Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3rd Graders Have Hearts

On Wednesdays I don't have any lessons at the school here in Gyor, but I go to a little village called Kunsziget (pronounced like Koon-see-get). It's such a treat because the kids there are wonderful. I'm considered to be somewhat of a local celebrity at the school (I'm not's true...and actually very awkward). The celebrity status is really just a rite of passage for any native speaker going to teach at a primary school. Since it's Valentine's Day on Sunday, I decided that at the expense of the boys' enjoyment, we would all make Valentines for someone important in our lives. Since last year most of my boys responded to the words, "Today we are making Valentines" with grumpy faces, I waited for the response today, especially when preparing to make Valentines with my 3rd graders. True to their gentle and sweet spirits though, these boys managed to not only not complain, but actually be excited to make Valentines! They colored in the lines, they worked very hard, and my cute story comes in amongst all of this attentive work they put in. Little Adrian came to me and kept asking the perfect spelling for every word he wanted to say. He sat and colored and made sure it was perfect. Then he came and whispered to me out of earshot of the other students that his Valentine was intended for Niki, a very cute girl in the 2nd grade class. Gosh, what a sweet boy. After class, he asked me to come with him while he waited for the 2nd graders to go play outside so he could swoop in and put it on her table. This isn't even the best part of the next lesson was with the 2nd graders, and I was able to watch as Niki walked in to find the cute Valentine from Adrien on her desk. A HUGE smile swept across her face and she was beyond giddy the whole lesson. I hope that we can all take a little time this Valentine's Day week (even if it is a holiday more or less fabricated by chocolate and greeting card companies) to do something for someone that will leave a big, goofy smile on their face for a whole afternoon. P.S. while my example Valentine isn't really in good enough shape anymore to send to its intended receiver, I may as well say it here...Happy Valentine's Day, Mom! I love you!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Braving the Blizzard

So Hungary is one of those places where the weather can be a certain way in one place, yet totally different just a matter of miles away. Alvin and I decided a few weeks ago that we would celebrate the one-year mark of our beautiful relationship in the exact place where we started dating (or rather, where after weeks of meeting once and constant flirting through the internet, Alvin tipsily exclaimed to a whole bus, "I have a crush on Hanna!") If you don't know how the story went after that and you're interested in being nauseated from cheesiness, please refer to all posts following the date of January 31st, 2009 :-) Anyway...back to the weather...we ventured out from Gyor Saturday morning where the weather was not bad at all. I noticed 2, maybe 3.5 flakes of snow fall as we left the train station. As we ventured farther east however, I noticed that more snow was falling, and there was more snow already on the ground. Oh, dear. After one delay in Budapest which forced a visit to a McCafe, one very serendipitous run-in with a Hungarian friend who read a story entitled The Desolation of Man (persze...) to us for an hour on the next train ride, and a slippery taxi ride later, we finally arrived to our castle in Eger. No kidding. The castle walls were just outside our room... Luckily, Eger has an abundance of activities to do inside while there is a blizzard going on outside. That abundance of things includes wine...lots of yummy wine. When in Rome, right? After too much wine, just enough palacsinta, and some wet and cold toes, the Anniversary Weekend was a success, and I was only slightly grumpy when I had to return to the scary world that we all call Monday...