Being a language assistant in SpainSecond period begins at 9.45am, so at 10:10am we are finally settling in our seats, once everyone has had a chance to draw a pink cat on the blackboard. Laura comes up to me with her three-teeth grin, sneezes in my face then goes to collect a rubber from the teacher because that desk isn’t going to rub itself out.

The teacher begins explaining about healthy and unhealthy breakfasts, and there’s a commotion over at the green team: WE DON’T HAVE PENCILS. Teacher explains that’s because we’re listening, not writing. Alex comes up to me mid-commotion to tell me that on Friday he was chosen to go make photocopies in Math class. That Lucky bastard.

They may not provide the scandalous debauchery of a 6th Grade Advanced class, but 2nd Grade basic class on Monday provided mystery that cannot be found elsewhere in the school: where did Mateo’s pencil go? Why was Fernando crying? Which part of the body did that fluid come from that’s on Lucía’s hands? Perhaps Rodrigo’s nose could provide the answer to all of these questions.

Teacher asks members of the class what they had for breakfast, and then Marta, always the showoff, gives us a more visual overview of her breakfast. Teacher sends her to the nurse and we’re down from 24 to 23. I begin reading the text from the exercise book in front of the class, and Rubén stops me mid-sentence to show me his new cut on his elbow. I then continue to read some text about Australia then ask the students if they know where it is. They point to the map. Of the USA. Paula runs up to give the teacher a hug – that bitch, she tried to stab me last week with a pair of scissors. Where’s my hug?

Teacher complains about the ‘strange smell’ in the room, eyeing off Rodrigo. I eye Rodrigo off too with my best disgusted face. Then I remind myself to skip the coffee from now on at breakfast. -Oh oH. Teresa is coming up to talk to me about her two pet rabbits. Spend next five minutes in head deciding what to cook for dinner. We are now ready to do some work: María meticulously hands out the pencils, with two minutes for each student to choose the longest/sharpest/yellowest/not cursed by the demons of hell-est. Teacher makes a politically incorrect reference to Chinese people. Awkward. Bell rings, pencils on the floor and only Rodrigo remains in the room with his finger up his nose. Class dismissed.

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