Friday, December 22, 2006

How old are you?

Every once in awhile, I get the pleasure of walking home with a little boy named David. He is in 4th grade, but is tiny, and looks like he is about 6 years old. He is very nice and occasionally stops by my flat and coaxes me into playing football with he and my neighbors.

Our conversations are all in Hungarian, since he is not my student and I don't know if he takes English, I think he is a German student. Anyway, for a year and a half, I have been walking with this kid. He asks me today, how old are you? I reply I am 27. He looks at me puzzled, and laughs to himself. I know I did not misunderstand the question, because that is the most common question asked by the students. I wonder about this and I hear, Hello, and he turns down his street.

On the rest of my walk home I wonder to myself. When do children realize that being foreign means that our communication is a little slower, and that we are not stupid. I think David is confused as to why I can barely talk with him yet be the old age of 27. One day he will look back at our walks and laugh at his innocent thoughts of my ignorance.

I love these daily interactions with the students. It is part of the reason why I am here, in a tiny village, to give students exposure to diversity. In some of these conversations, not only has it made my day, but also the day of one of the students either in my class or not.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Moving into the Unknown

As many of you know, my flat on of the perks of living in the tiny, but nice village of Hernadnemeti. I am in love with my balcony patio, and the flat is, lets face it, just cool. Well to my surprise on Thursday, I was informed that I am to move from this flat onto another. I will still be in the same building, so I am not worried I will have a bad experience.

A few things do worry me however. One, I am expected to move in to the new flat by the first of January. This means that my Winter Break will be somewhat disrupted. That makes me a little sad, but I can deal with it. The thing that worries me most is INTERNET. I just spent what little money I have on putting in a phone line, and after months of waiting finally received Internet in my flat. This is very important to me for several reasons. I have grown fond of talking with my sisters and nephews each and every day. Also my parents just joined into the online chatting world, so I can also talk to them every day. This is very important to maintaining my sanity. The second, and only important to me, is looking for a job online. I am sad to say this is my last year, for I do want to go home and be closer to my family. Without Internet this will be more difficult.

So not to sound like I am complaining, but I am a little bit. I don't mind moving, but I want the same perks as in this flat. I am happy with everything I have received her in Hernadnemeti and am very thankful. So here is to hoping the new flat is as wonderful as this one. I will miss you my beloved MTV Cribs of CETP!!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Meet my favorite band...

Just Leave Me Alone Now
This is a new band that just hit the Top Charts. With their number one single Just Leave Me Alone Now. They have been together for several months, but are just now seeing the fruits of their labor. Here is a close look into the new up and coming Punk Band.

Meet Amie, the manager. She is a great lead singer as well as the "team captain". She prepares all of the official road trips in her Chevy Trail Blazer. She coordinates gigs at such places as Air it up, Chucky Cheese (where she occasionally dresses up), and various Zoos. She is best known for her songs I Love My Children, and No No Don't Put That In Your Mouth.

Meet Collin, he is a rocker to the core. He plays the electric guitar (when he gets it for Christmas). He has a punk rockers screech which he is famous for. He also sings lyrics in I Want to Play With My Toys Now, and Now Why...What's That Do.

Meet Alex, the bass player. At the old age of One and a half, he has been strumming on the bass for about a year. He is a very innovative guitarist, and plays a solo in When Does My Mommy Come Home?

Meet Kade, the Drummer. He was born big, bad and ready to pound. He is a natural and has been hitting things since birth. He drums it out in OUCH, My Teeth Are Coming In, and Somebody Change Me!!

This is the fun stuff I miss. Oh well at least it is my wig!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fun In The Konyha...Kitchen!!

In the event that I did not feel like traveling this weekend, since I will be spending the majority of my Winter Break in Budapest playing play station, watching football, and hitting up the Christmas Market, I stayed home and tried some new recipes I saw on two different Cooking Shows. One show was off the web, and in English, always a bonus. The other was on the wonderful channel M1, which of course was in Hungarian, but helpful to me was the written ingredients on the screen, and it moved rather slow so I could understand it.

I first started the weekend off making a wonderful fresh squeezed orange juice to get rid of some oranges that would soon go bad. It was a very refreshing difference in the morning to go with my pancakes!!!

I then decided to start with the English show first and make sugar cut out cookies. The hardest part in this was converting measurements and finding all of the ingredients I take for granted in the United States. I still have not found cornstarch, I could only find corn meal so will undertake making corn bread this week which is one of my favorites.
I usually have a hard time with sugar cut outs, but this batch turned out marvelous!! I had no cookie cutters, and obtained a rolling pin from my fellow teacher Iren, who gave it to me as a Christmas gift knowing I cooked a lot. I decided not to pule{it was my word of the day from a dictionary thing I belong to :-)} over my misfortunes of not having and put my ever so useful Studio Art major to work and simply drew some of my own cut outs. This was fun because I could make what ever I wanted. I made a wonderful Santa face, a cool detailed snow flake, and some tools used by the elves. I also took the advice of my sister Amie and used her icing recipe, only adding chocolate since I also could not find any food coloring. Anyway it was fun and yummy!!

