Category Archives: Random

Nice Surprise

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After I got home from tennis tonight, I got on my computer and immediately received a skype call from one of my best friends Joanna. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw 20 something 7 year old staring at me and yelling HIIII! She is an elementary school teacher and they were learning about money and decided to skype me to find out what money is like in Romania. I taught them about the Leu and taught them how to pronounce it. i showed them a 5lei bill, 10lei, and some coins and they were SO amused. Then Joanna let them ask me some questions and they were:

1. What kind of car do I have? – I had to tell them that many people here don’t have cars but they do have horse and buggies!

2. Do you have a boyfriend? – As soon as I said no, the whole class went..”awwwwwww.”

3. Do you have pets? – I told them about Ion and Porumbita and then showed them my turtles.

4. Do you have a tv? – I showed them my tiny little TV with built in VCR and only about 3 kids knew what a VCR was.

 

They were beyond cute and I can’t wait to come in and visit them during classtime when i’m at home. They seem pretty excited as well 🙂

 

 

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Update

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Nothing of interest has been happening lately. I have one more week of classes until “Scoala Alt Fel” which is a new initiative this year. Scoala Alt Fel or “Another Type of School” was the ministry’s idea to create a week of school but not school. Each school is to do something with their students that isn’t sitting in a classroom and learning regular subjects. My school has come up with an idea of doing workshops throughout the week. So all 700ish students are required to participate every day in workshops such as poetry, film, music, art, photography, volunteerism, etc. The last two days will be dedicated to sports tournaments and the like and students with their homeroom teachers are allowed to take one day out of the week to go on a field trip. So in actuality, this upcoming week will be me last week of teaching until the end of April since we will be going into two weeks of spring break right after Scoala Alt Fel.

This past weekend I went to Cluj with some students to hang out for the day and watch The Hunger Games and can truly say that I’m fairly disappointed with the movie. But oh well. Nothing else really to state. The weather is beyond gorgeous today and its officially time for spring cleaning. I”ll be spending the rest of the day turning the apartment inside out and attempting to get rid of all of this dust.

Until next time,

Va pup!

Local Celebrity

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So the Singeorz TV people and I have become peeps. After my first TV interview for Valentine’s Day where instead of responding to “what are you called” with my name, I responded we “we are fine”…don’t ask. I was nervous. They have been back at the school a few times since taping random things and we have always exchanged pleasentries and jokes about my interview fiasco. For March 8th, I had the chance to redeem myself. Since I am still the novelty in town, everyone wants to hear the American girl speak. Naturally, I was the first person they interviewed about Women’s Day. This time, I did a much better job. Although I was still nervous as all hell and my 11A class felt the need to watch me be interviewed, I made it through unscathed and proud of myself that I understood everything. I can say I didn’t really answer with as much grace or Romanian knowledge as I would have liked to, but hey, you try being filmed in a foreign language that you haven’t even been speaking for a year and tell me how it feels! The student who’s parents own the building the TV studio is located in brought me a copy of what aired. So, on that note, enjoy!

Cleaning

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So, as I was cleaning the house today, I found the letter my future students at the time wrote to their new English teacher. I laughed, I cried, it was glorious. I have decided to retype it below for all of you to see how awesome my kids are 🙂

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

When we heard that an English teacher comes to our high school we all thought: OMG! The pleasure is on our side! We are very excited to experience the English “real deal”. We  are pleased to work with someone who doesn’t speak Romanian at all. Despite the fact that we have learnt English since we were little kids, we didn’t have the chance to prove our knowledge in a dialogue in a real life situation with a  native speaker.

It is true that we have very good English teachers in our high school but we all need an opinion about the way we manage to express ourselves in this awesome language, from someone who comes from the homeland of this marvellous dialect

We have in mind all kind of extra curricular activities that will make your stay more enjoyable. Trips, games, parties will help you discover the life we have here. We want to make you love this country and the people that live  here. We also hope we will have the chance to know better and understand the places where you live, the schools and the children from your country through your stories.

We would also like to mention the great food we have here, such as the traditional polenta or rolled cabbage and many others.

Be sure that we are very excited to spend time talking to you about everything and everyone we know and we hope that  you will like our lifestyle, our high school and all the teenagers around here.

