Cold and Cognac

Novel experiences certainly make life exciting.

Yesterday was an interesting day for a number of reasons. First of all, I was still not feeling to well, but getting over a cold. For this reason, I was hoping to leave right after my last class (which was supposed to end at 11:30ish). The schedule is still pretty shaky, so I ended up staying past one – bummer.

Luckily, enough happened during the day that made it more enjoyable than expected. The classes I didn’t know I as teaching actually went pretty well, despite the fact that I pretty much had to wing entire lessons. Since I was sans counterpart (for the last time), I taught some random slang words, but what really seemed to catch the interest of the kids was actually asking them for an opinion. When rote memorization is the formula of just about every class they have, a little critical thinking feels like a break. In the 11th grade, I was asking about the differences between Armenia and America. In the 8th grade, I asked for about the pros and cons of the new tramway being built to Tatev.

It was the birthday of another teacher, which meant we all had to take shots of cognac during the 15 minute break between the 3rd and 4th period. In America, definitely chi kareli (not allowed).

I also had the pleasure of physically breaking up some rough-housing at the beginning of one of my classes. Based on what I hear from other TEFL volunteers, discipline problems at my school are minimal, but there’s still the need for the occasional ear-pulling or slap (I leave these tasks to the other teachers).

I’m getting into the rhythm of school now, and it feels like a load off my shoulders now that my counterpart is back. One thing that amazes me is the amount of times you can re-wear an  item of clothing here, particularly if you air it out on the clotheslines outside. No kidding, however many times I wore something in the states, I can wear it about five times + here (and I still will smell comparatively well in my village).

This weekend, weather permitting, two other volunteers and I will be hiking to Tatev for the weekend and stay with my friend Mike who lives there. The hike is beautiful, and so is Tatev – should be fun.

Tatev Monastery - Courtesy of Wikipedia


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