Spring at last

Spring at last

Tree with shadow, words on Polish flag: S-cray-oh-la in Poland

Welcome to my Poland section. I made this section to show my friends and my church the things I learned, observed, and thought during the preparation and process of my trip to Poland to teach English for a year.


The snow and sub-zero temperatures only lasted one day. Since then, it has been above freezing every time I've checked the thermometer. I asked my students, and they think winter is over. I think so, too. The last two days, it has been sunny and cool, but it has seemed pleasantly warm.

I collected the first round of essays this past week. Thursday will be the first round of tests for the main body of my students. I hope they do well.

My life has been a bit rocky emotionally in the past few days. While my teaching work remains steady, pleasant, and strong, many other things in my life have seemed to be falling apart. Many of the projects in which I have involved myself have gone by the wayside, and I have recently encountered some comments that have made me realize that I need to take a long, hard look at myself. So, I will try to spend this weekend in prayer and meditation. Please pray for me. I need some very important answers.

Through all of this, however, certain things have remained constant. Of course, God has been faithful through everything, as He always is. My friendships have remained as they were. This computer is working wonderfully, and that is a great help to my sanity. The love shown me by the people here has not diminished.

I am almost finished with a roll of film, so there will be photos before long. That's the news from Lake Jeziorak. The time is 10:10, and the temperature in the sun outside my window is 26.5°C/79.7°F (That's in the sun. Kris says the shade temperature is close to seven or eight degrees Celsius. Have a great day in the Lord.


I've returned from my second trip to Berlin. The journey there was mostly uneventful, though I saw a film crew recording a commercial or something in the Poznań rail station. I have no idea what the content was, but a man practiced walking toward the camera and stopping at a set point to deliver a message of some sort. I spent most of my time in Poznań reading or listening to the BBC World Service.

I arrived in Berlin without any trouble. I ate in the rail station and went to the church where I stayed. I went back to the rail station in the morning, bought my ticket to Warsaw, returned to the north part of the city, bought food for the weekend, and retired to my room until Sunday morning. On Friday, I learned that the U-bahn museum I had hoped to see was not open that weekend, so I didn't get to do that. I spent the weekend thinking and praying, though I had the television on through most of the weekend. The only channel available in English was CNN, so I watched that.

Sunday morning, I got up very early, dressed, and walked to the U-bahn station. I caught my train to Warsaw and arrived there at 12:30. I took a taxi to the Methodist building and got settled into my room. I read, tried to call on one of the people I know in Warsaw (who I later learned was out for the day), and had lunch at KFC. The evening was uneventful, and I think I went to bed early.

In the morning, I called on the bishop's niece and talked to her about my plans for the day. She was busy, but she assured me that the people at the airline office spoke English, so I wouldn't have any trouble. I set off for the office, about ten minutes walk (at my speed). There was no problem, but I had to leave my old ticket there and return an hour later to pick up my new one. That done, I now have an actual ticket for my trip home. By the way, if any of you are considering travel, now is a good time to buy tickets. I learned this in my conversation with someone in Warsaw. Prices are very reasonable now, apparently. Having concluded my business in Warsaw, I bought a ticket back to Iława, straightened out my luggage for the return trip, and had lunch at a Chinese fast food place. I then walked to the train station with the bishop's niece, as she was going to a building across the street from the station.

As I was going down the escalator to the platform, I overheard a man talking to another man in English. When the train came, I got on and found my seat. Perhaps it wasn't my seat (I may have been in the wrong wagon, as someone was sitting in the seat number my ticket showed, but the seat next to that was empty), but there I was. And as the train pulled out, the man I had overheard sat down in the same cabin I was in. He said, "Hi," and I said "Hello," and he asked how I was, and I said I was fine. I found out that he is a minister in Gdynia. He is originally from Nigeria. We talked about our different missions in Poland, and it was generally an agreeable journey. After a while, though, we fell to silence and reading. Before I got off the train, he gave me information of how to contact him if I wanted advice or anything. It was nice to meet a brother in Christ and have conversation.

I also managed this weekend to grade all of the essays my students wrote during the past month. I still have a stack of tests to grade, though. I haven't started on that, and it will probably get done some time tomorrow. That's the news from Lake Jeziorak. The time is currently 14:23, and the temperature outside my window is 17.5°C/63.5°F. Have a great day in the Lord.


