Friday, 16 October 2009

Wanna rest a little?

(Playing with Candid Carrie today)

Tired of walking? Want to sit and enjoy this nice day of autumn? Stop a little an sit down and get some fresh air while you're contemplating what's going on in your everyday life. Here's a very nice place for you:

I know, I know, it's a bit far away (in Denmark), but otherwise it's perfect, isn't it?

Okay then, find a better place yourselves, but be sure to stop a little once in a while, living in a hurry isn't nice or healthy! Take care!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Okay, Skye, after thinking a lot about it, I hope I can put something together that will actually make sense. Let me see now.

First of all, THANK YOU for giving me this award, saying that my blog is fabulous. I'm not suure I deserve it, but if you say so... well, I'll take your word for it.

The thing is, I have to tell you about five of my obsessions now. It's not difficult to find five. It's more difficult to CHOOSE them. See? One obsessed woman sitting by the computer.

If I number them from one to five, it doesn't really mean that number one rules my life while number six has hardly any affect on me. Noooo, that totally depends. One day this, another day something else.

1. Food. I love eating and I'm aware of it. What do you like? they ask sometimes. Khmm, EVERYTHING... more or less. I'm nuts about potato crisps with sour cream and onions. All kinds of pasta, dumplings.... sour cream on my pizza (weird family, I know), bread can smell like old days and even tripe wih some good sauce... Name it, I love it. Thinking of food alone brings memories back - of what they used to make when I was little. What I used to eat at my grandma's and what my dad was a specialist for. He used to make very good chicken rissotto and could cut the finest cabbage salad - I have never eaten it like that since I ate the last one he prepared.

2. Coffee. Too much of it. And not watery coffee American style (no offence, pleeease, maybe I just watch too much TV). Two coffees before work, another one in the morning and one after lunch - around two or three o'clock. And then I decide to be a good girl and not have another one. But sometimes I do. Not today. But I'm sooooo sleepy right now. And it's not 8.30 yet. Coffee is my poison. Totally. I'll have to cut down and avoid that terrible headache that I get if I don't drink it. And they say you pee your bones with all that caffeine in your blood stream. And then I'll whine in my ols age - about ostheoprosis and stuff. Yep! I'm earning it in these days. I'll drink less of it.

3. Spelling and grammar. You may think otherwise, but hey, it's not my language I'm writing in. But grammar mistakes, spelling errors and bad translations give me the creeps. They make my blood pressure jump high (got an idea right now - maybe it could be a substitute for the third and the fourth cup of coffee?) In Slovenian, for example, we don't say 13 hundred, but always a thousand and three hundred, so our clever translators tend to make the mistake of changing hundreds into thousands. I'm sure they know what 13 hundred means, but still happens. Time after time. And in some cases it's ridiculous. Then prepositions, words from dialects... I can't explain well enough, I'm afraid. But it must be because of my job, but also something in my genes. You see, my aunt is a retired Slovene teacher, so she did this for a living. My dad was an undertaker, but things like that drove him mad, too. And HIS grandfather, well, I was told he marked grammar mistakes in the newspapers he was reading. That, I think, speaks for itself.

4. Geez, I've only done three! Okay, number four: TV. I watch too much of it, as I told you. I can probably name more detectives and forensic specialists than our politicians. I sip my coffee in the morning, half commatose, watching miracolous animals or people helping some of those that were not so lucky. This morning, for instance, Simon got two more volunteers to help him catch a mamba after a really frightened woman called him and they found out it was a mamba indeed, but made of rubber. Not a bad way to fully wake up.

5. I'm obsessed with order. Sometimes. It's like being really keen on having an ear for music. I know a thousand ways of keeping things in order. How to do it? Just ask me. A notebook for this, a notebook for that, a file here, a chart there... good for schoolwork as well as for household economics, I'm sure. They just don't work for me. I'm probably one of the most disorganised people I know. Trying to improve, but... I don't know. Maybe I'll learn how to keep things in order before I die. If it happens soon enough, I might even write a book about it.

The obsessins that were left out? Well, computer, blogging, comments (yes, yes write them, lots of them..:D ), teaching (in more than one way)... things like that. One obsesed woman, I'm tellin you!

Right. Enough about me. Let me choose five fabulous blogs, shall I?

1. Let me think on it for its descriptions of trips and everday events. A kind of joy shines through them which can also be seen in all the photos. Fabulous!

2. Empty Nest Evolution - well, empy nests are our future, but this girl describes it in a way that doesn't make it sound too errible. It's about letting go these days. Fabulous!

3. Is There Anyone Else Up There? - I always enjoy reading this one. I don't always comment, true, but sometimes there is just nothing to be added. Mary Ellen says it all. And adds some pretty pictures to what she says. Fabulous!

4. Stuff From Ellen's Head makes me wonder, laugh and admire. Depends on the day. Fabulous!

5. Candid Carrie with the positive energy coming from her posts and the way she makes other people play together with her and her photos - Fabulous!

