Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beginner's Luck

It’s been a bit of a crazy month. I feel like I celebrated twenty Georgian holidays in the past five weeks (and I was actually in Turkey for two of those weeks!) Throw in like fifteen parties (some birthday and some goodbye); a weekend of being sick in bed and of course, teaching, and that somehow is my excuse for why I haven’t blogged in so long. 

To be laconic (I like this word mainly because it rhymes with my last name), it was a wonderful month. It went by both slowly and quickly, was boring yet unforgettable. (And yes I’m aware the past month sounds like a Katy Perry song).

But do not fret ladies and gents- just because I haven’t been blogging on here, does not mean I haven’t been writing meticulous notes so that I can blog all about my adventures well after I’m home in America. After all, it’s not like I have a job set up or anything (eeek) I’ll have plenty of time to post lots and lots of stories (or at least two).

School has actually been extra insane but super hilarious recently. All my co-teachers (except for one) have pretty much thrown in the towel for the rest of the school year and let me do whatever I like with the class. I’ve come up with so many EFL games using a deck of ‘Scrabble Slam’ cards that I almost feel like I should call up Hasbro and ask if they want me to start an initiative for global learning.

While I like to use just the Scrabble Slam cards in class, Taylor recently gave me his Travel Scrabble set when he realized he couldn’t fit in his suitcase to take back to Canada. I thought Scrabble might be something nice for Nona to have in her English tutoring office so I gave her the set right before a lesson we had with the seventh grade.

All the seventh graders looked at the set in awe. They loved the tiny little bag that held all the letters, the shiny, multi-colored game board and they especially loved that the set came with a red pencil. Each student wanted to touch it and run their little fingers over the board.

After a good two minutes of, “Au mas, chven unda it’amashos” (Oh teacher, let’s play), Nona caved and I tried to explain the game as simply as possible.  Our seventh grade is split in to two levels (beginner and intermediate) so I simultaneously started to run a game of Scrabble Slam with the beginners, and a game of Scrabble with the intermediates (I’m telling you- I should work for Hasbro).

After figuring out the order of who would go first in Scrabble, Dato- the most eccentric and happy child in the universe- pulled seven letters out of the little letter bag. Now, Dato is a great kid but he’s never been a shining example of someone who studies English and actually does his homework. Thus you can imagine my shock when Dato pulled the letters, N, N, A, A, A, S and B out of the bag, thought for a second, and then put down the word ‘Bananas’ on the board.

Yes that’s right. A child who just started learning English in 2009 managed to get like a 100 letter score on the first word he ever played in Scrabble.

Now, if you’re not a Scrabble player let me explain how exceptional this happens to be. I’ve been playing Scrabble for years (don’t I sound really cool) and I’ve never, ever been able to use all seven of my letters- let alone on a double word score and let alone the first time I ever played Scrabble. 

I was so shocked and proud I think I screamed a little. Keep in mind, I was the only person in the classroom who had ever played Scrabble before, so no one saw it absolutely incredible that someone could use all seven of their letters in the first round of the game.

Dato just looked at me after that with the biggest smile on his face and said, “Meeshel, me ‘bananas’ write. Var me kargi bitchi?” (Am I a good boy?)

I only wish I could explain to Dato what a lucky bitchi he is indeed.

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