Since Christmas break, there has been a virus going around the village. There have been days when fewer than half of my students have been at school. One week about a quarter of the students were in attendance. Thus far, I have dodged the germs. I'm not really sure how what with getting sneezed on, coughed on, hugged by runny-nosed little ones, and drinking from the community water jug at the house. Teaching and living with elementary-aged students makes it impossible to not share germs.
Well, it was another frigid day at school followed by another 3-hour dance lesson in just-as-frigid a dance hall. I went for a quick 30-minute run after dance, and while running, I noticed that my chest felt a little tight. As the evening has gone on, my throat and head have begun hurting ever so slightly. But the kicker is that achy-ick that settles between my shoulder blades when I am coming down with something. I am praying that it is nothing....
I've written previously about how loud the Georgians are -- how that, if I didn't know better, I would think that they are always angry and yelling at each other. Well, today I witnessed angry Georgians. Wow.
The second, smaller school that is on the other side of the village is closing. And not by choice. The Ministry of Education is closing the school because there are only about 50 students there. Two of the classes were closed this week, and the word is, that the rest will close at the end of this school year. Most of the students will be coming to my school -- we already have the four fifth-graders whose class was cut. But the teachers from that school are going to be out of jobs. They want to come to my school and teach -- and they told my school director today that they should be given some of my colleagues' teaching hours. That demand was not met with the generosity that is usually characteristic of my colleagues. Let me just say that there was a lot of shouting, pointed fingers emphasizing each word in vehement disagreement.
It is quite a problem -- the government, by closing that school, is putting about 20 teachers out of work. The added students at my school are not going to make it necessary to split the grades into sections. So if the out-of-work teachers get some hours at my school, they will be taking hours away from my colleagues. Having a job in Georgia is a coveted position -- and although a teacher's salary is minimal, it is still money.
My school director sat for a while with her head in her hands. I wouldn't want to be in her position.
The hand-sweaters I knitted may be one of my best ideas. I wear them all the time, and they work great. Taking them off is the worst -- especially if I am somewhere cold. Oh, wait -- that's everywhere but the kitchen!
Tea and I were sitting in the kitchen this evening having tea and talking. She was sitting close to the door that goes into the living room, and her chair was holding the door partly shut. "Our grandmother" wanted to go through the door, and because of her girth, was having a hard time. She almost tipped Tea over as she squeezed past. Tea said, "Uuuuf - how large is her backside!!!" We laughed and laughed -- I thought Tea would really fall out of her chair from laughing so hard!
And here's a little tip for the day: if you have cats, don't leave fried fish on the table unattended....that is, if you want to eat the fish.