Teaching and learning in a parallel dimension

2016/06/21. - írta: Somi_

I have never wanted to be a teacher. I have never taught kids before in my life and had no clue that it is so rewarding! Okay, it’s not like I want to be a teacher after, but it is nice to experience something like this for the first time. I got to have presentations about Hungary on two 45-minute classes for kids between 13-14 years old. The first group was mixed and they were not really paying attention. Some of them were interested and asked questions but most of them were just talking through the lesson or staring out the window. But the second class with younger kids was incredible! My mind was blown by how smart those kids were and the way they acted so excited and enthusiastic about learning Hungarian words and getting to know stuff about a strange country. I had a wonderful time, I felt so energetic afterwards!


I am also progressing with my Polish and Hungarian lessons. The latter goes better, though... Polish is still confusing to me, I mix up the expressions and I cannot yet understand what people say. The Polish classes exhaust me, but I’m super determined to learn and finally be able to make out conversations in Polish.

The Hungarian classes are always fun! :D How the students are suffering to pronounce things and getting utterly confused on the simplest expressions. Haahaa! :D Also, it is quite surprising at times. They ask super unexpected questions about certain words or sentences; things that I would not otherwise think about. So, it is nice to see my native language from a different point of view and imagine what it’d be like to learn Hungarian as a foreigner. Oh, and the stereotypical pride Hungarians feel towards their language is totally real; I experience it through every minute of my classes. :D


As for my project in Morena: nothing new just yet. I have heard of exciting plans for the summer, I’m rooting for a gardening project to happen, which would keep me busy for a while, also I’m looking forward to using my ideas and skills more. I’m not complaining. Yes, things are still disorganized and I have a lot of time on my hands, but only considering how much I do here that I haven’t done before is enough to make me feel better about myself. You have to appreciate the little things around here. It’s a paradox feeling for me since Hungarian atmosphere is so similar to what it’s like to live in Poland but still, everything is sooo different! Like I’m stuck in a parallel dimension.

I’m learning a lot unnoticed. It is a lot fun, especially when it comes to observing people’s behaviour from different nationalities. Comparing Western and Eastern Europe, for example. For me the differences between the two have never been as clear as they are now! So unexpected but so obvious. The structure and way of communication at Jaskowa Dolina is something extraordinary... I have no idea how it can exist this way, how people take anything seriously within circumstances where everything seems to just float in mid-air, tensions are swept aside, questions are un-answered, and in general situations seem chaotic. From the outside, at least. This is true for the apartment and for the Morena offices, as well.

Still, exciting times are ahead. Roman, an ex-volunteer in Morena who left Gdansk just before I arrived, is visiting and we wanna throw a party this week. He thinks of it as a certain integration/coming-together sorta thing, I see it more as a “finally I have a chance to eliminate the soil of awkward arguments in my living area” kind of deal. Either way it’ll be a lot of fun! Roman, by the way, is really cool. He reminds me of a blonde Harry Potter, really, less dramatic and more chill, though.


Oh, by the way! If any of you wants me to share more stuff in English about adapting to a new environment, dealing with language barriers and just in general, being a volunteer abroad, let me know! :)

Címkék: English
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