Monday, July 23, 2012

Young love. Which involves Z.

Topic of today: young love.

Why this topic, you may ask? No, it's not a result of springtime, flowers, attractive European men or any combination of the above.  Rather, it's because of the little romances that have been going on in our school lately. Let me explain.

Sofia and Artur: Well, I already talked a lot about this little joy in my last post on Artur.  We'll just sum it up with lover's quarrels, constant hugging, and overall best friends.
Precious right?
Alysa and Sima: While Alysa is involved in Sofia and Artur's love life, she's also got quite the story of her own going on at the same time.  Sima is a little rogue who recently joined ILP, and has a bit of a rebel side.  Sima dotes on Alysa, and man.  She works that to her advantage.

 For example, before class starts or while they're in the other room eating snack, she's got no problem letting Sima spin her around, feed or, or just generally flirt while they're together. But once they're in class and around the other kids. No way Jose.  Alysa will flat out ignore the poor lovesick chap.  When Sima gets all pouty if he doesn't' get to sit by Alysa, she'll pretend to not even notice and instead talk to Artur or Sofia. Poor kid.

This little whiplash treatment results in quite the lovers quarrels for Alysa and Sima.  As you can see. 

They alternate between flirting and looking like this about every 10 seconds. They're giving me whiplash!
Z and Greta: As for Z. Oh Z. He brought a friend to class today, to do the trial period for ILP and see if she wants to join. Her name is Greta. Oh, and did I mention Z loves her?
This is Greta. She's adorable, in case you can't tell.
 In class today, every time Z would start acting up or being a punk, I would simply have to threaten moving him away from Greta and he'd quiet down.  Every time we went into a new class, he announced he had a friend, and was it okay if he sat by Greta?  It was super cute.

Which brings us to our next topic. Z.

Z's real name is Žygimantas, although we're not actually allowed to call him that.  That last teachers nicknamed him "Z", and the name just stuck! Many a time, I've called him Žygimantas only to be met with a scowl and stubborn declaration of "that's NOT my name! It's Z!"  Oh, Žygimantas.

For starters, let me give you some background on this kid - he's an only child of Sylvia and Lyman, both of whom are wonderful people and great parents.  Silvia and Lyman mainly speak English to Z, so he has A LOT of language stored away.  He's definetly one of the best speakers in our school. This little tidbit, combined with the fact that his family actually lived in Edinburgh for a while makes quite a hilarious combination - the kid barks out random English phrases all the time, and in a slight Scottish accent to boot! It's a hilarious combination.

Truthfully, I could probably do 3 whole posts on Z's quirks, attitudes and stories, but I'll try to highlight the best I can :)

1)  Z loves his puppies. He has 3 puppies, all of which rotate in coming to school with him.  None of these puppies have names however - they're simply "puppy".  Now, these puppies are rather temperamental creatures, and sometimes do the strangest things.

For example, in one of Areil's classes when a bear came out, puppy started screaming and barking like mad and chased it away!

Other times, you'll be teaching  a lesson when Z will suddenly announce that puppy wants a bone.  With other kids, you could probably just wave it off and continue with the lesson. With Z, he will continue to yell about his puppy wanting a bone until you stop the class, draw a bone on a piece of paper, and hand it to the dang puppy.

Yesterday for another example, I was teaching my lesson when suddenly... puppy flopped over on his side.  I continued talking, and Z quickly shushed me saying "Teacher, puppy is sleeping".  I nodded at him and continued teaching, trying to talk quietly.  If I ever got over a whisper though, Z would angrily say "TEACHER! Quiet! Puppy is sleeping!" The worst was when the other kids got too loud for "puppy's" liking and Z announced "QUIET!!! MY PUPPING IS STILL SLEEPING!!!"

2)  One thing you have to understand about Z. He isn't a bad kid, or ever meaning to be disruptive.  Rather, he's just quite an emotional little squirt.  Any emotion he feels - be is joy, anger, sadness or frustration - he feels at the absolutely peaked possibility.  There is not middle ground with this kid - he's either soaring high, or rock bottom. Always.
From this:
to this:
to this. In a matter of seconds.
3)  We're not really sure where he picked this up from, but in his mind, being called a "baby" is the epitome of insults. If he ever feels you are being too silly, he'll give you a patronizing look and say "Teacher, you're a baby". Considering that we have to act silly to entertain hordes of children all day, we're constantly being chewed out by the kid for being a "baby". 

4)  Another thing - Z is incapable of smiling for pictures.  Seriously.  See for yourself:

Getting closer


Sometimes, the most he can manage is this awkward eyebrow raise thing. Close enough.

