Monday, October 5, 2009

Funked out with a gangster twist...

Wah wah wahhhh!! You are entering the Debby Downer Zone... proceed with caution, and don't get stuck!

Ah so another day has peeled off of the calendar as a creeping feeling washes over me about CP planning. No matter how you spin it, being demotivated is not a good look. I myself am doing ok, but being around certain people who are as such takes a toll on your mental energy. I hope this week goes better than the last two on that aspect.

I have an appointment tomorrow in Tbilisi with Georgia's leading "allergologist" tomorrow to determine my asthma/allergy woes. In the past, I have traveled in Eastern Europe, but I have never lived in it. There has always been the "draft" or other worries about weather concerns, such as grabbing a jacket when it is a sunny 80 degrees outside. Last night I was told to put on pants; I was wearing thermal shorts, 2 shirts, a hoody, and socks. I said if I did that, I would get hot, and was then given a momentary silent treatment. It was really heavy. All is well now.

I'm looking forward to getting back on healthy feet. I'm nervous also about getting a good turnout for the FLEX test on Wednesday. My director really wants to have FLEX students and I don't want to let her down. I'll be helping proctor this exam with the American Councils, so I'm glad at least to be helping. If there is not a good turnout, there is also another test at the end of October in Tbilisi. Granted, I realize I am holding really high expectations for myself and my work, I realize other volunteers are still trying to sort out what's going on. Call me an overachiever. ;)

I cannot wait for birthday packages to start arriving!! It keeps me positive. It's like a little piece of America coming my way.

I graded a ton of papers today. One thing I don't know if is a modern method or just a difference of teaching styles, but teachers here as a whole don't collect papers other than tests, at least with English. So these students study for 9 years and can go that whole time mispelling words and having bad syntax. Also, for some students, they just give up and drop out. There is such a massive difference in minority classes between the 9th and 10th grades. It's like the light just turns off. I'm gonna try and keep the light burning bright, while fueling mine as well.

One volunteer and I had an amazing conversation about how important it is to be your own personal motivation machine. When times get difficult, you can't shut down. The work that we do here isn't physically difficult, but rather like a massive logic puzzle. Because many of the problems are systemic, those who are in the system aren't aware of them, and it's up to you to identify them, categorize them, and then develop a plan of action to create change, large or small.

While there are RPCV's (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) in country, there are not any current volunteers with whom to collaborate. Of course, there are pros and cons to this, but I can't help but wonder what the grass on the other side might be like, if it were here to think about.

Also, another good motivator is thinking about what I would be doing right now if I were in the States, not much in terms of playing towards my life's goals and dreams.

I'm dragging this on, if you couldn't tell, in an attempt to jump back on a positive track. I have been having increasingly better sessions with my Georgian tutor. We are still figuring things out and are on the verge of vibing towards language fluency! Ok, the last part may be a stretch, but it's better for sure. I still have yet to meet with the Russian tutor, but that should happen soon.

Back on the note of regulating students work through physically turned-in assignments, there are students who have been studying English for 8+ years who still don't know how to say "What's your name?" much less how to answer it. I don't care who you are, or how bad you are at languages, if I gave you 8 years to memorize that, I would hope you'd be able to learn it.

... so remember it's important to REGULATE!


1 comment:

  1. Always keep "Eye of the Tiger" on deck for when the motivation beings to waiver! You got this.