on the 36th or so day of Christmas...
AWESOME NEWS!!! My Christmas package of books from my family (13, all in English!) finally showed up yesterday after 2 and a half months (postmarked November 14). I'd given up hope that I'd ever see it. This is bliss indeed!
Today I went with Tetiana G., one of the Peace Corps lead specialists for TEFL, to the college and lyceum in my town to discuss the possibilities of them applying for a PCV. I don't know if either of them will...the director of the lyceum was interested, but the teachers weren't (they said they're too busy preparing students for olympiads and such to have time for a PCV), but the college seemed interested (except for the cost of housing aforementioned PCV). I hope they apply. They're half specialized high school, half teacher training college, and both halves could benefit. Tetiana was telling me that yesterday, she visited several village schools in my rayon (county), and the teachers there, who had been educated at this college, were afraid of speaking English to an American. So there's definitely a need for better education at the college level. Plus, I know some of the college faculty, and they're hard-working people who really love what they do.
Also good was that my director decided not to meet with Tetiana after all. She had told her last week that she wanted to meet to "discuss problems with the program", which I assumed meant "Sally isn't meeting my requirements for a teacher." It turns out that what she wants is more rent money, and she decided to just telephone my regional manager instead. Rent keeps going up. This is a problem, and I suspect that eventually PC will stop increasing the amount they pay, and my school can't afford more. There are times I'm half tempted to ask Viktor and Nadia if I can rent one of their 3rd floor rooms, but a) I know they'd take me in in a pinch, but I don't want to be a burden and don't know if I would be, and b) I love them like my own family, but one of the joys of having 10 younger siblings is that I can go home to peace and quiet. We'll see what Vasyl says about the rent increase. At any rate, my director didn't seem displeased with my work.
Thinking that Tetiana would have time for tea (she didn't, but we didn't know that originally), I used my new cookbook from my mom (Amish recipes, a good idea because they make everything from scratch, just like Ukraine) to make a jelly roll. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and now I have another way to use up all the jars of raspberry jam that Nadia keeps giving me. :)
13 kids showed up to my younger English club on Monday, plus there were 6 or so who told me that they couldn't make it this week but they'd try next week. We learned "The Wheels on the Bus" (a big hit) and "There's a Hole in the Bucket" (not as big of a hit, sadly). I had wanted to keep the club for students who know some English, but now my 3rd formers are starting to come as well...what can I say?
We'll see how many show up to the club for senior pupils tomorrow. I definitely have a better rapport with the younger kids, if attendance at my clubs can be taken as an indicator.