As I write this, there is a big lightning show going on to the northwest of us.
Pro: I am currently in an air-conditioned space…. I’m actually cold, while it is 80 degrees and humid outside.
Con: I am in McDonald’s for the 5th time in 5 days, because our home internet isn’t working yet. I must admit that I am encouraged by the fact that the cable modem is already there, plugged in, and lit up, so no one can tell us that getting internet will not be possible. I am frustrated because if I could speak the language (read: If I was able to speak English to the right people) I could take charge and have it fixed by now. But this is a good lesson in having patience, especially since we aren’t totally isolated from the net with the few wifi hotspots we have found so far.
Speaking of the temperature, the forecast shows mid to upper 80s for the next 5 days or so, then several days of 60s and rain. I am from southern California and lived in that climate for over 20 years, but there is air-conditioning that can be turned on when needed. I really can’t explain how uncomfortable heat makes me…basically when I am in a place, whether inside or outside, that is below 80 degrees or so, my quality of life is a 9+ (on a 1-10 scale). If my surrounding gets warmer than that, my quality of life doesn’t just taper off, it instantly drops to about a 3. And it has just compounded the stress and adventure of being in a new environment where few people understand you. But it will improve! No regrets, I just need routine and it’s not time for that yet.
Last night for dinner, we found a pizza place in the center of town, which is called “the walking street” by locals. An 11″ pizza costs about $6 and that’s on the expensive end for pizzerias in this city. There is a huge downtown promenade here that is really beautiful. It’s where the previous pictures were taken. Today, there were no free tables at the pizzeria and after 10 minutes of “let’s wander hesitantly down a few streets and see if we find an inviting restaurant,” we headed to McDonald’s.
One thing I love about this city is that people are out wandering about. I guess it’s comforting to me to see people of all ages, families, 20 year olds, elderly, wandering around and enjoying the open spaces even on weekday evenings.
Tomorrow are my first lessons. I will be teaching 22 classes a week, 2 each in 1st-4th, 8 in 9th, and 2 each in 10th-12th. All elementary lessons are 8am-10am (two 45-minute periods). Friday is 2nd grade in the morning, then 45 min of 11th grade from 11-12 and 45 minute of 12th grade from 1-2. It looks like my day will be 8-1:20 three days a week, and 8-2:15 2 days a week, of course, with lots of gaps in between. It’s really nice to live so close to the school and I look forward to getting into a routine, not just for my weekdays but also for planning on the weekends. My impression is that I will follow a plan (teacher’s guide, cds, etc.) for elementary and can do what I want for HS.
I am used to going into lessons with a plan, and especially having a high level of expectations for myself and my lessons. But for now, I will just remember what I have been told—they don’t necessarily want us in Hungary because we are strong teachers, they really want us here because we can give students language practice in a way that no non-native speaker can do. I really feel like my expectations for myself are much higher than the schools’ general expectations as far as teaching ability.
And I will close with that…. I will fill you in with details of my first lessons soon!