For me, being a teacher has turned out to be a pretty rewarding experience. Just like how Harry began to regard Sirus as a mix between father and brother, in the kids’ eyes, I am a cross between friend and teacher. They call me Asha, yet they stand up when I enter the room as a sign of respect. In each class I have a different role. For the younger classes I mostly play language games. For the older classes, I give presentations on topics related to ESC (English Speaking Countries) and grade them on their oral practice exams. In some of the classes that I have on a regular basis, I do a variety of different things – CV presentations, workbook exercises, interviews, etc. My school schedule is confusing, but I think I am finally getting the hang of it. I don’t have classes on Monday, so I use this day to prepare for my lessons for the week. I have found that a successful lesson has more to do with your preparation than anything else and I am learning as I go.
Nymburk is a pretty small town, so I usually see at least one teacher whenever I go our. This week I decided to strike out on my own and walk to the nearest hypermarket, which is a combination of supermarket and department store. There I ran into a fellow PE teacher who offered me a ride home. I also decided to check out the Men’s pro basketball team that plays here in Prague. They play in a sport center that is a 30-minute walk from my apartment. It’s a little far, but the path is right along the river and the fortification walls it was pleasant. I got courtside seats for about $2.00 USD. Not bad! I liked watching the game, but unlike the Lakers or the Sagehens, I had no idea who the guys were. The level of play was elevated but the arena was small and the game pretty tame (no dunking or pump up music that I recognized). That being said, I think I will go to more games. A few of my students are cheerleaders and they were really excited that I came to see them dance. Also as a women’s basketball player I get to go to the games for free and you know my motto – if its free its for me!
Last weekend I took my first trip outside of the country. I went to Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. I went with a few other Fulbrighters and stayed with a friend of a friend. The first night, we went out for traditional Bavarian cuisine and drinks. I had cheese wurst and sauerkraut. However, I didn’t stay out too late because I knew that we had to get up early for Oktoberfest the next day. We didn’t get up early enough. By the time we got to the tents they were all full. We wandered for about two hours before calling it a day and going sightseeing.
The next day we took no chances and got to Oktoberfest really early. By 9:15am we were in the Ochsenbraterei tent and soaking in the atmosphere. Everywhere you looked there were men dressed in lederhosen and women in dirndls. By 10:00am we had our first beer and taught the most popular German drinking song “Ein Prosit,” which means Cheers! At our table were three German-speaking Italians who joined us in several games of “never have I ever” and “would you rather.” Once the brass music started playing everyone really started having a good time. Six hours later and a dozen “Ein Prosit” rounds later we left the tent.
Munich is a really cool place. Yes its expensive, but it has a lot going for it. Environmentally, it’s a pretty progressive city. Throughout the city there are designated green zones, which means you can only drive through those areas if you meet the proper emissions criteria (fun fact for you dad!). This means you mostly see new cars on the roads. My next trip will probably be to Berlin for Halloween. The city’s motto is “poor but sexy.” Now that’s a saying I can live by. So for the next few weeks I will be hitting up the five thrifts stores that are within a block of my house to find a costume. It needs to be internationally recognized, creative, and warm. Any suggestions?