Friday, September 18, 2009

like a fish to water...or maybe it's land

My favorite part of my bedroom - the shelf by the window, complete with a recently purchased plant the florist said was "winter hearty."

Been having trouble sleeping the past couple nights. My eyes get heavy and I'm physically exhausted, but my mind just won't settle down enough for me to actually drift off. I can feel this ball of excitement in the pit of my stomach; I seriously can't wait for the next day to start. Thoughts of exploring my neighborhood and new parts of the city, sitting at an outdoor cafe drinking coffee, visiting the kids in my class again....These are the things that keep me up at night. It's like the positive version of anxiety, if that makes sense. I'm even excited at the thought of breakfast!! But who wouldn't be when it involves Nutella-smeared, fresh-from-the-bakery goodness? (Ok, so I admit to getting excited for breakfast a lot, even in the States. Usually it's the hot cup of coffee I drink first thing, while still lounging in bed. Yep, I'm that dorky. Or Zen. It's a matter of perspective.)

On a bench in the gardens at Schloss Charlottenburg.

Today was a glorious day. Not only was breakfast fab (I ate in bed, naturally), but so was lunch. A German(ish) meal, cooked by moi. SO satisfying.

Creamed spinach, potato dumplings, and a (veggie) bratling. ::Sigh:: AND I ate it on the balcony. AND there were leftovers. Cook once, eat at least three times, that's what I say. Er, at least, now I do, because we don't have a microwave, so cooking actually takes time. Who knew? (Though BBS - the Berlin British School - happens to have one in the staff room, which should make reheating leftovers quite convenient...!)

Speaking of BBS, yesterday I visited the Middle School (where I'll be working) for the first time. "Middle School" is British for "Year 1 to Year 5," which is British for "Kindergarten to Grade 4."

No, this is definitely not the school - it's a villa in the palace gardens.

I know. It's confusing. I'm certainly confused. Or I was, but I think I'm getting there. Years 1 and 2 comprise Key Stage One, while Years 3 through 5 fall under Key Stage Two. So I'm working in Key Stage One, Year 2, made up of 6- and 7-year-olds. But I don't work with students - I work with pupils (yes, that'd be the British version of students), many of whom are German. This means English is not their first language, so a few are designated EAL: English as an Additonal Language. (Whereas in the US we obviously have ELLs, English Language Learners. The education gods do love their acronyms, don't they?)

Ohhhh, man! Clearly, this is going to be somewhat exhausting. I'm definitely going to be learning AT LEAST as much as the students - oh no, wait, I mean PUPILS. Pupils, pupils, pupils, pupils....Drill and repetition, right?

Er, hold on - do they have that in the UK???

A meadow intended for lying about. Necessity? I'm going with yes.