I have two classes here in ol' Pilsen (Plzen). I teach a class at 2:00 with upper intermediate students who, so far, really like me, and I teach a class at 4:30 of beginners-lower intermediate students who...are divided I think on how they feel about me. I think most of them like me, but there is one (why is there ALWAYS one) that is completely unsatisfied with me (why is there ALWAYS one and why can't I focus on anything else). I plan my lessons with this one lady in my mind. I gotta shake it. She just gives me these looks, sighs a little too loud, and sometimes...I think...she rolls her eyes. But, you know, now that I think of it, she might be the only one that doesn't really like me.
Last night I attended the Welcome party which had a Mardi Gras theme...and since I don't usually think to bring Mardi Gras costumes with me when I go overseas, I didn't have anything to wear. So, I went naked. Just kidding. I went topless.....JUST KIDDING. It would have been SOOOOOO Mardi Gras, though...right? My students from the early afternoon found me right away. They were hanging out with this kid that I taught two years ago when he was 14. He's sixteen now, tall, awkward...like sixteen year old boys are...but with a little goofy swagger. He bought shots for everyone and, on my suggestions, made them girly. He had an extra, and he gave it to his TEFL teacher (the teacher in training), who is a woman in her 60s. She was hilarious. She took her hat off and said, while holding the small glass "I've never done THIS before!" So we took a shot together, and she went to dance. Then my old (16 year old) student leaned over to me and said, "anytime you need a shot, you come to me," and then he wondered off to find a girl his age to flirt with. I wished him luck.
Most of the time the soundtrack at these parties consists of Europop, Roxette, the Friend's theme, and random old dance remixes from the states that made it over here (like that cotton eyed joe song...seriously). However, last night, we enjoyed a number of Michael Jackson songs, some newer hip-hop, and...Joan Jett. What a surprise.
At one point, I was in the bathroom washing my hands and one of my very first students ever...from 2006, came out of one of the stalls. We gasped in shock of our good fortune, hugged, and laughed at the irony of meeting in the bathroom...for it was in the bathroom where I explained to her and some other students the term "Breaking the Seal." She reminded me of that, and then we caught up. When she was my student, her English was Ok. It hadn't gotten much better the following year, but this year, it was fantastic. We could talk about anything and everything. It was such a nice surprise.
Tonight I am going to a Jazz festival in the town square with some of my students. I might need a break from beer. It's a little exhausting. Am I getting old?