The good:

I’m putting the family Netflix account to good use and getting the monies worth watching stuff. my crockpot is wonderful. I can’t begin to put into words how much better this had made my day to day life. Just being able to control something and to know what I’m having for lunch has helped incredibly. My kids tell me my Hungarian is better than the last teacher’s Hungarian. While I’m happy they think it’s okay, I don’t know enough to order at restaurants or hold a conversation or anything like that. But at least it’s improving. I have my residency permit, insurance card, and health insurance and I got paid last week. It seems like most new teachers are waiting until November to get paid so I think this is pretty lucky. I love my 6th graders. They’re absolutely wonderful and I’m so thankful for this class. My wifi always works now. I haven’t had any problems with it in a long time.

Hajni told me yesterday that she would call the school and find out how to fix the 3rd and 4th grade situation. She asked me what types of things I had attempted with them and said maybe if kids can’t behave they just don’t come to my class. I suggested maybe having a Hungarian in the classroom even just a few times would help. Hopefully she is able to make some things happen there.

I have finally started my teaching practice; only 19 more hours to go. I asked the school I’m going through if I could use my work house for the 20 teaching hours I need and I didn’t get a positive answer. Super annoying, at this point I have worked over 120 hours at school. I hope doing this online teaching at least leads to a job with them. that would be nice.

I spent Saturday in Debrecen with 3 other CETP teachers and it was good to see them and the city. I spent Sunday in Nyiregyhaza with Ani just commiserating. She and I have similar views and interests in my perspective so it’s always good seeing her. Introverts for the win.

This weekend I’m going to Budapest, I know, I know, again. This weekend is special though as three of us roommates from orientation week are getting together to go wedding dress shopping for one of us. Lindsey is planning her wedding from abroad and I’m excited to help her with her big day. Next weekend, Jena and I are going to Kosovo and Macedonia and the following weekend my mom is coming for a week to go to Romania and explore more of Hungary with me. I’m very excited about all of this. And also for mom to bring me some sweaters.

Janos continues to give me food all the time and it’s really good. One of the teacher’s husbands owns a salon and he cut my hair last week and I’m pretty happy with it. One of the kid’s had a birthday today and found me in the hall to give me a serving of the treat his mom had made for his class.


the bad:

I have no idea how often to grade or what to grade or anything. I feel like I could somewhat easily walk right into a classroom in the states and run it fairly well. But the rules are so different here and I just don’t know what to do about grading. I still feel overwhelmed and I wish that my teaching certificate had been more help preparing for this. My lesson with the 6th grade completely flopped today and they thought it was weird. But they still said thanks teacher because they know I’m trying to do interesting things for them.

Public tranport continue to make me want to go home or at least to the city, something I never thought I would say. It takes me an hour on my bike to get to the train station so this isn’t really a good option in my opinion. I arrive sweaty and I don’t really want to head to my destination sweaty. This means I don’t go anywhere  (or come home) on Sundays or I have accepted I’ll have to pay the 5,000 forint for a taxi. To put this in perspective, my monthly bus pass was 9,000 forint.

In addition to not having an oven, today I discovered that I also don’t have a can opener. It took a solid 20 minutes to open the can of beans I was using to make dinner with. There was 6 teachers before me, how on earth did no one leave a can opener??? I also had to buy a knife because I only had a bread knife and that wasn’t any good for my daily use. Other teachers have also found a lack of kitchen ware in their places as well. We’ve decided people must take things during the summer break and keep them.

About 4 of my coworkers speak more English than “hello.” This is lonely and also just kind of sad. I really wish I could talk to them as they seem like super nice people. The ones that can speak English I really like. I can’t get my Hungarian bank account to let me do anything with my money other than withdraw it from the ATM or use my card at the store. I need to pay my credit card bill with it but I am unable to send money to my american account or pay my bill directly. I really hate this problem and I’m not sure what to do about it. But I guess I’ll figure it out eventually.


the ugly:

I grind my teeth all the time. My stomach is always upset. Im just so stressed out. Sometimes I feel like a good cry would help but the tears don’t really come. My headache is terrible.

