Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hey Julio Cesar!

Julio Cesar,

We were surprised to hear from you on our blog, but glad we got your support! We don´t have your email address, but we would love to hear how things are going in the US. Our emails are:



Hopefully you are studying your sports trivia along with your regular studies.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

English Festival

Last week, I was lucky enough to get to judge my schools English singing competition. I also got to do this in training in Catarina, so I felt qualified. That, and that I speak English I guess were my qualifications for judging others on their singing.

Every year most, if not all, secondary schools in Nicaragua have an English singing competition. It is to get students excited about English, and it works because they students are REALLY into this competition. I helped numerous groups practice their songs in the weeks before the festival. Anyways, the music teacher, another teacher, and I were the 3 judges for the competition. 27 groups participated, not counting one group to kick off the festival and another to close the competition who were not being judged. Thats right, 27 groups, about 5 minutes a piece = 3 hours. 3 hours of students singing. Popular choices were Eternal Flame, Backstreet Boys and Air Supply. The winner was a 9th grade boy who sang a Backstreet Boys song and 2nd place was a girl in 11th grade who sang I Will Survive, and she really was awesome. She even had backup dancers, though they could have used some of her pizzazz. I personally thought the winner should have been one of my students who sang Everything I Do I Do It For You, but he ended up in 4th. Really though, he sings and pronounces really well and should have been 1st or 2nd. I think I was more upset that he didn´t win than he was.

The crowd during the competition was something to see. The students, all 600 of them, were screaming and they also brought noise makers and signs to support their friends. That part was fine, but half of the time I couldn´t hear, which made it tough to judge. When I boy sang really well, ALL of the girls screamed and cheered. What was worse however, was when there was very sexual dancing going on onstage between boys and girls. I was blushing and couldn´t watch, but the other teachers didn´t mind as much. They´re used to it. I couldn´t watch. Below are some pictures, not of the sexual dancing, but of some of my students.

Here are two of my students who sang We Are the World to kick off the festival. I like Anthony, left, because he sweats more than I do and it makes me feel better about myself. But seriously, it was really really hot in that auditorium packed with 600 students. Anthony is on the left and my BFF the gemelo is on the right. Here is the whole group singing We Are The World. They are all in one of my 11th grade classes.
The gemelo singing his part.
Darwin (who I think should have won) holding the mic for Anthony.
It was a really fun time and we raised enough money for all of the English teachers to go to the TEFL Conference in September where my counterpart and I will be presenting! All in all, a success!