age | e

in front of you in line alphabetically since 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006


So, if blondes can have their moments, then I claim that redheads can too.

Last Wednesday afternoon, I had a redhead moment.

When I was out shopping near Wenceslas Square, I tripped on a man hole cover and landed on my chin. Good thing it was my chin and not my nose, right? Thankfully, two very solicitous Czechs (no, "solicitous Czechs" is not an oxymoron :) came to help me and gave me their kleenexes to help stop my chin from bleeding. Not knowing how deep the cut was, I went to a Lekarna and got some bandages. But, I was shooken up and so I called Joel and asked him to meet me. Joel took one look at my chin and said I needed stitches. Not what I wanted to hear! So, we made our first trip to a Czech hospital where I did indeed get stitches. On the positive side, it was a very good hopsital visit: we got a doctor who spoke English!

A cute sidenote is that our friend's son, Nehemiah, asked me why I had a bandage on my chin, and, when I told him that I fell down, he looked at me sternly and asked, "Chrissy, were you running?" His parents are always telling him not to run in the house, and so Nehemiah assumed that's what I was doing. Well, being an object lesson for a 3 year-old is, I suppose, a worthy cause :)


Thursday, October 19, 2006

the poor little rabbit who wouldn't jump

Substitue teachers never had a chance in Prague. Before they could negotiate contracts, form unions, or babysit Mr. Stryker's second period biology class, some Czech principal pulled the rug out from under them. And in the process, that principal many years ago made me not only a fulltime teacher, but also, about twice a week, a substitue teacher.

"Supply" lessons, as we translate them to be, are actually not so bad. Over the past two years and a bit, supplies have been a time to meet new students, have non-lesson-related conversations, play games, or (usually, I admit) catch up on grading while the students, er, "study."

This year I've compromised. I dangle the carrot of free time in front of my students as long as they'll complete some outlandish English task first. I've started with "I'm a little teapot," sung in mass spojeno choir. The results have been, well, really funny.

This morning, 4.A, who performed the teapot song in supply last week, returned the favor, teaching me a Czech children's song, complete with a dancing circle (we held hands), and a "London Bridges"-esque "bunny rabbit" crouched in the middle. This is the rough translation:

Little bunny rabbit in his hollow all alone
Poor little bunny rabbit, what's the matter?
Why won't you jump?
Hop and jump, hop and jump? Hop and . . . JUMP!

They got me. I was taken in. Even though we needed those 5 minutes to finish the it goes.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"fun-size" updates

You remember those "fun size" candy bars that you would get for Halloween? You know, small on the size, small on the fun? Well, here's the blog version. Only these will be fun.

We're starting an English Club at Arabská. Five students showed up for an informational meeting last Monday. This is a nice number, says I. We'll see where this goes. The first meeting is next Tuesday.

Cafe Cože, a Christian English club that meets monthly in Prague, is also this coming Tuesday, but in the later afternoon. We're planning to be involved with it this year (it'll be Chrissy's second year there). I've heard about it for as long as I've been in the Czech Republic, and now I can go!

Please remember to pray for Sokolov and ISŠTE, my former town and school, as the ESI teacher assigned there this year has decided to return home early. Please pray for peace, grace and healing for her heart. And please remember her teammate, who soon will be alone in Sokolov. And pray for ISŠTE and my former students and colleagues.

Tonight is the Greater Prague Area (or "GPA") Bible study. We'll meet at everyone's favorite pseudo-American restaurant, Bohemia Bagel, and talk over the 121st Psalm. Read it with us this week, if you feel so inclined.

And lastly, a factoid about our own US of A that I just learned this morning after a student stumped me: did you know that New York is called the Big Apple because of jazz music? Yeah, I didn't either.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Karlstejn Castle

Almost a month ago, my friend and fellow ESI teacher, Stephanie, and I trecked out to visit one of the Czech Republic's most popular castles. Karlstejn Castle, like most castles, sits at the top of a large hill. And while its worth it to hike up the "hill" (more like a mountain if you ask me...), its even more worthwhile to stroll at a leisurely pace up the hill so you can enjoy the scenery. And, of course, so you can enjoy a tasty snack as well.

Joel was at the Ostrava baseball game, so he didn't get to join me, but this weekend Joel and I have both been invited to visit Karlstejn Castle with our friends and Czech tour guides, Ivanna and her son, Richard. When I visited the castle with Stephanie, we took the regular tour. Ivanna has informed me that she can go online and book the "premium" tour.... ooooh! Joel and I will let you all know what we think....

Monday, October 02, 2006

baseball fever, after all

I confess.

On the way to the baseball game I thought of the title for this blog entry, and it wasn't "baseball fever." This is Central Europe, you see, and they're not known for a love of baseball over here. So in a flash of mediocre wit, I pre-named this blog "a baseball temperature"--- not quite a fever, but still a bit warmer than usual.

How wrong I was.

The final game of the Czech National Baseball League's play-off series between the Ostrava Arrows and Krč Altron was nothing short of a raging, malarial fever. At least if you were sitting on the Ostrava side of the stands, which (although I inadvertantly wore the opposing team's colors) we were. They literally drove halfway across the country to support their boys, and they got the most out of the same three cheers again and again, every half-inning. My ears rang the whole game from the airhorn blasts and tram bells.

Our American contingent stood up to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch. And I think in doing so we won the respect of the Ostrava fan bus crew.

And the result? Although they almost blew a six run lead in the eighth, the Arrows ruled the day. All together, a nice substitute for play-off baseball, starting this week back in the USA.

Go A's!

- Joel