Friday, October 7, 2011

Oct. 6th

A long day but a good day! Taught corporate classes in the AM....made it on the first train I saw despite a massive mob trying to get through the token turnstiles, even found a seat briefly instead of having to stand and get tossed around, and- as this was my third trip on this metro route- zoned out during the ride and while transferring lines but still got there successfully! The classes themselves are really fun. The students are all very interesting people. I'm always impressed by them. The fact that it's morning and not 6 PM or {gasp} 8 PM probably also helps the appeal of these classes. My 8 - 10 PM students hate that time slot, as do I! Anyways, one of the students...who I think also helped organize the classes....said some really kind words after class. : )

After that, another pricey but comfy afternoon at the coffee shop. They know me so well there!! Then evening classes.... my first class was dragging their feet the whole time. I pulled out all the stops but they were asked them what the deal was, they blamed the weather. They're a funny class....I really enjoy all of them but I can never remember them before or after class- it's like a blank in my mind. Then my last class- they're great! Their personalities are super-distinct and they're a lot of fun to be with. We had a smaller class tonight- only 5 students- which worked out in our favor. During the last 45 minutes, one of my students said "Pretty please, teacher, can we review the passive voice?" Not only was I able to comply with the activity I'd already prepared, but I was also able to come up with a passive/active voice activity on the fly, imagine that! This was because I'd tried to do such a thing during training and failed miserably, but that laid the groundwork for a successful spur-of-the-moment activity this time.

If you want to know a secret for a great activity for Ukrainians- I kid you not- Tic Tac Toe. No one seems to know this game here, so it's still pretty novel, but they grasp the concept very quickly (remember I mentioned their similiarity to Vulcans? Come on, these are people who play chess for fun! Of course they're very serious and smart and the logic behind the game appeals to them). Once students understand the game, you divide them into teams and in order to "win" an x or o in their square, they must complete a conversational task or answer a grammar question. It's so cute, I've used this even with my super-advanced students and always after class someone remarks on what a clever activity it was!

Another funny note: after one class ended my students formed a secretive circle around the desks and were super-into something.....which I discovered to be Uno! Someone had got a hold of an Uno game and was toting it as the greatest thing ever. All the students were like "Wow! Whoa...." Uno, haha!

On a random note, English has started to sound really ugly and boring to my ears outside of work. I would rather hear Russian, even if I can't understand everything! D, please speak more Russian with me!! That said, I still have far to go with my language skills. Exhibit A) Someone called me up on the intercom system, saying they'd forgotten their key and wanted to get in...or something like that....and I was like "uh, sorry, I don;t know how to open the door" and they hung up on me. At least, I think that's what happened. Then, Exhibit B) this old lady asked me for help crossing the street and it took a minute for the words to assemble themselves in my mind, so in the meantime I thought she was asking for money...then I had to apologize for not helping her right away, as a man came over and helped her. I felt so embarrassed!


  1. Re: "Tic Tac Toe. No one seems to know this game here"

    This must be some kind of joke :)
    This game is quite popular in younger grades of school. It's called in Russian "krestiki-noliki". Later, when all the turn&gambit combinations are learnt, it's not so interesting to play it.

  2. Hahaha, maybe my students missed it in grade school. They profess to be quite interested in it! Or maybe they're just being polite :P