Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 23, 2012

Although the temperature had risen slightly, 12 F this morning, the sidewalks and roads remained just as icy as the day before thus forcing me to operate according to old M.O. of walking on the road facing traffic. The marshrutka was already waiting at the stoplight, and a young woman ceded her seat to me the minute I boarded it.

I dropped a group of photos in need of lamination and proceeded to Lingua to photocopy the rest of the materials I needed for that day’s presentation on motivating students. Lingua has an old copier that keeps jamming the paper thus wasting both ink and paper while there is another copier, a newer one, with plastic wrap all over it. I have to find out why in the heck we have to use the one that is constantly malfunctioning.

Zarina had informed me that Lingua was holding a luncheon that day to celebrate Thanksgiving, but instead of a proper luncheon, we were taken on a tour of an adjacent building Lingua had been remodeling to accommodate another facility that will be selling McMillan books. Gulnara was tight-lipped about the operation only saying it wouldn’t open officially until December first, but she wanted the staff to take a peek at it ahead of time. We were treated to something that looked like calzones, muffins baked by Zarina and chocolate bars along with sushi, the rice not quite cooked, and juices.

I had to run in order to make it to my presentation on time. The teachers had never heard the term “immediacy” and worked in groups of three to determine how accessible they normally were to their students. I didn’t have time to collect their findings but urged them to consider the fact that the closer the students perceived their relationship to be to their teacher, the more motivated they were to participate and do well in their class.

When shown the student survey that should be completed at the beginning of the semester to determine the students’ attitude toward learning the language and the way they like to learn it, none of the teachers had seen or given one like it and acknowledged they aren’t required to obtain any kind of feedback from the students at any time during the semester.

As I was packing my stuff to leave, one teacher approached me to say she had tried one of the speaking games in her class and the students had loved it. I wasn’t able to find out which one as her English was deficient to say the least. In any event, it was gratifying to hear at least one thing had stuck so far.

I stopped at the store across the street to buy milk, but there wasn't any in the regular tetra pack container, so  I opted for the one that comes in a regular plastic bag only to discover when I got home that it was cream instead of milk. And it wasn't as if I couldn't read it in the Cyrillic alphabet. Oh was a I mad because there was no way I was going back outside to get the right thing.

I watched a movie, “The Searchers”, in which John Wayne sets out to kill the Native American people responsible for killing his family. Reflecting the times when the movie was filmed, 1956, it doesn’t bother to go into any deep analysis of the reasons Native Americans were engaging in the scalping and kidnapping of European descendants who were taken away their lands and livelihood. 

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