Since Oz and I have been in Ceadîr-Lunga, we have already started couple of clubs, but would like to add even more. Here are our announcements for the debut of the first two clubs, which are held at the American Corner in town. For those who don’t know, American Corners are partnerships between an embassy’s public affairs section and a host institution (in Ceadîr-Lunga this is the town library). The purpose of the corners are to provide access to modern technology like computers, internet, printers, etc., and to serve as a place where the community can get reliable, current info about the U.S. They’re also just a great place to hang out and borrow books and dvd’s in English 🙂
The first club, held every Wednesday from 3-4pm, is “Extra Help.” This club arose out of the community’s need for extra help in English in various forms. Students who need help with homework, grammar, and conversation practice are the norm, but other people from the community who need a native to look over business proposals, resumes, or translations can come here and receive free aid. I run this club with Oz and the Ceadîr-Lungan American Corner’s director – Ludmila.
The second club, which is gaining popularity exponentially, is called “Learning Through Leisure.” This club begins at 4pm and usually ends at 5pm, but can go longer if we are watching a film or having a particularly good time. The students in Ceadîr-Lunga are quite bright, and suffer/enjoy a very demanding workload. For instance, besides English students also study Russian, Romanian, and either Bulgarian or Gagauzian as they choose. Due to such a heavy, stressful schedule, I wanted to create a place where students could practice conversational English in a relaxed environment separate from school. At “Learning Through Leisure”/LTL, we share food while playing games, debating controversial, interesting topics, commenting on music lyrics, and analyzing and discussing films.
They’ve definitely got the hang of Apples to Apples 😀
With the success of these two clubs, we’re eager to make even more extracurricular activities available to students and the community. One of the ideas for a club was actually brought on by comments made from students. A lot of people think that Oz is Bulgarian, and are surprised to learn that 1) he is American, and that 2) he is of Latino heritage, and was born in Nicaragua. Once students learned that he was obviously fluent in Spanish and that I can speak as well, they were asking if we could teach Spanish!
Haha, I don’t see Bulgarian. Oz is bit dubious about it well 😛
Encouraged by students, teachers, and even community members, we are moving ahead with a Spanish Language and Culture Club. We will work together as co-teachers to instruct not only the language, but also introduce cultural aspects like food (ingredients permitting here!) and dance as well. We’ll be covering all Latin American countries, as well as Spain, which seems to be a very popular country here in Moldova, both for practical and personal reasons. A lot of Moldovans travel to Spain for vacation, but even more are interested in working or studying there. I think this may be due in part because of the fact that there are a few Spanish businesses in Chișinău.
There is debate over where and when to host the club, however. To handle this as fairly as possible, students and community members of Ceadîr-Lunga only, please vote below!
My background is in both English and music education, and I would like to use this to the advantage of my students. I have already spoken with the director of the lyceum, and she has agreed to let me hire someone to tune the school’s piano and give FREE voice and piano lessons to students who cannot afford to attend the music school here in town. Students, please look for the sign up sheet next to the class schedule this week. See me for permission slips! A parent/guardian must sign the permission slip before the director will allow me to teach you after school! Once all permission slips are collected and the piano is tuned, the schedule will be finalized and lessons will begin. 🙂
In addition to these lessons, I have a dream that I hope to make a reality. My principal instrument is voice, and back home in Florida I led and participated in choruses. While choral music doesn’t seem particularly exciting to those of a younger generation, I would like to show my female students just how much fun, exciting, and enlightening chorus participation can be – especially my style, haha :). My dream is take a group of young women from Ceadîr-Lunga and teach them a variety of song styles (yes, not just “boring” choral music!) while simultaneously discussing women’s issues in-between rehearsing. The songs would promote women in general, and gender equality in particular. We would perform first at Guboglo Lyceum in January, then have a performance for the Ceadîr-Lunga and Comrat community in February, and finally…a grand performance in Chișinău on International Women’s Day (Sunday, March 8th). Performances for Comrat/Ceadîr-Lunga and Chisinau would only take place if the group is strong enough for a successful performance. If we work and play hard together though, I think we can pull it off! Perhaps, if we are good enough, we may get an invitation to perform in a very important place in the capital. I will try to negotiate having expenses for the travel to Chisinau be paid for by the U.S. embassy or a non-profit organization, or we may even charge for our performance in Comrat. In between songs, I would like girls to give short speeches or recite poetry that is uplifting and praising in nature. This is a chance for acting, so to speak. I also need artists to help with making signs to entice audiences, and translators to make sure our message is getting across to the people.
I have spoken to our director at Guboglo Lyceum, and she likes the idea but is hesitant to give a green light for us because she is unsure how we could pull off such a thing. Nothing like this has ever been done before, and she and I don’t know if there would be enough interest for a group.
We would need to meet and rehearse at least one, maybe two times a week. While we will be having fun in rehearsal, the purpose of the Women’s Club and Chorus is serious. The goal is to inspire and create changes for women in Ceadîr-Lunga and Moldova. Please, vote below to show interest!
Any other ideas for clubs, please list them in the comments section! Thank you, dear students – you are most loved! 🙂