01 September 2011

The last first day

The first day of school in Moldova is a really, really big deal. Usually. I've heard stories of huge celebrations with a lot of music and dancing and singing and performances and at the end of the day there is a masa (or meal) for the teachers usually centered around a lot of alcohol. However, that's not exactly how it went down in my village.

The kids and teachers were dressed in their best clothes (with the kids in black and white), with tons of flowers in their hands.

Some speeches were given by the 12th graders, the Director of the school, the Mayor (who just so happens to be her husband), and a woman from our Raion (kind of like a county).
The 12th graders then brought a key to the 1st graders because this is their first year at the school, and then they gave them flowers, kisses, and walked around the blacktop ringing the first bell. 

Then everyone gave their teachers flowers, then headed into school for 30-minute classes.

Instead of this being super great, however, I got yelled at by one of my partner teachers for the pictures I made out of construction paper and put above the blackboard. But, you see, I didn't just make random pictures. I made a bunch of "nouns" where I had intended to write the words for them so that if kids are stuck on a word for a sentence, they have some ideas right in front of them. Well, apparently they are ugly and won't do any good, and a (really) very nice painting that one of the students make of Varatic is much more essential to the learning of the students and should therefore be left in the front of the classroom and my  "ugly silent learning" materials should be on a wall where it can't be seen. Right. 

Thankfully I have another partner that appreciates the decorations I make, so she helped reassure me that everything is going to be okay because of course it is. When life gives us lemons we have to make lemonade, right?

So I went outside and did what I love and took pictures of some of the people I love: my students. Seriously, if it wasn't for these absolutely amazing kids, I'm pretty sure my time here with the Peace Corps would have already come to an end. But they are (almost) all wonderful and love getting their picture taken, which is great because the picture-taking is now a fundraiser to make prints of some of the photos I have taken this year in my village for the people in the photographs. (blogger just changed their posting format and so now I can't figure out how to get the photographs aligned properly. Suggestions??!!)


The highlight, though, was when one of my students came up to me and said she had a question. I wasn't quite sure where this was going, for the simple reason that many students have come to me with rather, well, interesting questions. But hers was great. She is in the 11th grade and was wondering what the best profession is to have in Moldova, and since I've been here a year now, I should have a pretty good idea. Well, I don't. Because the funny thing is that I just had a conversation with someone about this the other day and how there are jobs here you just have to look for them, but if you do find them, they are WAY underpaid. So I told her that her best bet is to study in a university in another country because it is more respected globally. You see, she wants to be a doctor. And she wants to study in the States. And she is one of those (rather rare) students that actually does study and does do her homework and learns something in school (imagine that idea). For students like that, I am willing to do whatever I can to help them out, and I really wish her the best of luck.

Hopefully this was just a rough start to what will be a great year.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, brother. Don't pay any attention to that crab. She's probably jealous because everyone LOVES you and you are GORGEOUS. Love, M