Saturday, August 23, 2014

Did we really leave Knoxville just a week ago?

Best burger in Ljubljana!

Hard to believe we left Knoxville just one week ago.  Feels like a month at least.

Turns out not all Slovenians speak English, but those that don't are patient with my lack of Slovene.  And some people do jay-walk.  There is no litter, but more graffiti than you'd expect.  

Knoxville connections
We had an excellent farm-to-table Slovenian meal with our Slovenian-Knoxville friend Maja Djorcev Roy, her sister and sister's boyfriend.   I had truffles with pasta to start and then rabbit, which I'd never tried before.  Delicious.  Maja ordered the perfect wine to go with it.  You can get any kind of cuisine here in Ljubljana, but the local specialties are not to be missed.  It was nice to see a familiar face so far from home.

Yesterday's Dairy Triumph
We bought farm-fresh milk from a vending machine downtown.  BYOB or buy one there.  Really tasty milk.  The machine sells cheeses and yogurts too.  The meklomat is right next to the law school so Ben will be able to get our milk here daily.  Ben also found half and half, and has figured out the espresso machine.  Now that our coffee and dairy issues are sorted, the whole family is in a much better mood.

Today's Major Triumph
After visiting several places and standing in many lines, Ben and Dahlia got new Sim cards for our phones! We still need wifi/skype for calling home, but it's nice to have a local phone.  

Not sure what this says, but I think it's good.

New House
Thursday we moved in to our house.  It's nice to have ample space and more than one toilet!  There are public tennis courts and a track around the corner, and we're walking distance to the city's biggest park.  Center city is 5 minute away, school is about 10 minutes.

Our tiny car - Honda Jazz

Our landlords left all their books, DVDs, CDs and other useful things, like a sewing kit, spices, umbrellas, and furnishings, dishes, linens, etc.  We have all we need and then some.

From Boardroom to Classroom
I started my teaching job this week.  I have 6 different classes: Spanish I and II, 5th/6th Social Studies, 7th/8th Social Studies, Middle School Writing and High School writing/research.  I taught Spanish for one year 15 years ago, but have never taught any of the other topics.  I am not too worried about the content, but pacing and classroom management will be a huge challenge.  The class sizes are tiny, fewer than 10 kids per class.  Dahlia is in 3 of my classes, and Georgia is in one.  They are not pleased to have Mom as a teacher.

This week was two days of new teacher orientation for QSI Ljubljana, part of a network of 37 American International Schools.  A guy from Central Office (in Vienna!) came to tell us about the new IT initiatives (moodle) and the school culture and expectations.  It was pretty strange to be seeing things from the perspective of a brand new teacher.  It was a good orientation, but I wanted to start actually preparing for all these classes!

I feel overwhelmed by these teaching responsibilities, but hope my 10 years of immersion in Ed policy, my love of kids, my experience as a Mom, and my own love of learning will help.

Students start back this Thursday.  The girls are ready to be back in school.  Our first Professional Development conference is in November, in Bratislava!

Teacher friends - any suggestions, wisdom, links, advice are most welcome!

I've been so busy, I've barely been exercising (or sleeping).  Today I had a nice long run and it felt great.  I think I will sleep well tonight.
Urban Wilderness, Ljubljana-style

Thanks for reading.  Please stay in touch.



  1. I feel like I've had that green kitchen and that car. It's a steep learning curve, in all ways, but setting your pattern is first priority and sounds like you have wasted no time doing that ! And as for teaching, I know you've had great teachers... I was happy this week when my seventh grader returned home and told me her english teacher just made them read for a few days... I had good experience in grad school with the class blog...can seventh graders blog? If push comes to shove you can pull out the old Eleanor Roosevelt routine. :) Really looking forward to hearing more about your adventure! xKristin

    1. 7th graders can definitely blog - good idea. My students can read a lot, blog and I'll be around to suggest good titles and comments. Done!

  2. Fun to read your blog, and share in the excitement. Ljubjana looks beautiful, and considerably more modern than it did when we were there in 1996. Since you've already come this far, why not pop down to Ethiopia? The invitation is an open one.


    1. Thanks for the invitation, Garth. We may take you up on that.

  3. I think it says "text PORABA K to 1919 to find out how much of your 1GB of data is left"

  4. Thanks, Leigh. You're better than google, and a lot less invasive! Maybe you need a visit to Slovenia to refresh your translation skills???

  5. Porabiti is the the "perfect" aspect of the verb rabiti -- to use. Porabim. I use. Rabin. I am using. I miss Slovenia!

  6. So, I have no useful or timely content to my comment. Your posts are so great. Writing and Organization should be a breeze for you. Can you imagine how teachers in Knox Cty would react to 6 different class preps each day? I say: let the older kids teach the youngers (a good social study of the American One Room Schoolhouse) and rejoice in the fact that wine is cheap and good in Ljubljana! All is well here, but I fear I am growing dependent on your blog. Love you all so much!