Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Productive Day... mostly

This is a picture of Harold Road Junior School, in Abergavenny, Wales (not really, it’s actually my high school in Hastings, MN. I couldn’t find a picture of Harold Road). It’s the partner school of Kassai (Harold Road, not Hastings HS). I don’t know exactly what they partner on, because today was the first time I ever heard their name (and earlier this week was the first time I heard we even had a partner school). I do know that for some mysterious reason, various teachers and/or administrators from Harold Road (but no students) will be visiting Kassai next week Monday.

So this has put everyone into a flurry of activity. The English teachers are all planning their Best Lessons Ever to be observed. The principal and secretaries are working on writing handouts about Kassai, lauding it’s wondrous programs (programmes) and beauty. Which I find funny, because after all, the visitors are going to SEE the school. My favorite line so far has to be the one about Kassai’s “green courtyard” (dusty and brown in the summer, slushy and gray currently), “downtown location” (the one place even close to qualifying as Szolnok’s downtown is nowhere near here), and situation “at the intersection of two major avenues” (just laughable - and still wrong). Anyway, this is where I come in... because when I said they’re writing handouts, what I really meant is that they wrote things in Hungarian, then gave them to Kati to translate, who then passed them on me to retype in actual English, and then worried aloud to everyone who would listen that I didn’t do it right.

Not that I mind - really, please don’t construe this entry as any type of bitching on my part. I love translating. And, even if I hated it, I do have too much pride in my school to let them fob some crappy translation off on native speakers. Plus, I’ve been getting all sorts of smiles from the normally scary school admins. I guess I’m okay in their books, now that I’m FINALLY making myself useful.

Number two act of productivity was the fact that I stayed at school for 2 hours after I could have legitimately run away (as I usually do at the end of the day) in order to write my end-of-the-semester grades in 8 different naplós. Wow, I sure wish I had peeked inside those wondrous yellow-and-green treasure books earlier. In addition to all sort of nifty bits like whose parents are not living together and who has siblings (or parents) at which school, each page also has every single grade the student has gotten for the whole year. In pen. Sometimes red pen. It’s glorious. Oh, the power... which of course I DID NOT ABUSE... too much. No, I really did restrain myself. Although after seeing what grades they get from the other teachers, next semester I’m not going to hesitate the give them the 2s and 3s they deserve. No more of this I’ll-give-you-a-5-because-I’m-afraid-you’ll-start-bawling crap.

When I came home, I was so fired up that I actually started making lesson plans and worksheets for next week... and it’s only Thursday! Well, I got about half way done, and then succumbed to the call of wine and blog reading and for God’s sake anything other than lesson plans! I know, I fail... but with all the hullaballoo going to be going on on Monday (how’s that for a construction?) no one will notice me. I’ll do them then; I’ll have lots of time since I plan to spend the entire day, even my free lessons, hanging around the school in a desperate bid to catch the eye of and make conversation with another native speaker... even a native British / Welsh speaker.

I’m off to Budapest for the weekend, to welcome the new teachers and to celebrate my birthday as I’ve celebrated all things this year: CETP-vel.

1 comment:

indiana said...

so i there was this plastic bag that warned us "for safety, keep away from babies and chickens." besides anyone who knows you realizes the real danger is letting you intepret--or anything that involves the speaking. i've had a couple of emily-days in that regard.

parallels to my life--there are these info sheets to help us know about poential interships (we have to have these to graduate, they're a big deal). For my current placement, the sheet listed aobut ten services offered and such grand tasks for us to learn as grant-writing and running "process groups" (like group therapy sort of more or less; maybe a cross between AA and therapy group). Mostly, we have "study hall" where we sit at a table and read for class (not that i'm really complaining).

A contrast--its a bit more important for my job to keep from making people cry. however there are documetns like those of which you speak--and yes, i read like a voyeur. an empathic voyeur.