Friday, May 25, 2007


Cooking with the students in Szent Anna-Szent Gellert is always interesting.

It reminds me that these are good kids. They may not want to work in class, or give me sass. The may stare at me blankly, or whine about wanting to do something else, but through some sugary-warm magic, I see different people in Szent Anna.

The students will speak to me in English or German, without me feeling like I am pulling teeth.

They bring music to dance to, and tell me all of the gossip. I have some surprising interesting things about the social structure of KJRKG. One example is that 12th graders may be dating a 9th grader, a 11th grader may be dating a 10th grader. Everyone dates people from different grades without the recriminations that they would face from their friends in the USA. They even tell me about which teachers are handsome or/and I should flirt with.
I have learned about smoking/drinking/parents/other teachers all through the view point of the students that grace my 2 hour take-over of the kitchen.

They are eager to help, although this could be because it is something interesting on a Thursday evening and the fact that they wont get a suti if they don't help, but, they do the dishes even when I tell them not to.

Is it the sweet lure of baked goods, or the more relaxed atmosphere of late night cooking which gets them to confide things to me?

One of the first weeks that I baked with the students, I was informed that they didn't see me as a teacher. This is something that has haunted me. What could I do to be taken seriously? Should I be strict and mean, should I wear even more make-up to appear older? Talking with other American teachers, I discovered that few of us are really viewed like a real teacher. Whether it is telling students that our classes that they wont get a grade, or because most of us don't speak Hungarian, we are all in a fairly strange position. Teaching limbo. Neither student nor teacher, although everyone mistakes me for a student. It is strange and worrying.

Last night another of the students clarified. They do not see me as a teacher, they see me as a

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