Thursday, November 16, 2006

And now you can consider yourselves FULLY updated :-)

Another note to say "hi". No, nothing new has happened since I last posted, since that was just two days ago and life is just not that exciting.

Since some of you have been asking, I'll tell you a bit about my classes. I teach mostly adults.
For adult students I have:
-one group of seven students who are studying for an English certificate examination -- on a scale from level 1 (beginner) to level 7 (advanced) they are about a 4.
-one individual level 4 student,
-one individual level 2 (barely!) student,
-one group of three people at level 2 (this group is quite clever),
-one individual level 1 (VERY beginner!) student,
-another individual level 2 student who is also quite clever

I teach two childrens classes:
-one class is just two girls, ages 8 and 11, who are about a level 2 (but slightly more advanced). I really enjoy this class.
-the other class is a group of seven kids, all age 7 (5 boys and 2 girls), beginning level 2. I pretty much dread this class - sometimes they are monsters and making sure I have enough interesting stuff to keep them from being monsters takes a lot of time.

Most students' classes are 2 hours and 15 minutes, and most of them meet twice per week.

At the beginning, class prep was taking a lot of time, but that has gotten better. Since some of my students are learning the same things, and they are not all at the same pace, that means I can sometimes re-use lessons. You'll have to ask Joe about his classes/students since I don't know much about them. I mean, I have an idea what levels he is teaching and I know which ones he complains about, that's for sure (!), but mostly I think he has a mix similar to mine. I know that his kids class (he has just one) has kids in it that are about age 11 or so, and they can be a bit bratty sometimes, but that's about all I know about them.

Tomorrow we are having Thanksgiving at Ernie and Jozi's house. I am making a sweet potato and carrot puree and I am really not sure what anyone else is bringing. Ernie was supposed to find a turkey somewhere, and he was also making some pie. Hopefully someone will bring a soup -- the soups here are the BEST! I made a KILLER sour cabbage and vegetable soup last week - YUM!

I started taking a Slovene class. It's just one hour, once a week, but it's better than standing at the bakery or deli counter pointing at food and stammering out numbers for the rest of my life. It was tough to cram it into my schedule but I figured if I forced myself to study and to go, I would make myself find the time for it.

Speaking of grocery shopping, if there had been such a thing as a prize for the Most Dairy Purchased In One Shopping Trip, I would have won it tonight. I bought two packages of butter, one tub of sour cream, heavy cream, kisla mleko (which is sort of like sour cream/creme fraiche but not exactly), three hunks of cheese, yogurt, milk, and cream for coffee. Somewhere, there is a very tired cow.

This past weekend we went to Martinovanje. This is the celebration of the new wine for St Martin's Day. So where else would we go but to the village of St. Martin? Actually, we went to the next village down the hill, but let's not nit-pick. First we went to a small village, Brje, where we saw a presentation for Gregorciceva, a famous slovene author/poet who died 100 yearts ago. He was born in Brje and they put a plaque on his house, which is now a museum that houses many of his original manuscripts. There were some speeches which I am sure were very interesting (although I can only guess what they were about in a general sense) and some singing. Then we all went down the hill and had a little bit of food and tasted all of the wines they make in that village. I think there were about twenty of them. I lost count after I tasted the tenth one or so. Ha ha. I really only tasted a couple because the night was still young!
We then went to a fabulous restaurant called Arkade, in the village of Crnice. We had a typical Slovene dinner for St Martin’s: duck, red cabbage in a sweet kind of sauce, and some noodles with gravy. It was fantastic! This restaurant was written up in Gourmet magazine last February, and I would love to go back there to have something off of their regular menu as well.
Then we went back to the tourist farm where we were staying the night and we danced up a storm. I haven’t laughed that hard in such a long time! The next day, we had breakfast – well, lunch, to be honest (we got up late since we stayed up dancing until 3:30) and then we visited two great wineries in the area. We spent a long time talking to the wine makers and they gave us snacks and tours and samples and loads of information. It was a great weekend, and now we are well stocked with good memories and good wine! Oh, and we can go back to either – or both- of those wineries to help them harvest next year. Harvest time, although it’s hard work, is kind of a party in itself, and also earns you an invitation to their big, private shin-digs for next Martinovanje.

So, that’s all for now. I have a few more pictures, mostly from Halloween, to upload to Flickr and then I’m going to call it a night. I hope everyone is doing well and has a happy Thanksgiving of their own.

Hugs, -S

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


This means "SORRY!" I haven't been able to post anything in a while. We have been super-busy with work and haven't had much time. A good deal of the time we spend at home is doing lesson prep, which means that one of us is using the computer for work and so we can't kick the other one off for non-work-related things (i.e. blogging). I did upload some new pictures to Flickr so you should take a peek in there and look at all of the things I uploaded on October 30th and so far in November. I also had some time to add a few comments along with those so you'll get an idea of some of the things we have been doing in our spare time (read "Sundays").

For those of you that had our old address on Ane Ziherlove and don't realize or remember that we moved in August, please remember to send us an email asking for our new address. For obvious reasons, I don't want to list our address here.

Weather is still decent although we've had a couple of frosts. There are still flowers blooming here and there, and the grass is still green so I can't complain about the weather, that's for sure!. We put the snow tires on the car today. Hopefully it won't snow anytime soon, but if they're not on by tomorrow we'll get a ticket; I also drive up and down a pretty steeeeeeep hill/mountainside to go to and from a client so there's that to consider as well.

The city will put up all of their Christmas lights on December 6th. An interesting thing I learned today: almost all of my students will put up their Christmas tree on Dec 24th. Most of them will leave it up until Feb 6th-ish as they generally take it down on 3 Kings Day, unless they have a live tree and it is just too crispy to leave up without people making fun of them. I told them that Joe and I usually put up our tree in the beginning of December and take it down in the beginning of January -- this was astounding to them! We're not sure what we will do about a tree this year since I don't like the idea of buying one at a grocery store. Maybe we'll just go into the woods in back of us and cut some branches.

I'll end here since it's very late (midnight) and I have an early morning (8 am) class. This weekend our friends are hosting Thanksgiving at their house on Friday evening so we'll be squeezing in yet another USA holiday (we did Halloween at their house, too).

Hope everyone is doing well.

Hugs, -S