Friday, September 16, 2011

First day of teaching

Wow. Thank God that day is over and can never happen again! Unless tomorrow I wake up in some terrible kind of, that's too awful to imagine. Let's stick to the facts.

This morning I again successfully evaded the house chores (clean the sink, bathtub, floor, etc) and finished The Island of Doctor Moreau. What a great book! Great, great, great adventure story! Please do read if you haven't already. Then I went out shopping for an ironing board and 5 hangers (total: about $12). Then lunch (leftovers). Then just enough time to get super nervous about teaching my first classes this evening. I made it to the school with time to spare, so I hung out in the teeny teachers' corner for a couple of minutes and met some of the other teachers. One in particular seemed really cool, the others don't stand out as much in my memory. The average teacher seems to be either beautiful, young, female, and Ukrainian or middle-aged, male, and American. Is that rude of me to point out? Hmmm.....

So I taught three 2-hour classes back to back to back. There's technically a 5 minute break between classes but that means if you end class right on time, your previous students are exiting the room as the new students are already entering. My “training” classes in Kiev never seemed to get larger than 7, but today I had 10 students, 14 students, and 9 students. The lessons went as well as could be expected- I wasn't disappointed in my performance but everything had the usual “first day” kinks. The TOEFL class is definitely going to be a challenge but it looks fun too. Assuming, ahem, I'll finally get the class materials to prep with. Speaking of which...this experience has been very healthy for me; I have to lean back and relax because often sometimes things get done at the last minute. Like my schedule for tomorrow. I could write a lot about this but, no. This is personal development. I will let it go.

Anyways- Reasons #987, #988, and #989 why Ukraine is freakin' awesome:
  • Saw a man walking down the street today pushing a baby stroller with one hand and carrying a open beer bottle with another hand.
  • On a public sidewalk, walked around an old man who was using a 15 foot pole with a soda bottle cut in half to get fruit down from a tree.
  • At the elementary school, kids had drawn a bunch of chalk pictures on the ground and written the words “We love the people of Ukraine” and “We love veterans”. What are the pictures of, you may ask? Why, the usual childhood propaganda: tanks launching missiles and stick-figure soldiers with machine guns. They may have been inspired by this mural I photographed not far from the school:
"For peace, armed Ukrainian forces (are needed)- it is a guarantee of the sovereignty and independence of (our) country"

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