Rubik, Move Your Cube

“Alright, today we’re goin t…  Toda we’r goi… We’…  Toda…

“Hhhhmmm.  Hhhhhmmm.  Hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmm.

“Today we’re going to t….  going t…. about…

“Cough.  Cough.  Cough.  Cough.  Cough.  Cough.  Cough.”

Uh oh.  How does a conversational language teacher do their job when they can’t speak?  That was my problem of the day.

I told you about my cold yesterday, and it’s still here.  Those quotes at the beginning are a pretty accurate representation of me giving instructions in my first class.  Not only does speaking tend to send me into an uncontrollable coughing fit, but sometimes my voice just doesn’t work at all.

That’s a problem.

However, this job has forced me to raise my creative genius abilities to a level worthy of being a James Bond adversary.  Two of my three Monday classes are very well behaved, and I essentially had them run their own lesson.  All that was necessary for me to do was give encouraging or stern looks, and occasionally croak out an order to only speak English.

The third group required me to turn to my Bond-gadget-like sidekick, the internet.  I took a short break to snicker that the major headlines involved two very different people - Kobe Bryant and Muammar Gaddafi.  Then I thought about which I miss more, the NBA or that little Slovenian town with a fondness for Gaddafi.  Finally, I got back to searching for the necessary tools to complete my master plan.


Just in the nick of time, I managed to find some awesome riddles in English (that forced the usage of the language), put them in an appropriate format to print them, e-mailed them to the school computer (I was using my laptop), and found a problem.  The computer changed the format, so it took up two pages instead of half a page, and I didn’t know how to change it back.  What’s the Hungarian word for “page layout”?

There was no time for help.  I printed one copy and decided I’d think of something when I got there.

I’d forgotten the Hungarian enjoyment for puzzles.  The Rubik’s Cube was invented by a Hungarian. Chess is extremely popular.  Kids are constantly playing puzzle games in my class.  And today, kids who don’t like to pay attention were super focused on solving the riddles.

One of the students read them, the rest talked about them, and I didn’t have to say much at all.  Class finished, but they wanted to finish the riddles.  Leave it to the day I’m sick that they want to stay later.

Watch out James Bond, I’d make a pretty awesome super villain.  Even with a cold.  I’ll torture you with tissues.


Hungarian word of the day:


Pronounced Tox-ee-show-fur.  It sounds mysteriously like “Taxi Chauffeur”.  If you can’t figure out what it means, you’re not smart enough to fight James Bond.  I was very, very excited when I learned this word today.  I wasn’t even upset about the major coughing fit it sent me in to.