Sunday, November 22, 2009

Halloween and RIP Center School

Here's a few pictures from our small Halloween celebration, but Lynsie and Jill have most of the other pictures on their cameras. After browsing Wikipedia, learning about holidays around the world, I've decided that Halloween is the one cool holiday that the United States pretty much owns. Everything else is pretty standard, but I want to kiss whoever came up with the idea of putting on crazy costumes and demanding candy from every door you care to knock on. Go us! Nobody else really celebrates like we do, if at all. So Halloween in Ukraine was pretty low key. The parents requested not to have the kids wear costumes at school because they're so hard to get ahold of, so we just painted faces and they came trick-or-treating to the teachers' room.

Jill, Lynsie, and I are the three lucky teachers at Center School. Center School just opened up this semester, so we were given bare walls to work with--an empty canvas. We worked our butts off making the place feel less cold and sterile, making decorations for the floors and walls, and putting together the teachers' room. Halfway through the semester, they decided to move the school to a new location. We really adored this one and spent so much time making it a fun place for the kids (ok, and for us), so the change of venue was quite unwelcome. The reason for the move: Center school, like most of the other schools, is located on the first floor of a large apartment building (it's pretty common to have a business or something on the bottom floor). The tenants of the building decided that they didn't like having a school there. No, it wasn't a problem with excessive noise. No, it wasn't a problem with too many people in the halls. Our school is only open for four hours a day, and if a regular business moved into our place, there would be people coming and going all day long. They just didn't like having a school there. The tenants got together and signed a petition, so we're out. I told my host sister about the situation, and she matter-of-factly explained, "Oh, somebody paid off those people to sign that. It was probably another business who wanted your location. Happens all the time." Yay for corruption! So before we packed all our decorations and supplies into boxes, we had to document our dear school. Rest in peace, Center School!

Welcome to Little America!

Jill's awesome hand-print tree.

Opening room/Classroom 1.

Classroom 2 of 3.

The teachers' room! Our home away from home.

View from the loft.
The loft. Yes, that's a bed.

Work space, with Hugh Jackman on the wall to distract us.

Supplies closet, past crafts, and our cubbies.

I know we were spoiled to have a school with a bed and stuff, but it's going to be rough starting over in a new location. My enthusiasm for school decorations has fizzled out, I'm afraid.

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