Hope ou like my choice, together with my obsessions.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

From Denmark

As promised.

I cannot describe how wonderful it was to take these 14 young people to Denmark where they stayed with host families. The families of their Danish friends, that is.

They need some "icebreaking" time if you know what I mean. Well, they usually do. This time the exchange was organised in a short time, almost in a hurry. The school in Denmark only confirmed the interest on their part in May. We end school year in June. We travelled there in September. See? Not much time. But I have learned now that they were a little confused by what was going on at OUR school. The principal's leaving and a new one taking his place - well, they jut didn't expect we would be doing an exchange on top of everything. Understandable, isn't it?

Anyway, the teachers not having enough time to prepare the students somehow (enhancing writing e-mails and snail mail and so on) we were a bit worried about how they would connect well enough. The students, probably also seeing there was not much time, jumped at the opportunities that modern technology offers them and found the Danish students on Facebook and MSN. And came to me, telling me about thm. About their families, pets, houses, school... I was really glad.

But I only realized how well they felt they knew each other when we got there. When we met and they took us to their hometown from the airport. And they chatted and laughed in the van. Used English more than they are willing to in class. Wow! And when we arrived and met them all, some of them just hugged like friends meeting after a long long time. It usually happens that they get tired after a while, using English all the time which obviously isn't their mothers' tounge. But this time they just wanted to be together and do things together all the time - whether it was on the bus or at workshops - didn't matter. Facebook rulz, I'm tellin you!

Some interesting observations:
Danish kids (the ones at THIS school at least) are much much quieter than ours. In other words: our studens are LOUD.

Same thing, probably: they spend more time talking to students, teaching them just to listen than we do. Then they don't have to hush them down when they want to actually teach them what they have to at different subjects.

They call their teachers and principal and everyone BY NAME. Not last name. No "Miss", "Mrs.", "Mister"... nothing. Sounds quite natural. We, on the other hand are supposed to be addressed as "Mrs. teacher" or "M;r. Teacher" ( sounds ridiculous in English), but we simply go by "teacher". Sounds fine to me and most of us.

They are so connected with nature! Doing things in the nearby woods, calling it classes. And they are, I'm sure. And good ones, too!

As cosy as everything seemed, many of our students told me of divorced families. Quite a few of the hosting students lived with one of their parents, with different combinations of step parents, step or half siblings... Seems it happens everywhere.

The students at this school are mostly quite serious about their schoolwork and homework and so... I bet it has something to do with their parents' paying for their tuition, so that they can go to this particular school, but also the result of the teachers' hard work to make the students understand what they're doing and why.

One teacher can teach several subjects and not always the same ones. Teacher training must be somewhat different from ours, but we didn't go into details. Here you "specialize" in one or two subjects and that's it. You can obtain some more qualificaitions later, but not jump from Maths to Language or Civics or P.E. Seems kind of funny to me, but working just fine. Becaue if it weren't, you see, the parents would complain and change the situation, get the teacher fired or something. As long as the teacher does good work and the children show good results, it's more than fine. Sounds good to me.

Alll in all, we had a wonderful time with our host, the students and their hosts, seeing things, ding things, tasting things....

One day, for instance, we went to "School in nature" where we had to catch some crabs, clean some fish ("You cut off its head like this, see.... cut here and clean this stuff out...") you can imagine the noises the students made while looking at that, screaming, many of them, like little girls, boys not being much better than the girls, the Danes not much better than our kids...

"We are not going to cook the fish, we are going to smoke them..." and you could hear some giggles, probably imagining (like I was) rolling a fish in a paper or without it, lighting it and inhaling that incredible scent. Smoked fish are not something we're used to.

Another thing which is so not Slovenian: treasure hunt, halloween style. Walking miles, getting scared, solving puzzles and doing tasks - like counting graves, looking for problem-causing items in someone's intestines

until they found the toothbrush, glasses and a nail clipper that did not belong there... The treasure was a box of sweets - one for each team. The parents prepared all that. They did a wonderful job and had loads of fun themselves.

"And this is the mountain" my host, the principal, told me about the village to which you had to drive just a little bit up, realizing herself, how funny that must sound to us. This is not it in the picture - just an image of the rather flat Danish landscape. Did you know that they, too, have taken some of the land from the sea, like they did in the Netherlands?

I do not usually publish photos of people without their permission, but I guess I can publish a picture of two of my friends I made in Denmark. They wanted to play all the time, greeted me every morning and at all times we met, only frightening me ones. And that was the younger of the two, exercising his right to be himself:

I'll stop here. Sorry it took me so long to describe our trip a little (our one-week stay, that is), but even now I'm not sure I have told you all I wanted to. But then, that would be too much, wouldn't it?

Skye, I'm still processing what you have written in your last post, trying to put something together. I will. Until then: THANKS!