Monthly Archives: November 2010

(saw this on a coupla tumblrs, but it’s originally from here)

This picture has been sitting in my drafts folder since February, it looks like.  I think I was planning on posting it because I wanted to talk about how it would’ve made me want to stab myself a while ago.  Like before we started applying to the Peace Corps, before I decided to chuck journalism out the window and go back to school for a TESOL degree and start teaching again.  Before all that, when I was laid off from my newspaper job and just sitting around and feeling my life closing in on me and seriously considering going to photojournalism school (!!!)(I mean for reals, what a humongous bullet I dodged there, deciding not to do that.  It kinda gives me the shivers thinking about what Alternate-Universe Katie is doing right now with her new, useless degree and her debt, as she ventures forth into the still-collapsing job market for media professionals. Yikes. I’m sorry you exist, Alternate-Universe Katie, and also please apologize to Alternate Universe Ryan for me).

Anyway: Thinking about writing posts like this (almost two years ago, jesus) and then trying to tell myself that I Was A Dream Coming True is kinda funny.  Not that I’m especially Inspiring or The One That I Want right now, either, but whatevs, I’m in Mongolia and we waited a long time to get here and I’m busy doing stuff that is possibly useful to other people and I don’t have to think about my future for at least another year, so.  I Am The One That I Am Temporarily Satisfied With.  I hope you are the one you are temporarily satisfied with, too, because I think you’re real swell.

Speaking of busy doing stuff:

Halloween almost killed me.  I was put in charge of organizing Halloween happenings for all four of my schools, and we had two big parties at the middle school and the high school.  Other teachers helped me with the planning and the decoration-making and the prize-buying and all, but I spent the week leading up to things feeling pretty stressed out.  And the parties themselves were, like, not parties in the way Americans understand parties to be.  They were more like a series of contests, held in overheated gyms with upwards of 150 adolescents who overpowered the sound system with their chattiness.  When the high school party was finally over after three long, loud hours, my coteacher turned to me and said grimly, “Now we must drink beer.”  I have never agreed with somebody harder.

But the kids got really into things: the costumes were awesome and who doesn’t love a good watermelon jack-o-lantern?  Look at that thing up there!  Ingenious!  Clearly the teens these days want to celebrate Halloween with gusto, so maybe next year I can convince people to a) have the kids organize it themselves, damnit, and b) cut back on the endless (kinda boring) performances (that nobody pays attention to), and c) just pump up the music and have a dance or something.

Not surprisingly, the highlight of the holiday came courtesy of the elementary schoolers.  Here are some of them, look at them, oh look at them all so adorable and creepy:

As you can see, girls here are very good at the Scary Dead Girl thing.

I had casually mentioned to my teachers that it would be nice if the elementary schoolers would come trick-or-treat at the high school, and then, a week later, it happened.  Without my organizing anything.  Lesson learned: In the future, I must abdicate all responsibility for these things.  It will turn out for the best.

Oh, maybe Halloween wasn’t so terrible after all.

And then, right on the heels of Halloween, we had a one-day seminar for English teachers in our province:

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(Remind me to thank my supervisor for putting my ass right at the distorting edge of the lens)

Three other teachers from my school did presentations about classroom activities and, I think, learning styles (it was all in Mongolian, cut me a break).  I did an hour-long presentation on pronunciation blah blah blah segmentals blah blah voiced and voiceless consonants blah grammatical endings blah blah vowel lengthening blah you don’t care.  I will say this, though: Man am I glad I took those classes at AU, and man am I glad I brought all my books and notes and class handouts with me, and man am I glad I’m still technically a grad student and thus still have access to online journal databases.  For maybe the first time in my life, I can at least give the appearance of knowing what I’m talking about.  This, plus camel wool, is what will keep me warm at night.

Just kidding, modern central heating is what keeps me warm at night.

Well what else.  Obviously I haven’t been writing anything down; I blame this on the butt-clenching stress of the last few weeks.  But I have been taking pics, of my teachers getting their volleyball on:

And of this cute young thing, receiving some kind of Russian language award from our Complex’s Training Manager:

And of some foreign dudes atop Bayan Ondor Mountain last weekend:

Finally, have you heard this monster Crystal Castles/Robert Smith jam yet?  Ryan found it the other day and jesus.

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