Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lawn Chair = Heaven



I told you I intend on writing regularly! Today was a pretty regular day. One of my classes was cancelled. The rest were smooth. The year's goal for the teachers that I work with is to "get through the book", overlooking what is actually in the book or whether the students are actually understanding what is going on in class. That said, in most classes we are finished with the book. Finally the stupid book is out of the way! Too bad students are pretty much over school at this point. I find my ways to fill class time, though... Today only 3 students came to the 10th grade class, so we looked at my pictures from home and talked about them (I brought my laptop to have my counterpart check on the certificates I'm making for my summer volleyball camp.) The students loved it - and we only spoke English, so there. Then in 8th grade, I somehow found myself giving Spanish lessons lol! Students - getting me off track! But it was very much grammar related....?

I look forward to next year, having a couple of months to explain some changes I'd like to make will go much better than coming from another country to a village school a month into lessons - with an agenda.... I hope. The other day I had one of the worst teaching situations happen. Gulbak had missed a series of classes - giving me the room to do my own thing (without the book). She suddenly returns one class and decides we are further back in the book than what I am teaching. So, we go back. I usually don't do any exercises from the book because they are ridiculous and confusing. She decides I will facilitate all of the exercises this class and she will do her grade book. Exercise 1 says "Read the job advertisement below and discuss it." - "below" is a exert from the dictionary of the words to qualify, to apply, and to interview. I say, "Gulbak, I don't understand what this exercise wants us to do, there is no job advertisement." We continue to argue about the stupidness of the book. She tells me to write the translation and transcription of these words on the board. I say, well... then we aren't doing the exercise from the book, and the students don't learn from a translation and transcription... (I know its petty, but I decided to use this to make my case about the books.) We argued for a while (students stunned), and by the end of class - she was with me! She is all about new books for next year - yes! (Although now she uses the "awful books" as a scapegoat for her not preparing for class...)

I finished my "locavore" book, and although I don't 100% agree with every detail, I am moved to change. Please read it! It really is important. That is what I spent the rest of my day doing - finishing... I don't know what it is about the book that I just couldn't stop reading. Hopefully by the time I get home and have a place to settle down and invest into, I'll still be passionate about food. For now, I'm moving on to the next book. Tell you what, one thing I've discovered about myself while here is that I really like to read lol! I'm currently on a desperate search to find a lawn chair in this country. The superstition for women here is you may not sit on the ground or touch your bare-feet to the ground - or you will become infertile (assuming that is what they mean when they tell me "Your woman parts will hurt lol). They take this very seriously and have a near heart attack if they see a young woman touching the earth. However, there are no chairs or benches outside. ever. which only leaves the squat-perch position, which they have mastered but most western people teeter over while attempting. This position is not a lounge and read position. I want a lawn chair.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning how are you?
    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.
    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.
    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Kazakhstan? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Kazakhstan in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:
    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)
    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.
    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez