News Items: New Teaching Strategies, The Limited “Unlimited” Internet Access, Domestic Violence Report, Weather, and Sports
New Teaching Strategies: Today I broke my wild 7th grade class into 2 groups: the 5 smarty-pants who sit in the front rows and then everyone else. I am happy to report that it was a total success in my eyes. I had the kids in front work on reading a long passage in their text books and asked the local English teacher to help them with comprehension and pronunciation. I went and worked in the back of the room with the rest of the class. I quizzed them ruthlessly on the alphabet and was pleasantly surprised at what they do seem to know. Then I broke them into groups and had them work on little games all involving the alphabet in some way. They seemed to enjoy it and were actually engaged the whole time. A minor miracle. And since the smarty-pants were occupied, they had to find their answers elsewhere. New leaders arose. It was great.
Not-So-Unlimited Internet: I bought a theoretically unlimited Internet plan and just found out that it is not so unlimited after all. How Georgian. Guess I need to stop spending hours on YouTube.
Domestic Violence: One of my favorite teachers at the school, the Russian teacher, seemed unusually subdued this morning. She’s usually a big smiler and talker. Not today. I tried to talk to her a bit to cheer her up. She did perk up a bit and I left it at that. Everyone has a bad day sometimes. But at lunch today, it was communicated to me in rudimentary Georgian and gestures that her husband was hitting her over the weekend. I was shocked and very sad. “Ratom? Why?” I asked. Bevri ghvino. A lot of wine. Well that explains it, I suppose. The way men drink here I am almost surprised I have not heard more cases of husbands hitting wives. I love this teacher and her children. I hate hearing that this is happening.
Weather: On the weather front, Georgia has been disgustingly beautiful of late. Warm, sunny, with cool breezes. Cool at night, but long johns not required. I have even lain out on the 2nd story porch. I think I even got a bit sunburned.
Sports: Me? Sports? Hah. I did find out that Georgian children do not run in gym, which I thought was interesting. They usually play volleyball (girls) and soccer (boys). They can play chess in gym. (“You play chess in gym?” I asked incredulously.) I tried to explain that we call gym “P.E.” in America, short for “physical education”. As I was trying to explain this, it dawned on me what a stupid name that is.
I spent most of my Saturday afternoon attempting to walk into town, with the intention of taking pictures along the way. (Before everything is covered with snow.) I made it further than I thought I would, but was very grateful to catch a martshutka into town. I am still learning my camera, so there were some groans of disappointment as I reviewed my pictures. Live and learn.