one week til Ellada

Had my last Saturday lesson of the year, sniffling and coughing the whole time. What a great impression I leave on these kids!!

As soon as I get my health insurance card I’m taking myself on a tour of all the doctors I can to make sure I’m top fit for the fall. And next spring I’m getting an allergy shot in March.

Ah the beauties of “socialism”.

People laugh when I say I came for health insurance, I mean come on, you know I didn’t but it is so flippin fantastic living in a country where people expect you to have a relationship with your doctor(s) and being legitimately sick is not looked askance at as maybe a secret attempt to play hooky from work.

We’ve got problems here too, no doubt, but it’s a million miles away from what I’ve experienced back home in Ami land. Honestly I only remember my dentists, my doctors are sort of blur. I fail to understand how we’ve been programmed to go to our dentist for teeth cleaning every six months, but can’t talk to our doctor about diet and exercise and maybe, you know, this sort of dying thing we all do eventually.

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

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Although full disclosure: I dutifully went to the dentist here for a check-up and teeth cleaning. It was way more than I thought it would be, (old insurance) and even the dental hygienist thought it was an unnecessary visit, although she was kind enough to kind of hide it. I ended up kicking myself over it for weeks. 😦  but she did remind me that they don’t have fluoride in the water here, and told me what I needed to do to take care of it. Not without scoffing that we Americans would put it in our taps and then DRINK ENOUGH tap water that it would protect our teeth.

Oh Europeans and your distrust of anything but bottled water. Thank God you at least recycle.

That’s one thing that makes me really feel at home in Greece, fresh non-carbonated spring water that comes standard at cafes and restaurants.

Back to the lessons today. Darn kids and their young memories. Little A. said, “Oh it’s much nicer to get our grades from you, because we get gummi-bears.”

Mental: “oh crap.”

The rest of the kids can thank her this week. I went to the grocery store and bought lollipops and candy (with vitamins, hahah I’m so evil). It’s a tax write-off anyway and kids are ridiculously grateful when you give them candy. And I get 5 minutes of more or less silently chewing mouths. WIN-WIN.

I took pics of them today, for me, for my family. But kids pics won’t go here. Little kid pics do not belong on blogs. Despite how much I’d love to share my adorable, mischievous, self-described “school-haters”. Probably I’ll take some pics of the stories and pics they’ve written for me. Anyway, they were embarrassed but pleased.

Kids are so easy sometimes. They all just want attention, either they find a good way to get it, or they train themselves, often inadvertently, to misbehave for it. Teaching for me is just placing my attention at the right place at the right time and not losing my patience. Mostly it’s the latter and trying to remember the former.

Work is good though. Lots of work still, but the senior course are finished with lots of love and even some flowers and we’ve got most of the grades sorted out for the kids. I talked with my colleague for a long time about all the classes and not to summarize it all too quickly, but it feels like we’re on the same page again. Maybe she needed to feel that I was supporting her. The kids get so crazy Greek about wanting to be liked and they definitely have a “special” i.e. Greek government/village corrupt who-you-know system of advancement, instilled in them from a young age. I can only imagine how they try to use their FAIR AND NORMAL relationship with me to one-up each other and hurt the new teacher if they don’t like her, or think she doesn’t like them.

Is that confusing? Find it hard to imagine that Greek kids play these games? Ha, welcome to my village, and by the way, I have the kids from the more responsible parents.

I’m pretty sure she is now clear that I am not trying to court favor with my teenagers and I gave her a few tips for that tough class that was causing a fuss.

Anyway it’s high time I did some Greek practice. I’ll be there in a week and have nothing to show for it. Tropi on me.

Meanwhile one of my fave Greek male singers.


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