Monday, September 12, 2011

Classes Begin

I had my first class for my intermediate level English teachers. We learned modals (may, might, can, can't, couldn't). I learned that I'll be going somewhere out of town this weekend with the teachers from my school for a sort of back-to-school retreat. Immediately after being told this, my primary counterpart, Altansarnai added, "I think after tomorrow will be snow." Wonderful.

Yesterday, however, was a beautiful day. I know there are few of those left, so I went vegetable shopping in athletic pants and a t-shirt while the sun was still out. Yesterday was also the 10th anniversary of September 11th. I talked with some friends about where we were that day. It was strange to reminisce now as a teacher the way my teachers at the time remained so calm at school that day. I'm not sure that I would know what to do in their position. The day has come and gone and not much else was mentioned. I'm sure there are all sorts of memorials being aired on tv in the States, but here, it was a Sunday as usual. Sunday - Бүтэн сайн өдөр : Whole good day. I washed clothes in my bathtub (far superior to түмпүн washing, I might add) and made stir fry with the brown rice I found. Sometimes, my days are very normal.

Tonight, I'll teach a lesson on lesson planning. Until then, I have a free day. Each of my teachers was just given a gift bag with a carton of milk, matches, and something else that I can't see. I was told that it is tradition to collect money for a teacher when a member of her family dies, and in turn, that teacher later gives symbolic gifts to the contributors. Milk is very important and symbolic here, while the matches are more spiritually symbolic of the departed soul. Day by day, I am learning more about the culture that now engulfs me. I'll try to explain more customs as I remember them or as they come up.

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