How I ended up at a college for gym teachers

So it turns out that trying to do a controlled study, have any information about what’s going on in your own day ahead of time, and trying to plan things in the long term over a month’s period doesn’t really work in Chile.  Here was the original planned timeline for my ISP.  Week one: read.  Weeks two and three: Interview one history class’s worth of tenth graders at a public school, and some history teachers there, and observe in the class. Do the same at a private school.  Week four: edit the film and write the paper.  Sounds simple enough.


What actually happened has involved trekking all over Santiago to interview various people, some of whom are in high school.  One man I interviewed at his house in the evening (that sounds way sketchier than it was.  His mom and daughter were home too), and he had me come to the grocery store with him first so he could buy the following items: one liter of iced tea, one roll of oreos, one liter of ginger ale (diet), two juice boxes of chocolate milk.  Okayyyyy


My schedule has been more like this:

First half of week one: find a place to live

Second half of week one: read

Week two part one: seemingly have no one to interview and instead have to ask Rene (as opposed to my advisor, who is his brother in law) to set me up with anyone, which was apparently very difficult because there was a national strike going on of most government employees.  But Rene put me in touch with Luis Vincencio who is a ridiculous man who wears a vest, is probably covertly running the entire communist party of Santiago (no joke), and who is constantly moving at a sprint because he is so busy.  Luis Vincencio is the advisor of Joanna and Simona.  Luis Vincencio is eccentric.  We’re not really sure if he’s really human.  Luis Vincencio is also a history teacher at a public school.  I called him and he said “come to Liceo Cervantes at 5pm (that’s the school)”.  Today?  Yes.  Okay.  I interviewed four students there and one teacher.

Week two part two: Interviewed the man who did his grocery shopping (he also had to buy colored pencils).  Interviewed three college students at the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias Educacionales (so a school that only has teaching majors).  Sounds perfect until you realize I was at the campus that is solely for gym teachers.  I actually walked around looking at all these incredibly athletic people and thought, you are allllll going to be gym teachers.  Good think I play a sport or I would’ve felt like a fraud.  The students (gym teachers to be) ended up having very useful things to say. Interviewed a masters student.  “observed” in a classroom where they were having their history “final” (aka a 10 question true or false test).

Week three: Interviewed six students and one teacher at a public high school and wrote most of the paper I need to have accompanying my video. Also started editing my video a lot.

Week four: Starts tomorrow.  I’m supposed to interview at a private school finally, but who knows what will happen. 


Just to give you an idea, here’s a typical kind of ISP day.  I go in for my weekly Monday meeting with Roberto (my advisor) after being away for the weekend and traveling back to Santiago on an overnight bus.  He is late, as always.  He comes in and says, we’re going to a school (this is a school I thought I’d be going to an entire week earlier).  I say, I don’t have my camera or anything.  He says, that’s fine, we’ll just go there and schedule a time for you to go interview.  Okay.  We go there, they are not expecting us even though Roberto has called me at 8am that morning telling me to email my interview questions to the principal.  The principal says yes you can do your interviews here but you can’t say the name Pinochet in the questions, you must say the government between 1973 and 1990 in Chile.  Great, so now these interviews are totally different from the week 2 ones.  We schedule a time for me to come.  Roberto and I leave and go to his house to change the questions.  He invites me to stay for lunch but I have to go grocery shopping. 


Example two.  I knew that I was supposed to go to this private school on Friday, but hadn’t heard from Roberto when I went to bed Thursday night and had no idea what time, where, or what the school was called.  Roberto calls at 9am Friday and says, I’m waiting for an email about when you can go to the school.  It should arrive at 11:00.  I start working on other things.  At 2:00 Roberto calls and says he has just forwarded me an email and that I can go to the school Monday and must arrive at 7:45 am.  It’s going to take me an hour to get there, and the teacher he had me email there hasn’t actually responded to confirm.  Great.


On the bright side, I’ve seen more and more of Santiago.  And I visited a gym teacher college.


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