My goodness. Every day there is so much to tell. It’s no wonder I am about to fall asleep.
At school today we essentially adlibbed a short skit about superheroes and fashion. Nathan as Tie Boy, with his many colored cape of ties, Kiera as Sock Girl, whith her ability to find a match for any mateless sock, and myself, the evil Out of Fashion Fabio, with my blindingly bad taste in colors. (That’s why I wear the shades.)
William Duncan taught them about years, months, weeks, and days. The most interesting part of that was when he explained why years, months, weeks, and days are as long as they are. Years of course, follow the rotations of the sun, and months are based loosely on the orbit of the moon. Weeks however, are seven days long. Why? It’s tradition, following the idea that the Earth was created in six days with a seventh day for rest. Pretty clever to include that tidbit of information I thought. Keep telling the kids that and eventually they’ll have to wonder what tradition that is.
Lunch at the cafeteria was rather icky, made especially frustrating by the fact that we had to wait for the next round of food to come out of the kitchen. I don’t think I’m going to eat there anymore
After lunch Emily (Nathan’s wife) had the advanced students for music. We sang a version of Bingo with verbs and acted out the verbs on the B-I-N-G-O part where Emily spelled out the verb. After that, we played Boom-Chicka-Boom, a holler-back song, done in various styles, e.g. as loud as you can, as soft as you can, chicken style, underwater style (waggle a finger over your lips), and opera style.
With Benny the class reviewed their verbs and wrote sentences which I helped to correct. The kids seem to be much better at writing than speaking. All of them were writing excellent sentences and picked up quickly when I hinted at corrections.
For dinner Benny (my official host for the night) and Nathan and Emily took me to Strollers (as in, strolling along). It’s a German/Russian pub. I had a bacon cheeseburger, a milkshake, and then Benny and I split a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. The restaurant had food of all sorts: Irish, Spanish, Russian, American…
I got back to the apartment complex while it was still daylight, a first I think. Several sets of parents had their young children playing together. A small motorcade of toddlers’ wheeled vehicles.
One father saw me and immediately grabbed for his kid. I have been warned about what was coming so I walked over to them instead of the father having to carry the boy over; the father wanted his son, who can’t be more than two, if that, to speak a little English with me. So I said hello, the little guy said “Hello,” and, with prompting, “How are you?” and I said, “I’m fine, how are you?” to which he replied, with prompting, “I’m fine.” I spoke to a couple more of the little ones, but they weren’t so inclined to speak. The parents all looked quite pleased with the encounter. It was nice to finally have an encounter that didn’t leave me embarrassed and a bit frustrated.
I’m told that sometimes the parents will get quite insistent with their children about speaking English to foreigners. If only Americans were better about teaching their children a second language. I’m sure I’ll stop to talk whenever that occurs.
My biggest frustration so far is not understanding the language. Every time I try to speak with someone I get hung up.
Still, I’m am feeling fine and enjoying myself. If I were to live for an extended period of time in this apartment and working at Brave I could get around and find everything I need.
And now I really am tired, it’s 10:00 p.m. here, just nine the morning where most of you are. Oh yes, I forgot to mention there was a partial solar eclipse yesterday. I glanced at it, but had nothing to get a good look at it with.
Best wishes to you all. Please leave me comments and questions. Include your email address if I don’t already have it.
Because I must…