Thursday, November 8, 2012

What would we do without Google?

Being a PCV means you assume the role of 'expert' lots of times when you shouldn't. However, sometimes, you need to just hold off answering until you have access to Google. And let me just say, I don't know what I would do without Google! My two most recent Google searches: "what are penguin arms called" and "parts of an ostrich". For those who care, penguins wings are called flippers and ostrich arms are classified as wings.
Today, the 7th graders finally got their new books. You know, its only two months into the school year and the Ministry just released which books they are using. The craziest part is their English books are the first books they have received, so teachers are having to use the old books until the new ones arrive, but are still expected to accomplish the same standards (aka finish the book) but in much less time. I don't think I could be a real teacher here. The penguins and ostriches tie in here. We started using the new book today and there was a fill-in-the-blank question about can and can't with penguins and flying (Penguins ________ fly.). The kids all knew penguins couldn't fly, but then we got into a discussion about what their arms are called. Are they wings? Aren't wings for flying? My counterpart wasn't even sure what they are officially called in Macedonian, so we couldn't even attempt to come up with a translation for the kids. I spent about 20 minutes of class sitting there thinking through what they would be called. They aren't exactly wings, but they aren't flippers. I wasn't sure. Then we brought up ostriches. They don't fly either, but they have wing-like arms. I think my counterpart and I were more curious than the kids were, but I was determined to find the answer, hence the Google search.
 I also had to be an expert on pronouncing numbers today. That doesn't sound too hard does it? Try it: ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, one hundred. How did you pronounce 30? Thirty or thirdy? Seventy or sevendy? Ninety or ninedy? They are written with a "t", so logically it would be a "t" sound, but it really is more of a "d". Which lead me to my current Google search of "pronounce numbers + english".  After lots of searching, my cconclusion is that people pronounce the numbers both ways. Everyone knows they are written with a "t" but the sound might be more of a "d". 
 My last Google search was about the popular "gangnam style". I have heard people talk about this, but due to my blockage of YouTube, I didn't actually know what this meant. (Clearly I don't know much about this since my Google search was for "gangham style" and Google had to correct me- gangnam style). This search came about by walking into a classroom of 7th graders where 5 of the girls were in the front of the room all doing some sort of dance. When asked what they were doing, they said they were doing the "style dance". I first checked out the Wikipedia article to learn about this and then, finally was able to watch a short clip of a video before it told me I couldn't. Apparently Gangnam style became popular in August. At this point, if I mentioned it to my parents, I think they could tell me what it was. That is how out of it I feel over here sometimes- when you parents know what a popular trend is and you don't. #peacecorpshardship# (I think this is a "cool" thing to do too- with the #s. I gotta show I have some street cred). Yes, that is what my girls were doing. Yes, I did then feel the need to practice in my room to see if I could do it. And yes, I do feel like a cool kid now that I know what this thing is.

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