Friday, August 17, 2012

End of First Week

I came in to school early Thursday morning to work on a few things. Rode the Leone bus down the main road, got off at the Tafuna road, and this guy in front of me is running to catch the Tafuna bus. He asks, "are you coming to the bus?" Nope, I'm gonna walk. Got asked this again Friday morning. haha. Finished what I wanted to before classes began. Went to breakfast and some of my students asked me to sit with them. I opened my milk, started pouring it on my cereal, and yellow chunks started coming out. Then, it reeked. Sam says to me, "Miss Boschen, I think you have some bad milk." Yeah, me too. haha. One of them proceeded to go get me a new milk and handed me another cereal. Not necessary of them, but it was nice.

Today's agenda:
1. I read them a portion of an article I found online realting to our subject, and I shared some photos from the Galapagos Islands talking about a few islands that related to the articles I found. In Earth Science class, I talked about la isla Bartalome, a volcanic island. We made a list of things that made it different from American Samoa, another volcanic island. For Marine Science I talked about las islas plazas, where I saw a white tipped reef shark that day snorkeling. The article I found was about white tipped reef sharks.
3. I had the students take a pre-test on some basic information on the subjects. Some did really well, and I was also gauging to see what types of questions they understood better - multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, etc.

My last class of the day, which is 1st period on Thursday, finished a little earlier than others. They wanted to learn some Spanish words, so we did a few basics. They asked if I knew some of them in Samoan. I sure do. They clapped and seemed to be impressed that I knew some. Good day.

At lunch Andrea told me she had my mask and fins from Emily, the lady we met who worked for NOAA. She is moving back to Hawaii and was trying to sell most of her stuff. I decided a better mask and some fins would be useful for some snorkeling as I will be doing more. She was going to drop them off Thursday evening, but she saw Andrea and Hannah on the road and left them. So, I loaded them up in a black bag, slung it over my shoulder hobo style, and walked up the Tafuna road after school. 

As I made it to the main road, the ASTCA guys (work for one of the phone companies here) were just coming by, they pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride. They live right up the hill from where we do, so of course. Perfect timing! Came home and felt like some ice cream, so I walked to the laundromat quick. Boy did she give me a lot of strawberry ice cream today. All of that for $1. I dumped some of it into a bowl at home before it all melted. haha

Friday morning got on the bus at ~7:15am, got off at the Tafuna road, started walking, and partway down the school bus picked us up. Riding to work on the school bus with the students. Fun times. Sam came in to use my computer to check some email. He's a nice kid, and his sister is the one who gave me a ride home the other day. Ate breakfast with Hannah and Andrea about 8:05 before classes started.

Today's agenda was rather simple. Since we've had a pretty good week, I figured I'd let them have an easier day as it is Friday.
1. We went over the answers from the pre-test given on Thursday.
2. We went over what things they will be graded on this year and which one sare worth more.
3. We worked on an art project. I had a list of words on the board to choose from that pertained to each subject, and I asked each student to choose one and visually represent it on their paper. I need some decorations for these not so pretty walls, and this was a cheap and fun way to do it.

My football boys stayed past the bell working on theirs. Football boys staying late after class....those boys. haha. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they have lunch after my class, so I guess it works out. A lot of students go through each lunch period, and by the time they finished, I walked with them to lunch where we found it was not really busy anymore. Sam also joined me for lunch, as he is in class with me right after our lunch period on MWF.

Here's a sample of some of the pieces I received. We'll see if I have time on Monday to get them all up on the wall.

Finally, I have to mention how the bells aren't necessarily consistent here. Some days I finish my material right on what should be the button, and the bell does not sound right away; other times it's before I think it should be. The reason why - the bell system here consists of the office secretary walking out and banging on a tank. No electronic bell system here. It's the same type of bell that is rung for saa (prayer) and curfew in certain villages. From my home in Pava'ia'i, we can hear the saa and curfew bells.

The other day I picked up the Department of Education newsletter to find an article about the new set of volunteers. This photo was taken the day we visited the headquarters and met the deputy designee.

Every day at least one of my football boys asks if I'm going to come watch practice today. Today it was Isaiah who asked, and he's not even in my class but stops by a lot. I did end up standing by the practice field a bit after I checked out at 4. Hannah came out with a bunch of books, and I put some in my bag for her. Then, I just continued to watch for a while. Some of my boys noticed me over there and big waves. haha. Coach John even waved as we had met him last Saturday with the Baptist Academy. Weren't sure if we wanted to walk all the way down the Tafuna road with all those books, so it may have appeared that we were procrastinating a bit, but we chatted a bit with Elijah, the music teacher; he's really cool. Then the boys were practicing a Samoan dance thing that Elijah told us they do after games when they win. A cultural tradition thing, so I was intrigued.

Finally decided we'd hit the road, maybe luck out and get a ride, or just get on the bus. Started walking and I figured what the heck, might as well stick my hitchiking thumb out and see if anyone responds. Not even 5 seconds later, this white pickup pulls over and I ask the guys if they could take us to the main road. "Sure," they say. We get in the back, they ask us if we're teachers, and after a while I asked where they're headed. Turns out they were on their way to Leone, which means they'd be passing right through Pava'ia'i, and they said they'd drop us off by the laundromat. Perfect! See never hurts to try, right. Ended up with a free ride all the way home again. Steve, the driver, is from California.

Then, I decided to do my laundry. As I was waiting for it to wash, I ended up chatting with the lady who owns a little clothing store next door. She was really nice and talkative. Also had some entertainment out front. Two of the guys who live where we do were out knocking some coconuts out of trees. Really fun to watch. One was up on a ladder with a stick knocking them down, while the other stopped them from rolling to the road as they would tumble down. haha. Entertaining. What a great afternoon after Friday school. Good day all around.

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