Monday, May 14, 2007

Cipő, Csipő, csipós....why is my Aikido instructor discussing shoes?

Up until weekend before last, I hadn't left Gyula since Spring break. (Well except for Békéscsaba and Sarkad, but they don't count). The weekend before last I went on the HIKE, otherwise known as a field trip with the Csabas.

About a month ago, or maybe more, I was in a do everything mood and one of the Biology teachers asked if I wanted to go hiking. "Sure" I said, innocently dismissing the facts that I a) had never really been on a long hike before, and b) am incredibly lazy. So on the weekend when we also had 3 days off of school (12th grade needing 3 days of quiet for extensive exams) the csabas, 16 students and myself took the train to Balkony. In four days we hiked over 67 km, 30 of which on Monday alone. Although I spent part of it wondering why I hadn't gone to Kalocsa, Szeged, Romania or anywhere else instead, mostly I mused on the beauty of my surroundings and sandwiches.

Sandwiches, ah the sandwiches. This may seem random, but reading other CETP blogs, I realize that I am not the only one who has noticed the Hungarian love-affair. It is one of those small surprises that takes awhile to get used to. 7:20am look around the halls just before 1st period and you will see students consuming mass quantities of bread thickly layered in butter, salami and cheese. Tin-foil and napkins crinkling to unleash that almighty staple. On the hike I had a chance to view, just how many sandwiches people really eat. I had noticed that the teachers always had an unending supply, but I think I watched one of my students eat 6 sandwiches in one day, as well as breakfast, dinner and assorted snacks.

The hike also gave me time to practice my pici-magyarul. I think I was finally getting the hang of the difference between hips, shoes and spicy...but then they threw in shoe-laces and I am lost again. The difference is all in the "O" sound.

The week before last was also Ballogas. 12th grade graduation, and unlike anything I had ever seen. On Thursday I was approached by one of my 12th grade boys with a small white card. It was an invitation to the school könyvtar on Friday. So herded in like a dazed sheep I sat next to the German and Spanish teacher. Then in came the 12B class bearing flowers and wrapped gifts. Each teacher was thanked for their time and effort, and given a flower and a gift. Students were then thanked, puszi were exchanged and that was that. I should explain that one of my weird interests is the Victorian language of flowers, so it gave me a sappy feeling that they chose a pink carnation. Pink carnations mean "I will never forget you" A nice farewell to my first 12th grade class.
Saturday was more interesting as they all dressed in their formal gear (sailor suit tops for the girls over a black skirt, and a suit for the boys), bearing armfuls of flowers, they paraded through each room and then the town singing farewells. It ended up in church, as many things do, for a mass and farewell speech from the principal.


I got this idea from a website and combined it with my own activities -
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly:
Draw Evil-pirate Bob on the chalk board, ask what his problem is.
After about 6 answers from the students, inform them that Bob, is not only all of the things they suggested, but also forgetful.
Ask them in small groups to discuss other problems people could have. ex: I hate pop music, but my boyfriend is a pop star. If you have other stock characters ask what their problems could be
Go over "subject + should" grammar structure
Discuss what is advice, who gives advice.
Divide into 3 groups and ask them to give you advice for your problems. Tell them that 1 group will be the good advice, 1 group will be the bad advice and the last group will be the ugly or really bad advice. Change the good, bad and ugly group for each problem, so everyone has a chance to be all 3.
From the problems that they thought of for evil pirate Bob and other problems, make up a "Dear Advice Columnist" type letter, read it aloud and have them offer their good, bad or ugly advice.

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