субота, квітня 29, 2006

school and Scrabble

One month of school to go, and then I'll have completed my first semester as a teacher! Thanks to three extended weekends in a row, however, I'm not teaching that much these days: last weekend was a three-day weekend due to Easter, this one will be a 5-day one (regular weekend, Monday and Tuesday off due to International Labour Day, Wednesday off because I don't teach Wednesdays), and the next weekend will either be 3 or 5 days (Ukrainian Victory Day...victory over what, I don't know).

This weekend started out with a visit from Tif (whose new landlady was cleaning her old stuff out of Tif's apartment, leaving her with the desire to not be home). We made fried rice (unfortunately with sticky rice, so it didn't turn out that great), watched Ne Rodis Krasivoy (my plan is to corrupt Tif into becoming a fan), and attempted to play Ukrainian/Russian Scrabble with the use of dictionaries. Um, it was a lot of fun, but very difficult, even by our immensely amended rules (you can trade letters, search through the bag for ones you need, etc.). We didn't keep score, but we took photos, and hopefully if I ever find a computer that is set up for ISB ports, maybe someday I'll post some. (Don't hold your breath!)

Today is cleaning day, with the possibility of attempting to bake cookies later on. Tomorrow is church, and I love the fact that Sunday has once again become "church day". On Monday, I think I'm going to Kharkiv with the young people's group from the Ks' church to an orchestra concert (or maybe it's something else...not quite sure). Tuesday and Wednesday are currently still open.

Yesterday, I had to keep the 8th form busy while Nelya was berating various ones of them out in the hallway for skipping my American culture class/club the day before. They asked me to sing something in English. I sang "Yellow Submarine", but they told me that they didn't like the Beatles, so then I sang "Down in the Valley." Then they asked for the American national anthem. So I sang it, and I think I hit most of the notes. Then they all sang the Ukranian national anthem (the title of which translates as "Ukraine is Not Yet Dead"). It was a beautiful moment.

Following in Mom's footsteps, I was a substitute teacher for three classes on Thursday, as Nelya had to go to Kharkiv for the day to arrange some stuff for Vera's university education in the fall. It was a typical subbing sort of day...things were a little wild, but the kids seemed to like me. Oleh Y., whose parents are the ones with 10 kids who go to the Baptist church, was a perfect angel (it apparently pays to know parents!). I also had a 9th form boy use the f-word in class...the kid is probably wishing he'd never opened his mouth, as I, Nelya, the zavuch (vice-principal), and the director have all lectured him now. He gave me an apology in Russian explaining that he "didn't know much English and didn't understand what he said". Nelya's and my reaction after he left: yeah, right.

We have a new girl in the 4th form, Vika. Alina and Nastia, who were apparently in charge of helping her feel at home, included me as part of the tour of things she should know about. :)

5th form had a party yesterday and brought me sandwiches during 6th period. True confessions: I love my 5th form to pieces. They're smart, work hard, will do any crazy thing I ask them to, and love to sing. We've been doing a unit on health, so I've been teaching them a song I learned in kindergarten about healthy teeth:

Do you want strong teeth? Yes, sir!
Strong healthy teeth? Yes, sir!
If you want strong teeth, strong healthy teeth
Then here's what you have to do:

Drink plenty of milk, drink plenty of milk,
Drink plenty of milk every day.
Stay physically fit, don't drink just a bit,
Drink plenty of milk every day!

So for all of you readers out there, whenever you have a bad day, just think of 15 Ukrainian 5th formers singing about milk. :)


At 11:54 дп, квітня 29, 2006, Blogger Brandi said...

Your stories really make me want to visit Ukraine. Your students sound like a hoot.

At 6:03 дп, травня 02, 2006, Anonymous tina said...

I'm still giggling about the milk song. :D

The translation of Ukraine's anthem's title reminds me a bit of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "I'm not dead yet!" :)

Do you have a new address to go with your new apartment? I just wrote you a letter, so I need it.

*hug* Have a great week!


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