About

Hola! I’m Janel Torkington; I was a Fulbright ETA for the 2010-11 school year at IES José Luis Sampedro in Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain. I renewed my contract for the year of 2011-12, and I worked the same gig directly under the umbrella of la Comunidad de Madrid.

The 2012-13 academic year found me working as an Auxiliar de Conversación de Inglés at Centro Concertado Valdecás in Vallecas, Madrid through UCETAM.

I’m now in Barcelona, having found a legit jobbie writing and editing for an internet start-up. I drink plenty of black coffee and have finally converted to typing on a Spanish keyboard.

This blog is an exploration of “what it’s like,” which is as much as discovery for you as it is for me. I adore playing with language – which is why I got into the business of teaching it in the first place – so expect excessive wordiness accompanied by really terrible puns.

I also dabble in photography and continue to delve further into the art while in aesthetically pleasing España.

I speak both English and Spanish; while con tomates is a mainly English-language blog, I can’t promise a little variety won’t pop up here and there. Un poco de todo y de todo un poco, ¿verdad?

The views expressed in con tomates are mine – that is, Janel Torkington’s – and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations. I definitely don’t have to include this anymore, but it’s vaguely legitimizing in its declamation, and I like that.

Find out about how to contact me.

10 responses

19 09 2010
mary ellen tickman

Janel: Hope all’s off to great start of another incredible year for you. I’ll follow w/much interest & wishes for your success. take care, be well.

5 03 2011
Saracita

Hola! Stumbled across your blog in search of Fulbright ETAs, as I anxiously await news of whether I will be doing the same this coming year. I love your photography, too – something I look forward to doing if I make it over there. What do you shoot with?

I’ll be back for more!🙂

5 03 2011
contomates

thanks sara! the waiting bit is gnarly, isn’t it? the only advice i have is to try to put it out of your head – spain sees no need to hurry up and tell you your destiny for the coming year. i found out in mid-april last year, i think.

i shoot with a canon S90 and edit in photoshop CS3.

4 08 2011
David Torkington

Well, long time no see. It’s your cousin, David. I must say, the kind of things you do overseas is awesome. I wish you luck on the other great things there and your teaching role. I like how you write. I also hope we can chat later.

-David

6 10 2011
Shawn

Food, language, exploration, education…I’ll be back! I’m in my second year in Madrid, with no intention of leaving. Best of luck to you!

6 10 2011
contomates

Muchas gracias!! Am currently admiring your work over at casual notebook as well – and juuust when I was thinking there was a dearth of intriguing Madrid bloggers in English. Not so!!

6 10 2011
Sunshine and Siestas

So happy to stumble across your blog thru Tortuga Viajera! I’m Cat, fellow Spanophile and writer who survived the auxiliar program three years to further prove my masochistic tendencies by slaving away at a private, híper religious bilingual school. Check me out: http://sunshinesandsiestas.com

7 10 2011
contomates

Glad you dig on it, Cat! Three years, huh? I love the little beasties too, but I’m not sure if the amor extends out quite that far…

30 10 2011
Sibylle

new follower! moving to Madrid soon, cant wait!!! Is there a neighborhood you recommend moving to? all info is greatly appreciated!

31 10 2011
contomates

i love where i live, just north of alt-party barrios malasaña and chueca – not quite in the middle of the action, and SO easy to walk home at night. also very livable was just south of atocha station (near metro stop palos de la frontera) – much more family oriented, definitely cheaper, great access to a “farmers’ market” (Mercado Santa Maria de la Cabeza).

really anywhere in the center’ll do you well – madrid is extremely walkable, and when your dogs start barking you can always hop in the metro.

bet you’re jazzed for the big move – excellent decision!! what brings you here?

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