A day in the life of…

26 09 2010

One of the things I enjoy most about my profession is that no day is ever they same.  It is wonderful when you have the moment when a student looks up at you and smiles because you just helped them unveil something they never knew or understood about the world.  Of course with everything in life, one smile can make a day and one comment can ruin it.  Regardless, challenges await and 5 of the 7 days are consumed by this quest.

So here is what at typical day looks like for me:

5:15:  The alarm sounds.  One of the best purchases Vanessa and I have made is buying an alarm that plays our iPod in the morning.  It is great to wake up to a great song…or sometimes, like the other morning, wake up to a little MC Hammer because I forgot to change the song before bed.

Alarm clock- McHammer waiting to play

5:15 and 5 seconds:  Hit snooze…

5:45:  I lethargically roll over and wake Vanessa to get in the shower…There are usually two results with this action: 1) she makes some sort of animalistic moan and stumbles from the bed and begins her day OR 2) she pushes me, and says in the i am going to rip your heart out tone of voice “I AM NOT SHOWERING TODAY!”.  That is my que to scoot away as far as possible because, well, you don’t mess with Vanessa and sleep.

Sleeping Monster

5:46:  I lay there staring at the ceiling thinking of random things.  These thoughts usually include things like… “did I really hit Vanessa in the face with a pillow because I thought there was a spider on her face????”

6:09: get out of bed, shower and get dressed

6:45:  make coffee, eat a little breakfast, pick up the kitchen and the house before we leave.  Usually at this point I debate whether to disarm the house alarm.  Every time it is armed or disarmed it makes a siren sound.  This has become the signal for “We are ready to go” between Brandon, our neighbor, and I.

French Press is the best!

6:50: Vanessa races around like a maniac to finish her morning duties…which is usually making the main part of our lunches, I usually put together the sides like chips, fruit, ect.  (Brian Lewis used to love to look at what we packed for lunches at Skyview because I always had the “cool” food)

7:15ish:  Arrive at school.  I try to take the time to pause outside my room and look at the fantastic landscape.

View from my class in the morning

8:00-3:00:WORK.  I would like to say that most days fly by but as we all know time is a tricky thing, sometimes the day is over in a blink and other days a minute can’t go by fast enough.

my desk

my class

my door to the hall-decorated for independence day

3:30 on Tuesday/Thursday:  Vanessa clamors into my classroom and we dig out our umbrellas and meander down the street to Spanish class.  I would love to tell you the name of the school that we go to, but I don’t think that I have ever learned the name.  All I know is that I generally enjoy going to class.  Vanessa and I are the only students in our class and we have a wonderful teacher, Imelda.  She always seems to have a smile and laughs when I try to make jokes in Spanish.

Same view as the morning. The stom is upon us. Umbrellas ready!

5:00:  Vanessa and I head home from Spanish and usually try to test out our new found knowledge in a conversation as we saunter home.  I usually enjoy this walk because many of the Tico’s are on their way home from work and the streets are alive!  People are chatting at the park, the bus stops are full and shop owners are consumed by the people waiting for their services.

Jorge's Place


5:15-10ish:  This is a time that we relax, Vanessa might make dinner, we might go out, I play basketball on Mondays, we continue our quest to find a car, or just zone out with a book or the computer.

The entire time that I have been working on this post, from its inception to the first draft and through the revisions, I have been trying to capture what a day is like for Vanessa and I…but I can’t seem to do it.  The daily actions are the same as home, the conversations we have with colleagues, the interactions with students.  You could see what we do and hear what we say and think we could be anywhere, but we are not, we are here in Costa Rica.  Life. Is. Different.  There is a charm in the foreign street signs, the slight smells of food, or garbage or flowers.  There is character in the way people dress, the cars that drive wildly down the street.  There’s endearment in the stray dogs that wander the streets with fully bellies of scraps and the noisy rustle of 30 parrots in a tree outside my class or the mismatch colors of a fence adorned with barbed wire.

This is our home, for now, this is our life.

Fence on the walk home

STOP! it is just a suggestion





4 responses

27 09 2010
Mom Stevens

Love it Miguel! Thanks for the play-by-play, pictures, and captions!

p.s. I know the “sleeping monster” quite well and must say I don’t envy you the near death experience when you must rouse her!

29 09 2010
Grandma Liz

Miguel, Grandpa Jim and I love all the up dates and pictures ! Vanessa has not changed and I love the picture of her sleeping. She does that quite well . Also , what a beautiful view from your class room .

14 10 2010

Great classroom shots. Love the monitor 🙂 Miss you guys.

2 11 2010
Renee G-Orness

I love this…and love the sneak peek into your life! We miss you but are just itching to go visit your beautiful home! Love you brother/sister!

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