Wednesday, April 17, 2013
April 17, 2013
It was another gray morning with the temperatures in the low 40s and the threat of more rain in the horizon. I worked some more on the review of the TEA applications until it was time to head on to the Bishkek Humanities University for my presentation on teaching critical thinking skills.
Once at the university, we the usual technical glitch as the CPU in the conference room would not open my flash drive. I told Nazira I had email myself the presentation just in anticipation of such a problem, but her department has no Internet access at all. I was simply dumbfounded since there’s an Internet café on the first floor.
I hated the idea of having to improvise since I had embedded most of the activities into the PowerPoint itself to cut down on the number of handouts that needed to be printed. Nazira decided to take my flash drive to someone with IT skills while I got started on the warm up activity which consisted of having the third and fifth year students find the respective halves of some common proverbs.
Nazira then returned with the cleaned-up flash drive and using one of the students’ laptop we were in business. The students got to work on analogies, odd-one-out, rock or feather, children’s riddles, mad debates and other fun activities that increase the student’s critical thinking abilities. We only had 1.5 hours and the time went by extremely fast as it usually does when one is having fun.
I was starving by the end of the workshop and Nazira recommended the cafeteria next to the Narodni supermarket where I had my usual combination of plov and a green salad along with a glass of compote. On my way to get on the marshrutka, I could feel that the weather was getting colder and my heavy shawl hardly protected me against it.
I took a nap when I got home and then tried calling Willoughby to see if she still planned on attending the ballet with me that evening as a company from Kazakhstan was putting on a production of “Carmen”. She didn’t pick up or return my phone call, which was just as well since the evening was chilly and then it started to rain again.
By that time, I was determined to finish the TEA application review since the deadline is tomorrow. I worked until 10:45 and sent Natalia a summary of my views on each candidate. I haven’t been able to establish who will be doing the selection for the six finalists. Totally exhausted, I went to bed.