I feel numb, born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun

The less we say about it the better

David Byrne, The Talking Heads – from This Must Be The Place
sculptureAre you as surprised as I that the Emojipedia exists? It promises to deliver, if one subscribes, the latest in emoji news.  🤐  Each emoji (😭) has its own page where it’s described, its meaning(s) given, and cross-cultural as well as cross-platform information and images are provided.  😳

Last weekend I had intended to see some of the folk dancing that was part of the Zalaegerszeg 770 Festival, but I got hung up with final exam record keeping.  I’d been given directions by one teacher to an event, another teacher overheard the directions and began to override – that is provide better directions, in her opinion – teacher 1. And it became a battle of the better directions, which I discreetly separated myself from.  Strong opinions are fun to watch. One day we (I) got to talking about how much I like the pasta here – much of it is very thin and cooks quickly, which in a country without many resources and high nuclear energy costs, is important.  Well, that opened the discussion of whether Italy should receive all the credit it’s given for pasta, because, well, we have more of it here in Hungary.  Ah, let them have the credit, we’ll take the pasta. The discussion included instructions for making nokedli.

The last-minuteness of things here can also be humorous.  I found myself with my class in a room with a German class because some sort of competition was being held in my (and other classrooms) – and at the last moment they moved several classes around – when I pointed out the double-booking to the Assistant Principal who was responsible for it, he said – “no, no, no it’s rooms 113 and 114.  It’s fine.”  Well, it wasn’t – we were both booked for 114 – but it worked out. I learn far more about schedules, days off, how things work from the students than from the administration.

The other assistant principal brought me the contracts for next year and as I was signing four copies in English and five in Hungarian, she said, “your salary goes up after the fourth [or maybe I heard third?] year.” I didn’t reminder her of my age, but she’s aware of it.

Today was national teacher’s day and one student gave me some candies and two others brought me a flower. After classes the teachers gathered to celebrate those who were elected by the students as having the best sense of humor, being the most caring, etc. There were terrific cakes (there’s even a cake unique to Zala county), champagne, and soft drinks. The teacher who was voted the most caring came over afterwards to say hello and to tell me how much my presence has meant to the school and I wondered whether he’d meant that I’m giving some stability to what had been a chaotic situation.


I try to stay as far from US politics as I can, and I think some of my happiness is due to being so removed from one kind of reality, but the Facebook feed from friends can be disturbing.  Trump’s pulling out of the Paris treaty affects even my students.  They couldn’t believe it.  Many of them – 9th graders for the most part – show far more understanding of international relations and knowledge of treaties than does the U.S. president – and many in his employ.  Several students wondered whether the French President’s handshake snub caused the President to immediately dislike all things French, and I expect we’ll begin to hear that Trump will want to put up a wall between the U.S. and Quebec, we’ll hear the bleats for Freedom Fries, the boycotting of Brie.  My suspicions are the Republican Theoplutocrats will not withdraw support from Trump until he’s bullied through all their legislation; then they’ll have no use for him and Pence will replace – not an impeached president, but one who has been incapacitated and hospitalized.

The sense I get from here (this small corner of a very small nation) is that the world is laughing at the U.S. and at the same time terrified at what is unfolding.  I have the feeling that the tinderbox that was WWI, the maelstrom that was WWII is just a tweet away. This time the fascists are taking control in North America.

What A Day That Was

Well, I’m dressed up so nice
And I’m doin’ my best
And I’m startin’ over…
Startin’ over in another place

Lemme tell you a story
Big chief with a golden crown
He’s got rings on his fingers
And he walks up, up to the throne

He’s makin’ shapes with his hands
An’ don’t choo dare sit down
Now don’t choo dare jump back
And don’t choo dare stick out!

And on the first day, we had everything we could stand
Ooh we could have asked for more
And on the second day, we had nothing left to do
Ooh what a day that was.

Well there were 50,000 beggars
Roaming in the streets
They have lost all their possessions
They have nothing left to eat

Down come a bolt of lightning
Started an electrical storm
Starts a chain reaction
Go pull a fire alarm

I’m dreaming of a city
It was my own invention
I put the wheels in motion
A time for big decisions

And on the first day, we had everything we could stand
Ooh and then we let it fall
And on the second day, there was nothing else left at all
Oohh what a day that was.

Oh a day that was
Ooh that’s the way it goes
There’s a million ways to get things done
There’s a million ways to make things work out.

Well I’m going right through
And the light came down
And they’re roundin’ ’em up
from all over town

They’re movin’ forward and backwards
They’re movin’ backwards and front
And they’re enjoying themselves
Moving in every direction

So if you feel like you’re in a whirlpool
You feel like going home
And if you feel like talking to someone
Who knows the difference between right and wrong

And on the first day, we had everything we could stand
Ooh and then we let it all
And on the second day, there was nothing else left to do
Ooh what a day that was.

We’re going boom boom boom That’s the way we live
And in a great big room and That’s the way we live.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s