This week we had some more workshops at the maritime highschool. It keeps fascinating us how each day and each group is different, there is even a big difference between the same grades. On Monday we arrived a bit early and were allowed through by the guards at the gate, meeting the teacher that was just wanted to go to the gate to pick us up.
Then, on Wednesday we were later, yet we were told to wait at the gate and then were escorted by 3 students to the classroom. This time there was another workshop in the classroom and we had to wait until another room was arranged for us. This room did not have a laptop and beamer. Although they were very helpful and arranged one for us, we did have to improvise during the presentation of our first workshop.
Also, on Monday we were surprised to see familiar faces as apparently we were scheduled to teach a class for the second time. We decided to improvise and sit together with a group of 5 students each and talk to them about our respective countries. All these experiences reflect the dynamic nature of the Romanian culture.
Although for the mind of a young person from Western Europe it might be very chaotic at times, there is also a great breath of fresh air to be found in this. One has a lot of freedom here to bend the things exactly the way one wants, the less structural approach opens up more directions in which one could go and offers fewer boundaries if one gets ahead of the situation and visualizes the situations that one might encounter beforehand.
Also, you could say that what at first appeared as an error was actually a very beneficial experience. Thanks to having to improvise as we had to teach a class for the second time we could experiment with improvising and we got to connect a lot more with the students than our first workshop would have allowed.
All the boundaries between the students and us fell apart and we connected deeply on an emotional and mental level. Although we already had an urge to do something more confrontational for our next workshop this workshop proved to us that connecting with them in smaller groups truly is beneficial.