Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012

It was definitely cold outside as I waited for the marshrutka go over to the American Pilot School. Some of them went by fully loaded, but I still made in time to see the beginning of the training session. Only four teachers were present then and eventually the group rose to eight with two of them absent because they had been required to work on some voting project by the school administrators. The object of the lesson was to have the teachers practice discussing and debating controversial topics, but most of them lacked the verbal skills to present their points of view with any degree of eloquence.

My phone rang and I stepped out in the hallway to talk to Natalia who wanted to inform me she was arranging to have me teach a large number of teachers, between 75-100, a session on games they could use in the classroom and that was taking place this Thursday. I told her I’d not have enough time to prepare materials since Wednesday is a holiday. She offered to make all the photocopying at the embassy if I sent her the materials right away.

I finished the first session with Zeinep and shared coffee and biscuits with the teachers who were freezing in the room while I was going bunker from the noise coming from the gym directly above our heads where students were practicing basket shots. I took my leave after the break and headed to Lingua where I sent out the invitation for the housewarming party I’ve been meaning to throw for a few weeks, but hadn’t found the right date. It’s going to be on November 17 between 4:00 and 6:00pm to give everyone a chance to stop by for a little while.

Judson didn’t show at one as he had promised last Friday, and I mentioned it to Matt who was sitting right next to me. He said Judson was a flake, but was always online and he could check with him on my behalf. The jerk replied he had not promised me to come and had instead provided all the help he could via email. That’s someone whose number is getting deleted from my list of contacts and whom I hope never to meet in person.

Gulnara approached us to ask who could volunteer to cover for Olga, who teaches the advanced level, and who was having some kind of family issue. I agreed to it since Matt has offered to cover the conversation class on the way of my housewarming party. I then went downstairs and bought fried lagman for b our lunch and we had it together in the teachers’ lounge. We were both in agreement that if Romney was to win the election, we were better off staying out of the United States for good.

I managed to salvage the files from my flashdrive and learned a new acronym in the process as Matt indicated I had “FTD” or “flashdrive transmitted diseases”. Before I knew it, it was time to teach Olga’s class which turned out to be the same one I had taught for the Columbus Day session and where at least three of the students take part in the conversation club. Chynara had made a photocopy of the corresponding pages in the textbook and I took a quick look to find out it was about technology and more specifically the new cell phones.

Getting on a marshrutka after six appears to be quite a tortuous affair as most of them came by already stuffed to gills and people tried to cram into them anyway. I was able to board one relatively empty only to see it take in more and more riders, so I had to do what is routine by now and get off when I a few blocks from the apartment and walk the rest of the way.

I tried to recover my files from the portable hard drive in the same way I had done at Lingua with my flashdrive, but it didn’t work and it appears as if I have permanently deleted all my files and more importantly, all the movies I had stored in it. I was simply crushed.

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