What do I do here? Well, it's sort of a strange mix, but luckily one of my students has taken a few pictures/videos of my lessons and was kind enough to share them with me yesterday. These are all from what's called "Chat Hour." This is an open class on Mondays where we do whatever I want us to do. I am omnipotent.

This first clip I was surprised to know existed. While maybe not my finest explanation, it was one that people have remembered....I'm not sure if I'm pleased or embarrassed to know that it will now survive the ages in video form. Let me give you some background:

We played this game quite a while ago, and the way that it starts is we sit in a circle and play "Never Have I Ever." Hopefully all of you Americans out there are familiar with it, since it's a camp staple. If you're not, then you go around the circle and every person has to say something that they have never done. If you have done this, then you put up a finger (or put one down, whichever you want). The first person to reach the appointed number of fingers loses. The catch for my game is that as soon as you lose, you have to go to the slang dictionary and pick anything that you'd like for me to explain and write it on the board. I have a full honesty policy, so I will explain anything (with a straight face) that they'd like. Even the "PMS Monster." And I did. Anyway, in this clip I'm explaining "spaceship ethic." Here goes:

CLICK HERE Blogger is dumb and kills my internet whenever I try to upload videos.

Yes, all you Trekkies out there, I know that Spock and Captain Picard are from different series. I just like Captain Picard better than Captain Kirk.

HERE's another clip from a game that I don't have a name for. I learned it over the summer, and it was really fun. The way it works is that each person gets a number of papers (I use 6). On the first paper you write a sentence, then you pass your stack of papers to the person next to you, they read the sentence, and draw a picture. They hide the original sentence, and the next person writes a sentence based on the picture. You keep alternating until you're out of paper. Spaceships seem to be a reoccurring theme.

I didn't really have any grand expectations for yesterday, but things turned out pretty cool. I got up, messed around for a while, went to my Russian lessons, gave a talk about April Fool's Day, and then had about 30 minutes to kill before Movie Time. I got my daily juice, and retired to the teacher's lounge to read the news (and get on facebook?). At 3:50 I went to go unlock the room that we always use. This room happens to have 2 doors, but one of them is almost never used. The lights were off, and the door was locked, so I unlocked it, and then was surprised to see a large quantity of balloons and decorations in the room...and even more surprised to see teachers and students having a formal photo session in the back. I didn't know what else to do, so I locked the door again and went back to the computer. It turns out that Friday was what's called "The Last Bell" for seniors. This is their last day of classes...they still have state exams to take, but it's the last day that they had to go to formal classes, and so they spent the morning giving presentations, and the afternoon celebrating. In the US we usually only celebrated after exams, but I like the Russian version better of celebrating before and after.

I spent about 5 weeks meeting with this particular group of seniors, so we'd gotten to know each other pretty well. They very enthusiastically invited me to their party, so I spent the next 2 hours running back and forth between the party and the movie. They're a really good group of kids, and they're all about my age too. Then I got invited to go back with them to one of the girl's apartment for a post-party party. I learned that there are pretty interesting dynamics within groups of students, but that's to be expected when you've been with the same people for 5 years. Think about all the drama that goes on in band (if you've been in band you know what I mean), and then imagine what it's like with only 10 people. Once they got tipsy they also forgot to be shy around me at all, so it was really nice just hanging out with people. I got a really interesting compliment too -- one of the girls said that I had beautiful hands. She swore it wasn't just the alcohol talking.

Today I haven't really done anything, and it's nice. Sometimes I do wonder about how logical I am though. I found out that my bread was moldy (bread gets moldy SO fast! I just bought it like 4 or 5 days ago), and I was feeling lazy and didn't want to go to the store. Do you know what I decided to do? Instead of getting dressed and taking 10 minutes to run to the small grocery store around the corner, I did the "lazy" thing and made my own. Or am in the process of making it..it's in the oven. That's how my mind works I guess. Rather than getting dressed and going out in the cold, I'd rather just spend 2 hours making the fool thing. At least it's probably healthier and better tasting..and maybe it won't go bad as fast. You never can tell how long things have been sitting on the shelves here.

Also guess what? It's supposed to be in the 40s this week! Yaaaaay!


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Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia