After school today, I was asked by the oldest of the co-teachers, Tina, to come back to her flat for coffee (tea, since I don’t drink coffee). I wasn’t really in the mood for chit-chat, but I figured I needed to start bonding with these ladies. So off we went.
Tina lives very close to the school. Maybe two blocks from it. Standing in the doorway of the flat was Irma. I had forgotten that she was Tina’s daughter. Irma is 28 and has been teaching for 5 years. Tina has been teaching for 27, I think.
As we head into the flat, Tina, a chatterbox, is explaining the situation.
They, she and Irma live together. They had a much larger and nicer flat in the historic part of Tbilisi near the Cathedral, but it was deemed unsafe due to an earthquake. So they had to move to this one bedroom flat.
We huddled around their eating table in the room that was also their bedroom. It was a little awkward, only because I could feel that they felt awkward. Irma left the room to get the coffee, tea and cake. While she was (what I assume was fixing refreshments in the kitchen), Tina kept the conversation going.
Tina was born in a village in Khakheti. She went to University in Tbilisi but went back to the village to be a teacher. Her parents wanted her close by. Her father owned a flat in Tbilisi however, and that’s where she stayed during her university years. Soon, her father got a promotion and the family moved to Tbilisi. They bought the flat that was damaged in the earthquake.
She fell in love with a man she met at University, and had Irma. Unfortunately he had another woman in his life, whom he married. He and the other woman had a son together but they soon divorced. The man still didn’t marry Tina, instead chose to marry someone else. After that marriage dissolved, he finally came back to Tina and “said” he always loved her. She went to him for about 5 months. She said it didn’t work out because she was too stuck in her ways, and he wouldn’t choose her exclusively. She said he is the only man she loved or will ever love.
On that note, I noticed that the tea should be ready by this point. And when I commented on it, I heard Irma scrambling to get it. I’m pretty sure she was just listening in the next room.
Irma came in with the cake and beverages.
We continued to talk about politics and progress of Georgia in general. I appreciated the candor and honestly from Georgians who could express ideas in English. Zura is good for that, too, but I will talk about him in a separate post.
When Irma came in, the conversation turned to her. Tina has ZERO filter or shame. She accurately describes herself as the more progressive of the two. She explains that Irma has no social life. She comes home and watches Russian shows, and on weekends goes to church. …that’s all. She is afraid that she wont find a husband (due to lack of trying) and will not give her grandbabies. That’s when the room felt awkward again.
We talked about a guy that she is excited about. He lives in Turkey and they met and chat online. Her mom thinks he is fake, and not to rain on Irma’s parade, she did say some things to make me think the same.
The other co-teacher, Nino, came a little later. Nino is a whirlwind. She breezes in, lights a cigarette and falls into the conversation like she simply had just gone to the bathroom.
The conversation turned to the difference of living during the Soviet era and now, Russian relations, and all things political. It was fun and lively. Tina has a very fond memory of Soviet times and wishes it were still so. She frequently complains about conditions at school and in Georgia in general. From the way she speaks, she had a very good life during Soviet days.
I can tell that this will be a regular occurrence and once alcohol is introduced… lord help us all.
Their teaching style is (as any three teacher’s would be) totally different than one another.
Irma is a straight forward teacher. Straight from the book. Fast and furious. She hardly takes time to let the students take in the information or see if they have understood.
Nino is a very unconventional teacher. She loosely follows the book. She would much rather teach through discussions or doing things that interest the students.
Tina is old school. She likes to talk more than anything. In my humble opinion, she tries to teach too many things at once. For example, if she asks one student to answer a question, the student will never finish a complete sentence for interruptions from Tina. She will correct tenses, inflection, the meaning of their statement and add personal antedates all within the student’s answer.
The friendly little cottage belonged to three bears. One was a great big Papa Bear, one was a middle-sized Mama Bear, and one was a tiny little Baby Bear. That morning, the three bears decided to take a walk while their porridge – which tastes like oatmeal – was cooling. -Goldilocks And The Three Bears