So today was cool. It started off with me walking up the stairs to the lesson and Rita running down them saying that she couldn’t make the lesson as she was needed elsewhere. This left me to run a class of 11 year olds. FUN! There was another lovely teacher who could speak a little English and she helped with keeping the kids in check; she could tell them off in Hungarian! However, the actual teaching was all down to me. Luckily, I’d spent a good amount of time last night preparing for the lesson. They were working on sports in the present continuous so we played a board game to reiterate that and I also introduced some new sport words. Afterwards, we played a favorite game of theirs, using the sports again. The girls won (of course!).
When Rita returned she said that on Thursday the kids are going to the Circus. So I’m going with them! The amount of school trips these kids go on is unreal. I love it! Haven’t missed one yet! I’m also extremely grateful that the first thing the school does is invite me.
I missed my Hungarian lesson today though for the first ever time. The time come round really quickly and (let’s be honest) I was just too lazy to go. I actually fell asleep. I also watched 2012, which is up there with my list of greatest films.
This week’s been cool. I’ve been working with a few kids who are performing with me at the European Day on the 16th Decemeber. They’re picking up the song so well considering it’s in a foreign language! They’re the children who try the hardest in class too so I suppose that helps. I taught them the first three verses of the song with the picked up very quickly. Then they challenged me to play the song faster and they still remembered all the words! They even stayed behind after the bell to practise again. Today I got told that I will also be accompanying the German students on their song.
Last weekend was pretty fun too. We went midnight bowling. It was cool because a person in the bowling lane next to us was speaking English too and I’ve just become accustomed to the Hungarian language right now! It was so cheap to play that we’re definitely going to go back there a few times. I may even take my Dad when he visits in Decemeber. Afterwards we played pool (one of my favourite past-times even though I suck!). I also (finally) got a haircut! I’d been putting it off for ages in case they misunderstood me and did a bad job but I shouldn’t have worried. They were really nice. I even got a free head massage!
I visited Parliment last week too! I love that I get all these opportunities given to me. It was beautiful inside but the best thing was getting to bond with the children more. There’s a girl called Rebecca who doesn’t study English but has taken a hug liking to me. She ‘looked after’ me the whole day and then insisted on taking lots of photo’s of me around the museum. It was like having my own personal photographer! Whilst inside Parliment, we managed to catch the changing of the guard. It was very interesting and I have no idea how they can stand to do that job. Keeping absolutely still for hours on end? No thanks!
The best thing now though is the fact that the kids are coming to accept my presence. Before, some of them would clam up if I spoke to them (thinking that I would start rambling in a language they couldn’t understand) but now they openly seek my attention. The best moments are when kids work up the courage to try out their skills out of lesson. Today I got asked if ‘Sam’ was a universal name. A few days ago, one boy cheekily asked if I’d help him ‘cheat’ on a test (of course I said no but he was joking anyway). And today a Chinese lad who speaks no English and very little Hungarian said ‘hello’ to me in the corridor and gave me the biggest smile when I said ‘hello’ back. These kids make my day. (A few have also taken a liking to touching my hair…) I will be sad to said goodbye to them.
This week has undoubtedly been a highlight of my trip. We started the week by going for a meal on Monday. We met up with two of the women who are in charge of the Leonardo project and dined at a place called Trofea. It was a buffet-style meal and I tried the salmon (which was by far the best I’ve ever tasted) the turkey, chicken and last but certainly not least, the shark! It was a great atmosphere, very chilled, and best of all we didn’t have to pay a penny!
Wednesday consisted of an assessment. The women came into my school and sat in on one of my lessons to see how I was coping with working in a school. The class went almost perfectly; the kids were very cooperative and seemed to enjoy the lesson. The best bit was at the end when one of the girls tried to say a tongue twister and then lost her bottle, making a noise somewhat similar to a squirrel’s squeak. Afterwards, we had a meeting to discuss how the lesson had gone and to allow for feedback. They seemed impressed with me and just gave a few tips on how to include new material in the future.
Today was interesting! Got some big news which was fun! Also, I got informed that there is a gym in my school. I never even knew! Either tomorrow or next week we’re sorting out dates and times that I can use the gym after work. I also got asked whether I’d be willing to help with the sport’s clubs after school which I immediately agreed to! It’ll be great to give something back to the school because it’s so great. We’re also discussing a performance tomorrow. The school wants me to do a music performance with the kids soon! They’ll be performing an English song whilst I accompany them. So all in all this week has been very interested an informative. On an unrelated note, today I had a ‘toastie’ for the first time in many years! Goodnight!