5)  On that eyebrow note, Z has none. No really.  We've inspected closely many times - the kids has no eyebrows.
Observe. There's a slight redness where his eyebrows should be, but that's it!
This little discover has led to some interesting class periods.  One time, we were having a "day at the doctor" and doing surgery on the kids. At one point, Z was on the table for surgery and I asked the kids what we should operate on.  They decided to operate on his leg, arm... and eventually eyebrows.
"So very PAINFUL, Teacher!"
Another time in class, Bailey was talking with the kids about their face and having them each point to their eyes, nose, ears, etc.  At one point, she said "point to your eyebrows", and which time Z started feeling around his forehead and said "Teacher, where are my eyebrows?" Bailey just laughed.

6)  Since Z is such a little drama queen, we've had a couple rough spots with him.  At one point during the semester, Z latched onto Ignes and decided he was his best friend. Ignes, however, had quite the power struggle with Z and would proclaim "NO! I'm NOT your friend!" This resulted in quite the drama with Z, and many a emotional meltdown during classtime.  I was worried we'd have to call a psychiatrist when Z started crying and saying "I don't have any friends" every time Ignes looked at him. Oi.

7)  Basically, he's the single most entertaining child we have.

8) Z's parents are just as amazing as he is, and frequently invite us to go on outings with them. Elise and I went on a trip to Palanga with them, Bailey and Janese went to Rumšiškės, all that jazz.  Plus, Silvija gives us yummy vegetables from their greenhouse :)

9)  He refuses to sing ANY of the songs in opening. Unless he's yelling, that is.  But singing? Nope.

10)  Probably the GREATEST story we have about Z is from one of the days that he got super power hungry and bossy. Here's the context: basically, Janese was teaching the kids how to sing "Row, Row, Row your boat" when Z suddenly marched to the front of the room, pointed at Janese and said "No more teacher! You can't help them!" and proceeded to become some sort of a Nursery rhyme Nazi.

While standing in front of the room, he started commanding the children in his little accent voice, saying "You need to learn the song!" He would point to each child in particular, make them sing the song individually, then force the whole class to sing together.  When he felt like a child wasn't singing loudly enough, he would walk up to them, put his hands on their shoulders, and have a little conversation that went something like this:

Z: Artur, did you sing the song?
Artur: *Shakes head sadly*
Z: NO! No you didn't sing the song! You must sing the song, or your parents will never love you! Artur, they will hit you!
Janese: Okay, everyone on the wall!
*Goda starts to roll her eyes and walk away*
Z: GODA!! On the wall!
*Z goes up to Goda*
Z: Goda. Did you sing the song?
Goda: *Chanting* Teacher Z, Teacher Z, Teacher Z
Z: NO! Listen to me, Goda! Did you sing the song! You must sing the song, or your parents will never love you. They will never hug you again, and they will hit you!

And so on. It was hilarious.  We're not sure where he gets this sort of stuff, but it sure makes good material for us to laugh about!  The best part about this story? Janese captured it all on film :) Unfortuantely, I can't get the video to download, but here's a link to it!!
Teacher Z and the "Row, Row, Row your boat" escapades


Pretty much every night we get done with teaching and go to dinner, we end up sitting there and swapping "Z Stories" and hearing about what we did that day. Here's some more golden quotes:

11) "Teacher, I am not a baby. I am big. YOU are a baby"


12)  Z: "Where's my present? I want a prize. When do I get a prize teacher? Etc, etc"
Bailey: "You need to have patience."
Z: I have patience!
Bailey: "That's debatable."
Z: "Hmph!"


13)  Bailey: "The bear's coming! What do we do?"
Z: "We shoot it with the gun."
Bailey: "But what if we don't have a gun?"
Z: "I don't know..."
Bailey: "What do we do if the bear is coming and we don't have a gun??"
Z: "I know! We buy a gun!"


14) "I don't WANT to have fun!"
NOTE: He pretty much says this every day now.  He really doesn't want to have fun apparently. The puppy does, though.

15)  Janese: "Well, lets dance!"
Z: "What is dance?"
Janese: "Like this..."
Z: "Oh, I don't like dancing."


16)   Z: "Teacher... I've never been to outer space before..."

17)  Bailey: "Come on, mates!"
Z: "We're not mates."
Bailey: "Z, do you even know what that means?"
Z: "No."
Bailey: "It means we're friends. Are we friends?"
Z: "Yes, we're friends."
Bailey: "So can we be mates?"
Z: "Yes, we can be mates."


18)  Z: "Teacher, what is this?"
Bailey: "It's a green ring. You're like the Green Lantern!"
Z: "Who's that?"
Bailey: "He's a superhero. You're like a superhero!"
Z: "Yes! I'm a superhero. I was a superhero when I was a big boy!"
Bailey: "Can I be your sidekick?"
Z: "Yes!"
Areil: "I'd like to see that"


19)  Z:  "Teacher, my dog hates kisses"

20)  *One day, Areil was trying to explain something to Gerdas, and it was a little complicated. Z was butting in, so Areil said...*
Areil: "Z, the other kids don't speak English as well as you do."
Z: *huffs* "What?! I AM English, Teacher!!"


Annnd... that's Z in a nutshell. Love that kid. So very, very much.   

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