29 March 2005

Smacznego Jajka!

The title is part of a text message a friend sent to me over Easter weekend - smacznego is what they say when you start a meal, like bon appetit, jajka are eggs. It amused me. Many things do.

I had an uneventful Easter, as expected - it's not really a big holiday for me, and yes, Mari, I know you have a different date for it, but that still doesn't make it meaningful to me, so get over it. I did enjoy my very last Cadbury creme egg, which I had managed to hoard until Sunday through an extreme demonstration of will power. Then I celebrated Easter Monday - they like to stretch out the holidays here - by seeing a movie & having dinner at a friend's house.

The most amusing part of the weekend was Saturday, when I trekked out to the new shopping mall that opened this month. It's really westernized, you'd swear you were in the US if it weren't for all the people speaking Polish. I found a thoroughly silly t-shirt (of course there's a pig on it), and got a 5% discount after shooting a dart gun at a big egg painted on the wall. The max was 20%, so obviously I'm not a very good shot, but it was fun all the same.

So that was my big weekend, and yours?

19 March 2005

Meandering Thoughts

I keep promising myself to update this thing more regularly, and I keep not doing it. Apologies to all, but sometimes life gets in the way of our best intentions. And something about the road to hell...

Anyway, I seem to be in some alternate universe where jobs are continually thrown at me - I now have the potential to have 6 different jobs, if they all come through. Honestly, I'm hoping some of them don't, the whole point of quitting Berlitz was that I was working too much. For the time being, I have 3 solid jobs, and two students at Berlitz through the end of March. I currently have loads of free time, which I really should be using to work on papers, projects, etc. for my own studies, but I'm finding myself less than motivated lately. I think it's a backlash from being overworked, I'm so happy to have time for myself I can't make myself do anything with it!

I do want to mention my great uncle Ken, who passed away on March 7. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Please keep in touch, there are times when I really wish I were in Seattle, able to just pick up the phone or stop by & talk to people. Hearing from friends makes that a little more bearable. I know it's my choice to be so far away, but that doesn't mean I always enjoy it.

And, though I rarely say it, go Huskies!

08 March 2005

Oddness on Billboards

So I'm riding back to school after teaching at Komputronik, a computer company in Poznan, and we pass a billboard with a giant picture of a hot dog and the words "My name is Hot. Hot Dog." It was an ad for a gas station that apparently sells hot dogs in their convenience store. I don't know what this means, but it made me laugh this morning, which was quite a feat considering I had to get up at 6am.

Today is a sort of holiday in Poland - Woman's Day. No, not the magazine. It's a holdover from communist times, but the female Poles seem to like it, so it's still around. In the old days (meaning the first time I lived in Poland) all the female teachers at public schools got a bonus - I'll never forget my friend Sarah being alternately happy to have the extra money & upset that it was against her feminist ideals. Now everyone just gets flowers. I guess it's a nice idea, but I can't help wondering why they don't have a Man's Day too, in the interests of equality - isn't that the whole point of communism, that everyone is equal? Or did I misread the manifesto?

Anyway, happy Woman's Day to those of you who wish to acknowledge it, and happy Tuesday to the rest of you. :)

05 March 2005

The Story of a Job Search

As some of you know, I've been looking for a new job since I got back from the US in January. I was actually at the point of being ready to quit my current job, even though I didn't have anything concrete lined up for a new job, something which apparently scared the hell out of my parents - they seem to think I'll end up homeless in Poland, wandering the streets, begging passersby for a few zloty to buy a kielbasa, but they won't understand my broken Polish so I'll end up face down in the gutter, starving & frozen to death.

But none of that will happen, because I now have 3 new jobs, plus my old one for one more week! I had already lined up two of the jobs through some other Americans who just left Poland, and the third one kind of fell in my lap yesterday. I went to meet the school director, thinking we'd be talking about a job for next school year, & he produced a contract for a job that starts on Monday. A little surprising, and a bit intimidating, since I'll be teaching English for Economics, but I'm always up for a new challenge - remember, I'm the one who uprooted her life & moved to Poland! I kind of got sucked into working at my old job a little longer, because they're training two new people who won't be ready to teach until the 14th, so I agreed to teach in the mornings for the next week, and to finish out the month with 3 students who I've been teaching for a while & I really like them.

I really haven't been doing much else lately, just looking for jobs & complaining about how much I hate working for Berlitz. Although I've discovered that every Berlitz school is a little different - the one in Wroclaw (a few hours south of Poznan) give teachers Mondays off if they work on Saturdays. I've also been offered a job there, but it's a bit more of a commute than I'm interested in right now. :)

My own schooling is going well, I just had my first exam a couple weeks ago. I won't know the results for a few weeks, but I feel ok about it, I definitly think I passed it. Now I have to prepare a presentation for April 2, on a journal article that's related to my thesis topic. I've pretty well narrowed down my topic, finally, to looking at how gay men communicate & comparing it to the ways that straight men communicate, as far as whether there are significant differences. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to do my research, but at least I have a topic! Until I change my mind again... ;P

OK, I think that brings eveything pretty well up to date for now. I'll try to be better about updating this thing, but first I have to see how insane I am while working 4 different jobs!