oh, beautiful cello, beautiful morning.

This morning, in our heated and currently sunlit living room, I'm waiting for my students to arrive. I'm listening to Bach's Cello Suites (in case anybody does show), as classical music is supposed to aid in learning and info retention.

I've been teaching English classes to two groups of hostel and other small-business owners. My good friend Laura, who teaches ESL for a living has given me lots of tips. I've been able to use some of them, but because of the odd grouping of people and level of interest, it's hard to get a good routine going. The groups are small, and sometimes nobody shows up at all.

It's a pretty unnatural situation, because the students are only taking the classes to earn a grant from the government. The process requires that they receive training/take classes in the areas of their choosing. And although my students have chosen to learn English, they don't really want to. Well, at least not the majority of my first class. One has even told me on numerous occasions that she essentially has no desire to learn and is only participating in the courses in order to get plata (dinero) from the government.

Needless to say, these sessions can be disheartening and raucous. Often the students just don't show up. My morning class was in one of the hostel-owners hostels, but it has recently, for various reasons that don't have anything to do with me, moved to our house. I didn't make this decision, but I am definitely benefiting from it. I can be warm, teach without wearing my puffy jacket, and when nobody shows for the first hour of class (each class is a whopping three hours long), at least I can still work and be productive in some other capacity, instead of just shivering and waiting. Plus in the end, each student is only required to complete 50% of the coursework or hours attended. No es nada. So, after this week, only the people who have missed several classes already, will have to continue coming to class, and most of the morning group plans to complete the bare minimum as far as I can tell.

In nicer news, the second group of students have more ganas to learn. They attend classes more regularly, so I can actually do fun things with them. We've drawn self-portraits and baked chocolate chip cookies (in English) and had a blast doing it. When you have three hours to fill, something has to be creative about it.

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