I didn't get the tests graded yesterday. The house was in an upheaval that I reckon was Spring Cleaning. All the windows on this floor were washed, as were the curtains and drapes. The floors were swept, mopped, and otherwise cleaned.

My room was not exempt from this occurance. I cleaned my room very thoroughly. Julia helped me. She and I have very different ideas of organization. Hers is of everything being in a neat position, at right angles to other things, around the edges of each space. Mine is of things being in easy reach at the positions where they are most useful to me. I did manage to get my room into an organizational pattern that pleased me. I had to firmly resettle several objects, but I kept the important things in their proper places. When we finished, I was exhausted.

I have gotten several things into boxes for shipping, including my winter coat. I'm enjoying the warmer weather, and I am glad the weather is cool rather than warm.

I did get one whole class's tests graded today. I have written a program in my graphing calculator for tabulating the scores (which took probably over an hour to code, but it saves me numerous keystrokes, and I'm sure by the end of the semester it will save more time than it cost me, if it hasn't already). It certainly makes easier the task of scoring numerous tests. I had finished the first version of it (on Wednesday) when my calculator warned me its batteries were getting low, so I had to rush out and buy new AAA batteries.

I'll grade the remaining class's tests on Monday. I thought there was more to say, but I guess that's all the news from Lake Jeziorak. The time is 19:43, and the temperature outside my window is 9°C/48.2°F. Have a great day in the Lord!


Nobody told me. I didn't see anywhere that the DST change was this week.

I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen at 9:55 by my watch. I said good morning to Kris and asked him about a song list for today. He asked if I was going to the chapel now. I said, "Now?" and looked at my watch. He said it was now. Then I realized that the time must have changed.

*sigh* Neither of us had thought about it. I hadn't considered it might happen (though I knew Poland does DST), and he hadn't considered I wouldn't know about the date it happened. So, I had breakfast (since I couldn't go another hour without eating), and he went to church. I listened to a sermon, checked my email, and viewed a few Web sites.

At my home church, when we "spring forward", many people try to come to the 8:30 service at 9:30. The Sunday School coordinator or the pastor usually takes this opportunity to invite those people to Sunday School.

So, I've lost an hour. That's all the news for right now.


I'm not sure why I'm writing this tonight. I won't go back online until tomorrow morning. Perhaps it is in consideration of my terrible memory.

First, it seems that Poland goes to the forward section of the year a week before America does. So, I'll be back on the time difference I had before after Sunday. I weathered April 1st fairly well. I only had one prank played on me, and I wasn't fooled. Kris knocked on my door at around 11am and was persistent enough that I got out of bed, though I'd been planning to stay there a while longer this particular day. When I opened the door, he said Adam was on the phone. I didn't believe that, but anyway, he offered me a plastic four-button toy phone. I mumbled some sort of sardonic assent and he burst into laughter.

This morning wasn't very good. I had more strange dreams (I've been having a lot lately), and when I finally remembered that I had a class this morning, it was five minutes before the class, so I didn't get up. A little later, after I'd had breakfast, Kris came in and told me that Adam wouldn't be here tonight. I just nodded. So, I taught three classes tonight. I had thought I was going to have the day off, since one of my classes wasn't coming, but it didn't work out that way. As a token of his appreciation, Kris got me a pizza. The pizza is good. The classes were fine.

The lake is melting! The lake is melting! Two days ago, I noticed (as I walked across the bridge in bitter winds that claimed they could rip a man to pieces) that the finger lake under the bridge was growing, and yesterday, there was a sizable area near the bridge that was melted; I could see it from very far away. Today, the area of wet water overtook the area of frozen water hourly. By the end of the day, the melted section reached almost to the chapel. I got a few pictures of it. I think this area of the lake may be all melted by tomorrow. One of my students is unhappy because he can no longer walk across the lake; says it makes his trip to school longer.

All in all, spring is here. Unfortunately, that means that short skirts are beginning to appear. Anyway, the time is 23:35, and the temperature outside my window is 5°C/41°F. I feel hideous because my lip has broken out. I hope everyone is having a great day in the Lord.


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