Friday, July 24, 2009

Practice School - The Busiest Week of My Life

Practice school started on Monday. Practice school is basically student-teaching in a nutshell. I am teaching a 5th grade class with a different number of students every day. The first day was 21 students, then it gradually grew as we gained students each day. Most of the students in my class are going into 6th grade when the school year, but I also had a few girls who are going into 5th grade.

As I teach, my resource teacher (who has been teaching in Moldova for 30 years) sits in the back and takes notes on everything I do.

My days this week have consisted of: language class in the morning for 2 hours followed by a half hour break, then teaching starts at 11:00 to 11:45 with another 15 minute break, then more teaching until 12:45. After that I have an hour lunch break, then I meet with my resource teacher to discuss the lesson and plan for the next day. After a couple hours of that, I head home to write my plan for the next day and make materials.

As you can see, this week and the next two to come are the craziest weeks ever.

On Monday I'm giving my class a test, and then I have tech sessions until Thursday. Thursday I start team teaching 8th grade.

I'm an early childhood major teaching 5th and 8th graders. I am freaking out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cookin' with the 90's

Yesterday I was making placenta with my host mom. Placenta (while spelled the same as certain female parts but really sounds like pla-chen-ta) is a very popular food here in Moldova. I think I've had it at just about every celebration and at every masa. It's quite tasty! Placenta is different depending on who makes it, but generally it is a doughy outside with some sort of filling on the inside, usually fried or baked. The most common thing to put inside placenta is brinza. Brinza is a type of cheese. There are 2 types of cheese in Moldova: Cascaval which is processed cheese you can buy in a store, and Brinza which is homemade. Brinza has a stronger flavor and usually comes from either a cow or goat. Mama gazda taught me how to make placenta the other day, so now I've been making it like a maniac. We cut the pre-made dough into smaller pieces, spread margarine onto the dough, put a brinza/egg mixture onto it, roll it up, and "paint" it in an egg wash. Then we bake it for a while. Not sure how long; it's different everytime. Last night I made some with brinza, some with potatoes, and one with helva (smashed up sunflower seeds and oil) because I was being experimental. The Helva Placenta was surprisingly awesome!
My family has realized that I love to sing and dance, so an English radio station is always on in the kitchen when we are there. I think they think I'm a musical genious because I know every single American song that comes on including all the words and who sings it. However, musical genious I am not. It's that every song is from the 90's! Many of them are Madonna songs. So I get my groove on while cooking/eating/hanging in the kitchen, and hopefully they have just learned to accept it. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

What a Weekend!

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 6:30 to get ready to leave my village for the weekend. I left my village at 7:15, arrived in Chisinau and met my partner teacher at 8:45, and left for my new village at 9:30. The rutiera ride was three hours long. We drove past the biggest forest in Moldova. Also, I have never seen so many sunflower fields in my life. It was beautiful!
We arrived in my village around 1:30 in the afternoon and we went to my school. It was in the process of being repainted, so I could only see part of it. It was absolutely huge!
My host family met us there and we went to their house to eat lunch. They live in the "suburb" of the town where there are tons of beautiful big houses. We ate zama (soup), chicken, and an eggplant salad thing. It was actually quite delicious! Later that night we had leftovers for supper.
We mostly just hung out and talked on Saturday and Sunday until I left at 2:15 in the afternoon.
My family is awesome! My mom sells Mary Kay and is a Russian and Romanian teacher, and the dad is a chief firefighter, but he only goes out in extreme circumstances. I have a 17 year old sister who like theater, Harry Potter, and Twilight! My brother is 6 and he's the cutest little boy ever (besides my own brother Aaron of course).
We have two dogs, one is a boxer pup who will be a year old in October and the other one I have no idea! We also have a HUGE turkey and lots of chickens. There is a neighbor who actually lives in the backyard, and she has kittens. I played with them forever.
My sister speaks English pretty well, but I hardly needed her to translate anything. I was able to speak fairly good Romanian. I was pretty proud of myself.
The rutiera ride back to Chisinau wasn't too pleasant. It was hot hot hot and they wouldn't open the windows because it was raining. There was also a guy sitting next to me who was passed out but kept putting his arm on my leg.
I am really excited to go stay with this new family, but I am also very sad to leave my current family. They are both very awesome families.
I got back my results from my language assessment and I rocked it! I only made a few mistakes. Woo!
It's currently 1:22 in the afternoon. A few volunteers are getting together later to study. It isn't too hot today which is awesome because it's been raining a lot lately.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Interesante Moldova

I met my partner teacher today! It was a great experience! She gave me a hug and kissed my cheek. She speaks perfect English. We chatted about her family and mine, and she also gave me information about my future host family. I'm definitely excited to meet them tomorrow. But I'm also very nervous because on the way home back to my village, I will have to take public transportation by myself!! I hope I don't end up getting lost in Chisinau, but with my luck I probably will. Oh well, either way it will be an adventure!

I also had my first language assessment today. I was soooo nervous for it, but it ended up being awesome! I think that's pretty much how it was with everyone anyway.

My cousin and grandma who are visiting from Ukraine are leaving tomorrow. I'm pretty sad. I've gotten pretty close to my cousin. We have been talking boys and many other things.
There are lots of animals here. Everywhere I go I see an animal. Unfortunately very few cats however. But goats and cows cross the streets, and momma turkeys sit on the sides of the roads with their baby turkeys.