Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mid-January Update

I realize that we're not the best at keeping up with our blog. We sincerely apologize for that! So, even though nothing spectacular has been going on, I'll write a note about what's up.

We've been working. A lot. I gained about 3 new classes when we came back from our 2-week holiday break, so it's been keeping me busy. One class is an advanced, late teens and, boy, are they obnoxious! I have to give them extra homework to make them stop speaking Polish (I know they are just sitting there mocking me and laughing at how they get--eh hem, got--away with it), I can't talk to them about anything fun or personal b/c it gives them ammo to be cruel, I have to give them tests instead of doing engaging activities b/c, again, they become cruel and sadly childish, and I even had to keep one kid behind from class the other day. It was a show-down. Actually, it was very anti-climactic. I thought we'd have to duke it out for control, but as it turns out he was very quiet and scared when it was just me and him. The same happened the next day with a pre-advanced, teen class. I had to keep a girl behind after class. Why can't we just have a good, fun, learning environment where we laugh at bad English jokes and give hi-fives for getting answers correct?!

Bhadri lost about 3 classes, and gained a few back...then lost's an on-going ordeal. That's what happens when you're under hours and are contractually obligated to teach 20 hrs/week. You get bumped around a bit. But he's bouncy, and is dealing with it well.

Another Bhadri update: have you seen his beard recently? Of course you haven't. We haven't posted pictures. Well, we will soon. But it's getting very long and, I dare say, it is a proper beard now!

So, when we're not planning lessons or teaching, we are planning the big event. Our wedding. We decided against Ireland (it would've been beautiful, but really, it's just too much to expect our families and friends to be able to make it half-way across the world); and decided for Tulsa. Hey, Tulsa's a beautiful town! So we're looking into this really cool looking mansion/lodge on a hill, trying to find a good photographer, and are scouring the city (or my Dad is) for some tasty kegs of beer. I bought my dress a while back, so that is taken care of. Unfortunately, I can't post it on our blog b/c I'm not allowing Bhadri to see it until our wedding day. He's cool with that, don't worry.

Tonight is Conversation Club Deux, and our Mr. Verduzco is organizing it. CC, to re-iterate, is just a bunch of our adult students and teachers getting together at a local English pub for drinks and convo. I really think it'll be a good time. He's created 5 pub quizzes: 1 is America-themed, 1 is Australian-themed, 1 is UK-themed, 1 is Poland-themed, and there's a general category, too. Lots of ridiculous trivia questions like: who invented the toilet? what is the heaviest land mammal? and in what year did Britney Spears get her first UK single?

This weekend, we're planning a day-trip to Krakow. I have a couple shops I want to visit for wedding-gear, we want to go see the Kazimierz antiques market, we want to buy some good, English-language books, and probably most importantly, we want to get a steamer for milk. We have had quite a few delicious, delicious cups of cappuccino at various bars/coffee shops these past few months; and although we have the same brand of espresso, a good espresso maker, and the additional ingredients to make the capps's just not the same as in the shops. We've decided that the reason our coffee is sub-par (it's good, it's just not AS good--in case you're worried :) is that we heat our milk on the stove. It needs to be steamed. And there is a kitchen shop (about 30 sq feet) in Krakow that just sells specialty kitchen goodies--so we owe them a visit. I love that, though. There is a specialty shop for EVERYTHING here. And they give you the best service, too. They will plug your item into a test socket to make sure it works before you take it home. They will wrap your item up with so much care and place it gently into a well-designed bag. It's just so far from the Wal-mart culture of crap, and I love it!

And, undoubtedly, we just want to hang out in Krakow again. The Rynek/main square, the Planty gardens surrounding the old town, the soul-filled Kazimierz district...Krakow just has something special.

But we did go out for breakfast and coffee the other day. We went to this great place called Cafe Europa. It's celebrating it's 100th anniversary, and it really does feel that old. They've renovated it with gold crome accents and white spray-painted wreath-like things--but under that thin layer of cheese is a very historical and real place. The ceilings were 2 stories tall, there were booth nooks with old men smoking pipes, grannies gossiping closely at reserved tables, and then us. On the wall was an old newspaper reproduction from, I assume, the early 1900s. It was from when the cafe had just opened. There were the normal other adds on the page, and then several recognizably Jewish names--the owners of shops, advertizing in the paper, like it was nothing, just normal life, and no one would care 100 yrs from then. It always gets me. Everytime.

Let's see...what else? Oh, Booster. He's lovely, as usual. We've been giving him lots of "naked time"--basically all this involves is taking his collar off and yelling "NAKED TIME!!!" And then he gets all excited and does his famous wiggle-dance. It's great! We've set up a spot on the window sill for him to sit and watch the passers-by...we even put a big, down pillow up there for max comfort.

We watched a couple of good movies this past week. And, more importantly, we found a dvd shop! We are members now. It's official, we are residents of Katowice. That's how we gage that, based on dvd-membership or no-dvd-membership. The goodies were: Everything is Illuminated (we saw this back in Austin, but had to watch it again. It's on my top 5 fav movies list right now), Jestem (very good Polish film), and My Life Without Me (watched that this morning. I give it a thumbs up!).

Other updates: my hair is getting long. We found peanut butter and have been eating it on toast every morning. I am getting tired of Polish beer (and am now loving Pilsner Urquell and tasty, vodka Zolakowa--pron: Zh-o-won-ko-vah). Bhadri is fantastic and we are loving life...what more can ya say :)?

We have 3 more weeks until "Winter Break." It's another 2 week vacation just for the sake of Winter, I assume. We're hoping our good friend, Patrice, from Ireland will come out and visit. Otherwise, we want to spend a few days in Warsaw and then hang in and do more wedding planning. I know, we are boring. I had noooo idea how much effort it would take to plan a wedding. But, in fairness, it's really fun too.

Oh, note to readers: please, please post comments when you read. We get online every few days and check our blog for comments and, if we have one in a month, we get super excited. So write anything. Write what you ate for lunch that day or what your plans are for the evening or how you are successfully avoiding work at the moment or how you have something greenish stuck in your teeth. Anything! We would be much appreciative. We love you all!


Jen said...

Beth and Bhads! i love your blog and knowing what's going on with you two and Booster...i'm secretly addicted to blog-checking so i love when there's a new update. you guys may win the award of most creative posts!

so, life in argentina...well, tonight i experienced the "joy" of walking ALL over the city at midnight to get home because the girls i was with wanted to save 1.20 pesos by not taking the bus (this is about $0.40 in USD). wow, they are really good about not wasting money but sometimes i just want to get home as soon as i can. ok, and the weather here is so hot right now we are sweating daily - hard to imagine yall shivering and bundled up!

this may be the longest comment ever - hope you've enjoyed the reading.

ps - what date are you all planning the wedding for? i'm soo excited for you :)

jen (and kyle)

kara said...

hahaha...naked time.....ah hahaha. (desk pounding) And bonus: I got to read more about Jen's hoo ha going-ons! Hey, I post comments (slightly offended by suggestion that I don't). Nerts, I'm over it.

Beth, Bhads & Booster said...

You are the commentator queen! (Thanks for the fist pounding, you know I'm so visual)

#1 commentator = Kara (will there be any challengers?!??)