It was like a blind date, but better

Title by Shelby, after reflecting on our fast friendship. Story: in mid-February, I stopped by Student Pubs to drop off some artwork. The lady/friend that I was bringing my art to had texted me days earlier, telling me that a co-worker in her office had a daughter who was going to Germany for student teaching and they thought we should be friends. Charlotte (the lady/friend) introduced me to her co-worker and she told me that her daughter was currently student teaching at Drakes Creek, which was where I had just started! Then I remembered seeing a girl in the teacher’s lounge that didn’t look like an actual teacher and I had assumed that she was another student teacher but I hadn’t intoduced myself becasue I didn’t want to meet the competition for best student teacher. The next day at Drakes, having gotten over myself and my idiocracy, I inserted myself into her conversation with another student teacher and immediately took over. (Shelby, this is a virtual apology for my rude interruption of your conversation). Long story short, I bothered her for the remainder of our seven weeks at Drakes, barraging her about flight details, what to bring, and inquiring her expertise on all matters abroad, as she is an experienced traveller. Now we are actual friends and she sends me Buzzfeed posts and deets on what’s happening in her classes. We are comparing our initial set up friendship to a blind date, obvi.

Done with story. For the meat of the post, here are the past few days:

This weekend, or Monday, rather, Jutta had her asparagus party AKA a party to celebrate the first of May. I didn’t know people did that but apparently Germany celebrates the first of May becasue I woke up to German rap music shaking my room and there were those funny maypoles everywhere. We transformed the kitchen and the patio area into a welcoming venue, complete with fancy tablecloths, an umbrella (to shade us from the invisible sun), and wine galore. People started arriving around 12:30 and the activities began. By activities, I mean a vast amount of people gathered in an impossibly small space somehow, to sing, eat white asparagus, play the accordion, share desserts, swap stories, and take turns peeling boiled potatoes. I am constantly amazed at the generosity of people here: first, in sharing their homes with students they don’t know, and over and over again by inviting people into their homes, offering food and drink, and just being really good at giving.

My dream job became available and I applied for it! I am surprised at how extensive job applications are. Maybe part of that is to weed out the lazy people, but I feel like I wrote my references’ names over and over again (apologies if you are reading this and you’re one of those wonderful people who let me teach in your classroom, work for you, or gets to speak to my character and are getting thanked by me flooding your inbox with requests to sing my praises).

After school today, the other student teachers and myself were invited to the mayor’s office. They welcomed us to Werne and gave us information about the town. We also had to take an awkward picture for the paper (celeb status) that required us to climb under the tables so we could all fit in one area but they gave us these complimentary drinks that were COLD, yes, BOTTLED AND COLD SODAS (unheard of!) which was really nice because like I have mentioned, ahem, complained about, ahem, before, the soda costs more than food! Side note: Shelby’s family is taking us to IKEA on Friday and have reminded us that refills are FREEEEEEE AT IKEAAAAAAA!!! I was already excited to go but now, more excited!

In terms of teaching, I didn’t have very many classes today but Heike had me teach in her 6th grade English class. Last week, we covered a story on Wallace and Gromit, and the students were required to go home and write a summary of everything we read. The school has this really nice system where all 5th, 6th, and 7th graders get ipads. Therefore, students always have a means to do their homework and teachers have a smartboard in the rooms, where students can “stream” their documents/pictures/etc. to the board. This was really helpful today when we were correcting grammatical errors as students read through their papers. Heike requires students who choose to type theirs, instead of write it out, to add illustrations and extra elements. One girl even did a whole presentation. As students streamed their summarys to the board, I went through them line by line, stopping when saw a mistake. Often I would try and prompt students to fix the mistake without me pointing it out, but if they didn’t catch it right off, I would refer to the mistake and then ask students, “what might work better here?” or “what is a different way to say this?”. Students did a really nice job correcting their papers and interacting with me, even though I’m pretty sure they can only understand about half of what I’m saying.

Currently sitting next to the remains of my dinner and hoping the dog doesn’t get its wet self on me when I venture downstairs.




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