Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8, 2012

Still enjoying the fine weather this week has brought, I boarded the marshrutka to the Children’s Library and barely made it in time to see Natalia launch into her talk about the TEA (Teaching Excellence and Achievement) program and was chagrined to find a full house for this presentation as the teachers were highly motivated to find out how they could travel to the States for additional professional development opportunities on our dime. We had to find chairs from other rooms in order to accommodate all the attendees including two men who had never shown up for any other sessions.

The coat room at the library where everyone is expected to drop their coats and bags, but I never do

Elvira and Gulnara approached me to offer congratulations on the publication of the newsletter and showed me the very blurry copy Elvira had been able to print from her university copy machine and which was being handed to those present. You could barely make out who was in the photographs, but at least the text could be read somewhat. Willoughby later commented that the photos were too large thus causing the newsletter to take forever to download and so we need to resize every photo before adding it to it.

Following Natalia’s presentation and Tatiana’s testimonial about her participation in the same program, another teacher came up and gave a talk about Bloom’s Taxonomy. I could only catch glimpses of it, but it was definitely a different take from mine. This teacher is partially sighted and wore dark sunglasses indoors. I gave her my card and asked her to exchange presentations so we both could be more knowledgeable about this topic.

Galina approached me during the coffee break to find out if I had the music for teens I had promised her and she agreed to follow me to Lingua where I had left my flashdrive once again attached to the computer. We had to have a short staff meeting as Forum is offering winter break training sessions for teachers which will last three days and they want both Willoughby and I to participate. I offered to do two sessions since I won’t have anything else pending that week.

                                               A moment of levity during the coffee break

When I walked into the computer room at Lingua, my flashdrive wasn’t attached to the computer and immediately panicked as I had looked for it at home and knew it wasn’t there. I then spotted the wristband that is normally attached to it and which someone had placed over the CPU tower. I asked Zarina, Gulnara and Adina if anyone had turned in the flashdrive and they said no. I was about to suffer an apoplectic attack when another teacher popped in and said she had it. Why she hadn’t turned in to the front office is a mystery to me unless she was snooping into its contents, which would really make me really mad.

I copied the music for Galina, checked my email, had a bite to eat and then it was time to print the handouts for the conversation club. Only eight students showed up and it was a bit slow as we talked about growing up and how parents dealt with their changes in personality.

Zarina confirmed that my Internet access had been used up and that I was, once again, confused about the date when I paid money for it. She also called the hotel in Kazakhstan to confirm my reservation, but before the clerk got to the reservation number; my cell phone ran out of money. I walked to the supermarket nearby and paid for both Internet and cell phone access.

It was nice to be home relatively early today as I had decided to forgo attending an embassy-sponsored blue grass concert being offered for free at the Opera Ballet Theater. I was basically starving when I got to my flat and just heated up the leftover lamb stew and ate it while catching up with the news. I did a load of laundry and partially watched a documentary, “Gonzo”, about Hunter Thompson, a writer and journalist who killed himself back in 2005.

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