Tag Archives: Sighisoara

Field Trip!

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This past weekend there were two separate, kind of, field trips that took place. One was with one of the math teachers and his freshman class and one of the Econ teachers and her 11th grade class along with some other students that went to Sibiu for two nights. The other was with the physics teachers and mainly the 11th and 10th grades. I went with the first group since my 11th graders were the first ones to ask me to go with them.

We headed out around noon on Friday with a total of four professors and about 50 teenagers. Paul, one of the math teachers and a good friend of mine and I sat in the back with the 11th grade while the other two profs manned the front of the bus and we had a great time. I forgot how fun bus trips were in high school and this was a great reminder. This is my first year teaching this specific 11th grade class so I was really happy to be able to get to know all of them much better throughout this trip. Our first stop was Sighisoara where we spent about 3 hours and made our way around the small but beautiful medieval city. We made it up to the citadel and the old Saxon cemetery that overlooks the entire city. At about 3pm we climbed back on the bus and headed for our final destination which was Sibiu. We got into town around 7pm and found where we were staying shortly after.

We were put up at the industrial high-school for food industries. We were in the student dorms that slept about 5 people per room. To say that our accommodations were sub par would be an understatement. We however knew that would wouldn’t spend much time in the rooms and we just hoped that there weren’t any forms of bed bugs. I shared a room with 4 of my 11th grade girls that were great roommates and I had fun hanging out with.

After we got settled in, we all headed into the center to find something to eat and then called it a night. At around 11pm, some of the boys wanted to go and find a 24 hour grocery store to get more food and I decided to chaperon them and good thing I did. After walking around for what felt like an hour, we finally found a shop across from the train station which is situated about 25 minutes away from where we were staying. When we were heading back to the school, we got pulled over by the police and the way they spoke with us annoyed me so I wasn’t the nicest to them either. The conversation went like this:

Police: What are you doing?

Me: We are walking back to our hotel. We were buying food.

Police: How old are you?

Me: I’m 26. I am their teacher. They are in high school.

Police: Why are you here?

Me: We are on a field trip. We are from Bistrita-Nasaud.

Police: Isn’t it a little late to be on a field trip? ( this annoyed me the most since they were obviously chaperoned and weren’t doing anything bad or being loud.)

Me: It is 12:30 and it is the weekend. Were we being loud or doing anything bad? No, we weren’t therefore goodnight.

And then I started walking away.

The second day was also a lot o fun. After only getting about 4 hours of sleep since everyone was running around and playing pranks on each other, we were headed off for a fun filled day. Our first stop was the Burkenthal Art Museum in the center of the city which was followed by a trip to to Dumbrava which is right outside the city and houses a beautiful nature preserve with village museum. We spent a large chunk of the day there touring the area and taking a crap ton of pictures.

When we got back to the school, we rested a little and then headed out to dinner and to hang out in the center. I had a great dinner with 3 11th graders and a 9th grader and we talked about everything and anything under the sun. The night was followed by all of us meeting up with the other group from our school and heading out to a billiards/karaoke bar. I reaffirmed the fact that I am absolutely terrible at pool and that I do not have any sort of a singing voice. I was not brave enough to go up and sing but when two of my students sang Otherside by RHCP I decided to sing along in a corner.

We made it back to the school around midnight and that is where things became interesting. Saturday night instead of having just the 50 students that came with us, we had both groups at the same place so that was over 100 students with 7 teachers. Paul and I were the only two awake after 1am so it was very interesting for us trying to keep everyone in check. Nothing crazy happened and we only confiscated one bottle of wine. The worst part of the trip came at about 2am. The clocks changed so we had 2 hours of 2am and they were the worst. I started getting very tired since I hadn’t slept much and had to wake up at 4am to leave on a bus for Bucharest to pick up my mom. Once again, the kids didn’t let me sleep and it was mainly the 9th graders. Some of the students from the other group brought their guitars and they were going around caroling Christmas carols which I stopped fairly quickly. They were running around knocking on peoples doors and even with the help of the older kids, there was no shutting them up. Finally, around 3am I lost it and screamed at everyone to get inside. They 9th graders are still skidish around all profs, even me, and when they heard me yell they all froze and ran inside their rooms and not a sound was heard after that.

I was not able to make the last leg of the trip with them since I had to go pick up my mom in Bucharest but the two days that I did spend with kids I had an absolute blast and just now realized how HUGE the maturity level is between 9th and 11th graders.

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Darcy and Joanna Take On Eastern Europe: Part 3

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And the saga continues…

After the extremely bumpy and hot 5 hour bus ride from Bistrita to Sighisoara, we arrived in the wonderful medieval city at last. After finding our hostel (no thanks to Google Maps) the first order of business was to nap and let the sweltering noon heat pass by.

After an hour nap and some showers we headed to the citadel. We passed the Dracul family house and saw the citadel clock ring in the new hour. We also visited every single souvenir shop that Darcy ran across and met a very interesting artist in the process. We saw a sign that read craft souvenirs and gallery and decided to go down the somewhat hidden staircase to the cellar bellow.

The gallery housed for-sale works from 5 various artists and they were all beautiful. We made friends with one of the artists that refers to himself as “The Spoon Man” and he taught us a lot not only about the significance of all the wooden spoons that can be seen in Romania but also about the works of other artists as well.

Our short day in Sighisoara was topped off by a traditional Romanian meal of tocăniță, sarmale, and mamăligă.

Tuesday started off by an early wake up at 6:30am so we could arrive to the gară on time only to find that our train was running 50 minutes behind. We survived the very hot almost 4 hour personal train ride and succeeded to not get ripped off by the Brașov taxi drivers.

As soon as we got to our hostel, we encountered our worst nightmare. An Asian family of about 8 had taken over the hostel. The reason, well several, that we did not get along with them was because they were just plain rude. They took over the entire common area and then glared at us when we sat down to fill out our paperwork. We concluded later that the child that was in our room ended up playing in all of our beds and dirtying them. One lady blocked all of our lockers and then got sassy with us when we asked her to move her shit. I saw the boy peeing in the bathroom without closing the door. And finally they flooded the whole bathroom and then switched rooms because of it.

Anyways after a short nap, yes another one, we headed out to the city for a free walking tour and another traditional Romanian meal.
The second day was another scorcher. We spent the afternoon in Bran visiting the castle and taking in the Dracula lore. When we got back to Brașov, we had a nice dinner and hung out at the hostel.

Update. We are currently waiting for our train to Constanta at the gară and it is just after midnight. As we were sitting and chatting with some random guy across the track that started talking to us, out of nowhere, a shirtless man slowly stumbled out from behind the kiosk with bloody arms and fell over in front of us. I got up to go find help but before I could leave, the man got up and stumbled down the stairs. The guy we were talking to jumped over to railing onto our side of the track to make sure we were okay and to see what happened to the man. Apparently the man that collapsed in front of us was attacked by a group of gypsies down the tracks. I don’t know how accurate that information is but in retrospect only his arms were bloody due to 2 inch wide straight cuts along them.

For some reason, I am not really startled by this incident and I don’t know if that should worry me.

12 hours from now we will hopefully be arriving in Varna to spend 3 glorious days basking in the sun on the sands of the Black Sea. Let’s hope the rest of the trip is smooth sailing.