Friday, February 17, 2012

Village Life and Seven Things About Me

I made it. It's halfway through February. Everything seems to be under control.

Last week I was supposed to be on Spring Break, but since I had no funds to go anywhere, my bosses asked me to cover classes in a smaller town just outside of Prague.

In reality, I was staying in said small town, M'lada Boleslav, but I was working in these two tiny little villages. I <3 village life. 

It was a little hectic simply because I never taught the same kids twice all week, I don't know the books they use there or they just didn't have books and all the classes are entirely different from the ones I teach in Prague. I spent a LOT of time lesson planning every night. However, I think if I taught those classes all the time it wouldn't have been so much work.

My regular schedule in Prague is nearly all kindergartens. I basically spend all my time with children ages 3-6. I have three classes of first and second graders, which just means I get to see kids 6-9. I only make four lesson plans each week.

Anyway, the kids I was teaching in the villages were all ages. I had a couple of kindergartens and then literally taught one or two classes of every grade from first to ninth. That means I saw kids as young as 3 and as old as 15.

This is much more reminiscent of Taiwan for me. Also, it was nice to break up the monotony. That and the kids were so super sweet and not spoiled rotten like a lot of my Prague kids are. I love (most) of my kids, but it was nice to not have to work so hard to win them over. In the villages, I taught the kids once and they were drawing me pictures or giving me hugs when I left. Wow.

The nice part was, working during my Spring Break got me some extra cash and since I was in the middle of no where, I hardly spent any money at all!

So with my extra cash this month, I'm buying a yoga mat and enrolling in a once-per-week yoga class. I'm hoping I can manage to go to class once a week and then practice on my own at home two to three times per week. Maybe I'll make some new friends while I'm at it. 

Ok, now that you're updated on the randomness that is my life, I have to catch up on something. Ms. Liz White, who I met while I was living in Washington, D.C., tagged me on a post more than a month ago. But I have failed to pay any attention to Twitter and didn't see it. So I'll be catching up on that now. 

So here's seven random things about me which you may or may not have known already.

1. I collect maps. I love them. I think I always loved them, but once I started traveling and realized that maps open some amazing doors, I fell completely head over heels. I currently have something like 20 maps in my possession. That's not counting the ones at my parents' flat or in my guidebooks. 

2. When I was 10-years-old, I attempted to write my first novel. I remember learning a lot about prodigies back then (Mozart, etc.) and being convinced that if I had any potential to be a prodigy at anything, it would be writing. However, nearly 16 years later (oh. my. god. I just said that...), I can't for the life of me remember what it was about. I was really into historical fiction (Revolutionary War era) and detective novels back then, so probably something like that. I really wish I had thought to save that. 

3. When I was little, I used to climb trees. I was, and honestly still am, completely and totally unafraid of heights. I would climb our neighbor's tree as high as possible. This boy I used to play with, William, would always follow me up, but he could never go as high as me (because he was older and bigger, there are advantage to being small and light). I always wanted a tree house, but for some reason we never made one, so instead I would just climb the trees and lay across the larger branches and just hang out there until I heard someone yelling for me to come home.

4. I'm not so secretly terrified of waiting too long. Too long for what, I'm not entirely sure. I'm just afraid of missed opportunities. There are so many things I want to do in my life to the point that I simultaneously plan too much and not enough. Some of those things most certainly have an expiration on them and must be done sooner than others but could also put a damper on my ability to do other things I want to do... Or maybe that's me just swallowing the pills society keeps feeding me. Conundrum.

5. I was the ridiculously shy, outcast kid when I was little. All the way up until age 12, I got teased for being poor, or wearing glasses, or being the new girl, or who knows what else. When I was 12, I made the proactive decision to switch schools, this time not because my parents were moving our family again, but because I wanted to start over and have some control over the situation. I was determined that I wouldn't be that girl anymore. That year, I met one of my oldest friends (Mal!), got my first boyfriend (holding hands at the movie theater!), and realized that I'm actually a pretty awesome and unique person. That one decision changed everything for me. I have never let myself be the shy girl again.

6. I pretty much always knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Basically since I was 10 I knew I wanted to be a writer. (There was a small period of time in which I diverged and wanted to be a social, psychologist in the CIA... but I digress.) What kind of writer always continued to evolve, but a writer none the less. In high school, it became very clear I loved journalism and telling people's stories and giving people information they could actually use in their lives. The irony is, now that I'm grown up, my path took a bit of a detour and I have absolutely no idea what I want to be. I know I still love writing though.

7. Many little girls plan their dream weddings, and while I do sometimes think about what I might like to have at my wedding, it seems silly to plan until I can put a face on the groom. However, I've always enjoyed planning my future home. I've always loved the idea of having a big Victorian-style home with a wrap-around porch and a big yard with a garden. I want to spend my spring tending my own fruits and vegetables. I want to spend my autumn kneading bread with all the windows in the house wide open. I want to be able to sit on a squishy porch swing reading books and drinking a nice, cold glass of white wine. I want a huge family room and four bedrooms. And don't even get me started on the kitchen. I've got that thing planned out down to the flatware.

So I'll pass it on now. Maybe these people will tell us seven things about them:

Meghan at Scrambled Meggs

Megan at coincidenceless

Flannery at flanflan beaupais

KT at Living the Expat Life

Lauren at Czech You Later

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