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Peace Corps
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formality: No official stuff here! The opinions, facts, and babbles on this page are the product of my wandering mind and have no official connection to the US Peace Corps.
notes from Bulgaria
Tuesday, 30 May 2006
Frank Sinatra Almost Made Me Cry

With less than three more weeks here, the ends are beginning. Today was my last adult class for Intermediates, and the last Elementary class is tomorrow. The final song in the Intermediate textbook (yes we have fabulous textbooks with fabulous songs, thanks to last year's project) was My Way, by Frank Sinatra. And while the cassette tape was playing and my students were glued to the words, struggling to understand them and sometimes succeeding, I started to get nostalgiac. And so I will copy/paste the lyrics right here:

My Way, by Frank Sinatra

And now, the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain.
My friends, I'll say it clear;
I'll state my case of which I'm certain.

I've lived a life that's full -
I've travelled each and every highway.
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets? I've had a few,
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course -
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew,
When I bit off more than I could chew,
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried,
I've had my fill - my share of losing.
But now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way -
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way.

For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself - Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way.


The only thing that doesn't apply is the theme of the song, the my way part. If I were to rewrite this song to describe exactly the way I feel right now about the last two years, I wouldn't have to change a word except the "my" in "my way. Instead of "My Way" I would say "A little bit my way and a little bit your (or their, depending on whom I would decide to address the song to) way and sometimes we found a better way and sometimes we didn't, but always--or almost always--we found a way." Except that wouldn't sound very good, which is why I'm not a songwriter and Sinatra was.

Tomorrow's final song for my Elementary students is "Leaving on a Jet Plane." I don't know if I'll be able to hold back the tears this time!

Meanwhile, the projects keep on moving along. I think I finally gained some respect from the most rascally of my actors today, and this is how I know:

There's this one ninth grader who has recently decided that it is purely hysterical to repeatedly tap me on the right shoulder while standing to my left (and vice-versa), which of course after the first few times I obviously caught on to and either ignored him or looked in his direction to make a face at him or say "haha." (This is after he got bored of standing next to me and imitating my every move, he's moving up in the world.) Well today instead of ignoring his antics, after he tapped me on the right shoulder and ran to my left, I looked to the left and then tapped HIM on the left...which is the direction he looked in. Gotcha. Well of course this is nothing exciting or even worth repeating...except that's not what the 10th grade boys thought. Once one started "Did you see what she just did?" and repeated the whole complex sequence of events to his friend, who laughed and repeated it to the next boy...Well, I've never been a 16-year-old boy so it's taken me a while, but I guess I've figured out how to capture their attention and respect. Hm. If only I had a whoopie cushion. Anyways there are just a few more days left of rehearsals until the big day!

I might have mentioned earlier at some point that as one of my final projects/gifts to the community, I started translating some recipes that I've made for colleagues and friends and neighbors over the years. The plan is to print them out and distribute them before I leave. Well I've got so much to do and so little time, AND my students are clamoring for extra credit...Big 100 watt light bulb!! Make my most advanced class translate the recipes for me! For extra credit of course. So tomorrow they will each be given 2 recipes each for translation--to be delivered on disk, of course. A friend from my adult course suggested an additional scheme that I fully intend to implement: the translation itself is for the equivalent of a B. For an A, they have to actually make one of their recipes and bring it to class. Mmmm! And on that delicious note, I'm off on my eternal (but not so eternal! only for a few more weeks!) race to take a shower and wash my dishes before the water turns off.

Posted by jess at 8:28 PM EEST | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

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