Sunday, August 26, 2012


So I thought this title was fitting for two reasons. 1. This is a post for Thursday through Saturday. 2. THS stands for Tafuna High School. 

Thursday morning spent a little time writing down a few notes on the table on our porch. So peaceful in the morning. Hannah and I got on a bus and then the guys (Florida friends) picked us up on the Tafuna road. We missed them at the bottom of their hill only by a few minutes. Oh well.

So a few of my football players leave some of their gear in the corner of my room throughout the day. It doesn't bother me, and it saves them from having to carry it all around all day. They don't have any locker rooms on campus for them to use.

Did a little intro lesson into Astronomy as the fourth branch of Earth and Space Science, which consisted of us discussing how big the solar system is and how far away planets are from one another. We made a scale and I found comparisons on driving and flying time if it were possible. Millions and millions of miles between the planets. Got some of the students to come up and help with the model, so it was an interactive lesson. It was fun to look through some of their notes and see how detailed some are, like this one with the little drawings of planets. It's great!

This student commented that Pluto would always be a planet to him since it has a name :-)

In Marine Science class with my seniors, I gave them the first 15 minutes to practice their raps about the light zones of the oceans before performing. There were some really good ones, and I even had a group of 3 boys volunteer to go first. I was impresse with some of them, and it was fun. Nice break from all the notes we took earlier in the week.

Walked and took the bus home and saw a few of my students on the way, took my walk up the steep hill to finish my exercise, and then the guys invited us up for Mexican night. Headed up there where we had some chicken enchiladas, guacamole, rice, and veggies. Mexican food on the island cooked by our awesome field director. Was also fun to just hang out for the evening.

Friday morning four of us rode all the way to school with the guys. I rode with them 4 out of the 5 days this week. Really nice of them to let us come along, but they do go right by our school on their way to work, so it works out well when they go in at normal time. Left a little earlier today so got to school about 7:30. As I actually was caught up on grading, I spent some time working on my lessons for the next week, which was nice.

Knew there was going to be some sort of assembly but also knew I wouldn't know what our schedule looked like until we arrived Friday morning. The guys thought that was crazy. Just how it is. No 6th and 7th period today for our official Welcome Back Assembly and Pep Rally combo. Sort of wish that we would have just had all shortened periods as I lost my prep period for the day and didn't get to teach my students from 6th period, but it will work out. Sucessful lesson and activities in Earth and Space Science on Environmental Science, the final branch of our intro week. Marine Science we took some notes on oceans, and then I had them work on a brochure in groups. They were getting restless as this was our last learning period of the day before heading to lunch and the assembly.

2.5 hours. Repeat 2.5 hours. This is how long the assembly and pep rally lasted on Friday. Wowza. The welcome back portion included recognizing faculty and staff and reminders of school policy and some performances from the Show Choir. Then, there were introductions of all the football players, softball players, and volleyball players. Lots of names. Finally, there were a few entertainment performances by small groups of students. Rather interesting. Way different than what we did back home at these events, but entertaining and an interesting experience.

This is the Varsity football team sitting in the back together. They all wore ties with their school uniform today (similar to dressing up before/on game day back home).

This is the JV team:

Gym was full with students. I was getting tired of sitting up on bleachers for that long, I don't know how the students managed sitting on the floor like this the whole time. My foot or leg would have definitely fallen asleep. haha

This is a photo of the football players doing some sort of traditional warrior dance/chant, which was culturally intriguing for me. They did this same thing after the game on Saturday. They all partake in it with such power.

All faculty and staff were presented with ulas made out of real flowers. Boy did they smell florally too. haha

Headed home, exercised a bit, showered, and laid and watched the bats as dusk fell. Bat watching. Woo! Then, we had a little girls' night with the 5 of us who live in Pava'ia'i before heading into town to do a little dancing, where the guys joined us for a while. Had a good time. I had been itching to dance after that pep rally with all the song and dance on stage. Talented kids.

Saturday morning heading to the one and only football field on island for the JV and Varisty football games today. The Battle of the Toas (warriors) - the Warrios vs. the Vikings. Hannah and I went in at 8am and watched both games. I brought my nice camera along and was anxious to take some football photos. Haven't in a year, and I had a great time. The band literally was making noise the entire time, and there were students constantly cheering. I enjoyed taking photos again. Have 416 from the two games.

The varsity team was all sitting together for the JV game, and several of my students and some other players said hi to me as I walked in. I made sure each of my students knew I was there.

The JV game ended up a tie at 20-20. Didn't know we could end in ties in football. I wonder if that is just a JV thing. The Varsity game began 5 minutes after the JV game ended, as the boys had been warming up on the side.

This ist he JV team walking out together at the beginning:

Here are some action shots from the Varsity game:

I am looking forward to sharing the photos with the boys. Varsity ended up winning by a lot. Demolished the Vikings.

After the game, I headed down to the field and Uncle Tye stops me. Yeah, the uncle I met on the bus, whose nephew is in my class. He gave me a big hug, asked how things were going, and said from what Malo tells him sounds like I'm doing a good job. It was so great to see him, he's such a fun guy to talk with.

Here's two of my students - Aisa and Jipo with Jipo's dad after the game.

Here's a few players I hadn't met before but wanted their picture taken, but I do know Fred in the white on the right.

Fun football filled morning. It's also cool that Tafuna has maroon as on of their colors, so I was reminiscing taking photos at the Morningside games. Today, we played against the Fagatua Vikings, who wear red. Made me think of Husker red. Both made me feel at home today.

Went to lunch with some friends afterwards at the Deluxe Cafe before heading home a different route than I usually take. A bus driver offered me a ride to shorten my walk to Pava'ia'i free of charge. I was the only one on the bus, and we had a nice little chat. I thanked him and started walking again, when the next thing I hear is "Jessica, get in. It's too hot to be walking." haha. Guess who... it was my principal. She and her family then dropped me off at home. She had seen us at the game, was glad we came, and asked me what I thought of it and the pep rally. A little different from home I said but I enjoyed it. Although every day is an adventure, Saturday is designated adventure day.

I finally got to Skype my friend Cassie after doing my laundry quick, then I took a nap on the porch, relaxed, chatted with Hannah, and finally caught up on my blog and looked through my football photos. I also went on a run outside. I'm not usually a big fan of running, but wasn't sure what else to do so I did it. Came back dripping in sweat and red in the face. haha Also a little out of breath for my power walk up the steep hill to finish the workout.

I'm off to bed now as I finish this. Hope you all had a nice weekend :-)

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