i headed to class which was supposed to start at 8:30 but when i got to school at 8:15, i discovered that the lessons had already begun for some reason (that’s ukraine). i went to the classroom to find lesya teaching. blah blah blah lesson happened. going to be disciplinary problems for that class, but thankfully lesya doesn’t take any crap. during the lesson the nurse came in and checked the students’ heads for lice. totally normal. oh and two of my three classes today thought i said my brother was a communist when i said my brother is a chemist. pretty funny not going to lie. but in a transitioning post-communist society…it’s kind of a touchy subject. at least they laughed about it too.
these students seriously don’t know any english. it’s terrible and pretty upsetting…and not acceptable at all. the 10th formers couldn’t even ask me how old i am. maybe it’s impart due to the fact that lesya speaks ukrainian for most of the lesson and part that it’s not seemingly important to the school who randomly canceled one of my lessons to send the kids out to clean up brush. except the area they worked on looks exactly the same as it did before.
tomorrow my counterpart has to take her daughter to the hospital and i’m to teach all 5 lessons by myself. most of which students i’ve never even met. so that should be interesting. i guess i better get to planning…
(((wayne’s world time warp)))
…well i’m sort of done planning. i planned all 5 lessons plus a tutoring session for those poor 7th formers that shouldn’t be in a 7th form english class. if it wasn’t for me helping them they’d seriously be fucked. lesya told me she just wants them to practice writing out the alphabet during class while all the other students learn other things. buuuut i’m not sure that’s the best approach. i mean first of all, it feels like they’re being punished and not given a chance to learn. and second of all, what the hell are they going to do when exams come around. i guess they aren’t going to do any homework or receive grades in that class? i’m so confused… i just feel so bad for them. well whatever might happen, i hope i can help them on my own. i probably shouldn’t get my expectations up for outcomes…but i really hope i can help them learn something.
with my kindle in hand i went for a walk after lessons. it was such a beautiful day with the most picturesque clouds hanging in the air. i walked a leisurely pace going no where im-particular. i walked until i couldn’t hear any cars, to where it was just me, the solid and fields. it was wonderful. everything has been or is being harvested. the cut down stalks from the sunflower fields underwent a second, more close cut pass. sunflower bits were strewn about and this is when i learned that the inside of the sunflower stalk is the same exact texture of a styrofoam peanut. never saw that coming! maybe you could use them to insulate your house somehow.
after a while of walking i sat down and read from my kindle. it only seemed appropriate to read barbara kingsolver’s animal, vegetable, miracle. a book about being connected to the land, the soil and the produce. and i feel it. here i feel more connected with the earth than i have ever been. i actually SEE where my produce food comes from and know the people that grow them. it doesn’t get any more local than that.
the last time i was in the big city of ZP i made a stop at a big grocery store. and it was the first time i felt weird about a grocery store. it was so hard to explain the feeling, but suddenly my norm, the average looking produce section of a grocery store became foreign and alien like to me. the weirdly fluorescent lit crates of scrawny looking produce seemed so bizarre. it all seemed out of place. like the trucks after trucks of farmers toting their produce waiting for a potential customer to pass, a bowl of grapes/peaches/apples sitting on a stool for sale driveway after driveway, that all seemed normal now. it was about the food and the people behind it. but in that grocery store all of that was removed. it seemed sterilized and scrubbed clean of any reminisce of soil, dirt, where it came from or the people that grew it.
it’s not just from reading kingsolver that got me to thinking this way. it’s known to some that i have a deep desire to become amish. or at least live like the amish (yes, i realize i wouldn’t be blogging anymore if i want to live like that). i’ve always felt the most myself when i’m outside and surrounded by nature. while growing up in suburbs and only having a small backyard to call our own, i’ve yearned to feel connected to my food, to my land, to it all. but now, right here, is the closet i’ve ever come to the ideas i have floating around in my idealistic dreamer of a brain. i literally know the cow that i get cheese from, the chickens that give me eggs, the soil that grew my potatoes. i bewilder ukrainians with my burning desire to want to know anything and everything there is to know about farming and planting. to them it shouldn’t be interesting to me. people go to college to get away from working on the land and having soil beneath their fingernails. but that’s just the opposite of what happened for me. i went to college, even went as far as joining the peace corps, to realize that having dirt beneath my fingernails is exactly what i want.
in other news, i bought an oven today! yaaaaaaaaay!! i had saved my money up from the past few months. i immediately baked a pear cake in my con-vexed shame of a skillet. so one side came out a little thicker than the other but it was delicious. i think i’ll take some over to the store ladies, some for the nurses that work next to my room, and if there’s some left, to my neighbors. spreadin the love with mah homemade cakes.