Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My long lost friend

BLOG #13
September 30
So, you would think I would be getting used to the long day think, right... lol, not the case. Today was a technical training day - where we learn how to be good teachers. I generally really enjoy the technical sessions... they just seem long. We spoke about grading, cheating, unit plans (briefly), and lessons about writing. I'm probably forgetting a lot. But overall it was very helpful. They always help a lot with lesson ideas! My favorite part of the day was our after-school activities! Today was the first day of our talent show preparations... There was such a good turn out :) Anna and I have more than we need to fill the parts of Cinderella. Of course there was drama about who was playing Cinderella (no surprise there, right Elana :) haha) The kids caught on quick and really had fun with the story. I love that my little 5th graders are so excited to hang out at English club. It's so cute how they are all so proud of knowing their volunteer-teacher's name... I also had a chance to help out with the art project, which made me sooo happy! The project was to make talent show decorations out of trash. (Talk about low-key haha) It was beautiful chaos. We cut up pop bottles to look like flowers. We fringed the tops to bending them out to make petals cut the bottom and taped it in the middle of the bloom, then and added a foil candy wrapper to make the - pollen part? Then we strung them on string made from the body of the bottles, just cut in a spiral so it's like a curly Q. I'll take a picture, that will describe this 291,034 times better!
I'm in love with a couple of the boys. It was so hilarious that they actually got really into making pop bottle flowers :) I didn't expect that... but they took charge and were serious about making a beautiful vine of flowers. The other groups were dance, singing, games, and frisbee. These kids really need something to do after school, they literally hung around outside of our classroom for over 45 min before the club started! ...just waiting for us to come out and start the club! Some might say (and may have said) that our half of the club was madness... but I disagree wholeheartedly. These kids were smiling :) and I think I had as much fun making trash flowers as any of them haha. Elias, our favorite English Club boy, made a whole bouquet and vase of trash flowers! He is über involved in anything English Club-related. I like that about him haha.
Names here are very interesting, well Kazakh names at least. For example, our language teacher, Aigul,'s name means moonflower. Ai-moon, gul-flower. Her daughter's name is camelbaby. Echo's host sister is pomegranate, Laura's blueberry, Andrew's star... There are many many more examples like this... It's almost like what I understand of the Native Americans... but it's just funny how America gave _fill-in-the-blank_ such a hard time for naming her kid Apple... Blueberry?
Yesterday, after school, I was eating a quick cucumber salad with Ablai (chopped up cucumbers and salt) and he left to go to his friends, then the two of them came back with a Dizzy Cocktails cardboard box. They did the whole "Nina, shut your eyes and hold out your hands." thing. I was skeptical to say the least. There could have been anything in that box. Most of which, I'm sure I wouldn't like in my hands. But, I did it anyway... guess what it was! A fat little puppy! The cutest silly little puppy. My heart turned to honey (to quote Dr. Victor)! They said his name was White Tooth - which sounded more to me like belly-click. Apparently they bought him from the bazaar for 1000 tenge, which is a little under 7$! I was really encouraged, this being the first sign I had seen here that the concept of selling an animal as a pet is understood. I'm not sure I would pay money for a pet here though (even if its 1000tr), seeing as I could have picked up the same sweet little thing for free at some trash dump. (P.S. I saw Rex outside of our school the other day... confirming that Ablai was trying to trick me, saying that his uncle shot Rex. Or it was just a terrible miscommunication.... though Rex was limping.)

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