субота, жовтня 28, 2006

happy Halloween!

I kept coming to the post offfice today, seeing that someone was going to be on the computer for the next hour or so, and going away, only to find out that when I came back, someone new was on the computer. I finally decided to just sit here for an hour and read one of the not-trashy-but-still-pretty-dumb-but-I'm-desperate-for-English-books romance novels I bought at the local secondhand store. (I was told by the owner that Jenia, a girl I know who studied at the lyceum last year and is now studying to be an English teacher, beat me to the good books this week. Bah.) The man who was using the Internet needed help saving and printing a document in rtf form, so the nice post office ladies asked if I could help him. Honestly, I think I could get a second job just sitting here and offering Internet advice and help to people. :)


Well, I knew it was bound to happen, with babushkas praying for me and all that...I received a declaration of affection from a Ukrainian male this week. However, it came from 9-year-old Valery Y, who kissed me on the cheek and informed me that he was going to be my boyfriend (or something...I didn't catch the exact phrase) when he was older...like 20. Apparently it didn't occur to him that I'll be 34 at that point. Personally, I think he's only smitten because I pay attention to him, practice the English alphabet with flash cards, taught him the 11s multiplication table, and beat him up less than his siblings. :)


The 7th form had a test on Thursday, which I think they bombed miserably, but as it was from a standardized test book that doesn't exactly follow my curriculum, there's not much that I can do. The heart-wrenching part of it for me was watching Oleh Y. All 10 of the Y kids are adopted, but at least Oleh and Vlada don't officially have Yukhymets as a last name on the school record books. Nelya had written "Oleh Yukhymets" on his book and then crossed it out and wrote his legal last name on it, and I watched Oleh spend half of the 20 minutes allotted for the test erasing his "real" name and rewriting "Yukhymets". It made me choke up a little.


Yesterday was the last day of school before fall break, and there was a talent show-esque competition and dance in the evening. Knowing this, I based my 10th form 6th period lesson on Halloween and we played games in English all period...a Halloween word search and a pumpkin drawing contest (Nelya forbade a carving contest, and rightly so...I would have loved it, but it would have made a mess) where they had to draw different emotions in English on paper pumpkins. I had also made a jack o'lantern, and Nelya found a candle for it...it was the funniest thing to watch the kids' reactions to it all day. They don't celebrate Halloween here, and they all crowded around it (in every class)...and my slower students just stared at it all through the lessons. I think my jack o'lantern may be remembered longer than the English I taught yesterday!


I helped chaperone the aforementioned dance last night. (Jason, on the phone later in the evening: "That sounds like a thankless job.") It made me realize how old I am...the music was atrociously loud and it was 20 degrees hotter in the gym than in the hallway, where the teachers hung out and kept an eye on who went in and out. We stood around, tried to keep an eye out for people who were intoxicated, and muttered things about students who felt the need to constantly enter and exit. It didn't seem like an enjoyable pastime to me, but whenever we asked the kids how they liked it, they replied, "It's great!"

I'm old.


My social calendar for the next few school vacations is shaping up. Jason is coming to visit for New Year's break (much to the fascination of the Y kids, who have given me the third degree about him), Melissa is interested in maybe coming during spring break, and Tif mentioned trying to come next June. Anyone else who wants to come, take a number and get in line. :)


My 7th form wrote books this quarter in their groups. Each group had a season and had to write a story that took place in that season, supposedly using new vocab words (which didn't really happen). Then I corrected the stories, they rewrote them, and then they made them into books complete with illustrations. Final product: two complete books, one that didn't quite finish illustrating, and one group that couldn't seem to work together and turned in two sentences. (We're changing groups next quarter and I'm splitting them up!) I'm so proud of my kids!


At 6:15 пп, жовтня 28, 2006, Anonymous elizabeth said...

I would love to come visit sometime, but I absolutely do not see myself having the money to do so. I'm barely making enough to pay the bills right now. :-(

At 7:23 пп, листопада 23, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

I'm taking mental notes of how well you change your lesson plans on the fly to match your students' abilities.

I can't wait to meet your students! I hope to live up to their expectations :)

Much love,

At 1:15 пп, січня 29, 2007, Anonymous Анонім said...

i am Albert from Cameroon , like to personnaly know more of your experience in Ukraine.


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