For anyone wondering, yes, I'm fully aware that my last post was longer than 98% of the papers I wrote for college.
The last couple days have been spent celebrating the three days of Orthodox Christmas, starting on January 7th. And in a perfect coincidence, at a time where the holiday dictates that you go to the houses of many relatives and your god-parents' house, snow, followed by rain, followed by freezing cold has turned every road in Moldova into ice. I bailed and slid down a 20-foot hill outside the South Bus Station in Chisinau yesterday. It was actually kind of fun, and it got me to my rutiera a little faster.
We had our first faculty meeting of the new year today. Lessons don't actually start until next Monday, and I don't know any other volunteer who was called back into work this early, but I'm not complaining. Tomorrow I'll be attending an English teacher's conference in Hincesti. Honestly, what else was I going to do with this week?
With no initiative taken on my part, an American non-governmental organization is looking for villages to give money for running water. Another English teacher who lives in Mereseni but works in Hincesti found the organization and is heading the group. I've offered my help in any way possible to my director, and they will surely need it at some point, but right now, there's a lot of community momentum behind it. I think that Mereseni has an excellent group of people in the mayor's office and in the school, and they have a real interest in improving the village. 2006 could be the year when Mereseni gets both water and natural gas. Keep your fingers crossed.
Further evidence that the higher-ups in my community have their heads on straight, my director talked to me today about the nine students in my classes who received failing grades for the first semester. She told me that there were several students who have the equivalent of B's in their other classes but failed mine. She'd like to have a small conference with me, the students, their dirigintiВ (a kind of homeroom teacher/guidance counselor that stays with a class for all their years school), and possibly the children's parents. This seems to me to be the perfect approach, and it will help the students realize that they need to work harder and that I want them to succeed. When a child fails, it's easy for him or her to simply say that the teacher has it in for them. Hopefully a discussion like this will help my failing students realize that that isn't the case. It seems so far that I'm on the same page as my director as far as this is concerned, and I'm glad I don't have to have a confrontation over something as petty as grades.