Thursday, August 31, 2006

Meinen Ersten Schultag


First off, just as a general observation, the school I work at starts way too early. Like 6AM too early. For those of you that know me, you’ll know I’m not much of a morning person. Secondly, the kids are school are crazy, and generally quite loud. But to the adventure that was my first day of school.

It began at 6AM, on a Monday. Now, I’m not particularly partial to Mondays because they come right after my favourite day (Sunday, genau). But even the extreme tiredness and crappy ‘80’s music issuing from my alarm clock couldn’t complete mask my excitement. You see it was my first day of school, my first day of work in my new job. There was a lot of anticipation to be had. We rolled up into the school around 7:15 and found our way to the Teacher’s Lounge. For any of you wondering what a real Teacher’s Lounge is like, well, I’m going to leave you hanging because my teacher’s lounge is pretty plain. It does have a copier, though. I can tell you’re pretty jealous at this point, so I won’t go into further detail. We spent the first period in the 2. Class, listening to kids tell about their awesome summer breaks (most of them went to some cool European country). Since they told about them in German, and because kids have a propensity to both mumble and talk really quickly, I didn’t understand a lot of their summer breaks. But I remember one kid just said he spent the whole summer playing computer games, though I’m pretty sure that wasn’t all he did, he just took the easy way out. But at least I understood everything he said. Then Gary left and I was alone, not really knowing where to go next because I was never told. Teachers and children began giving me commands in German, rapid fire style, but I didn’t have enough time to translate it all, so I just stumbled into the classroom next door. It so happens that the class next door was learning English. Being an expert in English my services were quite well appreciated. It was the first and only time I felt relatively useful during the entire day. After that the kids and teachers had breakfast break. So I stole away to the heavenly lounge (Sorry) and also stole a cuppa joe. Okay it was free and one of the teacher said I could have it, but still, I had coffee. I made my way to some other classes where I listened patiently to every fifth word that was said. Most of the other four I didn’t really understand, but I got the basic idea most of the time. Finally it was time for Lunch and I found my makeshift boss, the schools English Lehere Frau Wilke, and she said I could go. Now apparently I’m not too good at masking my emotions, or the Germans are particularly good at reading them, but Frau Wilke noted a slight tinge of confusion. Problem was that Gary had left on a mission to his workplace, Kindergarten, and I was stuck in Blönsdorf, which is a good hour away by bike. Frau Wilke asked how I was going to get home and I said half-heartedly that I’d probably walk. ‘No, no, no’ she said, ‘you’ll take the bus.’ Several other teachers agreed. More confusion on my part, because by bus they meant school bus, but here the school bus is a city bus and costs a bit to ride. ‘We’ll talk to the driver, you won’t have to pay’ Frau Wilke assured me. A few moments later I found myself crowded with the other children (based on my German skillz, I’m around a 2nd grader) in a somewhat organized crowd, waiting for the bus. The kids ran around like a herd of angry goats and were twice as loud. I had just gotten into a good thought pattern when I heard a series of high pitched squeals, which always signals a freaked out child. Upon turning towards the squeal I saw the source, a blond haired boy who had a rather large earring. No wait, that’s right, it was a yellow jacket (or Vespa in German). A teacher rushed to his aid, though, in the process of trying, caused the bee to sing the child in the ear, and hang there from it’s stinger for a moment in mid air. As you can imagine this served to make the squealing worse. But later this was remedied by placing an apple slice on the child’s ear, though I’m not sure how that helped. Then my bus came and I was soon crowded in a small space with a bunch of kids, all asking what my name was and where I lived, and all asking me in German. Luckily, due to rigorous study, I was able to at least answer those questions in kind.

3 Comments:

At 3:51 AM GMT+2, Blogger Maria said...

hmmm...an apple slice to help a bee sting in the ear? I'll have to try that one sometime. Love your stories!

 
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