Today is apparently a big Polish celebration thingy (yes, another one. They have a lot of them). It's the feast of St. Andzrej, or St. Andrew in English. One of my private students, Marzena, was trying to explain it to me the other day, but I didn't quite twig onto what she was talking about (She was talking about wax and keys and wax keys and witches and dripping wax into a cup full of water and I got thoroughly confused *laughs*
Background information here. The Poles don't actually celebrate their birthday after a certain age. They celebrate their Name
day. The day that the Polish saint they share their name with has their celebration. So, anyone called Andzrej will celebrate their nameday on the 29th of November. Some Namedays are bigger than others. Andzrejki is one of the really big ones. They have balls, parties and celebrations for it. For example getting wax keys and dripping the wax into water to get your fortune told. (On a side note, F group gave me the Polish name Mariszka which is some variation of Marie, my middle name. I think because 'Sheena' sounds very close to szynka, ham).
So, I got to class yesterday and my eight year olds were really, really excited about something. I had a deck of cards shoved under my nose and my wrist grabbed by another. They then mimed taking a card (using me as a puppet). I take one and get "NO, THREE!!!!"
yelled rather loudly in my ear by Ola (Ola doesn't have an inside voice. She has loud, and she has shrieking). So, I take three cards and get completely baffled when Zuzanna snatches the cards off me, flips them face up, and then points going "No, No, Yes *shrug*
Start this convoluted explanation, mainly in Polish but with a few random English words thrown in (I'm so proud. They didn't known any
English back in September).Me:
.... still not getting it guys. *thinks and then starts motioning them to follow me*
Come with me! *drags them into the office and get them to explain it to Agnes*
(Looks up at her ceiling...WTF are the people above me doing? They sound like a heard of elephants!)
Turns out they wanted to tell me my fortune. You pull three cards out at random. Red means yes, black means no. Get more reds than blacks and whatever you wish for will come true. So, they told me my fortune, told each other their fortunes (using as much English as they knew interspersed with lots of Polish, handwaving, and 'Green'Blackboard drawing) and then told me all about how "Big dog, and big dog is small dog!"
and then proceeded to draw two dogs kissing on the board with an equals sign and a small dog. They now know that a baby dog is called a 'puppy'.
Mateusz then said something to them about a contract and I heard my name mentioned and the students looked horrified. It took a bit of work, lots of drawing on the board (Bartosz #1 is surprisingly good at snap drawings that make sense) but I found out that Mateusz had told them that I was going back to Australia when my contract was up. They really
don't want me to go. I had to reassure them that I wasn't leaving until June
(and there's no way I'm staying for another year, but I'm not telling them that. They'd never let me leave the classroom). The only way Mateusz could've known that was from his sister (I teach his Magdalena, his sister in my high beginner teenager class).
Oh, and Bartosz #2, the one who used to go from little sweetheart to psycho stabbing boy in the blink of an eye, has turned clingy. He'll come up to me while I'm working with one of the other kids and just lean up against me. Or, if I'm working with him, he leans up against my side while I'm going over stuff... o.O. At least he's not trying to stab me with a pen or yank my hair out anymore. And he's started trying
to do the work (as opposed to before where he'd just sit there and not try..and then attempt to stab me with a pencil when I walked past him).
'I' group behaved themselves (for the most part) as well. We were doing the first conditional, always fun.
'J' Group had a unit test. I walked in with a cup of coffee (I usually drink tea, but this was instant cupaccino and didn't have much caffeine in it. Besides, I was going to spend the whole lesson doing filing/paperwork. I needed it to stay awake). I can't quite remember exactly what we were talking about, but the general conversation went something like this:Jarek:
Sheena, can you hand me that shit of paper, please.Class: *cracks up laughing*Me:
Um, I think you mean the sheet
That's what I said!Me:
No, you said "Shit of paper"Jarek:
Oh, what's the difference?Me: *proceedes to explain the pronunciations differences between sheet and shit*Jarek:
oooooh, so it's like 'beach' and 'bitch'.Me:
Yup. *walks into the office to grab something*Boss:
you talking about in there? We could hear you!Me:
Pronunciation of 'sheet' and 'beach' *thinking 'please don't yell at me for swearing in the classroom'*Boss:
Good! Those are important things to know. *goes on about how the slightest difference can mean the person is swearing when they don't actually mean to*Me:
Oookay... I have to get back to class now.
I get back the classroom, give them their tests an then proceed to watch them go from overconfident body language to this 'Oh, my god, what the hell
' slouched position. They told me later that I killed them with that test. Personally, I think they thought this one would be a cake-walk after the first test and didn't study as much as what they could have.
But, that was my thursday. Interesting enough to post. I've been invited to Agnieszka's place for a party on Sunday. I have to bring a plate of food. I'm going to make a salad. Agnieszka is a Polish English teacher at the local high school (as opposed to Agnes, who is my co-worker at LEKTOR). She's fascinated with my Australian accent and can't believe how many glottal stops we use. She's apparently inviting a whole heap of English teachers. It'll be nice to meet some people outside of LEKTOR that I can actually talk to. My social circle is tiny
right now. Agnes, Agneiszka, Lucja (the boss) and that's it. They're all I can really communicate with. I miss my Chinese social circle (good news is that I'm visiting one of them in Paris in April. It'll be good to see her).( My Dragons )