I will explain the topic shortly, but first…
Yesterday morning, one of the two 4th grade groups (and yes, they are obviously pre-divided into the higher and lower groups) decided they didn’t want to stop talking when I needed their attention. I began to teach them some cues that I will use in the future to hopefully get their attention amidst a noisy group. If you think teaching language is difficult, try teaching (instructing) 9-year olds that when I cup my ear and then make a “shh” sound, they should lower their voices immediately to listen to me. Now imagine how you would tell them you want them to practice it…ugh! This class finished about 1/2 the content of the other class.
This morning (3rd graders), first period was exemplary. Then the break (10 minutes). The other group came in for their lesson and they basically said “screw this!” Well, if they knew how to say that, they would have…in Hungarian. To be fair, 4 of the 16 wanted to learn. I gave the class a minute to “be active,” tried to restart, got near a few students to show my seriousness, then had the class leave the room and re-enter quietly, tried to restart… THEN, I acted as if I was marking “1” (fail) scores on a notepad and said something to that effect. QUIET. We made progress…. Some disruptions began again… More writing in my notes…BOOM-QUIET… more of the lesson…disruption…then I gave stickers to the 4 who had been cooperating and respectful…They were happy and everyone else was jealous. Later on, more disruption…More stickers to 4 or 5 students… more progress, then the bell. A final reminder to them that I would have stickers next week for students who have good behavior. Several of the chatty students thought they deserved stickers…nice try! One of the students who earned a sticker gave me a chocolate bar. My most trying morning so far…
I had 2 HS classes today… One was awesome because I love 9th grade. The other was cancelled. Actually, another teacher asked me if I would mind cancelling it because she was working on a presentation they will be giving on Friday… Sounds good to me! In class, I ended up explaining the movie “WarGames” with Matthew Broderick. I wasn’t sure how sensitive I needed to be because it is about the Soviet Union supposedly bombing the US…but they seemed interested in my description of NORAD in Colorado Springs, CO, where some military logistics are controlled.
I was interviewed by a student for the “foreign language” section of the school newspaper. Today, I also accomplished lots of logistics:I got my code for the photocopier, initiated the process of getting an online code to send print commands from the school computers, borrowed some branch clippers to trim the stray limbs blocking the walkway near our steps. We also had another internet “time-out” today and was able to report it immediately. We now have a nice extension surge protector for our tv/router/modem, but that didn’t fix the problem. They are now ready to call for service.
I was recruited by several faculty who want me to run one of the twelve legs of the Kaposvár to Pécs team relay race called the Rókaűzők (translation: Fox Chasers). It sounds like the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon, and each leg is a different length (4km to 12.2 km) and different difficulty. There have to be at least 4 females, and both students and teachers can be in it. From the way it was being talked about, it is for fun, but they want to do well and take it somewhat seriously.
This weekend we are going to Székesfehérvár, a 3-hour train ride away, for a festival, dragon boat races, and general sight-seeing. You can see it in my title photo (at the top of this blog) just NE of the lake. This apparently is not a tourist city, but it is large (102,000) and is the original capital of the country. At least 15 kings and queens are buried in the church grounds there. Our room for the night will cost about $48 US.
Finally, for dinner we went back to our local pizza place. Actually, I went to pick up two 32cm pizzas. The ones that cost $4 US each. We ordered a vegetarian pizza and one called “Calabria.” The pizzeria website is in Hungarian, so we load it in Google Translate and everything turns to English. The Calabria’s description is quite clear: Tomato, mozzarella, roasted chicken, onion, mushroom, spicy peppers. Of course we brought it home, Kellie dug in, and said, “this sure tastes like liver.” I went back to Google translate, this time focusing on only the “chicken” word and not the whole translation. New fact: Csirkemaj means chicken liver, not roasted chicken. We scooped off all the liver, and at least for my slices, I covered them with pesto sauce. It seems to be a good texture/smell/taste replacement. Here is pic of my veggie and
liver pesto pizza, and the beer I am enjoying along with it.