It seems there has been some kind of curse placed on me, that renders me sleepless during the nighttime hours. For four days, I have been like a walking zombie, incapable of complex thought and brevity of emotion. This wasn't a huge problem until this morning, when I was due to meet V~, my school contact at 9:30 for a visit to school. So when I went to bed at approximately 7:00 in the morning, it was as the sunlight shone in my window, and I was less than pleased.
Nevertheless, I woke up excited. Because today, friends, today was the DAY that I was going to school. I met V~ right at 9:30 and we walked to school, a surprisingly easy route filled with stray dogs and tiny kittens and Dacia vehicles parked all over the sidewalk. I had no idea how my day was about to be filled with awkward moments. Names I don't remember and people who kissed me and rubbed my hand and brought me coffee and said "ahh! dis is Stephanie?" Students who rubbed my arms and held my hands. English testing that left kids downtrodden and humiliated. But through it all, I could not stop smiling.
I couldn't stop smiling for the possibilities of this year. The connections I will make, the beauty of the people around me. The incredible pressure I feel, and the immense care I will need to give my work and my students.
I'm going to list the details that I know right now, and I am sure more will follow in the next few days. More HAVE to follow in the next few days.
I will be teaching twenty classes a week. Half of them will be English for beginners (which I am ridiculously excited about). AND I just realized that I will actually be teaching 21 classes. Oops. Anywho. Six first grade classes, and five second grade classes. The little ones- and Romanian little ones at THAT. The other part of my job is teaching intensive English classes to three classes of fifth grade, three classes of sixth grade, two classes of seventh grade, and two classes of eighth grade.
In Romania, they call these classes "optional," but they don't really mean that. What they DO mean is that each of the classes has a theme of sorts. First grade is "A, B, C." Second grade is "More Steps." Fifth grade is "My World," sixth is "Environmental Awareness," seventh is "Famous People and Places," and eighth is "British and American Life and Civilization."
The school runs in three shifts. First through third grades attend from 7:45 am through 11:35 am. Fourth, fifth, and eighth grade students attend from 10:55 am until 3:35 pm. Sixth and seventh grade students attend from 2:45 pm until 7:10 pm. So it looks as if I'll be working pretty much all... day... long.
That's all I know for now.