Here’s to 9 months of teaching Spanish kindergarten (in a death metal muscle shirt)

Several steps closer

I’ve been gone man, out in the world handling business left, right and center. I haven’t been able to keep up with this thing do in equal parts to my pwning the Spanish immigration gauntlet and some distressing love life issues (which I also handled with panache and runny eyeliner). But I’m back with all the necessary updates of the past several weeks in very brief and convenient numbered points:

1) All the visa hoop-jumping is completed, except for the actual visa, but compared to all the prep work, that should be ez pz (and I even managed a decent-ish passport photo, so I’m gonna ride that high for quite awhile).

2) I got my work placement, and it will be around a 40 minute commuter train ride’s away from the city center, where I will

3) Teach kindergarten!

Ok now I’ll elaborate and spin some yarns about these exciting events. So the visa stuff has been a real handful, I’ve had to make ever so many phone calls, which is something I’ve hated doing since I was a small child: the phone is scary and people on the phone are never helpful because there is no physical presence to hold them accountable to give correct information. They are arbiters of knowledge just floating in the ether, waiting to make my life more challenging. And my phone voice is weird. But everything has been handled, all steps being completed yesterday upon my super-dodgy cash-up-front medical exam (NO, a drug test isn’t necessary, that is outside your purview doc) so now I only have to worry about having my visa rejected due to some bureaucratic abnormality (Spain’s bureaucracy is already so much worse than France’s, hadn’t thought that was possible, seems ominous).

My placement has put me in a village (I guess pueblo is the preferred nomenclature) 40 minutes north of Madrid at a school that is easily accessible by metro and commuter train. This extra time will be convenient for doing lesson planning, which I always did in the morning anyway, letting a few buckets of coffee inspire me. I am still going to live in the city center because I’ve paid my dues with village life, they can’t make me do it again I NEED  PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND KEBABERIES OPEN PASSED 10pm. Those aren’t crazy requirements, I just want to be treated with a little humanity. I also want to live with some hip young Madrileños, but that is for another post; the apartment search will produce tons of blog fodder, so stay tuned for that debacle.

Lots of coffee and shirts with bad words on them; half of this will change for the children’s sake.

Finally, a return to glue-eating and fart accusations in the realm of the very tiny people who will be learning some west coast American English under my careful and exuberant guidance. The good news is kindergarteners love me because I’m female and dress decently, and that seems to be the only rubric needed to be named a “beautiful princess” and I am so down to be called a beautiful princess in my day to day. I also have an expressive face and tend towards slapstick, which probably makes me not unlike a birthday clown. I am also vaguely cool because I wear a lot of black (and sometimes a metal tank or two) and coolness gives one universal cultural capital, so in this way I get a simulacrum of respect from a bevy of 5-year olds (to recap, I am a beautiful princess goth-clown, and the kids dig it).

This photo illustrates the “goth clown” look well. And probably the reason I’m sometimes taken for a post-operative trans-gendered person (true story).

I’m actually not terribly worried about my wardrobe. The biggest problem will be crouching down in too-tight pants over and over again throughout the day, but currently I dig through barrels of mothballed vintage in these very same bondage pants, and haven’t suffered a stroke, so it should be fine.

Tight-panted physical comedy in my homegirl’s kitchen. I have a mouth made for guffawing.




  1. partypro1 · June 12, 2013

    Very enjoyable read, informative and humourous! You should write a book of your adventures teaching abroad!

    • Fille Pompette · June 12, 2013

      aw shucks, thanks! That seems like a logical next step in my bid to avoid a 9-5, but I have poor follow-through, so maybe I should just write a series of really popular articles…

  2. sydrocks · June 12, 2013

    “Finally a return to glue eating and fart accusations” will be my new way of describing how work is going. Consider yourself jacked.

  3. your perestroika · June 13, 2013

    congratulations on your arrival to spain! i read through your blog and hot damn, it was pretty funny. i dont often sit in front of my computer laughing out lout. im also living in madrid and teaching, so if you need someone to show you around or get a few drinks with or anything from a fellow travelin lady then just contact me via my blog! buena suerte en tus viajes!

  4. mappingthepeace · June 15, 2013

    Pumped! But I too am not a good phone person, so I’m not looking forward to awkward conversations in bad Spanish when I’m looking for my apartment in Madrid. Maybe I’ll master the language in three months.

    • Fille Pompette · June 15, 2013

      Yeah exactly, that’s gonna make for some wild times. I’d better review some apartment vocabulary and work on my hand gestures.

  5. Kaley · August 21, 2013

    Haha, you hit it right on the nail. Kindergarteners don’t need much to label you “guapa”!

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