Saturday, September 19, 2009

Culture Shock Revisited

Hey there, so yesterday have been kind of level on terms of everything. I think this week and all of the things going on took a toll on me, so this weekend I will be resting.

So I know this is bad, but my motivation for doing new things in the community is obviously to help, but also to give me some new writing material. Sort of like one of those "create your own story" books. Will Mario go to the dungeon to save the princess (turn to page 96), or will he take a personal day and hope for the best (see page 185)?

So as I believe I mentioned, I was supposed to go to church today, but as I did not have a peaceful awakening from my alarm, I was not really feeling it. Last night my host mom geared my bed up for winter with an even larger, firmer, "more comfortable" pillow and a hella thick and heavy comforter that fused together with my sheet. Needless to say, it was a hot. Also, I had set my phone on my bed so that it was easy access to turn off this morning, and I'm a full believer in putting your alarm out of reach so that you actually wake up, however my phone fell into the crack of the bed onto the floor. I had to physically move the bed to turn off my alarm. Not exactly my ideal waking up situation, this was followed by a rice porridge for breakfast and a feeling of being rushed to get to the village in time for church and spend the day not understanding the language.

I'm very glad that on Monday I will start tutoring Georgian! I am going to shoot for 2 lessons of Georgian and 2 of Russian per week. When I speak in English everyone freaks out and tells me to slow down, but it's not entirely reflexive when they speak in Georgian to me. Also, I find myself in a minority in the minority community. I'm in an Azeri community in Georgia, but in a Georgian family and school. When I speak in Russian, I struggle because all day I'm thinking in Georgian, and when I speak in Georgian I sound horrible because I don't know the language. So everyone comes to the conclusion that I just don't have the language skills I need to be adequate in my community. When I speak the kids laugh at my Georgian and ask the teacher how am I going to teach them English if I don't know Georgian. Bah!

But at least I've identified my main frustration. I also recognize my honey moon period of being in a place that treats me so much better is coming to an end. Luckily, time is flying by, the weeks are peeling off! I'm also behind because all the other volunteers went through this site adaptation 2 weeks ago.

So as mentioned and for reasons given, I did not go to church today. I ate lunch with my host mom at 11:00 am before she left for the village, and she mentioned that people were excited for me to come and interested in me, especially the church leaders. She said the main church guy is the kind of person who can look into your eyes and know your soul. That is so freaking intimidating that I'm glad I had already backed out of going. I'm sure he's a great guy, and I'm all about religion, but 2 things: when I'm tired I don't want to have my soul judged by anyone who is God him/herself and then especially because any judgements would be passed on me in a foreign language.

LOL, and it's official my host mom, I love her so much, but it is a fact that she is a wrinkle nazi. One wrinkle on your clothing does not leave the house. I think it's so sweet that she takes my appearance so seriously, it sort of makes me feel guilty about my own personal upkeep and hygiene. I worry what she would do if I was actually messy or dirty.

The lessons I observed by the least competent of CPs crawled by. Watching paint dry would have been more interesting. The good thing is that she has a lot of potential to be an amazing teacher. She is just really de-motivated, and it's only her 2nd or 3rd year. I noticed that she has most of the classes with minority students, who compared to Georgian students have much lower self-esteem in regards to learning. While working with her will be my greatest area for impact and positive change, it will also be the most difficult.

After talking with another volunteer, I'm very glad none of my CPs beat, hit, or shake the children to maintain order in the classroom. Being a teacher is something that can be a huge emotional burden, probably stating the obvious, but challenges to work with include products of society and bad parenting (children). I truly don't blame any of the children for their behavior. I believe they all have potential to be good kids. And the teacher with amazing potential is just a product of training from the old education system in Georgia. I'm looking forward to the progress which will be made over the course of my service.

Right now, I'm listening to Mariah Carey, she's got some pretty uplifting and upbeat music, and later I will knock out season 2 of the Office. I'm already half-way through. I tried to pull it onto my computer from the disk, but it said it would take 400 minutes?? Not possible. So I'll just watch these episodes and get them back to their rightful owner!

Love you all! Can't wait until we chat again! Thank you for reading, those who are returners and those who are new, and also to those who have left comments!


1 comment:

  1. you used the world "hella"
    i dig it.
    Houston told Winfrey that Brown wasn't physically abusive but that "he slapped me once but he got hit on the head three times by me"."I was horrified. he spit on me, in my face" and that left her "very hurt, very angry".

    its almost the same thing in the classroom!
    Houston has some cool music too. I think Mariah used to get beat by her man too...its all the rage these days!

    Miss you!