Global Classrooms: Santander Conference

Two blog posts in one week!

You are really lucky.  This doesn’t happen often.

Yesterday was the third and final Global Classrooms Cantabria conference, held in Santander.  Each school from the area sent some of their best, and we had about 215 students total.  I didn’t have to Chair any of the committees this time around, so I got to move around and watch the kiddos shine while 9 of my fellow Fulbrighters were hard at work running the show.  I had 14 students at the conference and got to watch many of them give their speeches.  I was such a proud teacher.

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I was proudest of my cuartos (US equivilent = 10th grade).  The two students who we chose to represent our school at the conference are not the best and brightest of their class, but they have worked so hard this year and really deserved to go to Santander.  It was an intimidating experience for them, as many of the other students there had an incredible level of English- but they were so composed and professional!  Here they are:

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Cristina, Me, Rubén

My segundos, representing the countries of Somalia and Cape Verde, definitely weren’t the global powerhouses in their committee, which discussed problems related to gender equality and education, but they did so well.  I would give them the award for cutest delegations.

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Paula, Daniel, Me, Tania, Enrique

Teachers say that you have a special connection with your first class.  So true.  They have been my guinea pigs as I try out this whole teaching thing and the very best (and occasionally the worst) students I could ever imagine.

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Oh- and we’re famous! Check out this newspaper article and video: http://www.eldiariomontanes.es/20140314/local/santander/conferencia-global-classrooms-201403142118.html

The Boyfriend Visits Europe and I learn French, très magnifique!

You can learn a lot about a someone by traveling with them.   Are they good with a map?  How do they order off a menu written in a foreign language?  What do they think about neolithic cave paintings?  Are they fun sit next to on a 6 hour bus ride to France?*

Two weeks ago Nick arrived in Santander, and we had the joy of traveling together throughout France and Northern Spain, and even managed to squeeze in a weekend in Madrid.  The low point of the trip was probably Nick leaving to go back to the US to start his new job.  And the high points?  Pretty much everything else.

Coffee and croissants.  What more do you need in life?

Coffee and croissants. What more do you need in life?

Falling in love with the village of Saint Emilion. So quintessentially French.

Finding refuge in a church on rainy morning and marveling at the stained glass windows

Finding refuge in this church on rainy morning and marveling at the stained glass windows

Bordeaux.

Bordeaux. My limited French vocabulary cannot express how très magnifique it is!

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Nick discovering pinxchos in San Sebastian.  I love how much he loves good food.

Exploring Cantabria and introducing my friend Esther to a real American!

Exploring Cantabrian caves and introducing Nick and Esther.

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Rowing boats in Parque Retiro, in Madrid

*Answers: yes; by pointing randomly; couldn’t really say because the tour was in Spanish but the cave was awesome; yes, absolutely.