Wednesday, September 24, 2008
We had our first Russian class today. I loved it. I wish I could have a lesson every day. It made me miss teaching Spanish, and made me wish I could teach Russian. I felt sorry for the other girls because our teacher went so fast. She doesn’t speak English, which was nice, and is a really good teacher—she knew what she was doing. We practiced saying some popular phrases and then went over the alphabet and possessive pronouns. It was so fun. And Julia, our school coordinator, said the director of the school wants to trade me Russian for Spanish lessons. They’re in Spain right now, but when they get back I’ll talk to him about meeting for lessons a couple times a week. I’m excited about that because I want to learn Russian, and also because I’d way rather teach Spanish than English.
Our classes were crazy this week. They were crazy our first two days, but then we got a routine down and the kids started getting used to us, and that made things tons better. But then the school started sending us one or two new kids each day, and they speak no English, so they have no clue what’s going on. We have one child that we’ve had since Monday who just runs around destroying things. I’ve never seen a kid like him before. I’ve also never had thoughts about wanting to physically harm a child, but I will admit, thoughts of that type crossed my mind. I couldn’t even help the teachers at all because he took all my time. Luckily one of the Russian teachers saw him on one of his tirades, running through the drama room knocking down all the blocks stacked against the wall and throwing toys over the puppet stage. She grabbed him and chewed him out in Russian. After that he sat quietly in his chair for about ten minutes before it all started back up again. I told Julia about him and she’s going to talk to his parents. If he doesn’t improve they’ll take him out of the program. The parents are paying extra for them to be in our language classes, so it’s a privilege for them, meaning we can kick him out if need be. I had a good time with him at recess though. He’s a fun kid when he’s on his own terms. He carries around a cell phone and a little calculator in his pocket. He was driving the wooden car, and when I walked by he told me (in Russian) to sit in the car. I got in and he asked me where I wanted to go. I told him to the store. He told me it would be ten rubles. Then we “drove” for a little while and he told me the store was on the left, so I got out and went shopping. We did the same thing a couple times traveling to a couple different places. Sometimes he would pull out his calculator to calculate my fare. It was pretty funny. And of course I enjoyed the Russian part of it. Well, this is a pretty boring post so I’ll throw in a few pictures from our trip last weekend. One is of me getting my souvenir Stalin penny (note the sign says "make a souvenir to yourself")and the rest are from our boat cruise through Moscow. It was gorgeous, but obviously very cold!
Okay, I just have to add that I just got back from jogging with a body guard. Yup, I know most English teachers have guards... I asked Julia if there was a place we could go jogging because our neighborhood is full of gated communities, and the only place to walk is on the streets (which is not safe because they drive crazy) or through the forest. We didn't know if it was safe to jog through the forest, so I asked her about it. Well, our guards at the school said they'd show us where we could go, and the younger guard took us after work through the forest, across the river and into the most beautiful meadow ever. I promise it was safe...I know it sounds possibly scary, but he's really nice. And it was soooo beautiful. I loved it. We all agreed to go back every day until it gets too cold. And I ended up jogging most of the time with the guard because I just happen to be in a group of athletes. They're runners and basketball players, and then there's me. I go on leisurely jogs around the park. So, needless to say I was behind. Plus I speak the most Russian and the guard speaks no English. It was slightly awkward. Oh, and we saw tons of deer. We didn't have a camera with us, but I'll post pictures of it soon!