the encroachment of english week and the end of the world

even though there has yet to be snow on the ground, times are certainly changing. not only have the people at my nearby store been insanely nice to me (they offered to stock things from the city since they know i’m a foreigner and have weird taste), but it somehow became december and the year 2013 is not far off…that is if we survive the end of the world as my students fear. ukrainians in general are pretty superstitious, so many have come to believe the rumors of the mayan calendar ‘predictions’. stores are selling out of candles faster than weekend waffles in a college dorm. people are freaking out.

but not everyone. uh, like myself. thankfully my counterpart and host family both said they have nothing to fear. but my students have already told me they probably won’t be coming to school that day. which just so happens to be the only time i can throw my christmas party for them, so i say “OH HELL NO YOU WON’T SKIP SCHOOL”. if the world does in fact end while i’m in a tiny ukrainian village, sitting alone in a classroom with a mound of gingerbread house supplies, that would be the worst (yummy gingerbread aside)….not…that…i think that would happen. but just in case it does, at least i’d peace out with the spirit of christmas and keep to my student deemed nickname ‘Miss Christmas’.

i understand their fear. there was a tiny part of the 13 year old me that thought Y2K would get the worst of us. but look! we survived! the computers didn’t crash end up crashing. and this time, everything will be just fine. i mean, the mayan calendar had to end at some point. the dude couldn’t keep writing forever! sure enough borscht will keep boiling, pigs will keep squealing, and vodka will keep flowing. but i don’t know if any of this will be a consolation to them. so we’ll see if my christmas party will just become a ‘it’s not over!’ end of the world party for one.

the past few days have been comprised of german and english teachers at school freaking out. this time over the upcoming ‘foreign language week’ rather than the end of the world — but from the level of seriousness they’ve put this at, you might think they were the same thing. today ‘s meeting turned into a screaming match, arguments about the concert, a request that i give a presentation in english AND german (uh yea, i don’t speak any german), and a concert line-up included fifteen german/english/ukrainian songs. FIFTEEN SONGS. that’s ten more than i’d rather sit though. i think we’re going a little over board but i wasn’t about to upset my fellow teachers.

the week will include some sort of round table ‘discussion’ and presentations on the topic of winter holidays (i’m going to try and sneak festivus into my presentation. but seeing as how some teachers haven’t heard of hanukah [i still find this hard to believe] i don’t think it will be a problem). there will be a few open lessons in which the students prepare and rehearse one lesson that is observed by the school principle and administrators. one long-ass concert with some christmas songs, some abba, that damn song ‘it’s my life’ that they love so much, and a some song titled ‘oh baby baby’.  should be interesting. and lastly, on the day the world is supposed to end, we’ll finish off the week (he he get it?) with an english club christmas party. or maybe it will really just be me and my friend ‘boxed wine’ decorating a gingerbread house, all the while thinking ‘i told you so!’.

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village streets — i’d much rather deal with snow

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