Thursday, March 8, 2012

Felicidades Paloma

Today my class of boys at the Mon/Thurs school had their last exam of the year.

When they were all finished, the boys continued being noisy talked amongst themselves while a few of them worked on some paper for another class.  At some point, I heard a loud "¡Ah sí, es verdad! ¡Felicidades Paloma*!" (Ah, that's right! Congratulations Paloma!)

And then some boys started to clap.  I looked at Paloma to see her smile and nod, then seemingly out of nowhere the whole classroom burst into applause and laughs.  The boys seemed to be enjoying the fact that they could make this much noise without getting yelled at, making them seem less sincere about their congratulations.  Now she looked annoyed.  I was unsure what to do with myself, should I have clapped too?  Felicidades is something you would say to someone on their birthday.  Was it Paloma's birthday?  How would the boys have found out?

When the applause quieted, I heard through all the talking, "Y Rebecca también, ¿no?" (And Rebecca too, right?) followed by some laughs and "Qué va, qué va" (of course not). 

I asked the student next to me what had just happened, and he told me that today is "day of the women".  Ah ha.  International Women's Day.

On Thursdays I'm up the earliest I am all week, so I had headed to school half-asleep without having visited the interwebs; thus I hadn't realized that day was today.

So to all you women out there, felicidades.  My students in Madrid send you much applause.

*Students in Spain call their teachers either "Profe" (PRO-fay), short for profesor(a) (teacher); or by their first name.  Calling teachers by their first name definitely adds to the informal feel of the classes in which I teach.  Also, this means that yes, I am often called "TEE-chair" (teacher) by students in English class.

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