So, I just turned in all my DELTA portfolio, and in really, really good news, I passed the mock exam. I may get through this thing after all. I've been a bit worried about it for the past few weeks, and suffice it to say that like Barack Obama's presidential nomination (whoo!), DELTA qualification is "within reach."
Dudes, I am so writing the most boring paper ever written in the entire history of the UNIVERSE! It's all about the principles behind LANGUAGE TESTING. I swear to god that the 20 waking hours I've spent on it in the past two days were among the awesomest in my existence.
Then, a little bit of tomfoolery resulted in Jack and I having a conversation like this:
Me: watch it, man, or I will hold you in contempt! Jack: I'll contempt you! Me: I'll contempt your head off! Jack: I'll contempt your brains out! Me: I'll contempt you into next week! Jack: I'll give you contempt and shove you in it! Me: I'll contempt you until you don't remember your own name! Jack: I'll contempt you until you forget what the word "contempt" means! Me: I'll contempt your ass into a hole in the ground! Jack: I'll...
You get the picture, right?
Plus, last night after I pushed Jack out of the way so I could brush my teeth, and he objected by saying he had as much right to the goddamned sink as anyone else, and I replied, "Whatever! This is the ladies room!" He shot back with "There are no LADIES in this house."
Moreover, earlier this weekend, Jack accused me of wanting to elope with his beard (and guys? His beard is pretty sexy, so...), and run away to Bolivia to have a bazillion bearded Bolivian babies.
In a nutshell? Pretty fried over here. Thank GOD this f*cking DELTA course will be over in two weeks. After that, I plan to sit around shivering in a silent stupor.
Anyone got any good Haikus?
Just so you all know, in my desperate attempt to post something here, I am resorting to complete nonsense. Enjoy!
Yeah, so I know I never write anything here anymore. It's because I'm so busy writing 15 page papers about the use of the modal verb will to make predictions about non-imminent future events, and how the contracted form of will is pronounced with "dark l" -- the "l" that appears at the ends of words and carries the resonance of the nearby vowel, as opposed to "clear l", the "l" that begins words like "lick" and "like". Bottom line: I just don't feel like my brilliant jokes about "DARTH L" are that funny, and what's more, being this big a geek is incredibly time-consuming. Every time I think "hey, I should blog this..." I'm usually in a hurry to the next episode of my teaching someone the grammar of transitive and intransitive, separable and inseparable phrasal verbs, and you know... It just never really pans out, time-wise.
Things here, though, despite the intense geekery of my course and my job, are good. I am doing well on the teaching diploma course I'm taking, and I'm still living the dream here in Praha. At the moment, the hill across from our loft is bright green with new linden flowers, and the days are longer and warmer. I work a lot, but at the end of every day, I come home to a man so kind and sweet that it boggles my mind that he puts up with me. I'm happy, healthy and well.
So, FYI, there have been big changes in the Czech tax code and state medical insurance scheme. Firstly, we're going from a progressive tax rate to a flat tax of 15% for everyone, and secondly, from now on, we all have to pay 30 crowns when we visit the doctor. In case you're wondering, that translates to a little less than two dollars.
The money goes to the doctor, and is a new revenue stream for Czech medical professionals who, to put in mildly, are incredibly underpaid by American standards. Fair enough, right? I mean, when I go to the doctor around here and pay my pittance, no matter what my problem might be, I feel like I'm getting away with crime after years of having NO insurance, and paying my doctor in Los Angeles nearly $200 to let me sit in her examining room. 30 crowns? NO PROBLEM.
So, the other day, I was in a lesson with a student who will have her first child in April, and who is appalled -- APPALLED! -- that she will have to pay 90 crowns when she goes into the hospital to give birth. That's right people. Here in the Czech Republic, it costs the citizenry a grand total of less than SIX DOLLARS TO GIVE BIRTH TO A CHILD IN THE HOSPITAL (and, for the record, that includes a week's stay with full nursery support), and they are PISSED!
I know it's a bit of a non-sequitur, but I just thought I'd share that flabbergasting little detail.
I know it's slow around here, and for that I apologize. I blame it on the fact that I'm up to my ears in English lessons every day from the crack of dawn to 8:30 at night most days, and on top of that, I'm in the early stages of my Cambridge DELTA course, which is a lot of work to add into my already hectic schedule. Plus, I have the world's nicest boyfriend, and after all the running around I've gotten up to all day, it's often just a lot more appealing to talk to him than it is to talk to the internet.
But, you know? It's not all bad.
It's been really interesting in about a million ways, this past two and nearly a half years in Prague, and the complete change of life I've enacted by moving here. One of the best things about it is finding out that, contrary to what I've always thought of myself, I'm not actually a cranky, fragile, misanthropic, lazybones. In fact, I'm generally quite cheerful and resilient, I like people, and I'm not in the least bit lazy. Who knew! And generally, things are going really well. I still enjoy my work, I meet really interesting people everyday, I'm learning a lot about the English language (always a pleasure), and my life is full and happy.
On the DELTA front, I've had my first assignment and lesson -- a paper about a grammatical, lexical or discoursal language point (in this case, discoursal: ranting about something that absolutely drives you crazy!)and a lesson in that area observed by my tutor -- and it's been a success. Three marks are possible on the DELTA: pass, fail, and distinction; my lesson was a clear pass, and my paper was a distinction. That's not bad, out of the gate, and I must say, I'm pretty well-chuffed with it.
In sadder news for me and my peeps back home, I won't be able to travel to the U.S. for Christmas this year. It's a big disappointment for me, as I was really looking forward to seeing my dearly beloved and very much missed family and friends, but I hope we can all hook up ye olde skype and talk over Christmas. Meanwhile, I shall travel with Jack to his home in the green and pleasant land of England at the kind invitation of his lovely family, and experience Christmas U.K. style.
I hope to update this horribly neglected website more often in the near future (if anyone's still reading), but have patience. This is likely to be a really busy year for me.