Have you ever been relieved to return to work after a holiday? I somehow doubt it.
What about school? Can you ever remember a time when you couldn’t wait to come back and show off what Santa had gotten you?
In Spain, the majority of gifts are given on the day known as Epiphany (January 6th), when the Three Kings at last made it to Bethlehem with presents for their Messiah. With children in Spain returning to school a matter of days after receiving their gifts, you often can’t help but feel for them.
I wasn’t expecting many happy faces walking into class on the 9th. This year I’ve been lucky to have a fun and enthusiastic bunch of students as my first class on a Monday. They are a class that likes a laugh, but more importantly a class that puts their head down and works when told.
I enjoy first classes back after holidays. Of course you wonder in your head how many sitting there are genuinely happy to be there. Of course you wonder before the class of something fun yet interesting to throw at them as soon as they walked in the door. The last thing they want is to open their book!
One of my favourite activities after Christmas is show and tell, or simply tell. Nine times out of ten you are delighted with what you’ve been given and all you want to do is show it off. Rubén was only delighted with his new watch, while Alex found it hard to stop talking about his new FIFA game, and whether or not I’d be interested in playing him online!
We sat in a circle and talked about the holiday just passed. One by one, they told their classmates of what they did as I encouraged their peers to ask questions if they could. I asked them what they thought I got for Christmas. New glasses? No. New shoes? Yes! ‘A new phone,’ asked Paul, who managed to notice how obvious my new phone showed in my pocket. Fair play to him.
Our discussion continued and eventually found its way to Carrie. Normally shy and one who prefers to express herself in writing, she too couldn’t wait to show off her new jumper that she got. I went on to ask her what else she did for the holidays.
‘This Christmas I visited my Grandparents house and I….ate my Grandmother.’
I thought I was hearing things. ‘You ate your Grandmother?’ I asked. Carrie nodded in reply. In the seconds that followed I found my brain going a mile a minute wondering what on earth the poor girl had really meant. Then Paul managed to butt in with a typically quick-witted response only a bright child like Paul can do.
‘Was she delicious?’
Carrie now began to look confused, faced with twelve of her classmates including her teacher staring at her. All the poor girl wanted was to tell the class was what she got up to on her holidays. Needing rescue, I managed to reassure her by questioning her in Spanish (has dicho que durante sus vacaciones comiste su abuela…).
Now aware of what she had just told the class, Carrie first laughed nervously and then, unable to find the words in English, told the class what she wanted to say in the first place. I’m happy to say that Carrie isn’t interested in eating her grandparents. However, her Grandmother’s tortilla sounds incredible!