Postcard from Piracicaba, Brazil (Part II)
Education graduate student, Jennifer Young, is spending six weeks teaching middle school students in Brazil this winter as part of a UW Tacoma independent study abroad program.
Part II: After a visit to the Brazilian federal police, I am all clear. I had to register to get my identity card. In the meantime, I have been extremely busy. My first "official" class was today. I've been doing some impromptu teaching since last week, however, today's class has been planned for a very long time. In fact, it relates directly to my master's project which examines positionality and the development of one's pedagogy. Class started out fine.
I began with an oral narrative of a traumatic academic experience followed by an examination of the narrative in written form. All of a sudden, class was interrupted by a crew of cameramen...
Apparently, Hyundai industries is moving to Piracicaba - an estimated 8,000 Koreans and their children will be coming in shortly. The school, in preparation for this influx, decided to sneak two Korean students (one Brazilian born and raised and the other who has been in Brazil for only 1 year)into my advanced English class which only had one other Korean national. My mind was on performance mode. I tore out two sheets of paper and had the other two visitors draw pictures while I tried to continue teaching the class - smiling my way through it all. No one told me this would happen. Immediately thereafter, I lobbied for a room with air-conditioning and technology since I am the "North American," on site. I was also mentioned in the local newspaper who first introduced me (in masculine form) before correctly labeling me as "uma americana de Washington."
I guess I will be appearing on T.V. soon....oh....and apparently I am teaching a university class at UNIMEP next week. I'm going to keep smiling.