Okay, so I haven’t been able to do a blog for absolutely ages due to a failed internet connection however(!) my extremely intelligent flatmate has somehow managed to wangle some connection through her phone (how is this even possible?) so here I am!
A lot has happened over the past month. My addiction for LOST has become permanent. In one month, I’ve managed to watch 3 series AND all the extras. I was so disappointed when I learnt that the shop only has series 1,2,3 & 6…gutted!
On a serious note though, the last month hasn’t been great in terms of things to do. Because the summer period is over, a lot of places close down so the choices become more limited. I’ve also realised just how much I miss England (yeah, never thought I’d say that). Our place of residence hasn’t been exactly comfortable either. The heating is broken (I’ve invested in a fleece blanket and a thermos to help my cause for warmth but I’d much rather have an actual working radiator!). Many of our lightbulbs are broken and the floors creak real bad, meaning that when one person wakes up and walks around, everyone does. However, I can’t really complain; I know less fortunate people live in much worse.
Work has been going great. Experience is definitely the key to the whole teaching thing. My creativity has expanded and I’ve managed to build up a good relationship with most of my students. On the opposite end of the spectrum, my Hungarian lessons have been going great. I honestly never really enjoyed learning a language at school but it’s just so fun here. It probably has something to do with the fact that I need to language as a tool for communication and fortunately, I’m picking it up really well. Yesterday I had a conversation with the music teacher at my school, who can speak a little English. Between her broken English and my broken Hungarian we managed to cover a lot of topics! She told me that her son is currently working in London, that she went to Piccadilly Circus 20 years ago, asked how I like the school and children, where I study Hungarian and how far London is from Wolverhampton. Moments like these are always lovely because it gives me a chance to try our my Hungarian and it’s always nice to communicate with someone new! I’m even speaking Hungarian to the kids!
Today there was a celebration (again, always celebrating!) and there was a performance, then a walk around a lake with lanterns, a traditional food (which was bread, goose fat and onions!) and then a bonfire. A few of my students were there and they refused to leave me alone! They were feeding me food and teaching me Hungarian words at the bonfire. Afterwards, I got invited to one of the teachers flat and (OH MY GOD) what a flat it was! So beautiful. Her son is an international wrestler as well which was very exciting. I got to see his bedroom(!) with all his medals (got to have been nearly 200). I tried a Hungarian drink there too which was absolutely delish and I will be looking for some tomorrow!
The most exciting news of all though is that I will be returning home on the 29th December! I’m so excited about this! I felt like a bit of a failure at first (I really wanted to stick the 5 months out without coming home) but I miss far too much. My dogs, my parents, my COMFORTABLE bed, my guitar, my friends, my god-daughter, etc etc. Also it’s new year and my best friend’s birthday! Exciting times! So I guess I will catch a few of you then (hopefully). Hope everyone is having a good time back home. Currently looking forward to the Xmas fares over here!
On the bus to work this morning was the first time I’ve felt slightly scared in this country. Halfway on the bus route to school, the bus driver shouted something to the passengers which I couldn’t understand a word of, and then took a different route! I was just thinking pleaseeeee don’t take me away from where I know. Fortunately, I was running early for work anyway so by the time I’m managed to get off the bus and get back into work I was just about on time! I had Year 4 first; they love learning English. They did a test at first and whilst it was being marked I played some colour games with them. They got most of my questions right and then I learn them a few new words (boat, aeroplane, guitar, football). They were all so dissapointed when the bell rang for the end of the lesson! Even Krista said they really enjoyed it. I worked on regular and irregular verbs with my Year 8’s and finally made a breakthrough! They’re not very keen to learn but I played a flashcard game with them and they picked it up very easily and even stayed after the bell to finish the game. Krista advised me to make flashcards a common occurrence in those lessons from now on. I spent my free period in the staff room, laminating a few things for my last lesson. We printed off some tables for them and in the lesson they had to ask each other questions to find out the answers etc. Whilst I was in the corridor, one of my students started speaking to my in Hungarian. When I replied he was so amazed! He called his friends over and we had a little conversation in Hungarian. I’m glad I’m able to do that now. As I left, one of the teachers (who can’t speak English) said ‘see you later’! She had obviously learnt it because I said ‘Viszlat’ to her the previous day! Things like this please me very much.
We went back to the Arkad today and the performance was on again. We managed to catch it from the beginning which was ace! It’s running for nearly a week so we’re gonna go back armed with my camera sometime soon to film a bit of it. Got back home and planned some worksheets for my Year 8’s tomorrow. One more day until the weekend!
