Being an exchange student doesn’t just mean staying with a host family and attending class every day, but also giving back to the community when possible. The exchange students from the school went together to present interesting lectures about our national country’s cultures and language. It’s always a difficult thing to figure out what to present about American culture, because it has already spread globally, and we never know what our audience already knows. We had in mind an audience of 13-17 years old, so Tasha and I wanted to speak about American slang/English idioms. We worked on a PowerPoint a night before the presentation, since we were given only a day’s notice before presentation date.
Instead, when we arrived at the “Astronaut school”, we changed our game plan. We scrapped the technology after the first class. There were a few classrooms where the pupils only started learning English. They were aged around 5-8 years old. We needed to think our our feet, so we demonstrated short nursery rhymes and games like “London Bridge” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. We spoke shortly on Halloween as an approaching holiday, and to the eleventh graders we spoke about English slang. The younger children were a joy, because they were active participants. They showed that they were really interested in the games we introduced. The older class, I must say- was very quiet. It was quite a joy to be there. We had lecturers from Azerbaijan, Greece, Poland, Germany and other cool countries.
We were also interviewed by the local Russian news station, but I don’t know when it would air. I seemed to forget the ability to speak in front of that huge camera and blinding record light. It’s no big deal, because I’ll probably never see the newscast anyhow. Tomorrow we were scheduled to go to the neighboring city, Novocheboksars for presentations, but being an hour away…we asked to present at our school instead to save time. It would have been great to visit the town, but our school is already stellar. We also didn’t want to risk getting lost too.