Sunday, December 29, 2013

Remember, Remember, What Happened in November : Culture Week

I guess I'm going chronically backwards from now to the start of school in September. Since we've covered December here, it is on to November!

This month was dominated by two things: Culture Week and soccer. Both took up a lot of more time and energy than anticipated but were very fun and rewarding. This first post will be on the joys and trials of Culture Week.

Every year, the foreign faculty here at Sias get the huge honor/responsibility of representing all the populated continents over the course of a several days through song, dance, food, and drama (much, much drama). It doesn't matter that the vast majority of us are from North America or that most of us have the acting ability of the silent shepherd in the Sunday School Christmas pageant. The show must go on!

As you may or may not remember, Ben and I got roped into being Mario (curse you, Italian-looking, Armenian genes) and Princess Peach last year which required three hour rehearsals nearly every day for weeks.
Yes, go ahead and laugh
This year we swore that we'd scale back on our commitments. However, someone signed up to be treasurer, prop-maker, King Arthur, and a cha-cha dancer. I joined him in the cha-cha dance and somehow ended up choreographing, directing, and performing in a Scottish dance, too, while simultaneously teaching a double-load of classes plus lesson planning 15 hours a week due to a teacher's visa problems.

Needless to say our attempts of not overcommitting were futile between nightly two (!) hour cha-cha practices, afternoon Scottish dance practices, and weekend decorating and much more. The good news is if Ben and I need to direct a really low-budget off-Broadway play called Mario and Princess Peach's Cha-Cha Adventures in the Ancient British Isles, we would totally be un qualified!

They hid us (me) in the back left

Ben and I technically joined the Europe team, but we helped out the South American Day with our friend's cha-cha dance that solidified my suspicion that I inherited the dancing ability of my incredibly wonderful, yet so terribly gangly father.

Parts of the ordeal were enjoyable, and the hundreds of pictures and videos the students took of us provided us with plenty of cringe-inducing memories, complete with bizarre graphics.

This pix showed up
 in a marketing presentation! 
Aren't our wings lovely?
Love is in the air?

When I was in high school, we had mandatory Scottish dancing for our PE class which was pretty much the bane of my overly dramatic existence (dancing + boys = emo Rachel hell). However, those hours of learning Strip the Willow and The Gay Gordans (hehe, still funny) came to my rescue all those years later when I was so willingly volunteered to choreograph a European dance.

After calling in a few favors, coercing, and begging friends and my sweet students, we had enough for a rousing Scottish hoe down. We even got "King Arthur" to wear a kilt and join us! You can a video watch our dance on Facebook: Scottish Dance.

Despite the long, long hours, the constant rain, and making a fool of myself, I do admit it was highly enjoyable at times.

King Ben and his paparazzi 

He enjoyed his role...too much

My sweet, dear students

Dang, I need some cool frames, too!

King and I

No Chinese were harmed in the making of this photo

Thanks for reading and experiencing a special aspect of life here at Sias. It truly is something (what that something is-- I am still figuring out). Much more to come!

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