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Being a KID isn’t always easy, but it is always AWESOME!

For the past few years, I have been navigating through the world of the mind.  I changed my focus to psychology when I began failing my undergraduate physiology class.  Even though that transition was one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through (it has definitely been added to my list of traumatic experiences), I’m so glad I did it!  Since then, I have gotten my Bachelor’s in Psychology and now I am working on my Master’s in Global...

Happy Halloween!

In America (and a few other countries around the world), October 31st is a day to dress up in fun costumes, put on extraordinary makeup, and gather candies from neighbors.  In Ukraine however, October 31st is an ordinary day of getting dressed and going to school and/or work.  Thanks to Western influence (and awesome Peace Corps volunteers) Ukrainians have recently started to get into the Halloween spirit!  Even though Halloween in Ukraine does not involve Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood, children...

… and the adventure begins again!

This first month of school has been a total rollercoaster of emotions!  Between first day jitters, stress from organizing too many clubs, and getting a handle on the emotions of teenagers (or at least trying to); it has taken me the whole month to get back into the groove of things.  During my free time (which wasn’t much), I enjoyed reading a few books that my school got from Darien Book Aid.  I already finished up Write Before Your Eyes...

Літо!

Now that summer has officially ended (the first day of Fall was last month), I am very excited to share my summer adventures with everyone! My summer began with a two-day celebration! The first event honored the teachers.  We got flowers from our students, awards from our school directors, and had a special lunch.  Since there were no more classes to teach, we were able to relax and enjoy our free time together.  We talked (without students being present), ate,...

School’s Out for Summer!

As of Friday (May 26) the 2016-2017 school year at the Opishnya Specialized School has finally come to an end! The end of the year was marked with multiple celebrations ranging from presentations and 4th form graduation, to the “Last Bell”. The festivities kicked off with a presentation/awards ceremony for students and teachers.  This day is known as the “Day of School”.  This day honors those who work in the Ukrainian school system and the students they help.  Below are...

Springtime for … Ukrainians (and the American)

Spring is Ukraine is truly the most wonderful time of the year (I may be a little biased): snow melts, green grass appears, and the birds and flowers finally make an appearance after hiding for months! I have been kept VERY busy this spring! Between teaching 18 classes a week, running 3 clubs, tutoring, and getting my 3rd cold (which turned into a sinus infection) since moving to Ukraine, I have had little time to relax.        ...

Gummy vs. Candy Challenge

A few days ago (in between lesson planning and teaching) my sister and I stumbled across a hilarious YouTube channel: Josh Darnit.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you should really go check it out.  I have used several of these videos in my classes, so I can say that students love them and the videos are educational (i.e. they are good for learning English). Since I’ve gotten inspiration from YouTube videos showing various challenges, this week’s...

My First Christmas in Ukraine!

This year’s Christmas season began on the day I arrived in Opishnya, December 7th.  The seventh of December is an important day for Americans, myself, and Ukrainians, but for very different reasons.  It is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance day, my Swearing-In day, and Saint. Catherine’s day.  In Ukraine, St. Catherine’s day marks the start of the Christmas season.  Saint Catherine of Alexandria is a Christian Saint, who died in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius.  St....

Happy Thanksgiving!

On December 7, 2016, I swore-in as a Peace Corps volunteer.  I will be teaching English in Ukraine for the next two years (and I can’t imagine spending the next two years any other way).  I will be spending this week: observing classes, helping with research, deciding on my future Ukrainian classes (literature and language), and giving presentations.  Even though I won’t be teaching any classes, I am excited to do what I can before the winter break!  As I...

My New Home, Ukraine

I decided that I wanted to become Peace Corps volunteer in the 10th grade.  At the time, my main goal was to become a traveling nurse.  After changing majors as an undergrad and then going to school to get my masters, the thought of serving in the Peace Corps seemed to be a fleeting dream.  If you had told me that I would be moving across the world within the next ten years, I would have said that you were...