Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Awakening

I've been saving this title for today or a special occasion. I don't think anyone should have any trouble identifying the author now.

Saturday was the first day of school. Basically it was a ceremony and a meeting, not much actual school going on. It was interesting though. Most of the teachers were there and less than half the students showed up. We gathered outside, sang (or more listened to) the national anthem, and watched as the flag was raised. Then the director gave a speech and poured water in front of the doors of the school. Why in the world would he pour water in front of the school (you should be asking yourself)? Well it's a Bulgarian tradition, of course. At the beginning of something new everyone takes a piece of bread (pitka) and dips it in honey or a seasoning mixture and eats it. Then the welcomer pours water on the ground for everyone to walk across as a symbol of "washing off the old and stepping into the new." So the director just performed the water part of this tradition and then all the students came into school as the janitress rang the bell.

Today was the actual first day of classes. I went into school at 7:15 am, not quite sure what time classes actually started. It turns out school starts at 7:30 am, but no one had a schedule until 7:45 or 8 am. Then there was a mad scramble to get to classrooms and find out which rooms classes were in. I ended up only having two classes later in the day, and both with the same grade. I think I sufficiently scared them. We had a lovely test and I passed out the class rules and test rules. Rules being passed out and stated is a novelty here. The students poured over them, even when they were supposed to be taking their test. All in all it was a good, successful day. The beginning is here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

congratulations on an unusual first day. you sound like a teacher. go figure. ha ha ho ho.
it will be interesting to find out much later what the students thought of you this first day. were you the hard teacher with the sweet smile? did you even show your teeth today? you should, you know. were you the mean american lady sent to make their lives miserable? nah. i'm not betting on that one.
i loved your email and since you so conveniently put your blog link in it..i easily jumped over to it and here i am. sorry. im not in the mood to cap today. it should pass, because i usually am and do at every opportunity.
what a great first day. here's hoping you have a wonderful exciting and very productive first year. i am toasting you with my chai tea this very instant.
much love, sweet neice,
aunt leisa