When I last wrote, I had established the job at EnglishSchool (the first school), and I was debating whether to stick with the training at GetSmart English (the second school). Well, I did go to the first day of training, and I was so impressed with their curriculum that I decided to stay with it and try to get chosen to be the teacher. I mean, the books are really, really high-quality. The school has its own textbooks and learning system, and the teachers don't have to make any of their own materials. The textbooks are all based on this low-budget but high-quality sitcom. Each lesson refers to an episode (they're short-- less than 5 minutes). They have great, real-life English, with really creative ways of incorporating the grammar into each episode while still maintaining a plot. Of course, the first episodes are very basic, and they get progressively difficult. (For the desert Spanish class people reading this, it may bring up memories of DESTINOS-- “Aye, dios mio! Tu nombre is Jamie, not Jaime!”) I won't bore you guys too much, but the point is, the system would be really great to teach from.
The problem is, I just don't think I'm going to get chosen. I can tell that she likes me well enough, and I know I have a 50/50 chance because 2/4 people in the training can't even start until June. But the class that starts this Saturday is very basic, and I think she really prefers a Portuguese speaker. The other woman is the one who is Brazilian but lived in California for many years. My only selling point when compared to her is that she has no teaching experience and keeps saying how she wants to go back to California as soon as she can. So... I'll find out on Friday, but I'm trying to be realistic. My hope is that, during our teaching demonstrations on Friday, the other woman suggests using corporal punishment or something, and then I'll be shoe-in for sure.
Things with the other job are going well, albeit slowly. I went to meet a bunch of students on Monday, but I'm not entirely clear which ones will be MY students. It seems more like the director was just excited to show off that he had a native speaker as a teacher, so he was introducing me and having me talk a bit with anyone and everyone. He keeps talking about how he has such big plans for me, and how I'm going to be an integral part of the staff, and all these things... yet he has really only secured 6 hours of teaching per week. He's enthusiastic, but overworked and kind of scatterbrained.
I'm excited to finally start working again, but I'm kind of worrying about the long-term situation here. I've been unemployed for over a month now, and not only is my brain bored, but I was banking (literally) on being employed sooner and with more hours than this. So, I don't know.
But something kind of fun: one of the girls at the training gave me a guy's phone number today (not like that!). Turns out he works with a textbook publishing company. He's currently in the process of recording the CDs for the listening activities for the textbooks, and he needs native speakers! Wouldn't that be hilarious? I just hope it isn't something I'm expected to do out of the goodness of my heart!
So that's the job update. Tomorrow is a holiday (May Day!), so for most places (not the aforementioned schools), it's a 4-day weekend. Alexandre and I aren't planning any big trips or anything, but we are going to paint the living room. Fun! We'll probably also go to this insanely cheap sushi restaurant that we found (a girl on the bus told Alexandre about it). We can get dinner, beer, and dessert for R$25 (like, 14 dollars). Fabulous! But I guess it's not cheap if you eat it 2 or 3 times a week. Haha.
I'll leave you with some fun/interesting things about Brazil that I still haven't told you about:
Gas stations here double (quadruple?) as convenience stores, bakeries, and casual hang-out spots for young people! There are plastic tables and chairs outside most gas stations, and they're full of young people drinking beer on most evenings. The bread is also delicious.
There is a Wal-Mart here, of course, and it functions as a small city. It has the typical Wal-Mart stuff that you see in the US, and also a grocery store (complete with a deli and meat department), a car repair shop and car wash, a pizza parlor, a (very cheap!) pharmacy, an ice cream stand, and probably other things that I'm forgetting. You move around the levels on escalators. It inconsistently spells things with 2 Ls (sometimes it's Wall-Mart), and it replaced the “always” slogan with “para sempre,” which literally translates to “FOR always,” but actually means “forever.” Pretty ominous, I think.
We eat sandwiches for breakfast, dinner for lunch, a snack at dinner time, and small dinners for a late dinner (around 9). No Taco Bell, no Starbucks, not nearly as much corn syrup, and meat with every meal make Danielle a skinner person.
The windows! Bedroom windows here are made up of 2... layers. (You may be able to see it in the apartment pictures.) The first layer that you close keeps out the light, and the second one doesn't. Alexandre explained that, because it rains so often in the afternoons, people want to keep out the rain without keeping out the light, but at night, they want to keep out everything. The blissful result is that, when both windows are closed, you have twice the glass! The room is fabulously dark and quiet well into the afternoon. Elena, imagine!
We have to keep all of our food in the fridge and our microwave (which doubles as a pantry, ha). This is to avoid mold and ants.