Onto the Hungarian home-made hot chocolate. It turned out wonderful, but very very sweet, so I improvised and watered it down a little. I also made some hot wine using the easy recipe written on the screen. Both turned out great, and unlike last year there was no sludge monster lurking at the bottom of the cup!! To say the least I had a very Yummy Weekend!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Funny Classroom Moments

Teaching English can be a fun and hilarious adventure. I often have moments in the classroom where I am laughing too hard to teach the students anything, but that is when the best learning happens because the students let their guard down and just speak.

What are you saying??
One day I was teaching verbs. Verbs can be fun because there are a lot of actions you can do with them. Plus some of them are the words the students want to learn so they can say more then the ABCs and count to you as you walk home. Anyway, some of the students will pronounce the English words with Hungarian pronunciation so that they can spell them correctly. I usually do not say anything about this because when it comes time to say them they pronounce it somewhat correctly.
Well we got to the word sit. The students were in pairs and they were using the verbs in several forms and tenses. The assignment was to come up with some sentences about their partners. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Hungarian language, the s in Hungarian is pronounced sh. So when Zoli stood up and stated rather confidently Zsofi is shitting on the chair, I had to laugh. I calmly stated Zoli it is sitting on the chair in my best English teacher pronunciation. We get to the next pair of students and Lina says Atilla loves shitting in sports cars. I had to stop the class and explain to them at that point what they were saying, they were a little embarrassed, but I have not heard that mistake again.

Morning Introductions
This one didn't happen in the classroom, but rather on my way home on day. I was walking my route to my flat and I can hear the pounding of shoes on the pavement behind me. I turn, because by now I know that it is a student who is hurrying to me probably to just say Good morning a dozen times even though it is not morning anymore. The student, who is not in my class, looks at me and states, Take your seats, and smiles. I ask tessek? What? And he boldly states Take your seats. I say OK, and give him a high five, to which he is satisfied and walks home. The next day I ask his English teacher why he would say this and she says Every morning when I walk in his classroom all the students are running around so I say Take your seats. I laugh and realize that this student must think this is the mornings greeting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Preparing for a trip to Budapest.

Step One: Eat home-made pancakes and get hair braided.
Step Two: Say good bye to the village church.

Step Three: Walk the long and lonesome highway!
Step Four: Have a sweet old lady try to take your picture in the train station. It is hard to use technology!!

Step Five: Have an intense Yatzee tournament on the train ride.
Final Step: Stop off in the Keleti train station for the best gyros ever!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

T Day meals and fun!!

While Eric and Alicia were visiting I had the chance to show off my culinary skills. Living alone, and having and endless amount of freetime, one has the time and energy to experiment in the kitchen. Anyone who has been to my flat knows that I have the perfect kitchen for doing such experiments. I have to say that it is more fun cooking for and with someone than simply on your own. I had a blast, and together we all jumped into the kitchen to prepare an American/Hungarian Thanksgiving meal.

We had a wonderful time making the meal, but eating it was much more fun. Nothing beats good food, good drinks, and most important good friends.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Magyarorszag vs USA

One morning, after a quiet night of DVD watching, four americans went for a tour of Hernadnemeti. We encounterd my neighbors first while standing on my patio, and on the street we met some of the children I talk to everyday going to and from school.

We traveled to my school where Eric was put through many tests to see if he was up to par on his 4th grade knowledge...don't worry the kids helped him. We also traveled outside to the play yard where the real fun begins!

The 4th graders loved us. Eric was popular to the girls, and we were all popular for playing a football match. The teams: 9 fast, skillful footballers in 4th grade vs 4 out of shape Americans. To make a long story short we, the Americans lost big time, but not without Alicia getting revenge on Marko and landing on him to which he screamed in Hungarian, wow she must be 50 kilos!!! We said that was all she was and continued playing. Alicia also made friends with the Mayor's son Peti and they posed for the camera.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sparklers or Csillagszóró

As many of you are well aware of sometimes in my flat the water will go down the pipe and out of the pipe comes the most discusting smell somewhat like sewage. Thankfully this does not happen all the time, but when it does it needs to be taken care of ASAP! Jenna was here on one of these smelly occasions. We left for the shop to buy food and get away from the gastly smell. We had everything we wanted from the shop and waited in line to pay for our goods. We noticed a small package with csillagszóró written on it. Well csillag is the word for star, and it being Christmas we thougt ah this must be Christmas incense!! We smelled it, and stuck it into our basket as my neighbor behind the checkout smiled and shook her head yes. With her approval of our decision we purchased this wonderful smell great thing.

When we arrived back at my flat we were engrosed in a converstion so forgot about the incense. Soon after our discussion had lulled for a bit we decided to make an event out of lighting the incense. We made a holder for the sticks, because I usually use cones and prepared. We lit it once and a little spark came out but it did not stay lit. We thought well isn't that festive? We continued to light it and sparks came flying out everywhere. I hurried to move all my books aside, we laughed at the fact that we were that daft as to not realize what we had bought. And, my flat smelled worse than it had to begin with, there is nothing like the smell of tons of sulfur in a small area!!