"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, May 28, 2012

End of the Year Happenings

Just to keep you on your toes, I'll quickly show these Easter photos about two months late.  My friend Inna gave me these photos (I was too shy to take photos at church) but here, everybody is circled around the church while the Priest comes and blesses us, our baskets, and the contents of it. If you have forgotten, here's my post from last year about Easter in Ukraine.

Easter Service - 12:30 - 6 a.m.
Around 4:30 waiting for our baskets to get blessed!

Thanks to Inna for the photos!
Well, I'm finished with the 2011-2012 Semester! No more school for a while...kind of. Actually, every school in Ukraine is required to do 14 days of "Summer Camp" after Last Bell, so for the next 3 weeks the Lyceum will have "lessons". These lessons aren't mandatory, but all the students seem to enjoy them so they come and hang out. (Personally, I don't think their parents are ready for them to be at home all, so they tell them to go! I know Kathy and Dirk would have taken up that offer!) The students participate in games and challenges, with a little bit of learning and actual school stuff mixed in. I plan scavenger hunts, play lots of English games, and throw the Frisbee and Football around. It's actually pretty fun and breakfast and lunch is free, so I'm not one to complain.

Here are some of the events that led up to Last Bell --

Kolky Lyceum hosted our Oblast-wide (read: State) English Meeting. This was a pretty big deal because all of the administration from Volyn come (my Oblast) and different teachers present about their schools, and what they're doing to promote democracy through English education. My Director gave a little speech about our school (in Ukrainian of course), my Counterparts spoke about our international partnerships, including Poland and Germany, and I spoke about some of the projects our English faculty has done together outside of the classroom. I've posted about some of them, but they include 'Operation Respect', 'GLOW/TOBE Day Camps', 'Kolky Community Clean-Up', etc.

Volyn English teachers come to Kolky Lyceum!

Mr. Benjamin presenting about some of Kolky Lyceum's projects

The English program we put on for the Teachers!

Mr. Benjamin was Prince Roman - the founder of Kolky!
(Get it? The American is the founder. Irony.)

Prince Roman learning about how Kolky has changed throughout the years,
and how Kolky Lyceum follows democratic principles.

10th Formers reciting a poem

Some of the 7th Form girls singing a traditional Ukrainian song, in English.

My 10th Formers being awesome.

Everybody singing "We Are the World"

The last week of school, we give final grades based on students marks throughout the Semester and we evaluate the "Big 4" (Comprehension of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking). To evaluate the 10th Former's Speaking skills, I had them teach a lesson. It was about anything they wanted, as long as they taught us something (about Ducks, or Rap Music, or dessert...anything) and only spoke in English. They split themselves up into 2 groups and each group gave a 45 minute lesson.

Tuesday's Group chose to teach about motivation. The title of the lesson "You Can Do It!" and it was absolutely fantastic. We learned about setting goals, dreaming big, and about people throughout the world who started with nothing but achieved their dreams. The facilitated communicative activities with the whole class to practice what we had learned. Wednesday's group taught about subcultures! We learned about Punk, Goth, Hippies, Metal-heads, and Hip-Hoppers! They dressed up like each one and even had us create our own subcultures! I was blown away with everybody's creativity and ability to give such amazing lessons.

"You Can Do It" Lesson

Anastasia Serhivna participating with the teachers for the day

Roma and Dima presenting their own "Sub-Culture"
The girls on the left presented about hip-hop, punk, and hippie subcultures for their open lesson.

Finally, the holiday of Last Bell - the last day of school! You saw photos from the 11th Formers last bell, but now it's time for everybody's last day. At Last Bell, students get awards for the year, we hear a few speeches, teachers are given flowers, the "last bell" rings, then we go home! Everybody loves this day. I was proud to present 3 awards to students who participated, and won the Creative Writing Contest. Misha and Liza won 1st place in all Volyn Obast, and Alina, from my 10th form, won all of Ukraine! Also, my 10th Formers, Roma, won our Regional English Olympiad so he and I got awards!

Look how small some of our band members are!

Kolky Lyceum's administrators and our local Priest

Our "linika" (line meeting) where my best bud Roma is getting an award for having perfect marks!
(Also, do you notice our new doors!? Look at the photos from the previous post!)

4th Formers moving to the big school...and singing about it!

Ringing the Last Bell!

After Last Bell, I headed down to L'viv to celebrate the start of Summer with some PCV friends. We ate some good food, saw a movie in a movie theater, and danced the night away. Ukraine is hosting EURO 2012 soon, so we will avoid L'viv for the month of June. Everything will be not within this PCV's budget! 

Tommy and Ben in 3D. You have to have glasses to see it.

It's beginning to look a lot like EURO 2012 in L'viv!

Summer is here and life is good! I'm headed to Kyiv for Group 43's Swearing-In Ceremony and a VAC Meeting. I'll be there for 5 days, so send me and e-mail if you want to Skype and we'll figure out a time!

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