Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 21, 2012

Still feeling groggy from lack of sleep as I woke up numerous times coughing and looking for the lozenges to soothe me scratchy throat. Around seven in the morning, the contours of the mountains just began to make themselves visible thus announcing an end to two days without any sun whatsoever.

I remembered that I had saved the carcass from the rotisserie chicken with the intention of making a soup with it and got to it this morning by adding chicken bouillon, potatoes and carrots to it and finally some chopped dill and cilantro leaves. It made the perfect breakfast on such a chilly morning.

Waiting for the marshrutka while the snow drifted from rooftops and treetops wasn’t any fun, but at least a young woman yielded her seat to me the minute I stepped inside. Traffic was just as snarled as the day before with much revving of engines by impatient drivers and the skidding of wheels on the icy roads.

I've come to realize that Kyrgyz do not observe our rule of walking on the right side of the road thus forcing me into that awkward "Shall we dance" pantomime routine until they realize I'm not budging from my side and  then they move over to the left. I guess that thousands of years living in the steppe without having to ever yield to anybody else has left an imprint on them.

I got to Lingua on time for my meeting with Anna and said hello to Zarina and Aigul. When Anna showed up, we quickly sat down to draft a selection criteria to be used for the presenters at the CATEC conference and immediately sent it to the members of the committee for their review and input. When I happened to mention that I had been disappointed with the choice of locale for our ELF mid-year conference, she countered by saying that it wasn’t as if I was being sent to Siberia and I quipped that to me Almaty in January was exactly like Siberia.

I saw Gulnara and Larissa in the hallway getting ready to have lunch and greeted both of them. After finishing work on a couple more documents, I notified the other office manager that I was on my way to the American Corner and would see them all on Friday when the office will be hosting a Thanksgiving lunch.

Aigerim, the American Corner coordinator, supplied me with plenty of magazines so I could rip a few pages for my upcoming workshop on using pictures to teach English. A young guy approached me to say he had been part of the huge workshop on teaching English interactively and wanted to know if I could help him in practicing his English. I always feel about when having to tell them I’m not available for that kind of teaching.

Stopped at the store across the street for water and juice and then got a call from Brice inquiring about the details of the Thanksgiving dinner. His call kept dropping, but I gathered that all Fulbrighters had made other plans for the occasion and apparently weren’t interested in going with me. Brice indicated he had a class in the early afternoon and promised to email me as to whether he’d be going or not, but never did. And to think I had gone through all that trouble of adding their names to the list of invitees for nothing.

I still didn’t know where the dinner would be held at and emailed Christian asking if I could get a ride with his family to which he agreed as long as it was only one person. He wasn’t familiar with my location and suggested I take a marshrutka to his house. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

I managed to do more research online on the topic of motivating students and found a fascinating report on something called “teacher’s immediacy” related to how close to the students a teacher gets, the more motivated the student will be to succeed in that class. I hope to be able to use it in my presentation on Friday as I know that’s totally the opposite of the approach here.

No comments:

Post a Comment