Monday, September 03, 2001

First Day of Teaching

Wow, I am in the middle of my first day of teaching here in Prague. I'm now convinced that you haven't lived until you've sat in front of 12 people and talked for 30 minutes with nobody understanding a word you say. Thankfully this is an introduction day where all the students get to spend a little time with all of the teachers who will be teaching them. The non-comprehension only occurred in my class of beginners, so the intermediate and advanced students were able to understand me. I have one more intermediate class this afternoon, so we'll see how that goes. I can tell it's going to be a challenging year, but all-in-all very enjoyable.

Just a short comment on a book I'm reading, which many of you have probably read, that I recommend highly for those who have not read it. It's called Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. For those of you who might consider yourselves intellectuals, this is a must-read. It is a logical and practical look at the basics of religion, and more specifically Christianity. This is my second time through it, but my first time actually paying attention to the content of the book. I guarantee you will not regret reading it, and you will learn much.

I know I've talked about food already, but I'll spend a little more time on it. We've eaten out quite a bit, due to the low prices found here, and the food has been extraordinary. We went to an American-run restaurant last night, where they served Italian food, as well as other ethnic dishes. I had a hummus platter with a loaf of bread. It was one of the best meals I've had while I've been here (and there have been a lot excellent meals). I'm not sure if I'll be able to stomach American food when I get back to the states.

I've had questions about how well I'm adjusting to life here. I'm adjusting very well. Actually, I should say, I've adjusted very well. They taught us that there were 4 stages of culture shock in the class we took to prepare for this experience. The first stage is the touristy stage, then two other in-between stages, and then acceptance. I said to myself, "Just skip to acceptance, it's much easier." So that's what I've done. I have not undergone any culture shock, and do not miss America in the least.

At any rate, the director told us that the school internet connection should be running tomorrow, so perhaps I'll have time to write to some of you individually. Getting that connection running will be the end of a large monetary drain for me, so I can concentrate more of my funds on food and other necessities.