Order No Rainbows

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Summer camp – My Piešt’any – day 1

on July 21, 2014

I’m teaching a summer camp again this year, and this time it’s one I’ve created myself. I’ve been following the excellent Humans of New York website, and some of its offshoots, such as Humans of Tehran, for some time, and wondered what would happen if some kids with cameras and basic interviewing skills went out into Piešt’any and tried to capture the essence of their town. My boss was happy to give it a try, and today the first “My Piešt’any” camp started.

These are my students for this week, on the terrace of the school this morning

We spent the morning working on vocabulary, practicing how to introduce ourselves and thinking of some basic questions to ask interview subjects. The kids also interviewed each other, to get some practice before approaching strangers. It was a bit strange to be doing practice in English when the interviews would be carried out in Slovak and then translated into English later on, but it didn’t seem to cause any problems. Sample questions for today included:

Where do you come from?
Do you live in Piešt’any?
What’s your favourite colour?
Do you have any pets/children/hobbies?

After lunch we went out into the centre of town and onto the Spa Island, in search of people to interview. Some of the kids were a bit shy at first, but they all managed to get a good photo and story – even though three of them interviewed the same very patient lady 🙂

Here’s Martin, one of my students, in action. He was talking to a guy we spotted taking photos. Mr Jaroslav was very patient and encouraging – and then asked to photograph Martin in return.




Everyone got very excited when the Google Maps car drove by.

If you want to see the photos and read the stories that were produced, Pnky.sk, the local online newspaper has agreed to publish them each day – in English and Slovak. The first day’s report is here. And you can vote for your favourite photo and story each day. Today was a lot of fun. I’m interested to see what the kids will come up with as the week progresses.


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