Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Trifecta

In the spirit of good weather, classes being canceled, and being talked into happy hour between classes (my arm was twisted), I give you three completely unrelated tidbits:

1) False Friends...

...(also called false cognates) are a topic close to my heart - I once forged an entire thesis’s worth of research about false friends in German and English. If you don’t want to click the link, the short explanation is that false friends are two words in two languages which look or sound the same, but have different meanings. Like, how ‘kuki’ does not mean ‘cookie.’

Today I discovered that the Hungarian word ‘harmonika’ means... what do you think? It means ‘accordion.’ Of course it does!

2) Kind Colleagues

Typical situation at my school: I go to teach a class, and only one girl is there. I know that I should just send her home, but trying to be professional (and save myself from a scolding later), I look for one of the other English teachers to confirm it. They’ve all gone home.

After I stood in the teacher’s room for a while, clutching my books and looking forlorn, one of the older teacher/administrator/secretary ladies took pity and tried to help me. It was interesting, because our only common language is German, despite the fact that we both speak German at about a 4th-grade level.

Not only did she give me official permission to go home, as I was leaving, she explained to me that on Thursday there’ll be a fire drill. This is the type of thing that people (ahem, contact teacher) never tell me... and which inevitable leads to me looking incompetent. So I really appreciated her making the effort.

3) and Ten Little Geniuses

Today I had a realization about my 6b class. Not only can they put sentences together (the 6a can’t even do ‘There is...’ ‘There are...’ yet), but for some reason these ten kids have near-perfect accents. Really, it’s amazing; they’re better than any other class, any other grade - better than some of the English teachers. I have no idea how this came about. But I plan on studying the phenomenon further.

And having a class I look forward to always makes the week better.


Anonymous said...

hey, hi. or should I say "szia"? My name is Nicolle and I live in Cegled with my Magyar husband. I've followed your blog on and off, trying to work up the courage to introduce myself. Weird that I need courage to type but there it is.

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, but I think I will do both to be on the safe side....