• czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching

    Czech School Curiosities

    What a month! In the middle of February, it was supposed to have been our half-term break week, but several months ago we agreed to teach most of the week at a primary school waaaay out in the countryside, about an hour from where we live. I mean, we didn’t really have any plans and we have an ambitious travel year ahead, so why not? The wind storm Sabine which ripped through Central Europe made it impossible to start teaching there on Monday as absolutely no trains or buses were leaving the city, but for most of this week we were up on the early train north. Although Alex isn’t…

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Keep Smiling

    A conversation occurred this week (which I mentioned in this Instagram post) in which a certain secondary school-aged class of mine, when asked what they liked about České Budějovice could think of almost nothing, but then finally offered 1) The train station is near the bus station. (this is the case in almost every Czech city ever) 2) There are a lot of things and services here. (in comparison to a small village) And that was literally it. No single teenager in my class likes České Budějovice. This is something which I take with a couple grains of salt, of course because one, they’re teenagers and they don’t like anything,…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Yearly Recap

    The Books of 2019

    I know it’s called “the books” of 2019, but I mean merely, that they were books that defining the year for me – I make no big claims here. But now it’s time to take a look at favorite books, disappointing books, reading goals for this year, and generally how everything went. I just barely scraped by my Goodreads goal, just completing my 25 books in 2019. (welp, that went well!) The year before I’d managed over 30, so must’ve got stuck on some slog-reads again, but I feel good about having made it, of course. Rating them an average of 3.8/5, I’d say it was a pretty positive reading…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Prague,  South Bohemia

    It’s November (Life Lately)

    Hi friends, happy November! For the first time in awhile, I did not manage to make the annual ‘Spooky Movies to Watch in October’ list. Shame, that. Just for anyone interested, we did continue with our October Movie series and watched in the following order over the course of the month: The Raven (1963) – A Vincent Price classic. Hokey but perfectly Halloweeny, and containing one of the funniest spooky scenes in cinematic history: a magic duel between Price and Boris Karloff (not in a monster role) from thrones. It has to be seen to be believed. ᇫᇫᇫᇫ The Babadook (2014) – Creepy, a bit dystopic, that feeling of losing…

  • Summer

    april, lately

    i’m writing this from a place of calm. something about the weather lately, maybe. every day, noticing new buds, green leaves unfurling, cherry blossoms starting to make themselves known. or possibly it’s because these april weeks have felt really nice and slow – it’s that strange and unexplainable cancellation time of year that many language teachers seem to be feeling right now. life is starting to feel lighter again. it has meant a lot more leisurely time spent with a nose in the book on cushy sofas, hiding under blankets, nestled between pillows. i’ve been reading michelle obama’s ’becoming’ (after being on the library wait list for months) and the…

  • Summer

    at winter’s end

    maybe this is far too optimistic for me to state at the beginning of march – this time last year when the ponds and rivers were frozen over – but the forecast here in the czech republic now seems firmly rooted in comfortable temperatures… dare i say it, springy? march has never been an easy month for me, but i actually see spring is on its way. 17°C (or warmer!) days becoming more frequent, wearing the shoulder season jackets in favor of the big bulky winter coats, sunglasses, drinking a cappuccino outside … i can feel it! although winter has treated me very well this year. it was one of…

  • Summer

    february city hangs | prague & linz

    it’s been such a great month so far! i thought january was good, but february seems even better and the fact that we just had our semester break and i enjoyed most of a week off work was just the thing. i was thinking i’d head to prague on sunday, the second day of the month, until  there was a “severe snow advisory” (??!) warning and decided not to mess with that. (besides, a friend of mine had to spend the night on a train last autumn when she insisted on traveling in heavy winds! trains + inclement weather = not going there) instead we went on monday when there was…

  • Summer

    january lately

    ah january, time to hunker down with a candle, cup of tea a stack of books and your favorite tv shows and films. or my favorite winter activity: i call it the ‘read-nap-read’ (or “the reading nap”) on a cold sunday afternoon with falling snowflakes outside the window. it’s typically hard to grant myself time to do those things, but winter does give me permission! what have you been enjoying? i’m making my way slowly through a little life (and all of its seven hundred something pages) as well as chunks of other books also on my nightstand.  i’ve also been watching a bit of ally mcbeal season 4 (the…

  • Summer

    nyepi: a quiet new year

    while i was at iceland airwaves, i managed to catch ólafur arnalds’ much-buzzed-about set on the first day at kex hostel in reykjavik, and he played a beautiful song called nyepi. while i enjoyed the song, the message behind it made much more of an impression on me: nyepi is the balinese new year’s “day of silence”. (have you heard of it?) arnalds explained that he lives there much of the year and had recently participated in this day of silence in which the city actually turns off the internet, no electricity is used, no travelling is permitted, no work, nor music or loud noises, and people generally just sit…

  • Summer

    the books of 2018

    i cracked the code last year, for last year was the year i really discovered fiction. (choir of angels sing) i know, i know… please stop rolling your eyes. but if you’ve seen any of my past books of posts, you may notice that non-fiction has by far been my favorite thing to read. until now.  i think it’s because i mostly have used my reading time as a chance to learn more about topics that interest me, but it happened more than once over the past several years that i couldn’t even crack a goal of twenty books in a year. this year, i read more than thirty! thanks,…