Monday, March 19, 2007

who needs novocaine?

Yes, I full-heartedly ask you..."who needs novocaine?" NOT ME!!!! is the resounding answer in Bulgaria tonight. Today I had to get three cavities filled in Sofia, and our dentist is notorious for doing one and sending you out the door. However, today, he and i struck a little bargain. If I agreed to abstain from novocaine, he would do all three in one sitting!!! its like, the JACKPOT...until of course, you realize this actually means no novocaine. "Dr. Dean" also told me that if at any point I felt I was in too much pain, I could just squeak and he'd stop drilling in order to dope me up with some drugage. That seemed fair enough to me, so I was like "Let's do it Dr. Dean!" Anyone have an idea where this is going? Well, things went pretty good and I was feeling like a rock star until....oowwwwww!!! nerve, nerve, nerve!! When I made my pathetic attempt to alert our darling doctor, he simply replied "Well, I'm almost done now, so just hang in there. you're so brave." hahaha. I'm so brave? what am I, a 4 year-old? Anyway, some people learn from history, but I am apparently not one of them! this process happened again with the next tooth- wincing, squeaking and commentary on my bravery... BUT, when it was all over, I got to return to work and proudly proclaim that I, like every other Bulgarian, was able to handle a visit the the dentist without novocaine!

So while I continue journaling my "painful" experiences in Bulgarian, let me bring you to the next installment...teaching English!! a few months ago, I made contact with one of the local private language schools. These private schools are, on some level, a form of tutoring. You go to normal school, and in your free time, you attend these classes a la "extra-curricular activities." This typically means that the students are highly motivated because they have selected this activity and its FAR from free. The teachers at this school approached me to see if I'd be interested in teaching a few of their classes. This was not a long term commitment, but something I could do when I had free time, when the teachers were overloaded, etc. The first weekend in March, I decided to attempt this "teaching English thing" with high level speakers. I. was. petrified.

I was panicked about WHAT on EARTH I would do with them. Make word lists? play games? read outloud from newsweek?? This may seem strange (if not irrational) to all of you!! After all, wasn't this an ENGLISH class that I was about to lead? I prepared a topic on the American educational system (compare and contrast with the Bulgarian model), and a short debate on the meaning of the word "freedom." The day that I taught class marked the official Independence from the Turks day in Bulgaria, so I thought it would be a nice effort on my part. The beginning was a bit like pulling teeth, but by the end the kids were talking and even doing some of the things I'd asked! Then the teachers asked me to use the same lesson the next day with a new group of students, and I agreed. The second day went much better and was borderline fun! For me, the real highlight came during the "questions and comments" section of the lesson. One of the girls asked me if high school students segregate themselves in America, if sororities were real, was it advisable to join one, had i joined one, etc. As it turned out, she had a favorite film, "Mean Girls!!!!" I also love this movie, so if this student wasn't 14 years old, we would probably be best friends...

okay, that was just a quick update! My friend Cindy from Vandy is coming this weekend! she is a PCV in macedonia and only live about 8 hours (max, with layovers) away! If we were in America, we'd certainly live further apart, so what are they odds that we'd live close together as PCVs?????


At 8:28 PM, Blogger Melody said...

and that is why i hate our dentist. I really hate him.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, props to you on the no novocaine experience. Myself, I prefer to brush my teeth daily and avoid cavities all together. ;) Love ya! Keithy-poo.


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