Thursday, December 21, 2006

White Magic


An English/Spanish/Computer teacher with some of her students.
The "teacher" is the one in the red hat! Posted by Picasa

Well, it's finally starting to feel like Christmas. I'm glad it's hit me late in the game though. Today really felt like it 'cause it started snowing for real. I woke up this morning, and white flakes were falling to an already white-crusted earth. In reality, it began snowing as we were having our show yesterday, but nothing stuck until this morning.
Our show went well - except for the fact that we couldn't light the stove, and so we were all running around in our jackets, hats and scarves. The parents complained a little, but I think it was understandable once my colleagues told them what had happened the day before. We had to wait quite some time for everyone to show up. Even then, I was disappointed that so few were able to come. The kids said their parents were at work, and that's probably true in most cases. One of my kids had told me that her mother would come because she was sick and able to take time off work. When I asked her where her mother was, her eyes filled with tears. I have never seen a kid so disappointed that her mother was healthy. Her dad showed up though, so that made me happy. My first (and most eager) student to show up came 45 minutes early. His mom didn't come at the appropriate time, however, and he had to go home and get her. By the time they got there, he had missed his turn with his group. Grrr....
Anyway, so we started our show for the few parents/grandparents/other relatives that were able to come. My youngest kids came up, and I gave them commands to do in front of everyone. "Good night!" I would say, and they would pretend to sleep. "Good morning!" And they would wake up. "Jump, Spin, Clap, Cheer, Sit Down, Stand Up" and they executed each command with precision while the parents laughed. After that, we sang a song called "Hello, How Are You?" And each kid would show how they were hungry, tired, cold, sad, happy, great, good, or OK. I had them say the alphabet. I also had them each answer questions for me: What's your name? Where are from? Nice to meet you. How old are you? How are you? They each answered well, to the delight of the adults - even though they probably couldn't understand what they were saying. Although, one girl said she was "seventy" instead of "seven," and that brought laughter when a boy corrected her in Bulgarian. My next group of older kids then came up to the front, and I gave them names of popular chalga singers and the president of Bulgaria. When they told me their names, the audience cackled in delight. I then had them tell me colors of things and numbers as I wrote them on the board. We also sang the alphabet to the melody of a famous chalga song, and I asked them more questions like: What's your mother's/father's name? When's your birthday? What's your favorite color? What do you like to eat? I then tested a couple of my adults who were there. They were probably the most nervous of the bunch! I included questions like, "What's your brother's name? What are the names of your children?" Everyone did such an excellent job. And then Reneta blew them away with her Spanish. I brought her up and asked her a series of questions which she would answer and then translate for the audience: What's your name? Where are you from? Where do you live? How are you? How old are you? When's your birthday? What's your favorite color? What do you like to eat? What are you parent's names? What's your sister's name? Do you have any pets? Oh, you have a goat. What's your goat's name? What do you have in your house? Oh, you like dolls? How many dolls do you have? What are you wearing? She fired off each question quickly and well - much to the amusement of the audience when things were translated - especially about the goat and her 30+ dolls.
Afterward, we went to the kitchen and enjoyed some treats. I had put up a few Christmas decorations, and the kids just attacked the candy and cookies while the parents generally stayed out of the way. I was really happy with the show. Our audience could have been a little fuller and a little more punctual, but such is life.
Today, I made certificates for all the participants. I went up to the Mahala to try and distribute some of them, but only a couple of my students showed up - and they hadn't even participated in the show. "Oh, I forgot what time it was at." Yeah... right! Anyway, maybe my kids were gone because of other Christmas parties. I ran into one of my students, and she was just getting back from a party at school. Maybe they were detained because of the snow. Whatever the reason, I wasn't too upset. It was too cold to have class anyway - without a working heating system. I just wanted to give them their certificates and tell them we'd be taking the next week off. The ones I told were disappointed. But why!? Because we have some holidays in there, kids. Plus, (and I didn't tell them this) who knows when the heating will be fixed?
So, now I just have to show up for a few things tomorrow, and then I can relax and think about a little vacation here. I hope you all have wonderful holidays! I will be going to a town called Veliko Turnovo on Saturday. I haven't been there yet, and it's a must-see. It's one of the former capitals of Bulgaria. I hear it's quite charming. Anyway, Весела Коледа и Щастлива Нова Година! Or, in English: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! If you want to learn how to pronounce it in Bulgarian, and use it on your friends and family, it sounds like this with latin letters: Vesela Koleda i Shtastliva Nova Godina! Now, go impress everyone with your holiday Bulgarian skills!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow - you really feel strongly about this subject don't you? Take it easy - no need to get all wound up...