You’ve been waiting for it! That’s right folks: this would be what I’d like to call a real post (not some of that jibber jabber creative writing shtuff). Since it’s been about a month since I gave you insight into the real life of Jefferson, I’ll begin with the first day of school.
The first day of school was exactly how it went down last year, but more low-key. The music teacher, who I like to think of as a Diva, sang her songs; there were some mini-speeches I didn’t have to take part in; and I definitely felt like the outsider in the whole fandangle. I had one teacher tell me it was about time I started to learn Georgian. It was good to be back to school!
I had my dental check-up and annual medical review. I’m definitely not in the pristine conditions I was when I got to Georgia, but I’ve been able to adapt. I love the doctors and the dentist we had. She was seriously better than any dentist I’ve been to in the US = slam dunk for Georgia.
Our second full week of school we had FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) Program testing in our school. There wasn’t as great of a show as the previous year, but the FLEX office and peeps did everything in their control to get the word out! We also got a chance to experience the new Turkish restaurant in my town. It’s pretty good, and they deliver!
I had a visit from Punishment, Sidney and Friend this past weekend! We ate hamburgesas for lunch and chili with dinner, riddled with skittles, Lorna doones, Georgian shop pastries, and homemade chocolate chip cookies between it all.
In my lessons I’ve been heavily using the equipment we got with the grant. I’ve been using it to teach American culture and reinforce the skills from my computer training, such as Power Point vocabulary presentations and listening activities with fill-in-the-blank lyrics. I recently used Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am.” I just got an idea to contrast it with Timbaland’s “The Way I Are” and maybe have them write a contrast essay…. Hmmmm. We’ll see! They are my advanced 12th graders. My other 12th graders don’t really know English, so I’m excited to see them make progress!
I’ve had several parents approach me wondering why I don’t prepare their students. They use prepare in the context of me privately tutoring their children, which is highly advised against in PC Georgia. There is a dependence mentality (and partial reality) that children cannot learn unless they have a slew of tutors to teach them after school. I think it’s really sad that this mentality persists, and I wish to change it. Therefore, I tell these parents I have several free opportunities their children can prepare and no one seems to take advantage of them. I offer 1 hour of homework help and 2 hours of English club weekly after school, in addition to their class work they receive. Students don’t do much in or outside class, of course with their being some exceptional students. Overall, my teaching situation this year is looking to be a promising one.
One of the books had the word for AIDS in Georgian, so I took that opportunity to expound upon the theme and do a lesson on HIV/AIDS awareness. It turns out there was recently a public service announcement aired on Georgian TV to raise this issue. Many of my students were open the discussion, which was surprising. I embarrassed myself by accidentally using the slang word for condom, which is often used as an insult in place of the equivalent for moron. Good laughs were had by all!
It’s officially getting colder, and as the heat goes down outside, I’m trying to stay warm with activities. I’m going to be designing a test for a class I’ll be teaching at SM’s Youth Center that will follow with 3-6 extra hours of English teaching per week. I’ve got my usual activities and a few other project ideas in mind. ANNNND I managed to take the Foreign Service Exam!
I have read and heard from many folks you should always follow your gut instinct. I didn’t listen… again. Gahh! I changed a lot of my answers on the test to incorrect ones after some extensive Wikipedia searching recently… I find out in the following weeks whether I’ll move on to the next stage. I don’t think I did terrible, but I had hoped to have done better! I’ll keep you updated.
Spiders, bats, and toilet toiling! Halloween is on its way, and I haven’t even given thought to my costume! Auf Weidersehen mein giblets!