Jan 14, 2011
Nothing much new to report. I have not written for awhile so I thought I would post an update. Last weekend we met up in Olomouc (city about a 4 hour train ride from Tabor) for Brockś birthday. There were a couple Americans and some Czechś there to celebrate Brockś birthday. He had prepared American hamburgers and french fries and it was nice to get a taste from home.
After a while we got started talking about the Velvet Revolution (end of communism for Czech Republic). It was absolutely captivating to listen to the Czechś recount their memories from that time period. It was 22 years ago, so the Czech Republic is still a baby country, as far as the government goes and I soaked up all the information they had to share.
Hanka (colleague of Brockś) remembers being in college when the revolution started. Her parents did not want her to go into school, but she did anyway. The revolution started when university students, actors, etc started sharing the real information. Before hand, all information that was given to the public was propaganda. University students turned their gyms into printing presses and passed out the truth. Hanka remembers going in and all the students were in the gym and she remembers her hands being completely black from all the ink from the presses. She said that theaters were also being turned into printing locations.
Ivo (husband of one of Brockś colleagues) talked about how, before the revolution, he went into the passport office to get a passport so he could travel. The man behind the counter asked him WHY he wanted a passport, so Ivo turned around and left...without a passport.
Czechś were not allowed to travel to any non communistic countries during the communism regime. Even Yugoslavia was off limits (even though it was communistic) because they had rejected Russia and therefore Czechś were not allowed to travel there.
These are just a few of the stories that we heard that night and just a few compared to the millions of stories that I haven´t even heard yet. I just think it is really amazing to be this close to history, to hear first hand stories about what it was like to live during that time period. I have taught about communism in my American schools, but it was just information that I got from a book. I am able to hear history from real people and see the emotions that were connected to those experiences and that is not expressed in any text book.
The following week (this week) school has been good. I have had some great classes and discussions with my students. It is soooooo wonderful having small class sizes. I wish the American school system would see the value in protecting smaller classes.
Funny moment this week came on Thursday. I was in my 3D class and they were finishing a writing essay test when an announcement came over the intercom. Some students were speaking, singing and I asked Misha (student) what they were saying. I thought they were speaking Czech. She paused...laughed...and said, "they are speaking English." OMG....I couldn´t even recognize English...to my defense, they were speaking really closely into the microphone and it was hard to understand them. Jeez Louise. Ha....
I hope all are well.