Best regards,

Solomon Halita High school students

 

 

Christmas, Romanian Style

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School was cut short on Thursday so I got sent home at 11 and Friday the students were only there for about an hour with their head teachers which was the official sign that winter break had started. A fellow PCV, Aran, that teaches in an elementary school in the city of Ploiesti came into town to visit and experience a Romanian Christmas in the country. Friday was spent just walking around town, seeing the local Friday market and eating some of the best tasting mici I’ve ever eaten in my life. Friday night Aran, Mary, and I headed out to Megapark which is the HUGE new club that opened up in Singeorz. It is something else and when you walk inside, you feel like you have stepped into a posh new nightclub in a big city, not in a sleepy little town int he mountains. The three of us, along with 2 of Mary’s friends spent the whole night dancing and hanging out with each other and whichever students decided to come and hang out with us as well.

Saturday was spent at Mary’s house waiting for carolers. Here the tradition is that all the students gather with their classmates and go from teacher to teacher caroling and then go caroling to each others houses until the early hours of the morning. Mary had Aran and I over for the tradition Romanian dinner of Sarmale with other dishes and the first carolers showed up around 6:30 pm. I ended up seeing classes 9A, 9D, 10A, 10B, 12D, and then when I got back home, I was called over to my neighbor’s and fellow student’s house where all of 12A had congregated. Since Mary’s mom is a kindergarten teacher, we got a lot of cute 5 and 6 year olds caroling to us as well.

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Christmas day was spent with the other English teacher I work with, Varvara, and her family at her house in Maieru (the comuna north of us) I got to meet Varvara’s brother from Sibiu along with her daughter Andreea that is in the 8th grade. Her son, Tudor, I already know since he is one of my students in the 12th grade. She made a wonderful lunch and we ended up spending the entire day with Varvara and her family.

 

Today I woke up with a crazy cold and naturally, its the day that I have to leave for my trip. I’m headed to Timisoara to visit a PCV (Sara) that lives nearby and then headed on my Eurotrip and will be returning January 10th. So until next time! Va pup!

La Mulți Ani România!

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December 1st marks Ziua Națională a României or Union Day in Romania which is one of the most important holidays that the citizens of this country celebrate. This holiday marks the unification of Transylvania with Romania back in 1918. Taking place earlier in the year, the holiday was officially moved to December first after the 1989 Revolution. Since today is so special to myself and everyone around me, I want to pay homage to such a great country that I have been falling in love with over the past 7 months.

Also, Google has even taken part in commemorating this special event by dedicating the landing page banner to it.

1 Decembrie - Ziua Națională a României

So, from the bottom of my heart. Romania, te iubesc!

What I’m Thankful For

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Its Black Wednesday, and it is the first one in a very long time that I haven’t spent with my high school friends. Other than the black out drunk state of mind that everyone over the age of 21 is expected to be in during this day, its  one of the very few days where all of my friends are in town and at the same bar. There are some friends that I have drifted apart from throughout the years, but come Black Wednesday, we all end up at the same bar and its nice to catch up with people that you haven’t seen in such a long time. As sad as the holidays make me because I won’t get to be with the people that mean so much to me, I still have plenty to be thankful for.

First and foremost there are my parents. Of course this is extremely cliche to say but its true. I am the most thankful for them. within the past year, they have done a 180. They went from hating the whole idea of me joining the Peace Corps and threatening to disown me to not just being happy for me, but also being very proud of me and being my biggest supporters. Granted, when it came to me leaving, they didn’t really have much say in the matter but as time passed, I slowly saw them come to the realization that this is truly what I want and then even further to, this is what they want for me.

Secondly, my friends. I know many relationships have been strained with me being so far away and not as reachable with the time difference and all but, all of you have still been great. You have tried to understand what I am going through, and at least, just listened to me complain and I thank you for that!

Current PCVS: You guys are my saving grace. The weeks before I see you pass like molasses. I love the fact that when we talk, we all understand what each of us are going through and it makes the bad days that much more bearable. I also like the fact that we have all grown so comfortable around each other and can talk about random bodily functions like its another topic for a dinner conversation.

I am thankful for all of my students. Teaching is definitely not my forte and I honestly do struggle with it everyday. I am not very creative and coming up with lesson plans is the biggest pain in my ass. My students have not only been great in class but out of class as well. I prefer to hang out with them in the hallways during the breaks instead of with the teachers. They have become my friends and I do love hanging out with them and seeing them everyday. They make this job fun and so worth it!

And last, but not least. All of the host country nationals I have met along the way. From my gazda family in Targoviste that managed to put up with my awful Romanian the first few months to Miha and Ale, the founders of the NGO that helped put on GLOW camps to everyone in Singeorz-Bai. Mary and Loredana have been my saving graces here. From helping me get settled in to listening to me complain about various things, thank you!

 

So with that, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I miss and love you all! I hope you get a chance to spend it with the ones you love!