Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 33: Graduation/Buen Retiro Park

One month later and it's over. Days upon days of intensive course work with TtMadrid to get my TEFL. Studying, group projects, homework, multiple lesson plans and it has finally come to an end. I worked my ass off and can now reap the reward of a freshly made certificate with my name on it that says I am now certified to teach English as a second language. What rewards did I garner you may ask? Well on the very last day of the course I had already scored an interview which has led to me accepting a job teaching Business English with a company called ******** (for legal reasons ;)). Currently I have only three classes and three telephone classes but hey! you have to start somewhere. The reason I accepted them was the prospect of a lot of work that they seem to offer and since their offer has already grown since my acceptance in working with them I can tell that I made a very wise decision.

So what does this all mean? TtMadrid is not cheap, it's not easy, and it can test your mental capabilities and that is three of the best reasons why one would choose that program over any other TEFL program in my opinion.

1. It's not cheap - there is a big rule in the tattoo world. You get what you pay for. Is your tattoo huge and only cost you $60.. yea good luck with that fade and scarring issue. TtMadrid is the same way, you're paying for high quality tier learning. I knew nothing about teaching going into this course and I am so happy every single day knowing that I decided to do this instead of just getting my TEFL online for 1/4th the price. There are so many ins and outs and techniques that are so essential to the teaching and learning experience that you can only really learn inside the classroom and with quality teachers. They offer you support, strategy, and logistics along with a bunch of other great stuff that I will allow you to find out on your own.

2. It's not easy - It's not. But it's not impossible either. You work hard from day 2 until the course is over and at first the struggle... it's real but over days (not months) you see a strong change in your ability to think, act, and do work like a proper English teacher. At no time is it impossible unless you just choose not to give it your all.

3. Testing your mental capabilities - How many 20 something year olds move to Korea/China/Germany/Spain to go and teach English because it's the easiest way to travel only to find out they haven't the first clue what they are doing, panic and run home. My guess is that answer is a lot. You do a lot of questioning in this course. Can I handle this? Did I really want this? Will I really be good at this? And with each yes you come to learn that you have the power to do the goal you set out to accomplish and you have a great staff to have your back to yell at, cry, and freak out while they are there to tell you everything will be ok (psttttt, everything will be ok!)

Does this sound like I'm trying to sell you on something? Well, I am. It will probably be the only time I do on this blog but let it be this. If you want to get your TEFL, TtMadrid is the way to do it.

So after our champagne certification the whole class went to get completely bonkers drunk that night of our graduation together. As well all took one big sigh of relief and two big shot of tequila we partied the night away... and I proceeded to wake up, 8:00am hugging my toilet. First time in years (no shame game).

I would like to comment on this now although I'm going to dedicate a future post to this but setting up a foreign bank account in Madrid and getting your NIE is annoyingly difficult. For those of you who want money and convert their student visa to a year long stay.. good luck.

This passed Sunday I decided to go check out the park every single person who has lived in Madrid at some point in their life has been to: Buen Retiro Park.

It is the most beautiful park I've ever been to in my life.

I get there two hours early to explore a little bit before my compadres arrive to chill it up. The metro has a tunnel that connects right into the park which as soon as you walk in you come to one realization reallllllyyy quickly, this park is gigantic. I mean I really couldn't even decide for the first 10 minutes where to walk because of it's vastness and beauty. So logically I just walked forward. There are people picnicing every where, playing futbol, live music, etc. I mean this place must have hundreds of people in it but never felt crowded once. I decided that I was just try to get myself as lost as possible and then ping my friends to where I was via WhatsApp when they arrived. My journey had me discovering Palacio De Velazquez, a huge lake with people rowing in it, the Crystal Palace, a dog show, a hidden garden grove, and so much more. All this and I really didn't even cover half of this whole park. More info will be shown through pictures!

One of the first things you see when you explore Retiro Park is this huge lake with dozens of people rowing in it. Couples, adults with children, etc. Straight out of an italian movie. Behind it is this huge gorgeous monument that stands proud and tall where people go to chill and relax on looking everything else. What I'm standing on is a long path where you can sit by the water and behind me you can follow this path where people are selling home made items, or join someone for meditation, or even go up to kiosk and buy something delicious to eat.

The park is filled with beautifully crafted statues everywhere. 

So I discovered this beautiful looking building from behind from a far and something about its energy drew me closer to it. What was the huge beautiful building doing in the middle of the park?

Traveling around it I discovered it was the Palacio De Velazquez a free museum that pretty much happens year round. This month they had the work of Kerry James Marshall who themed all his pieces on the museum on what life was like for the African Americans in the 1950's +.

First things first, as you can tell this place is huge. Not only can you go left and right but it also leads to more rooms.

Beauty is only skin deep.

Beautifully psychedelic painting.

This painting was called something along the lines of: Two men naked smiling.

His work was powerful and extremely suggestive. You really connected with the hurt and struggle with a lot of his artwork but it wasn't all pain. Even in the hardest times there were ways to find happiness as shown in the last picture here. There was beauty in this exhibit that you could just feel, it was absolutely wonderful.

As you continue to walk you discover another smaller lake

With steps that lead up right to water so you can spend some time chillin with the ducks.

As you travel around this mini lake you'll discover this rock underpass and if you're as talk as me you'll surely hit your head (apparently everyone does!)

But the secret of this underpass in this opening in the middle that leads to a mini waterfall and more ducks :)

And then theirs the Palacio de Cristal which is arguably my favorite thing this park has to offer. So between the huge lake, the second lake, the first palace/art gallery, and now this, are you starting to get how humungous this park really is? Any ways, this is the Crystal Palace basically a completely see through building.

Seeing this sign made me so happy. Loving the vibes they are trying to bring to this.

So there is a center part that is inaccessible and seems like there really is no way of getting into it at all... and in their lies a suitcase... I really want to know what's in that suitcase and how it got there. Jules must be hiding it from Marcellus Wallace

The only thing inside the Palacio de Cristal and scattered all around are these rocking chairs with a book attached to it. Not sure what the book says because it's in Spanish and then in Russian. But this is a great place to kick back and relax and take in everything the park has to offer around in.. inside. Very cool experience.

The monument side of the lake. Very soothing and relaxing. A huge area to do pretty much whatever you'd please.

When my group met up we stumbled upon this adorable dog event going on. Some of these pups has some serious skillzzzzz.

We stumbled upon the garden grove with beautiful greenery and flowers along with all these peacocks!

There was this awesome bridge as well that lead to different parts of the park.

When my friends arrived we journeyed a bit before picking a nice quiet spot to sit eat and sip on some vino. After a couple more hours gone to the greatness of this park we decided to not end the night short but to go to the cinema to see a movie. Since nothing stellar was out we all decided upon seeing Maze Runner. It was not as bad as I thought it would be but not the greatest movie ever either I'd give it a solid 2.5/5 stars.

Here are some things I've discovered while traveling around Madrid:

As seen at El Rastro. Dude made a band out of all recycled material. So awesome.

Huge Irish Coffee. Looks delicious but I thought it tasted awful. One of my friends got free alcoholic drink that night.

Not sure where this leads but I wanna go there.

This was at a bar we passed by. All my friends know my love for Pac-Man

Also at a bar... Idon'tevenknow.

Well I start work on Wednesday but the real excitement starts Thursday at 4 where I finally get to do some serious traveling. My friend Alicia and I are taking a bullet train to Barcelona where I'm gonna go see my favorite artist, Salvador Dali's artwork! Be on the lookout for Evan in Barcelona!


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