He’s such a Character

IMG_3276A long time ago, I used to go to a Tuesday night pub quiz. Through the quiz, I ended up meeting Virginija Rupainienė, who is the director of Panemunes Primary School. Knowing I’m a native English speaker, she asked me if I wouldn’t mind coming and judging an English competition at her school. Not a problem. I’d done that before back in Hungary.

So I did it, and have continued to do it annually. Even wrote about it last year. It’s a really fun thing, and exciting to see these 4th graders delivering their 2 minute speeches about everything from their pets to their favorite planet.

somewhere along the way, I was asked if I could come to a recording studio and lay down the English tracks for a series of primary grade ESL text books called “Yummy English.” You know, when you learn a second language and you listen to the recordings of people saying the stuff you’re supposed to be learning? Yup, here, that’s now me. Pretty cool, right?


Well, last year, after doing the recording for the book, I got a call asking if I would mind if they used my name in the book as “the English teacher.” Of course, I said “yes!”

Last week, on March 7, while hosting (I’ve moved up to hosting as well as judging) this year’s English competition, I was presented with the two workbooks in which I am a featured character. And oh, boy, am I! I initially thought they would use my name at the beginning and then maybe have me in there once or twice… but no. I’m all over the thing.

It starts in the front of the first book, where you get my actual picture and a note I wrote to the starting students:IMG_3274

But as I flipped through the book, I started to see me doing all sorts of activities, teacherly and otherwise. I’m in the classroom helping students learn about traveling and jobs, I’m making reservations to go on holiday, and even Rasa (with pink hair!) and Monki (now blond and growing up even faster than she already does) get in on the action when we all go out for dinner!

It’s both daunting and exciting to think that the future generations of Lithuanians will grow up imitating my voice and accents. And to make it even more cool, at the competition yesterday, Virginija introduced me as the “English Teacher” from the books and then suddenly, everyone wanted to have their picture taken with me. Of course, now I feel bad for Monki. If she ends up going to school here, how hard will it be for her to be the daughter of the guy in the book?

So, anyway, if you’re here in Lithuania and are teaching English, You should pick up a copy of the Yummy English series.

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