Monday, October 5, 2009

Luxuries, PSAT

I'm not going to lie: One of the beautiful things about living in El Salvador is having a weekly maid service. We pay her $12 to come for a full 8-hour day once a week, which is actually higher than the usual rate for maids. She cleans our apartment, cooks, and -- most importantly -- does laundry and irons my clothes! (Those who have worked at my old school know how I don't iron, like, ever. I actually don't know how, really. My clothes are still wrinkly after I iron them, so I just never bother.) It's really fabulous. I don't think my life will ever be the same again, without having to worry about laundry ever.

Another item of luxury is our beautiful sunshine year-round, which allows for things like hammocks. Geoff and I sometimes complain about one of our hammocks being less comfortable than the other, but then we both feel silly: complaining about a hammock is about as ridiculous-sounding as complaining about a massage (which, believe it or not, people do around here).

But, no complaints about our massages! All of the international teachers who live in the complejo have regularly scheduled visits from a local masseuse; that, too, is really cheap. The standard rate is $15 for an hour of massage. Well, Geoff and I hadn't been on the bandwagon, but we serendipitously found a masseuse to come to our apartment today for the first time. (The girl was already in the building servicing someone else, when she stopped us in the stairwell over the weekend and handed us her business card. Funny thing is that we had been trying in vain to contact the complejo masseuse, so we gladly made an appointment with her on the spot.) Anyway, she came today, and she was brilliant!! Geoff and I feel completely relaxed afterwards and couldn't stop raving about her.

Life is really lovely these days...


In school news, I can't believe how quickly time is passing by! It's already near the end of the first quarter, and so I have to rush to give a round of tests this week in each class, to allow for last-minute makeup points next week. I've already warned Geoff that this weekend I will be mired in work, in order to finish grading ~90 tests...

I am also helping to prep my kids for the PSAT this year. It's the first time in many years that I've taken a look at that material, and I'm amazed by how clever some of the questions are. For instance, this one in particular tugged at my Algebra-teacher heart:

You are told that k and L are perpendicular, and that (4, n) lies on line k. Your task is to find the value of n. Such an elegant way to test that the kids know a slew of stuff dealing with linearity!

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