Happy Halloween, all!
Oh my goodness, Halloween week took f o r e v e r, but it was so worth it. Because each class meets twice a week (and Friday is all the tiny ones so they only meet once a week), Halloween began on Wednesday and went all the way through Friday afternoon. Jeez. But everyone was so into it! I was kind of worried my excitement over the best holiday ever had not transfered over but it did! Everyone dressed up (except my teens... not that I was expecting much out of their angsty faces) and lots of kids brought treats and essays and stories.
I had so much fun showing them movies and taking pictures and having our first little party of the year.
I was really grateful for Halloween. I'd been feeling kind of like a teacher-failure for the first few months because some of my classes just weren't getting it. When Ben and I came last year, we were taking over classes in the middle of the year and I just got lucky by having really bright students who were, for the most part, very well-behaved.
But this year... ugh. Some of the kids just make me want to go nuts. I don't even like being anything but fun and sweet, so I really resent them for forcing me into this disciplinarian role. But it's gotten better. So when Halloween rolled around and all the kids were so excited and happy, it made me feel like I was doing something right. So I feel good about school again, but I did lose my mind when our administrator told me Monday was Russian Independence Day (because they were dependent on...?) so NO SCHOOL!
Ben and I had our sweet friends Grigor and Granush over for dinner and Granush and I made pasta carbonara (I had promised Grigor I'd make it for him because it's his favorite dish), but I still feel like I can't nail this recipe. I don't know what it is! If any of you have a good recipe, please send it along, because I love this dish so much but I just can't replicate the way it tastes when I order it in a restaurant. So frustrating.
Also, I forgot to mention in my last post that I finished reading/listening to Gone Girl and I HIGHLY recommend it! It was such a juicy read and kept me loads of company while Ben was back in the states. Since Ben was abroad while I was reading it, every time we would skype I would fill him in on what was going on. For the first half of the book, I really thought one thing and then BAM! SIR-TWIST-A-LOT! Just really exciting and unpredictable and though I wasn't extraordinarily pleased with the ending (I thought it felt a tad rushed), overall I had a really great time reading it.
I was telling Ben's mom on Skype the other day that I've felt kind of lost in the world of books since I graduated from college--which is odd because what I primarily studied was literature. But because for the last four years I've read so many great things and so many collections (classes and semester devoted to just Hawthorne and Poe and Joyce and Didion and the transcendentalists and the women writers and the Steinbecks and the Eggers and blalallaahahahha) and while studying literature in such a deep way was so profoundly rewarding and excellent, I also stopped reading for like... fun. And I'd always read for fun. But college just gets to you at the end and when I graduated I just didn't know what to do with myself.
So I guess I'm in this new stage of reading--I can read whatever I want. I can read the books from the New York Times Bestsellers list. I can read the books that Cosmo recommends. Or my mom. Or Ben's mom. I guess this doesn't sound all that revolutionary now that I'm typing it out, but it felt revolutionary for me.
Anyway, so I'm going to end this entry now with some pics from school and I hope all of you had an awesome Halloween. Cheers!