Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just Over the Horizon...

Hard to believe how close the end of the school year is. Oh yeah, and yet so far away. As I'm getting reports of people stateside finishing up in the next week or two, it makes it difficult to face the fact that I still have a month of teaching left. The thing is, the students seem to feel the same way. Class sizes are seriously dwindling, and our daily students take their big PET test in Karlovy Vary tomorrow, meaning they'll really not want to study after that.

We have our end of the year retreat coming up tomorrow, and I must confess that I'm really ready for it to be the end of the year. The days are finally warming up nicely, and all I want to do is sit on one of the many cafe' terraces and sip a nice cold Kofola. Okay, I'll confess, Kofola (the version of herbal cola designed in Czech during communism when importing Coke from the US or other Western countries was illegal) isn't exactly my beverage of choice. It looked really tempting yesterday when I was sitting in one of those lovely cafe's by the river, but as usual I was disappointed by the herb-y aftertaste. It's actually the ice cream on the square that's been working a number on me. It seems I can't go a day without a cone of citranova (lemon) and tvarahovah (sweet cheese) or some such selection.

One nice thing about these end of the year classes is that my students tend to want to talk in English more. At least if that means not doing another grammar page. I really think this is the best thing for them anyway. Most of my students are fairly advanced, and the best way for them to improve their English is simply to speak it. I provide correction on some things, and the more the talk the more they catch their own mistakes. I've been able to go to some of these cafe's recently with my classes, and it's so nice to talk about their gardens, baking, or summer biking plans.

Our retreat this weekend will be at a campground somewhere outside of Prague. I'm not sure exactly how excited I am about this prospect. It can't possibly be as low key as Apserkaha with it's three sided cabins, but the thought of lugging around a blanket and several layers of clothes on several train rides isn't exactly exciting. (sigh) They have promised a night of roasting marshmallows, however, and I'm definitely excited about that.

It's less than one month now until I board a plane and head back across the ocean. I'm very much looking forward to some time at home. It has been a rather long year in a lot of ways, but I find myself surprised to be looking straight into the face of June. I can't help but wonder what the next school year will hold, even as I want only to enjoy the relaxation that precedes it. :)

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