Saturday, October 27, 2007

'Tis the Time for Cabbages and Potatoes

As I walked down on this foggy day to do my weekly grocery shopping, I saw the signs of late October in Serbia - large mounds of cabbages and sacks of potatoes. These rather bland-colored produce items are now the king of the Green Market. Gone were the deep, colorful hues of red and green peppers. Bees and wasps no longer swarm around large wooden crates of grapes. In its place are the multi-hued colors of locally grown, imperfect apples. Time for some apple kuchen!
Recently, days have alternated between foggy and rainy. Temperatures still are quite tolerable, but the dampness makes it feel a bit colder than it is.
Halloween/Harvest Festival
Last night was the lower school's Halloween/ Harvest Festival. For many, it was the first time partaking of Halloween festivities - dressing up in a costume and trick-or-treating. Costumes varied between handmade and boughten, but the usual assortment of witches, princesses, ghouls, and warriors dominated. My favorites, of course, were the homemade ones. The most dashing costume was worn by a Japanese first grader, wearing the full kimono outfit.
I helped out in the bread "making" station. Here, kids manipulated bread dough into various shapes and creations. Although some of the dough was very sticky, students didn't seem to mind much, some creating multiple items and staying for a length of time. Hands cleaned, project wrapped and a sheet of baking instructions, students proudly left the room.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Decision to recruit

In the fall, directors solicit from overseas hires their intent to stay or move onward. After four years in Belgrade, I have decided that it is time to move forward. Many of my goals and initiatives have been fulfilled (or well on their way). Plus, I'm interested in seeing new places. So, the next few months will be quite busy as I prepare for the recruitment fair, held in January or February. Perhaps I will be one of the fortunate ones who is contacted by schools beforehand - or even a job offer. That way one doesn't even have to attend the recruitment fair and all its costs. Be thinking of me as I embark on this (often stressful and full of decisions) new journey.

October updates

It is now mid-October. The leaves are turning from green to brown, with some turning various shades of yellow. Only some small maple trees seem to turn more varied shades. That and the ivy and vines, which turn deep shades of red and mahogany. They are particularly beautiful when the lit backlights them. The weather has been fluctuating, between cool and rainy, to a surprise warm day (71°F, 21°C) as was today, then suddenly down to cold temperatures (42°F, 6°C) on Sunday. What's really odd is that the temps in the morning are quite chilly (near freezing), but warm up considerably, even already by around 10 am.

Things continue to move forward at school. Lots of meetings, many things to get done. There is a notable amount of stress, particularly regarding the local tax issue and declining value of the dollar against the euro. On a more positive note, I'm excited to report that more and more teachers are using technology in their classrooms, taking the initiative to move these steps forward. My efforts and perseverance are starting to pay off.