I learned to drink one shot to be polite and then leave any other shots full so they would not refill. There is no way I could have taught classes with many shots of vodka. At the time I thought of how strange that would seem to Amveerican teachers, and maybe some would like it.
My students were well behaved, respectful and for the most part I did not have any trouble with students misbehaving. The only trouble I had was with a student in the 9th grade. Every day he would interrupt class and get his friends to do so as well. I decided I had to do something about their behavior. I went home and thought about some solutions and decided I would give them a try. I was the mean teacher who implemented a boy/girl seating chart, much to the dismay of the class. It broke up the group of boys from disrupting the class but one student continued to be a problem. I called on him to answer a question and he did not understand. I went on to another student and at the end of the class I asked the student to stay after. I asked him if he was having a hard time understanding the lessons. He told me yes. I told him I would be happy to work with him outside of class if he needed some tutoring. I did not have trouble with any students after that.
Once I started teaching I had to set up a bank account. The town had one bank and one afternoon I went in to start an account. The woman asked me my name and I told her Wendy. I saw she wrote down Vendija, the Latvian version of my name. I told her the Peace Corps would send my checks to Wendy B… She told me I could not have two names on my account. I agreed. She handed me my bank book with the name Vendija printed on it. I decided it was’t worth the fight and let it be. Most Latvians did call me Vendija, but on legal documents I was hoping to have my actual name.
One afternoon I was walking down the dirt street to the school after eating lunch at home. As I walked maybe a quarter of a mile I saw a bull standing in a field close to the side of the road. He had horns and stared at me as I approached. My heart stopped when I realized there was no fence around the field.