Friday, June 05, 2009

More Surreal End of Days

The hazy, lazy, end of the school year continues. My week was like this:

Monday, no school due to Pünkösd (Pentecost). Also, nothing was open, so we drove two towns over to a restaurant for lunch.

Tuesday, no real classes but the school was open for the seniors to come in and view the results of their written school-leaving exams. I helped my contact teacher Ili show the English tests to her class. In the afternoon, I met Tomi and we went to get me check-uped - the first time I've been to a real doctor in Hungary. Interesting experience - everything about it confirmed my previous suspicions about the Hungarian health care system: it's easy, it's cheap, it's (outside of Pest) monolingual, and it's top-notch. Also, it's old-fashioned (she told me I needed to wear slippers to keep my feet warm, even in the summer), and like everything in small-town Hungary it's privacy-less (she knew that I live in a ground-floor flat because she's friends with my landlady).

Wednesday was the only regular day of the week. Other than walking into my first lesson to find the students standing around in a completely furniture-free classroom, everything was normal.

Thursday was stressy. The whole day I spent alternating between rushing and waiting, rushing and waiting. I went into the school early to finish writing a test, all the computers were full so I waited, got the computer which wasn't compatible with my pen drive, waited some more, tried to write the test as quickly as I could, and all the while Rózsa was trying to tell me about the trip to England plans and Petra and I were trying to put together a program for an after-school program (which I ended up not being able to attend anyway). In between classes I was running, photocopying, answering endless student questions. Classes themselves were an enforced standstill - the students were taking the test, so all I could do was sit silently.

After school I ran home, ate, and ran over to my favorite place in the whole county, the Bevándorlási Hivatal (Immigration Office). There were four people in front of me; I waited in line for almost two hours. Finally I got into the office, waited some more, and turned in all the paperwork to extend my Tartózkodási Engedély (residence permit). Well, almost all the paperwork - of course, I was missing one paper. So I have to go again next week. Grrr. On the other hand, the guy working in the office was wonderfully helpful, and also gave me a bunch more information about getting my Letelepedési Engedély (permanent residence / settlement permit, that magic document that will allow me to do this mass of paperwork only once every five years). So that'll be a project for the summer...

Finally, today, Friday. Normally I would have a very simple day: 4th period with the adorable and wonderful 11.D, and 6th lesson with the slightly-less-adorable but still tolerable 11.C. What actually happened today: I went in for the 2nd lesson to observe a class. In the 3rd lesson I had to substitute another teacher. In the 4th lesson I was free because the 11.D are on a class trip (miraculously, I had known this beforehand). In the 5th lesson I observed another class. And after the 5th, the rest of the lessons had been cancelled for a special program. This I had NOT known in advance, and I was planning to give the 11.C their end-of-the-year test. So it all fell though. But at least I'm at home now, and looking forward to a very calm weekend. I need to save up my strength for next week.

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