...which back home in Australia is usually a non-event. We get maybe one or two teenagers trying to trick or treat (half the time not even in costume), but Halloween isn't really a big thing in Australia. We don't carve pumpkins, we don't really have dress-up parties (though I wish we did. I love
dressing up!) and we certainly don't go trick-or-treating.
The same happens in Poland. Halloween is a non-event.
They celebrate the Day of the Dead (1st November). They know of
Halloween, but they don't really celebrate it. On the day before, the day of, and the day after the 1st of November they visit the graves of deceased family members. They clean the grave, put fresh flowers on them, pray, and light lanterns on the grave. It's an eerie sight to walk past at night! (Yes, I live five minutes from the town graveyard. I'm very tempted to go for a walk tomorrow night and take some pictures of the graveyard. It's a beautiful/eerie sight! I'll see how cold it is, 'cause right now it's freezing!!!!
Now, picture this:
An Australian in a Polish classroom teaching her students about what is pretty much an Americanised holiday... how's that for an odd mental image?
So, I've been bugging Agnes for pumpkin carving tips for the last few days (as we walked into the office on Monday to see three honkin' great big pumpkins. Seriously, I've never seen
pumpkins that big before! We were hoping to get away with not doing anything for Halloween). I told my 'I' group students on Tuesday that they could come to class in costume if they so wished, but they were NOT getting out of the irregular verb test that I had planned for Thursday (cue much groaning and whining).
Around rolls Thursday. First group up was Group C. They're 5-8 year olds. There was no way in hell
I was going to let a knife get anywhere near that classroom. Bartosz #2 is mildy...um... hyper and likes to grab things located at chest height (I got my hair pulled, well, yanked really really hard, and he keeps trying to stab me with a pen when I walk past. One minute he's this sweet little boy, the next he's screaming and trying to pull your hair or stab you with writing implements.... o.O). So, absolutely no
knife in that classroom. They got to design pumpkin faces on peices of paper and colour it in. I then put their artwork up on the blue piece of cloth up near the board.
Next up was Group I. Some of them came in costume, some didn't. They weren't too happy at doing that irregular verb test, but I'm trying to get these damn things to stick and if they hate me for that then so be it. First up was the test. Then they all designed a pumpkin face. While that was going on I was hacking away at the top of the pumpkin trying to get to the stuff inside (and make a lid). These kids may've been 12-14, but I still wasn't letting any of them near a knife if I could possibly help it.Me: *stab knife in pumpkin, wiggle knife, mutter under my breath. Yank out knife. Repeat*Students:
O.o... Sheena... what are you doing?
Actually, it was quite cathartic.
When it came time to cleaning out the guts of the pumpkin I handed out the spoons and let them have at it. They took it in turns of four. I still ended up doing some of the scraping, but for the most part they did it.
Then it came time for picking the face. There was no one design that stood out above the rest, but each one that had helped with the scraping had some element in their design that looked good (and was easy for me to carve :P). So, I ended up picking elements from all the designs to make the new one (did it up on the board so they could make corrections).
After that I drew the face onto the pumpkin and went at it with the knife again. *stab, wiggle, wiggle, mutter, yank out, STAB*
. It turned out quite well! Much better than my first attempt last year which was lopsided, droopy, and looked quite sorry for itself. This looked like a carved pumpkin should look!( My pumpkin! )
Final class of the evening was group J. I haven't laughed that much in a long time! We were reviewing for a test that they have on Tuesday. It started out sedate enough, but then we got to the Question Tag game. Someone reads out the start of a sentence and they have to answer the fastest with the correct question tag... things got.. interesting.
Ties were decided by Rock, Paper, Scissors. Patryk was declared the Rock, Paper, Scissors king after winning a round where every card he won was through that game *laughs*
. Iwona got a little confused and tried to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with the wrong person, and Marta lost it completely *grins
. We left her in a corner when she couldn't stop laughing at everyone else's antics. She was giggling hysterically for about 10 mintues! Just when she'd managed to stop Jarek decided to break out his victory dance when he won a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors and set her off again.
Adam decided he'd had enough, reached for the dictionary, looked up a word, and then loudly declared (with a grin on his face) that he was going to boycott the game if he didn't win (to which everyone laughed and teased him good naturedly). Then
He pulls out a deck of cards and adds in his own rule "Joker trumps everything! MuwhahahahahahahaHAHAHAHA!!!!
" (Cue Marta falling into a fit of giggles again).
And me? I was sitting off to the side cacking myself laughing and the antics of my class.
I love J group (and I have Lucja's permission to take them to a cafe for the occasional lesson... should be interesting!)