"At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is for service." ~Mr. Fred Rogers

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Lotta Beets and a Lotta Teachers Day

Happy October to you all!

Did you know that Monday, September 26th was my Ukrainiversary (Thanks for the new word, Casey!), marking 365 glorious days in Ukraine! A pensive and introspective post about that in the future...but for now, an update.

As many of you are aware, I've been helping friends, teachers, and neighbors prepare for that 6-month Ukrainian Winter I despise love so dearly. Last week I was at it again, back at work, helping clean and put away beets. These beets, however, will be used for pig food, and not borscht. I was at Valentina Zenovivna's house, with a few of her family members, and even Anastasia Serhivna (one of my English Counterparts) came! Our reward was a huge meal after many hours of cleaning, cutting, hauling, and dumping beats, and I was even promised many more meals this Winter for my help. Win. I really don't mind helping out at all, but my teachers are so concerned they overwork me. In fact, I find it to be a really fun and interesting experience. I get to practice my Ukrainian, and do something I will probably never do again in my life. (Wait, there's always next Autumn!) It's always a good time and a fun distraction from planning lessons. This one even gave me quite the workout. I was sore the next day from hauling so many bags of beets. Check out the pictures below! 

The before pile

Valentina Zenovivna (holding the Pumpkin), Me, Anastasia Serhivna,
Random Family Member(s) on the far left and right

Beets, beets, beets!

That mound just kept growing and growing.
Eventually we bagged and organized.

Then came Friday...the Day of Teachers!

It's all Ukrainian to me!

We started the day with a school assembly. At the assembly, the 10th Formers were officially sworn-in as Students of the Lyceum, or as it was translated to me, "Lydsayists". Then, after taking a pledge and the class leader thanking our school Director, the 11th Formers pin the official "Lydsayist" pin on the 10th Formers.

The flag march starting the Teachers Day ceremony

Our school Director (in black) and the School Administration
wishing us a Happy Teachers Day and thanking us for our hard work!

Making it official! (Secret: These are my favorites!)
Receiving their official pins from the 11th Formers

Something unique and really cool that my school does for Teachers Day is letting the 11th Formers take over the school for the day. They give the teachers the day off by taking all of our lessons and filling all of the administration roles. Ira, one of my best 11th Form Pupils taught my 5 classes for the day! She was exhausted, but had a lot of fun and did very well!

While classes were going on, the teachers relaxed in the Teachers Room. We ate, drank, and were quite merry indeed, enjoying the day off and celebrating ourselves. The day ended with quite the buzz and of course, a Teachers Day concert! Ukraine sure does know how to celebrate it's teachers!

The introduction of the Teachers Day School Administration... of course in helium voices!

Lots of flowers...and grades books not being used!

The 8th Form Ensemble

Volva, Mikola, and Volva about to sing...or laugh?
Andriy and Nadia, our MC's in the back

Some of my 6th Formers singing a song about teachers!

More 6th Formers belting it out!

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