14 June 2004

18 Hours to Vilnius

I'll save you the trip to the bookshelf for the atlas, it's in Lithuania, which is north-east of Poland, and next time I'm NOT going by bus! That's just way too long to spend on bumpy roads, making detours because the bus is too tall for the overpass. But the city is beautiful, very modern, but with lots of great old architecture. And the trip was a lot of fun, aside from the getting there and coming back. :)

My classes are done for the year now, I just have to get through final exams with the 2nd year students. The 3rd years had theirs the past 2 weeks - out of 11 students, 8 took the written exams (writing, grammar, reading, & listening), and 4 passed those and got to take the oral exams, which they all passed. Pretty bad odds, but it was a really weak group to begin with - most of them never should have passed 2nd year! As for the current 2nd years, I had to fail 2 of them, one of whom is still trying to convince me to pass him, despite the fact that he missed 1/3 of my classes and makes mistakes in writing that most first year students don't make - and this is his second time as a 2nd year student, since he failed last year too. I asked him to write me an essay telling me why I should pass him, and he basically wrote that he doesn't deserve to pass but would I please pass him anyway, because if he fails his girlfriend will kill herself. Oh, and he's really sorry for missing so many classes. Call me unreasonable, but he didn't convince me.

I'm planning to be out of my apartment in Walcz by the end of the month, though I'm still not entirely sure how I'm getting all my stuff to Poznan. And my landlord said I should have a phone number in Poznan around the first part of July, if things go as scheduled, so I figure I'll have one by September. :) Some things just take longer here, which I'm gradually getting used to. Most of the time I'm OK with it, it's just occasinally that something will strike me as really annoying - like horrible road conditions that make a 400 mile trip take 18 hours.

Anyway, I'll be starting my new job on the 1st of July, which I'm excited about, mainly since I get to be in Poznan full-time, but I'm also looking forward to the job. And it's a good opportunity to meet some other ex-pats - there are 5 or 6 other native speakers working there. My Polish friends are great, but sometimes you need to talk to someone with a common frame of reference, and I can't afford to call the US that often! ;) I will have to come back to Walcz at the end of July for next year's entrance exams, and again in September for the final exam retakes, but it'll just be for a day or two in each case. My contract with the college runs through September, so I decided to do the nice thing & help out with the exams - the director of the college was really surprised, since most of their past native speakers have left before the exams in June! Honestly, it has more to do with the students than anything - I feel responsible for seeing them all the way through. What can I say, my mother raised me right. :)

I guess that's all that's going on right now. I hope all's well with everyone. Thanks to those of you who have been writing and/or sending packages - it really brightens my days to hear from home!