In a brightly lit, too-cold room in the Conservatory of Puerto Rico in San Juan, where I’ll try to sleep for an hour before teaching all day after flying during the night. Arrived at 6am (2 am San Francisco time!), had breakfast at a restaurant that Barack Obama had visited—the restaurant was proud of it!— and now some moments to lie down before teaching 20 University students and then various groups of kids—in Spanish. This after a full week of classes at school that included two twelve hour days with after-school workshops with young teachers training in the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI). I’m either crazy or inspired (and probably a little of both) to throw myself into the deep waters of non-stop teaching here, there or everywhere.
This is the place where I’ll meet the student I taught 48 years ago and in the airport, passed an Orff colleague heading out after flying down here from Michigan to see Hamilton. That’s unusual! And then there appears to be a festival for San Sebastian this weekend with large masks called Cabezones that I might be able to catch. Driving to the Conservatory in the early morning dawn, the streets were filled with joggers and there to my right were the beaches. And even though Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S. (need to do my research on this!), it most definitely is it’s own culture and kids mostly speak Spanish in schools.
My older cousin Susan, may she rest in peace, lived in Puerto Rico half the year (the other half Long Island) and always encouraged me to come visit and I’m sorry to say I never did. She passed away too young (around 70) some four years ago and it’s nice to think of her a bit. I always liked her spirit and she was one of the few people who actually would include a handwritten note with her annual Christmas card.
My 3 hours of plane sleep is calling me to lie down. More to come.