I’m basically living in Alexandria or Williamsburg without a car. And sometimes the bus comes when it’s scheduled and sometimes it doesn’t. It can take 40 minutes on the bus to go somewhere 12 minutes away, something I understand is pretty normal but I’m still adjusting to. The bus goes about five times from my town to the next on Sundays. Not exactly ideal. And on Sundays it’s particularly unreliable, the schedule says it should come but it doesn’t show.

my third and fourth grade class is an actual nightmare. Gabi yelled at the kids again for me today. I hope this helps soon. I have almost cried a few times in class but instead give the kids tests and make a few of them cry instead. Too bad it doesn’t seem to be working. Neither does the other teachers yelling at them or writing their parents or giving them tests. I don’t know how to make them listen. I see these classes a few times a week when I’m in the room with a Hungarian teacher. Depending on the class and the teacher, the kids are very good. It is beyond frustrating to watch them be quiet and listen for one person and be complete nightmares for me. I absolutely hate going to gym class. I don’t really understand the point of me going to it but I’ve stopped asking the question why and have just been doing it instead. It’s still very difficult. At the beginning of the year, I was under the impression I would be with an English and Hungarian speaking coworker for the classes. Boy was I wrong. These are just super hard for no reason. Its super difficult to try and play a game with 1-4th graders. The entire class, not just the ones who are learning English. It’s just beyond frustarting for me.

My headache I’ve had every day for the past four years grows worse daily. The 3rd and 4th graders aggravate it so badly between their noise and my yelling at them. I’m ready to throw in the towel with these classes. And my headaches been so much worse than normal. all I want to do is sleep I feel so awful. It’s probably the worst it has ever been. A family invited me for dinner last weekend so I didn’t go to Slovakia with Ani when she invited me to join her. But last weekend came and went and I didn’t hear anything more about the dinner. So that was pretty sad and one of my lower moments here.

The director of the program sent me an email last week checking up on me. I didn’t answer her until today because I couldn’t think of what to tell her. Do I tell her everything is going well or do I tell her the truth and that I look at other countries every day and wonder I didn’t go somewhere that they speak Spanish or that I had things to do or that was at least warm or by the coast? I ended up telling her that I’m not having that great of a time and she suggested maybe switching schools. I don’t really want to do that as at least I know how it is here and maybe somewhere else could be worse. And I really like the other teachers and (some of) the students. I just don’t want to be wishing away most of the days to skip forward to the weekend. So I guess I’ll have to think that over. I also find myself telling Hungarians that I’m happier than I am when they ask me. I’m not really sure why. I guess I just don’t want them to feel badly that I’m not loving everything even if it’s things that they can’t help. Like two weekends ago when the train stopped for hours and the lady wouldn’t give me a discount on the way home. Those types of things could happen anywhere and really aren’t that bad. I can shrug those off and forget about them.

Judit asked me on Sunday if I’m happy with my decision to come here. Earlier that day, I had rode my bike half way to Nyiregyhaza before realizing my tire was sort of flat. On the way home, it was so flat I could feel the rim bouncing agains the ground. My answer to her was just that somedays are very hard and some days are very good. I really don’t know. I don’t know if things will get better or not but I sure hope so. I know there’s lots of things that I can’t change. Hungary isn’t going to run more buses on Sundays just because I hate it. I can’t magically create things to do in my town. But this week has been so exhausting I haven’t even made myself go to the gym. I’ve been getting in bed about 7:00 at night because I’m just so tired and feel so sick from my head I can’t do anything else. I really don’t want to go to another school or country and start over but I also don’t really want to do this for 7 more months either. I just feel pretty overwhelmed, like the token English speaker, forgotten about, and pointless. I haven’t made myself go to the gym all week because I just can’t. it took me the better part of three days to type this post so at least I’m starting somewhere by finishing it. I knew this would be hard when I came here but it doesn’t feel hard so much as never ending. I really hope it gets better at some point. I’m finally living my dream and it’s just not at all what I expected right now.


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