Today started off well! Got into school and one of the girls in my Year 5 class had a little chat with me before lesson. I love it when that happens because it shows how willing they are to learn; this particular girl is always trying to help me out with my Hungarian. Today she told me the Hungarian word for dice which I promptly forgot (such a long word for a short English one!). She also offered me her food which has become a regular thing now. Every time she sees me she offers me her food; she is the girl who brought me onto Jo Reggelt biscuit bars and now I eat them every day! I feel bad for always eating her food but Hungarian people get really offended if you don’t take what they offer. I think it’s a matter of pride. That and they’re just really generous people. I played a Lotto game with them which caused me to remember a game I played in Geography with Mr Taylor! If anyone from Moseley Park reads my blogs they’ll probably know which one (the one with the cities on the map highlighted?) and I ended up telling Paula about it. We’re going to try it out on our Year 8’s soon. It takes me back. I also did some simple maths with them and we played a memory game.
Next was one of my favourite classes (they always change because everyone’s so great!). We played another of my creations; a game to do with ordinal numbers. I was pleased to see that they understood it a little more than the previous class. When you try something new with a class and they’re not 100% sure what they’re supposed to be doing, it’s always a little downheartening but it’s important you don’t let that put you off doing it again!
I did a bit of an online Hungarian course when I got home. Learning the language has become a hobby of mine. I actually think I’ll be able to say I speak good Hungarian when I return to the UK. I’ve been practising some words with my mentor and she’s really impressed with my pronunciation. It’s so incredible as well when you learn a new word because it’s actually unbelievable how many times a simple word can be used in one day. I always pick up on words in my classes and once I’ve learnt the meaning, I never stop hearing the word. When you know one or two words of a sentence you can generally guess at what the people are speaking about and go from there. Myself and Rachel went to the Arkad after and there was this amazing performance going on. Jack Jones (the clothing store not some random guy) were promoting their products and there were models walking a catwalk, breakdancers and dance crews and also rappers/singers/beatboxers. So much better than the Mander Centre! After it had finished we saw lots of girls lining up for their chance to have their picture taken with this guy; one of the girls sang to him. We reckon he was some sort of Hungarian celebrity. Maybe a contestant on some Hungary’s Got Talent or even a judge on The X Faktor.
Got back home, watched Justin Bieber’s movie which I brought today (please don’t judge me, I actually like him!). The movie was cool; it’s good to get an insight into that kind of life. I also wanted some form of DVD as I brought none with me and it’s also gonna be cool to take home and out with my DVD collection. The case is all in Hungarian so whenever some sees the DVD they’re just gonna think it’s a dodgy copy! Planned 5 lessons and now I’m ready for bed!
One lesson today; and it started off with Rita telling me one of my lessons is cancelled tomorrow too so lie-in! These annual trips to the dentist are so great! Anyway, today’s lesson was with the older, more intelligent kids so all was good. I asked them some questions to do with time and then they had to write sentences in past simple/present continuous. A lot of them wrote sentences about me which was weird. Never have I seen so many spellings of my name!
When I got back home, I copied up my Hungarian work from yesterday’s lesson. I can’t believe how much I actually love learning this language! When I did French at school I hated it! I think living in a foreign country makes you more eager to learn the language because you always feel at a disadvantage. After that, I got the nest news ever! That me and mom are going to see Derren Brown’s tour in May! I saw it this year in Birmingham but I’m so glad I’ve got a second chance. It means I might even get called up on stage! And I can also see how it varies from show to show. Our tickets are in the stalls, the 4th row back, slap bang in the middle. I’m hoping that stands me in good stead to get picked to go up and meet my idol!
Not as good as the news about Derren but nonetheless quite good was our visit to a music school today. The details about the visit were quite sketchy so we didn’t know what to expect. But when we got there and spoke to the Head, we realised that we were in Hungary’s equivalent to the Royal Academy of Music. All the students there were exceptional musicians and they put on a concert which we watched. They played some classic drums and were all very good at what they did. We’ve been told we can return whenever we want; day, night, no limits. We’ve also been allowed studio space and time and instruments to rehearse with. Myself, David and Dominic have a gig coming up so it’s gonna help out a great deal with that. It was so cool though. Many of the students could speak English and came up to us to speak to us. I seriously felt like a judge on The X Factor or something! (Speaking of The X Factor, today I found the Hungarian equivalent on the TV. I should have auditioned, seriously. I’m not even that great but I would have a chance of getting somewhere on it. Hungary does everything amazingly well but singing? Maybe not. It’s weird because all the singers at the music school were great. Maybe only the weirdos go on The X Factor here. Not too different overalll then!)
Apologies for the lack of a blog post yesterday; nothing much interesting happened apart from David’s mentor sending us some Hungarian snacks. It was some sort of bread with bacon wrapped up in it. Very salty. Very nice.
