My Life in Mexico

After eight months in Mexico, I can honestly say I feel settled.  Chris and I have a house, cars, jobs, work visas, and a regular daily routine.  Daily life isn’t as glamorous or exciting as it was in Shanghai, but I am significantly happier than I was during my year and a half in Florence.

My day starts with Chris’ 4:30 cell phone alarm.  He jumps up and feeds the dog while I roll over and wait for my 5:15 alarm.  After snoozing once or twice I stumble into the shower and get ready for my school day.  I then run downstairs, grab breakfast, and am out the door by 6:15 so I can make it to school for car duty. 

I arrive at school around 6:35, scan my finger to clock in, and make the rounds of hellos.  (Mexicans are really friendly, so it takes a little while to get settled at my desk.)  Then depending on the day, it’s time for car duty at 6:50.  Initially I wondered why middle schoolers needed adults to open and close car doors, but I quickly learned that helping the kids out of cars makes the arrival process MUCH more secure and efficient.

Car duty doesn't come with a bad view.
Then my day is filled with Coke Sin Azucar, collaborating, planning, and my favorite part…teaching.  This year, I’m teaching English literature and creative writing to 90 9th graders, and am co teaching 12th grade British literature and creative writing.  My largest class has 23 students, and every student uses their own laptop in class.  I am having the time of my life integrating the technology strategies I learned as an ITS, using the ESL teaching skills I learned in China, and passing on the lessons I learned from my own high school literature teachers.  My school supports project based learning, so I am forced to be creative with my methods; my 9th graders are working on writing their own book of short stories while reading the works of Poe, Shakespeare, and other great writers.  My 12th graders are writing a satirical play that will be performed in May.  My colleagues are incredibly supportive, and my students are brilliant.  My only complaint is I need more time. For the first time in a very long time I am growing professionally, and it feels magnificent.
I am so incredibly proud of my 9th graders.  Not everyone is able to write a horror/romance anthology in a second language!
At 3:15, I make my 15 minute drive home and face my loneliest time of day, the time between dismissal and Chris’ return home from work.  After I unlock the door, I’m greeted by a very excited Leia who is expecting her afternoon meal.  After her dinner, we either take a walk or settle in front of the TV.  The next three hours or so are filled lesson planning, reading, and/or grading.  (Fortunately, our cable package carries Today so I can feel at least a little caught up on current events.)  Around 5:30 or 6:00, Chris will call from work to let me know he’s on his way home and I get to work cooking dinner.

Chris usually gets home around 6:45 or 7:00, and we sit down to whatever culinary experiment I concocted.  About an hour later, I’m in bed reading or streaming Neflix and the cycle repeats at 4:30 the following morning. 

Despite my regimented weekdays, Chris and I were do have a LOT of fun during the weekend and on breaks.  Here’s a preview of what’s to come on the blog!

In October, Chris and I took a trip to San Miguel de Allende to check out a chocolate and coffee festival.  The festival was not what we expected, but we did crash a wedding parade!

We finally took our anniversary trip to Guanjuato in October.

We had a large time exploring the city and sampling street food on our customized tour of downtown Guanajuato.

On Halloween, I had a lovely time with my 90 ninth graders in Teotihuacan.  

Chris and I celebrated our first Dia de los Muertos in San Miguel!
Then I had to make an unexpected trip back to the US to say goodbye to my Uncle Bob. 
The following Thursday, we celebrated a very saucy Thanksgiving at our favorite taco joint, El Pato.

Since we had to work on Thanksgiving, we held our Friendsgiving bash the following Saturday.  Needless to say, I was exhausted after all of the emotional week.

Chris raised over $500 for men's health and cancer awareness by participating in no shave November.  I was really happy when the beard came off.
Now that I am on Christmas holiday, I look forward to catching up with the blog!  Happy Holidays, and stay tuned for more fun!

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¡Viva México!