Monday, October 15, 2012

Lost in Translation

Sometimes you have crazy ideas like, “I’m going to try this new recipe!  In Croatia!  Even though I don’t own a measurement utensil or know what most things mean when I’m walking through the grocery store!”  But you try it anyway.  So you go to the store feeling optimistic.  Bread, penne pasta, garlic, you’ve got this!  But then you get to things like shallots.  Nope, not going to find those at Konzum.  So you substitute white onions.   Basil?  Heavens no!  Good thing you bought a tiny little plant a month ago that’s barely surviving on your balcony!  The recipe calls for 20 leaves, but you know that 6 will do just fine.  Heavy cream…probably not the one that looks like whipping cream.  Butter…it kind of looks familiar, although it’s not sectioned into tablespoons like you’re used to.  Canned tomatoes…look for a can with the corresponding picture.  Easy!  Then comes chicken stock.  Hmmm…Find something on the bottom of the shelf with a picture of a chicken and picture of soup!  This looks promising! 

You get home, unpack your loot, turn on some music, pour some wine and you’re off!  Olive oil in the pan, PLUS a tablespoon of butter.  This recipe must be good!  Do your best estimate of a tablespoon, since it’s just a block of butter.  Mince garlic and white onions (which should have been shallots).  It smells delicious already!  Next, pour in some vodka.  Again, no measuring utensils, so just pour and count for 3 seconds.  Next, open the tomatoes.  Not exactly diced, more like stewed, but pour that baby in anyways because you’re too far in it to turn back!  Open up what you thought was chicken stock and instead find persin-kokosja kocka…translation “parsley-hen cook.”  Close enough!  Let simmer.  Cook penne pasta (this is the first step that is not in any way complicated.)  Next, pour in a “half a cup” (or several good glugs) of what you hope is cooking cream.  Drain pasta, pour in the sauce, sprinkle your 6 chopped basil leaves on top, and there you have it!  Your adventurous self has just tried a brand new, pretty tasty meal! 

This is what it’s like to live in Croatia.  Not always easy, but almost always a good story to go with everything you try.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Day in the (Working Life) -Katie's Post

7:30-7:50-Walk up to the gate.  Press buzzer so Tomislav can let us in.  Walk by; “Bok,”  “Bok.”  Straight to my room to get my AISZ coffee mug and AISZ water bottle (I represent).  Head to the conference room for coffee.  Pay attention to the level of the coffee in the pot (our director is a little...particular about the coffee.)  Music is playing from the intercom.  Could be musicals or the Glee soundtrack or the Beatles or Joni Mitchell.
7:50-8:00-Bell rings and children slowly trickle in.  Check planners, say good morning, tell students to put backpacks away, etc.
8:00-8:15-Morning meeting-each student gets to share something.  It ranges from “I’m tired because I had to ride my bike up the big hill this morning,” to “Yesterday I got chased by a dog and almost got eaten alive,” to “None of the clothes that I’m wearing are mine.”  I have a pretty quirky group.  A lot gets brought up at these meetings. 
8:15- 9:00-Quick reading mini lesson, then I put on the classical music, students find a quiet place to read and I pull small groups or individuals to work on specific skills or strategies.  Probably my favorite part of the day.  :)
9:00-9:45-Quick writing mini lesson, followed by time for students to write, write, write.
10:00-10:30-Students go to foreign language while I correct homework.  I can actually check each problem since there are only ten of them!
10:30-11:40- Math.  It’s Everyday Math, so it’s pretty set up for me.
11:40-12:00-Word Work-students work on activities depending on what skill they need to work on for spelling.
12:00-12:50- Lunch and recess.  I get to share lunch with Sam.  <3 
12:50-1:35- Specialists: either music, P.E. or library.  I actually get time to plan for the next day!
1:35-2:00- Science or Social Studies.  Never taught social studies before.  It’s pretty amazing.  I get to alternate between social studies and science.  What a treat!
2:00-2:25-Read Aloud.  My second favorite part of the day.  We get to read a chapter book and I get to use the ideas that I learned from Sarah Collinge back home.  Love it!
2:25-3:00- Croatian Language or Culture:  More planning time for me! Maybe clean out my coffee mug so I’m ready for tomorrow.
3:00- Dismiss!
On Mondays I get to leave at 3:45.  Tuesdays we leave at 4:30 after meetings.  Wednesdays I do Gymstick with Christie-kind of a mix of pilates, aerobics and zumba.  It’s pretty interesting.  Thursdays we have our own Croatian language class which has been so, so helpful.  Fridays I do yoga.

 My Pinteresting project that took 3 tries.
 My bunting that was inspired by my dear cousin, Amy.
 My little troublemakers-They're inside of a polygon that they built with straws. 

And that’s a little look at my week!  Most of you won’t care, but my mother will be very happy I wrote this post.  :)