When I got into work today, Rita had made me a Tiramasu. I took it home and ate it after my dinner today! The first lesson was pretty relaxed. I got given a piece of text and I read random words from it and the kids had to say the words in Hungarian. Every time they got one right they got a roll of the dice and mover their piece forwards. They got nearly every word correct. They’re seriously really good kids. The kids in my second lesson had to visit the dentist so I had a free. However, I figured I get paid to work and I would have been working if the kids were present so I helped out in another lesson. We were teaching the past simple and I started to realise that the kids love it when I ask them questions. A girl started talking to me about Michael Jackson before the lesson as well. If she wanted to have that conversation usually, she’d just communicate in Hungarian but because she was talking to me she was forced to use English. I think it’s good that they have a native speaker to communicate with because it really helps them with their pronunciation and sentence structure. Halfway through the lesson, the kids came back from the dentist so I went back into that lesson. We didn’t have to teach though, just supervise so the kids chatted amongst themselves and Krista got to work teaching me the Hungarian alphabet (they have nearly twice the amount of letters!) About 6 kids ended us surrounding us and helping. They found my attempts hilarious, especially when I realised and starting playing up to it! I think it’s important within primary school education to have fun with the kids and also give them an opportunity to do the teaching. The next lesson also constisted of kids at the dentist although this time I supervised. On the way back to school we stopped off at the playground (ENGLAND TAKE NOTE) before heading back the Iskola. The kids in my fourth lesson had exam preparation so that was pretty boring.
Got back from work and had a lovely hour-long chat with my god-daughter on Skype. She told me all about her school, school friends and her trip to Blackpool. Then I had a Hungarian lesson which was so good! After revising from last week’s lesson I’ve picked up so much! I seemed to understand the majority of what the teacher was saying to me and also picked up the new stuff quickly! Went for a sit in the sun after the lesson, then Arkad, then home! Tomorrow I have only one lesson and them me, David and Dominic are meeting the the head of a guitar school.
This morning myself, Rachel and David all went on a boat trip with my mentor Krista, her son and her husband. It was the last day the boat was running due to weather change and it worked out really cheap! It was nice to see the sights from a different angle.
We sailed over to Margaret Island and went around there for a while. Krista and her husband took their son to find a playground so we headed out looking for somewhere to eat. We found a nice restaurant and had some food there. The drink I had with my meal was amazing! It was apple and cherry lemonade (I know that kind of defeats the point) and it came with loads of fruit in my glass. So good. Also, the waiter was a bit dishy. I wanted to try some Hungarian cuisine so I ordered a starter of Hungarian Goulash Soup. I was really looking forward to it when the waiter said it was going to take a hour(!) so I decided to just stick with a main meal. Myself and Rachel also somehow ended up having two lots of candyfloss. Amazing stuff.
Come back home to find out internet allowance has been updated again! YES! Can finally watch videos again without having to wait an hour for a 3 minute video to load!
Other than that today’s been pretty relaxed with not much to do. Nice to see Liverpool won Everton (although when I watched the highlights, I will admit, that referee was terrible!). Just been playing a few tunes on ze olde guitare and caught up with the Michael Jackson trial (another thing I’ve been enjoying; it’s quite interesting to see how things work in court). Tomorrow = LIE IN!
During the first lesson I had nothing to do as it was preparation for an English exam; the kids were just copying things down off the board to revise at home. The second lesson was, again, a Year 4 class so I just worked on numbers with them. And then, even better, third lesson was a rehearsal for a music concert this evening! I went and said hi to the music teacher and she told me all about the concert and invited me along. She was hosting it. In the rehearsals I got given a song sheet to read along too; it was so beautiful seeing so many young kids singing. They were all really passionate about it; there was not one single child who wasn’t really enjoying it, even the ‘naughty’ kids!
The music concert was great. I met my mentor Kristi and her baby son there and watched the kids sing. The best thing about it was most of the other English assistants were there because they had kids singing there too. We spoke to Maria, who is our translator/main correspondence/do everything woman; she’s a ledge! She’s managed to wangle us an apartment at Lake Balaton next week for free! She spoke to the mayor who has apparently given us the go-ahead. All he asks for in return is myself, Dominic and David to perform a few songs at a local cafe. WHAT THE HELL, THIS COUNTRY IS ACE! Also, my mentor asked me if I wanted to go on a boat trip with her, her son and her husband tomorrow (they invited me before but I was ill so they’re taking me tomorrow). I genuinely can’t believe how generous these people are. I introduced Kristi to the others today and she was telling everyone how well we get on and saying she was so glad I was working with her. JUST. SO. FRIGGIN’. NICE.
I never wanna come home :(
Actually, scrap that. I miss Axel too much.