Monday, October 6, 2008
Happy Teachers' Day!
Teachers' Day is October 5th in Russia. Our school celebrated it today by letting the parents know they needed to pick their kids up by four and then having a full-blown party during regular school hours. That's my kind of celebration. I think my school should do that...cancel classes so the teachers can party. And it was no small party. As you can tell from the pictures we had tons of food, and yes, the teacher that's unpacking glasses is unpacking shot glasses. When we came down to eat she had them on the table. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. I think this is an evening that needs to be recounted chronologically so I don't miss anything.
First we dismissed our kids an hour early. Then we went down to the cafeteria and found some of the other teachers assembling platters of food. We offered to help, and they actually let us. It was stressful because our Russian teacher was giving us orders right and left, and she'd just taught us food, so we felt like we should understand everything. Somehow we managed to slice the right fruit the right way, and then we were directed upstairs where they had some games for the teachers. It was set up like a game show, and the teachers competed against each other doing things such as eating a small container of yogurt faster than their opponent with a popsicle stick instead of a spoon. They gave out amazing prizes, too, such as a bar of soap, wet wipes, or Q-tips. I’ve never seen those teachers laugh so much.
After the games we went back to the cafeteria to eat. And that’s when we noticed the shot glasses next to the wine glasses. Oh, and I must mention that we set the table, but were immediately corrected. Apparently in Russia they put the fork on the right and the glass on the left. I guess that was so they could put the shot glasses on the right. Interesting. We sat down to eat and everyone filled their glasses first. Luckily they had pineapple juice on the table. Everyone else just used it to mix with alcohol, but we were just glad they had it because I’m sure it would have been very rude to ask for water. Anyway, the principal made a toast, we toasted, and everyone started eating. We felt like pigs, though because we filled our plates and then dug in. Then we noticed the Russians were just taking small portions and eating them slowly. We pretty much cleaned up our platters and they were just still picking at the food. But that wasn’t the most embarrassing moment of the evening.
After eating they asked us if we’d like to sing a song for everyone. Well, we figured that since they’d been playing silly games all evening, and now they’d all had plenty of alcohol, we could sing a silly song. So we decided to sing “Princes Pat,” the camp song. We had two girls in the middle leading it, and the other three did the echoes. We got all into it and did the dance moves and everything. And the Russians just stared at us. I think one or two may have cracked a smile. It was humiliating in the least. So, I recommend that if you’re ever at a Russian school party, even if they’re serving hard liquor, don’t break out into a chorus of “Princess Pat” no matter how much you hope to win a box of Q-tips.