Hasta Mana

I think I learned my first Spanish from Debby Boone. Not personally mind you, but that would have been cool, but from a record of hers. I was given the album “You Light Up My Life” for Valentine’s Day from my mother one year and I played it into the ground. I still remember most of the songs on that album – mostly covers – but that didn’t bother me back then. I just liked her sweet, clear voice and had no idea who her dad was or that I was enjoying Muzack. One of the songs on that album was ABBA’s “Hasta Mana”. I still remember every word. I am pretty sure that was the first Spanish I learned.

And the last really. Now that I am here in Mexico I am realizing a few things. Things like – Mexican people are not eager to learn English, not like the Czech people. No one speaks English here, and if they do they do so reluctantly. Even at my school there are not a lot of people, even in the administration offices, that speak English. I was kind of shocked that a school that promoted a bi-lingual education had no English speaking staff to speak of.

What I have come to learn in my few weeks here in Guaymas (pronounced WHY-mus) is that I am teaching to very well off children, entitled children. These are children of some of the richest, most powerful people in the community. And yeah, I have a problem with that. I guess I am a reverse elitist. I really have it in for rich folks and how they spend their money. My school is a great example.

The school is in Miramar, a very nice part of the community. The parents pay for the tuition, the books, and the supplies and even for tickets to see the Christmas pageant. If it is at the school these parents have paid for it. The problem? They expect that their kids will be perfect. That’s what they have paid for. It doesn’t matter that little Juan Pablo never turned in homework. They paid, and their kids can do no wrong. I guess it’s also the fact that the English classes don’t really count. The grades from the English classes are complied with the other grades, so it doesn’t really matter what they get. It only matters what they get in their Spanish classes. Hasta Mana indeed.

Would Debby Boone would approve of is the mandatory Religion and ethics classes? It is part of the curriculum, I know! They have tests on Jesus and workbooks and stuff. Who knew? As if going to church wasn’t enough. Also, all girls are required to have their hair “restrained”. Unruly hair will not be tolerated! I know. What the hell (sorry Debby, heck) am I doing here with my tattoos (which I already had to cover at work) and my punk rock attitude? Honestly? I don’t know.

So, I guess I will just hang out here with thirty 4 year olds and see what happens. I mean if Debby Boone can score a number one song and become synonymous with the words “Adult Contemporary”, then I can teach 30 spoiled, albeit cute little Mexican kids about shapes, the number 6, and dinosaurs. I may not be Debby Boone, but I will light up your life. With a flame thrower if I have too.


6 thoughts on “Hasta Mana

  1. I am just curious as to whose children you thought you would be teaching? Public schools do not have the funds to hire native english speakers to teach.As I said, just curious. Do all schools in Prague hire native english speakers to teach english?

  2. Schools in Prague that advertise and bank on “native speakers” do. And it is generally not a FOR PROFIT type of thing. Schools in Prague have both native speakers and Czechs teaching. The native speaker (as with ANY country) is valued because they have a skill set that the Czech do not.As for whose children…? Never really thought about it. Kids are kids. Its the parents that are a problem most of the time.

  3. I see, was just wondering about the differences in the school systems between the 2 countries.For sure the parents are more of a problem than the kids, lol; but that is always the way, isn’t it?So are there no private schools in Prague? Are they all public schools?

  4. Spoken like two people who don’t have kids and have never had to try and ensure that they get a quality education in a school system that is more concerned with air conditioning for the administrators, than it is for the basic needs of the kids. A private school is not necessarily “for profit” and the profit they do make goes to pay for the supplies, overhead costs and salaries of its employees, so that it can attract quality educators, instead of emergency credentialed temps. What’s wrong with wanting the best education for your child? And if I could afford it you can bet your sweet ass my kids would be in the best private school I could find!

  5. Well, I will say that in America things are a little different than in the rest of the world. Not better or worse – just different. There are different standards in every country and different cultural norms to take into consideration. Like here — if there was no AC in the classrooms we would pass out. Literally.And private schools are allowed to hire teachers that do not have degrees or credentials because they are a private business. Something to look out for. As with most things, just because it has a high price tag and looks glossy doesn’t make it better.There is nothing wrong with wanting the best – just look closely at what you want.

  6. Most of the people I hang out with (including me) feel like there´re selling out just to pay the rent and have some “stuff”. I guess there is not that many well paid jobs for punk rock art lovers out there. So unfurtunally we all have to do what we love as a hobby or, if you´re one of the lucky ones, as a part time job. Saludos!

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