School Daze, Part II

To get to school, A. & J. walk up a series of steep cobblestone lanes.  The school, Colegio Público Gomez Moreno, is situated next to the most visited mirador in all of Granada, Mirador San Nicolas.

Both kids are doing really, really well in Inglés.  A few times during the week A. & J., along with some other ex-pat kids, leave the classroom to study Spanish with a warm and lovely teacher, who never raises her voice and who hands out candies during lessons.  Once a week after school, A. & J. work with a Spanish tutor who never raises her voice and who lives in a cave on Veredillas de San Cristóbal.  Because of this extra help, J.’s first complete sentence in Spanish, constructed solely by himself, late at night after a long day, was “Mi familia es muy mala.”  Like parents delighting over their child’s first steps, D. & I swooned.  Sort of.


J.’s schedule.

Perhaps no other part of the school day — neither standing in line with your group to enter the building in the morning, nor sitting in class all day listening to people around you speak in a foreign language, nor forgetting to bring your change-of-shirt and towel to P.E., nor having to hold it all day because no one told you that you have to ask for toilet paper from the teacher — causes as much disharmony as comedor.  The cafeteria.

As you recall from your own school days, going to the cafeteria to sit amongst people you know, speaking a familiar language, and digesting familiar, though somehow sad-looking, food, was never an easy task.  At Gomez Moreno, the students sign up for organic food, prepared fresh each day by qualified cooks. No student — neither Spanish nor otherwise — seems to be impressed by these facts.  They still have to eat the red gazpacho, the brown lentil soup, the squid presented with its black ink.  Of course, many students enjoy these dishes and eagerly consume a plate of pork loin or grilled hake*.  As a self-identified vegetarian, A. has only to eat the vegetables — the hunk of dry spinach, the mound of rice with the squid’s black ink inadvertently added on.

Lunch is served at 2 p.m., at the close of the school day.

*{Hake is quite a mild fish, with a white flaky texture and a flavour that is more subtle than that of cod. The fish has a soft, iron-grey skin and silvery belly. The flesh when raw is naturally very soft, but when cooked it becomes firm and meaty.” —}


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