Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Refrigerator

When I returned to Slovakia, I found a new addition to my apartment: a broken refrigerator! I found not only this, but also the stench of death and mayonnaise engulfing the apartment whenever the door is opened.

For about two weeks, Larry and I attempted to fix the problem on our own. We knew that the whole machine wasn't broken because the freezer still worked. But what do we know about refrigerators? We did have a manual in English, at least. So we told our vice principal who takes care of our numerous problems.

The 'landlord' for the apartment was the first to attempt to fix the refrigerator. She merely looked through the manual for a solution to the problem as if we didn't think about looking at the manual.

Then a week later, two refrigerator repairmen came. After about a half-hour, they said they fixed the refrigerator. Thank the Lord, we said, we can finally buy perishables!

The next morning we wake up to frozen orange juice in the refrigerator. The repairmen turned our refrigerator into another freezer. We attempted to change the temperature, but even on the lowest setting, everything freezes.

The weather here in Bratislava has cooled, so we have a new refrigerator, one that actually works - the windowsill.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My New Classes

This year, I am teaching a new class - 4th year religion. This course doesn't have a title, so I call it, "Biblical and Church History." As you might have figured from my titling of the course, we survey Biblical and Church history. We have one textbook, "Manna and Mercy," which overviews the Biblical story (and has cartoons). Yet, after that, the students have to rely solely upon my lectures for their knowledge. Talk about having to be on my game.

Each 4th year student has to take this course, so I have four classes of 14-18 students each. I taught some of these students the previous year, so I am excited to teach them again. In fact, most are excited to have me as a teacher again. (The student who looked as if my every word was hurting her does not fall into this category). Even the student with whom I butted heads most of the time last year said, "I am glad to be having class with my favorite professor." He either learned one of two things. One - butter up your teacher. Two - I'm the best teacher this side of the Danube. I believe he learned the former.

I also teach two groups a course in American Literature. One of these groups only has seven students. At first, I was worried we would have many long classes where no one says anything, but, in fact, they participate and listen very well.

The final course I teach is English conversation to a younger group of students. They were rather shocked that we can only speak English in the class.

My schedule so far has been very polar. Monday, I had five classes. Tuesday, I had three. Today, I had four. Tomorrow, I have two. Friday, I have six. Tuesdays and Thursdays are nice, but Friday won't be fun starting at 7 a.m. Nevertheless, the schedule is bound to change. It always does. In Slovakia, I have learned not to get too familiar with anything.

So, those are my new classes.