Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How To Make Friends, AKA Speak English

It rained last night (obviously, because I had just done laundry and hung it up outside) but I was optimistic (AKA stupid) and decided I could make it to work without my rubber boots. I was wrong. So wrong. Thank goodness my host mom and I walked together this morning because I literally just stepped wherever she stepped and my shoes were still gross and not frumos all day long. If I hadn't followed her, I probably wouldn't have made it all the way without losing it (it being a shoe and/or the tiny bit of sanity I still have). 

Needless to say, I'll be rocking the boots tomorrow, but now you have background for why I was not in the greatest mood this morning (sorry for taking it out on you a little bit, Jeff - you're awesome!). The weather affecting my mood is not the greatest thing, but, in my defense, it's very gloomy and cold and I don't really remember what the sun looks like.

So my partner disappears somewhere (normal) but I know I'm supposed to go to the school today, and she told me when I got there that it would be after lunch. So I'm working on other stuff (like my new logo?!) when Alexandra, the other woman in the office, answers the phone and talks to my partner. She tells me that there is a class without a teacher today and that I should go over to the school.. I look at her as if she's lost her mind and repeat what I do relatively frequently, "Nu sunt profesoara." She says she knows I'm not a teacher but all I would have to do is read with them like I do with my partner's daughter. I figure, why not, how hard could it be, I'll just wing it. Like I do with everything these days! (I also have not been able to confirm if this is even an English class.. Maybe I'm about to walk into Biology in Romanian or something.)

I get about a third of the way to the school and I hear my name from behind me. It's Alexandra, telling me to come back to the Primaria. She says the kids just left and I don't have to go, so we go back to our office. Then my partner comes back and says my English group is here. Have I mentioned my English group yet? No? That's because I've never met them! So we're having our first meeting! I head to the mayor's office (he's out somewhere so we get to use it) and my partner puts me on one side of the big long table facing 5 girls and 1 boy, all in the 6th form, I think, so they're about 12? Maybe. Actually, they decide it's best if one of them sits next to me, so they put a chair next to mine for the boy. 

One girl is my partner's daughter, who I already know and who practices English with me every so often already. Another I know from Hram - we rode in the căruță together and then danced the night away, so I'm glad to see her again! The others are new and I asked their names enough times (and messed up their names enough times) so I actually think I remember all of them now! But I said the boy's name over and over and I still lost it, so I'll have to hope they say it for me again next time. 

They have these short stories to read that are less than a page long, so they take turns reading it aloud and I correct their pronunciation - this is the important part to them. I'm pretty sure they don't know what the stories mean when they're reading them to me, and I think we would have translated them had we had enough time. We didn't today, but they are going to come back again! It was so much fun and they were so precious. Most importantly, it improved my mood tons! (Or is the most important thing that they got help with their pronunciation? I'm conflicted.) 

After lunch, my partner's daughter came to the office by herself and we worked on translating it some, but she got tired of doing that after about a third of the story and played on my phone and made me get a profile on what is basically Russian Myspace.. So for as long as I tried to avoid that, I'm on there, and I have one 12-year-old friend. Feeling pretty popular. Maybe the other girls will be my friends too and then I'll really be makin' it. 

The first meeting of my English club (that I didn't know was happening til it was happening) - I think I can safely call it a success! Then I made it home without falling in the mud, and talked to my little friend Iana on the way, so even if today didn't start out so great, it's not too bad now! 

P.S. Happy birthday to my little pup who I love and miss so much! 

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