Memorial Day Musings

Today is Memorial Day, and it is the first day in a long while I did not need to set a wake-up alarm. I forgot how good it feels to wake up naturally.

I have not done a whole lot today. I found a WWII article online about my Grandfather’s time as a glider pilot in Burma so I read it to my mom. Other than that, I’ve been cleaning and organizing. I have all of my Spain documents in one folder now. I realized that I need to start working on acquiring the visa soon. Thanks to Lady in Spain, I now have a better idea of some of the steps I need to go through for certification and that pesky Apostille of The Hague Convention. Right now, I need to work on getting my medical certificate notarized and then I will get the Apostille slapped on everything. Eeeep!

Now, another thing I am trying to decide is whether I should become CELTA certified. If I do, I don’t know whether I should try to do that here in the States or if I should wait until I’m in Madrid. Cambridge seems to have a heavy-duty certification program. Hmmm….

I’m also trying to scope out International Organizations in Madrid. This is probably the Political Science/International Affairs degree talking, but I’d like to get involved somehow with organizations overseas. Who knows? Maybe it would open up some future working opportunities where I’m a bit more qualified.

* Visa Requirements

* “I’m Not a Criminal” Record

* Certification and Apostille Information

Life and Letters

This new project I’m on at work is stressful, but allows me to be the “type A”, masochistic personality I apparently thrive on. I’ve already worked six hours of overtime this week. Well, there is one thing I’m lacking. Wine. Okay, maybe also sleep, but they both sort of go hand-in-hand. So, before belly dance classes tonight I’ve decided I will grab a couple bottles. Did I mention we have one more week to learn our new choreography? We will be performing the first week in June. 🙂

I received an email this morning from the BEDA program and it contained the official letter for auxiliares. We will get our class group assignments next week. The letter contained information about our wage, what we will be doing in the program, and information about our insurance coverage. It looks like I have some studying to do. Is anyone familiar with UMAS-CASER?

BEDA Program 2012/2013

It’s not possible for me to accurately convey the mixture of excitement and fear inside me, but in several months I’ll be living in Madrid. Last week I sent in my placement acceptance to the Bilingual English Development and Assessment ( BEDA ) program in Madrid. I will be teaching 16 (and hopefully more) hours a week in a Catholic school near the center of the city. In addition, I will be taking courses at Comillas. Luckily, the school where I will be teaching is not far from the University.

I have gone into full-fledged money hoarding mode. I worked 53 hours last week. The plan is to keep up this pace in order to have a nice little money cushion during the transition to Spain. Ugh…so many things to get in order!

May 15, 2012

Surprisingly, it’s not impossible to wake up at 4:30am to get 2 hours of overtime in a day. It’s really especially easy when I know I’m saving money for a purpose. :}

I’m actually a little anxious because I was supposed to hear back from my potential future employer today or yesterday, but still I have not heard a peep! Once I get a definite answer I’ll explain more. Also, things are shaking up at my current job. The person who handles all of the high-priority cases for my module is being promoted….and I’m taking her place on Monday. Holy crap. This could either be really awesome or really stressful. I’m still not sure how to approach the whole “I-could-be-leaving-in-a-couple-months” conversation with my managers. I was waiting to tell them after I submit my acceptance for a new position, but with this recent mini-promotion… I don’t know. What is normally the best method of doing this???

On a totally unrelated note, I took some random photos around the yard and messed around on my iPad. (Also unrelated: iPad bluetooth keyboards are awesome) Has anyone used a photo editor called Snapseed? It was pretty entertaining.

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Does Anyone Know A Good Psychiatrist?

Sometimes I need to ask myself whether I am a lunatic. I say this because I know I am about to do something that most “sane” people would consider absolutely bonkers. 

I’ll explain, but I should probably start at the beginning.

I was always been a little “off” as a child. When I was young I wanted saree bed comforters, Moroccan lamps, and Japanese ink painting kits. Fast forwarding to college, I wanted to study abroad in Spain, and after graduation, teach English in Japan. Neither dreams worked out (oh, the things young people do in relationships). A short while after graduation, I found a site called Matador Travel which really does a marvelous job of fueling my wanderlust. An entry about an English teaching experience in Spain caught my attention and I ended up applying to a program called Pueblo Ingles. I was accepted! Sadly, I was working at a low-paying job (ie restuarant) and was saddled with a fair amount of credit card debt coming out of college. I knew I wouldn’t have the funds to take the kind of trip I hoped without sending my credit debt to abysmal depths. Luckily, I started a government job and eventually decided to apply to the program again. As soon as I received my acceptance email for October 2011, I began planning for a trip spanning Spain, France, and Germany. 

Pueblo Ingles was honestly one of the most fabulous experiences I’ve had, but there is too much to say for this post. Maybe I’ll evetually post some stories and pictures about that month in Europe. My time in Spain was amazing. I met my Australian pen-pal of 14+ years for the first time in Madrid. We both completed the program in La Alberca. She and I then travelled to Sevilla and Granada before heading back to Madrid. 

This is when I began struggling with the notion of my sanity. The entire time I was in Spain, it was where I wanted to be. When I continued on to Paris and Berlin I still had a wonderful (and memorable) time, but I missed Spain. When I returned home I missed Spain. It became a habit. Hear Spanish? Miss Spain. Someone asks about the trip? Miss Spain…and then excitedly relay a story from the trip. Seven months after the program I still miss Spain which has led me to decide to live there for a while. My plan is to stay at least a year and preferably at least three years. After three years I think I should be fairly fluent in Spanish. I should also have a good idea of whether I want to continue living there. 

“Yes, the Spanish economy is not doing well. Yes, I’m 25 and have a well-paying government job right now. No, you are right. It doesn’t make sense.” I feel like I have various versions of that conversation every day now.

I believe I am finally coming to terms with my decision. This is probably the reason for this post! Once you make your ideas public they become more real….