We were a little nervous, and somewhat excited, standing outside of the Stredni Odborna Skola in Litomysl, Czechia. We had come here, on the invitation of my cousin's daughter Daniela, to spend an hour with an English-language class. This particular school, for students from 16 to 19 years old, specialized in language, economics, and management. […]
We were a little nervous, and somewhat excited, standing outside of the Stredni Odborna Skola in Litomysl, Czechia. We had come here, on the invitation of my cousin's daughter Daniela, to spend an hour with an English-language class. This particular school, for students from 16 to 19 years old, specialized in language, economics, and management. It is the Czech-equivalent of secondary school, and students must pass a final examination to graduate.
Daniela Castkova works at the school and had asked us upon our arrival in nearby Netreby if we would be willing to speak to the class, serving more or less as guest instructors.
Armed with a bag of Jelly Bellies and a handwritten outline, we were introduced by the teacher to the class, who then disappeared to administer an exam to a student.
We basically shared our story, in English, of why we were here (part vacation and part family history trip). Then we educated our Czech students a little about the history of Kansas, its industry, and some of its symbols (state flower, bird, etcetera).
When it came time to ask us questions, the Czech students were a bit shy (as Daniela had forewarned might be the case). The questions they asked were relatively easy and provided an opportunity to share about where we had visited and what was our favorite place in the Czech Republic. A few queries were political (such as about gun laws in the United States versus gun laws in Czechia). All in all, the hour in front of the class went smoothly, although I'm not sure that many of the students were that keen on Jelly Bellies as a reward for asking us questions.
Later that day we were in downtown Litomysl with my cousin Roman and our friend, Misa. When we stepped out of one store, I recognized a student from the class. We struck up a conversation, and he said he would like to buy me a beer (he is 19 years old). I declined and we headed to a nearby bakery. As we passed the same again a short time later, he again extended the offer of a beer. I thanked him for his generosity, declining once again, and said that perhaps I would see him in America some day
Anyway, it is a good memory which I would deem to be Czech-centric, compared to that of a guest-lecturer at a high school in America.