December 2003

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December, 27

December, 27     TOP

so, there i was, 29 th june on the airport again. actually it started off with karsten and me having breakgast at the cafe corso and then steffie drove me to the trainstation, i hate running around with all that gear. so by train to cologne and then this feeling came back, on the road again, something happening. god, i love it!

anyway, the trip to prague took only an hour, about the same time it took me to get through the customs. then i followed all these great instructions to find my flat in skalka. haha, everything went well till i got off the tube in skalka, then my instructions just gave me the address and the good hint to ask people for directions. i walked around for about 40 min uphill and downhill, quite pissed off after some time, especially because it was getting late and i was supposed to meet my fellow students at a restaurant in town. i nearly felt like giving up and then i got instructions just to find out that the flat was just about 5min off the station. of course nobody of the others was there, but my landlord showed me my room and told me how to get to the restaurant plus that they had left me a map with some instructions. so this was the first time i was actually late for a meeting. but it was fun when i got there. we had a great meal and i think it is a good way to start a course having an informal meal before you see all these guys the next day in the classroom.

altogether we were 14 of us, so quite a nice size. oh, by the way i should tell what i was going to do in prague. after travelling for such a long time ther was this money problemj coming up, but not being into settling down back in good old germany i had to find another way to support my travels. so after an intensive research i decided to get my tefl (teaching english as a foreign language) certificate. so there i was now in prague on this course at oxford house college with people from america, england, ireland, new zealand and a french guy. five of us where sharing this flat in skalka, three americans carol, john and jen, sara from england and me. it was a great mixture. especially after we opened the cafe carol. cafe carol was carol's room where we met most mornings for breakfast or just having a chat. and having quite a lot of things in common (we were just not that much into parties) carol and i spent quite a lot of time together. and i must admit without her support and help i would have skipped the whole thing after the first week.

you have to think about becoming a teacher in one month.... can you imagine how much homework and preparation that costs, especially when you are not a native speaker and with no experience in academic writing. after the first two days i was on the verge to say that's it. i just saw this amount of work coming up and i just wasn't sure if i would be able to cope with that. then came the first weekend and the first written assignment. altogether i spent something like 17 hours over seven pages, half the time thinking i'll never be able to do this. the big crisis arrived on sunday morning, staring blank on my pages i just bursted into tears and was about to give up. but then lovely carol took pity on me and went with me through the part i had already finished. afterwards i felt much better and was able to go on.

okay, that was one part of this course but there were also nice things like our girls night sitting on the balcony doing some beadingn or getting up early in the morning and going for a walk. and of course after some time you get to know the others on the course much better. in a way it was a very weird experience, there were all these different people with very different backgrounds and experiences etc and often when you get a group of people together there are the ones who are in the group and the ones who are on the outside etc. but this group was so different. there was this feeling of helping each other as much as possible so that nobody would get lost (also we lost one person after the first week, but that's a complete different story) on his/her way through the course. plus i think we were lucky to have dave as our dos and nick and steff were great tutors as well (they hadn't had a group like this before as well).

and suddenly two weeks are over and you get your mid-course appraisals, that helped me a lot, feeling more and more confident about doing the right thing. i must admit that the teaching was actually the part i enjoyed most and we tried a lot of things. our little teaching group was excellent anyway with carol and jamie (both already teachers) and warrick (the kiwi warrior). he struggeld a bit more but i think he got heaps of support from us. one of the best lessons was jamie teaching clothes and doing a strip in front of the class. that was one of the times when dave forgot to take observation notes, the other time was when i got the whole class in playing a short drama. one of the guys was a squeaky bench and then we had this lovely girl who had to sit on it. the guy was very slim and surely not very big, but the woman who got to play the lovely girl was quite big, he stared with horror at her and she just looked down at him kneeling on the ground and said, i think i sit on the grass.

after the first half all of us were invited over to ann's and mark's place for a party but carol and i wanted to go to see don giovanni. so of course we said that we couldn't come, just to find out that the tickets were sold out. so instead we had a few bottles of wine on our balcony (jens' wine of course, i don't know how often we drank her wine to repace it the next day, but then she never came around to drink it anyway). but we had bought tickets for the sunday performance and of course there was another party we weren't going to, so everyone started teasing us that we were just pretending to go to concerts so that we didn't have to go to parties.

the next two weeks just flew by and then we came to the final days and the thing i dreaded from the beginning - the exam! isn't it funny, when i did my research about the different courses i was always looking out for places where there were no final exams but somehow i missed that when i applied for ohc. so on the first day i got this info and was shocked how could i have missed that. the point is that i always go blank during exams and start to give answers just randomly. so it happened again, half way through the exam i went blank bursted into tears and thought why am i doing this to me....... i passed, with a c of course but still i passed and i still don't know how i managed to do this. the next day the moderator arrived from trinity college to make sure everything was okay. i had my talk with her the day after, so i still taught that evening and then we went out with all our students. yes, sometimes even carol and i go to parties. and sometimes even three times a week, because for friday night we had everyone invited over to skalka for a farewell party. and on sunday it was mark's birthday party.... oh, by the way, some of us met up saturday night as well to watch baseball at one of the sports bars. funny, during the breaks they gave explanations in german, i of course couldn't understand because everyone else was talking at the same time. but jason made an effort to try to explain bits and pieces. i still don't understand that game i'm just far more into soccer.

so suddenly the month in prague was over nad it was time to go for a job hunt. i had applied for a job in brno, but hadn't heard from them. so i decided the best way would be to go down to brno and see what was going on. so exactly a month after i arrived in prague i moved on again, the 29th july. down to brno on a mission.
but about that in a short while......
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