Marvelous Mexico City: School Achievements and Seismic Activity

Things have been going VERY WELL so far. Everyone had the chance to meet with their tutor yesterday and discuss progress on the course. I have passed my first assignment and have received S and S+ on all of my work! Very exciting news!

On Monday, we were also required to switch tutors and begin teaching a new class so that we could challenge ourselves to teach at a higher level. So far I have talked the most with Francisco, who works in Biomedical research and looks a lot like Wilmer Valderrama. 😀 I also talked with Gloria, who is a spitfire and always eager to start a debate. It will make for an interesting class.

The students asked me on Monday what my name meant in English. I looked on Google and found that Megan means ‘child of light’ in Persian. I believe there is a religious connotation to that expression, but I am going to take that in it’s most literal sense. I am a sun worshiper. 🙂

International House has a FANTASTIC rooftop terrace and I love spending my 2 hour lunch break up there working on homework.

Weather in Mexico City also follows a pattern. It may be sunny and warm during the lunch hour, but EVERYDAY around 7 pm the clouds roll in and you brace yourself for a torrential downpour. That is why I try to soak up the sun when I can. 🙂

Back to CELTA.

Today during input session we talked about writing structure between different cultures. I will try to explain the differences in writing format with visual aids.

If you were to write someone an letter in English, you would follow a general format. You would include a salutation (Dear…), purpose statement (I am writing you because…) and closing (Yours faithfully…). Written English is very direct.

In Spanish, written text may begin with a discussion of your health. It may or may not include a salutation. The letter will eventually get to the purpose, but it is not organized in a specific format. We learned that reading and writing are typically not covered in public school systems here, so there may be a lack of knowledge regarding formal structure and the concern about health derives from Latin influence. This is prevalent in most Latin American countries where proverbs about health and prosperity were commonly used.

Then we covered other cultures, like Chinese culture. It is not uncommon to begin with Chinese proverbs or views on the universe. The text usually starts with a very broad view about the world and slowly narrows until the purpose of the text is revealed.

We are not saying that any structure is right or wrong. The tutor just wanted us to recognize that not every culture is as direct in both written and spoken language as English.

For my lesson this afternoon, I unleashed my inner nerd!  Hah.

The topic of my lesson was online role-playing games. I had to get the students engaged in a reading article called, “It was virtual murder…but the sentence was real.” It was an article about a woman who was arrested in Japan for illegally hacking into her virtual husband’s account and deleting his online character following their ‘divorce.’ I think the students learned a lot of new vocabulary and had some interesting opinions about online video games.

Last but not least, I had my first experience with earthquakes this week. On Monday, we had our first earthquake alert. There is a notification system for seismic activity with a magnitude over 6.0 that alarms within 60 seconds of expected occurrence. After the alert, we all stood outside the school and luckily the quake was uneventful. On Tuesday, an earthquake hit Veracruz around 5:45am with a magnitude of 6.3. Some students felt it here in Mexico City, but I must sleep like a rock. I felt NOTHING.  Although earthquakes are pretty new to me, it’s similar to the idea of tornadoes and tornado drills in Wisconsin. Don’t worry! I am safe and sound. 😀

Now I am off to do some very authentic Mexican things like eat popcorn and watch ‘Keeping up the Kardashians.” 😀 Goodnight.

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