Friday, August 31, 2007

First bell for the last time

Today was the first bell ceremony signaling the beginning of fall and the beginning of another school year. Excitement was high as all of the kids lined up in front of the school in their black and white. For some reason the event seemed hours shorter this year than last. Perhaps this is because it's not nearly as hot and I wasn't quite as scared of the whole situation. Knowing what to expect, and knowing this language makes every situation so much easier.

As I prepared my speech last night (a sign that I wasn't as nervous-last year I studied weeks in advance and practiced in front of the mirror for hours on end) I laughed at how little I knew exactly one year ago today. I remember writing the speech with the English teacher and warning her that the words she was using were far beyond my vocabulary. I remember standing on the stage and mispronouncing the word Hayastan (Armenia). I remember feeling uncomfortable in the outfit my host family dressed me in. This year, dressed in my own clothes, I got butterflies but only because I decided that at the end of my speech I'd do the unprecedented and chant the summer Green Camp song with the kids. It was a big hit.

I've organized materials for my counterpart in the classroom this year but I've found myself busy with projects outside the classroom too. I've agreed to teach English 30 minutes-1 hour each week in the kindergarten, we have the after-school big brother/big sister nature club we plan to start, the new playground ribbon-cutting event will take place on September 20th and I'll be traveling in September to Vanadzor to grade our YES program applications. We just finished a grant application to the Open Institute Society of Armenia for a European Exchange club that I'm praying will be successful because it will serve as a platform for introducing the concept of service learning in the classroom. We're also staying very busy with PC initiative work. Our first round of initiative meetings with the new A15s is this month.

Today was the first day of 'school' but we get to rest tomorrow because it's Sunday. The real fun begins on Monday. Labor day. Happy Autumn All!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious. Did you share any of the finished product with the family. I'd like to know their reaction:)