Monthly Archive: September 2012

Tidbits from the week

1. Our colleague and friend Peter has started giving Slovak lessons for the Americans this school year, and I went to my first one last week. I learned half the Slovak alphabet and a few other phrases. The funniest one that sticks out in my mind is “rubber meat.” We will continue to have these …

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My day at the foreign police

Think of your worst experience waiting at the DMV and then multiply it a couple of times. That’s how many Americans have described the experience of going to the foreign police to start the visa process. Before we arrived in Bratislava, we were required to secure certain papers for our visa (an apostilled birth certificate …

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Forever about education

It seems that with every problem, better education is always (at least partly) the solution. Today, I went with another American teacher to a discussion about the future of Afghanistan after 2014. Even though nothing too earth-shattering was said, it was interesting to listen to a panel discussion in another language  (with headsets that we could …

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It is not safe to assume (especially while teaching a second language)

I have had many lost in translation moments since arriving in Slovakia, especially while teaching. Last week during one of my first-year classes, I discovered something. It was a puzzle that I could not figure out the entire first three weeks of the school year. At the beginning of a lot of my classes, I’ve …

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Safety first

Today after school, I had to go with the rest of the new teachers to a safety meeting. I had heard humorous things about this meeting from returning teachers, but I was not fully prepared. “Oh yea, that meeting lasts five minutes and all they tell you is not to stand on boxes at school,” …

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Fifteen minutes of fame in Slovakia?

I am attending a live dance show tonight with a few of the other American teachers as a kind of mid-week ladies night. It’s called “Just Dance,” but that’s all I really know, because the rest of the website is in Slovak. And when my roommate called to make the ticket reservations, the person on the …

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Staff meetings ‘in the dark’

Yesterday we attended our second staff meeting with all the teachers — also our second meeting conducted entirely in Slovak. It lasted more than an hour, and this is what I got from it: A fire drill is scheduled for tomorrow, and regular Wednesday chapel begins tomorrow. Chapel, normally held in the cafeteria (which is …

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Feeling purple and at home (after a fight with a duvet cover)

So, I’ve been in Bratislava for about a month, and I have finally made my room look like, well, me.   When I first moved into my flat, I tidied up a bit, but I pretty much left the room the same. This past week, I started to realize that what Pastor Arden (ELCA’s regional …

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A different type of patriotism

My cousin, who moved to Indonesia to teach English shortly before I came here, recently updated his Facebook status to something that captured a thought I had but couldn’t quite articulate. “Registered for an absentee ballot; there is something oddly patriotic about living in another nation.” I don’t know quite what it is about living …

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Am I naked up here or something? First reflections on teaching

I’m a little late on this post, because the last week has been hectic and exhausting to say the least. You know how they always tell you that when giving a speech you should try to picture that everyone in the crowd is naked? Well, last week, during my first teaching lesson, it felt like …

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