to being new here, and learning how they do things here, I figured I would get a lot of editorial commentary from the Sub-Directora (the curriculum guru). No such luck. She liked my plans. Now to teach them. Yippy-skippy.

Long-term plans, any plans, are only as good as your intentions to actually teach them. ?Es obvio, no? Yea, but you would be surprised how much documentation in schools becomes mere busy work. I like people to be able to drop into my room, anytime, and not only be able to see me realizing the plan, but also to be able to know why I am doing it. Of course teaching isn´t static. Reality gets in the way of plans. Students aren´t machines. Still, my planning should be evident in my overall program. That´s a plan, not busy work.

Let´s leave the teacher talk for the teacher´s lounge, ok?

Durango sidewalks interest me. They are misnamed. They should be called tripwalks. They are traps for pedestrians who don´t look down. Poor Talea has skined knees and scuffed shoes to show her sidewalk experiences here in Durango. You might as well walk in the middle of the street; but for the speeding vehicles it is safer. In the dark of the early morning, as I make my way to school, I feel like I am doing the tire drill in football practice. Pick the feet up. Pump. I remember selling our first house in Grand Rapids and being miffed that I had to pay the city 250 clams to fix a crack in my sidewalk before the sale could be official. I am a bit more empathetic now.

Today, I saw a car make a right turn from the left-hand lane, turning in front of a bus in the right lane, no less!

You know the gargage truck is coming by the bell the garbage man rings. The truck usually comes between 9 and 10 o´clock at night. We can hear the bell from our ninth floor aparment.

If Talea needs to go to the bathroom at school, the teacher hands her a ration of toilet paper on the way out of the classroom.

My students ask permission to enter the room. They stand up when I enter. When I greet the girls, they turn a cheeck for a kiss. The boys offer a firm hand shake and a greeting.

Mexican pork rinds beat any I have eaten anywhere (even the fresh ones with hair still on them that I bought off a highway vendor in Colombia).

We have windows on three sides of our apartment. Each window offers a view of the Sierra Madre foothills (mountains to this Detroit boy).

We went cowboy boot shopping yesterday. Still looking. We´re going cowboy hat shopping next week.

Lots of Dodge Durangos in Durango. Keep ém coming, Mike.

“Ay Amor, Es Que Mata”, by Carlos Vives is currently the song that I can´t get out of my freaking head.

“Quisiera”, by Juan Luis Guerra is the song I would like to have in my head. Beautiful. Not his old Meringue/Bachata/Salsa stuff. It rocks. I am told he was a Beatles fan as a kid.

I am off to pick up the Pepino Suave Back Up Singers from their swim lessons.

Cuídense,
Peps

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