Monday, September 24, 2012

Lessons, Fale Workout, and Little Things

I thought I posted this Thursday night, but just realized today it never went! Sorry everyone! I'll do another one later that catches up through the weekend.

We were picked up Tuesday morning by a really nice lady Teri, who is married to a pulagi, works with a non-profit, and helps organize the Miss American Samoa competition. Really chatty lady and super involved. One thing I'm used to in terms of a small community- being really involved. She gave us both her cell and office number in case we ever need anything. She was just going to drop us off at the intersection as she passed the Tafuna road, but then it was beginning to rain. She decided to take us all the way to school. That was unnecessary, but we were thankful.

Spent some time working on the overall charge of an ion in Earth and Space Science. I presented this concept using (+) and (-) on the board, circling ones that cancel, and counting what is left. I am surprising myself by how well I'm simplifying things. My students have even commented before that I make things clear and understandable. Good feeling, especially when I was a student who didn't struggle much with this type of information -came to me rather quickly. After working with it in visual form, we defined some terms to put it all together and relate to our lesson from the previous day.
In Marine Science we spent some time reviewing the information we had covered on the marine microorganisms - bacteria, diatoms, and dinoflagellates. We made a chart comparing the three groups. Then, I had the students do a little comic strip activity to show some of what they had learned. This was my example - "Diatom meets Dinoflagellate". I had some really good and creative ones turned in. 

Kiwis were part of breakfast, I grabbed two, and saved both for later. I ended up cutting one open after school for a snack using my handy dandy pocket knife. Mmmmm. Kiwis are some of those fruits I really had never eaten but am really enjoying.

Went to Zumba, got a ride home with a few of the counselors, and then went out for another workout- my "Tight Buns and Killer Legs" video. The previous day, some of the girls below me heard me working out in my room, and a friend had suggested working out in the fale. I had thought of this before and figured I'd give it a shot. So, here is where I did my second workout on Tuesday.

Seems a bit weird to have a video playing with this background, but it worked well. I ended up doing this again on Wednesday. You will also notice my makeshift weights - two containers of milk. haha

Missed a phone call from my Florida friend while I was exercising saying he he had a package for me and a letter. Oooh mail is always exciting! Said he would get it to me next time he saw me. After my workout, I made myself a half PB&JJ sandwich, sliced an apple I had saved from yesterday, and sliced the other kiwi I had saved from breakfast. All with a hearty glass of milk. Quite the dinner/supper if I do say so myself. Simple, delicious, and good for me.

Woke up Wednesday, was ready to go, and just doing a few things on the computer when I hear a man's voice outside. Turns out it was Frank, the Florida friend, dropping off our mail. He and Josh have been working nights lately, and he felt like being Santa at 6:45am. haha

Had my box from my parents including some supplies I had requested. Super excited about this pile of red pens that all work fantastically! The few I bought on island didn't last me long and were poor at showing up. I also received a card from a college friend who is currently in Pittsburgh, PA attending grad school in Food Studies. Pretty cool. A few little things that made me smile right away in the morning - a package and a car both hand delivered mail.

We saw a Tafuna bus coming down the road, a rather small one, but hopped in. "Welcome to Polly Pocket's bus". Hannah came up with this clever name. Check out the single seats, and the pastel colors. haha Quite the ride to school. Then as we were getting off all three of us hit our heads. You really had to duck as you were walking down the aisle. Whoops. Even Hannah, who is 5'2" hit her head. No hope for those of us who are 5'8" hahaha. Little thing that made me smile :)

6th period consisted of some chatterboxes big time on Tuesday, and I simply let one know by leaving a post it on his desk as I continued my lesson how this was disrespectful. I think they all took the hint, as they were improved on Wednesday. Another little thing that made me smile Wednesday was one of my students asking me if I had a wife. Wife? No, no wife. haha. Good stuff.

Had a PTA meeting we were asked to come to Wednesday at 5pm for introduction of staff. Most of the intro was in Samoan, and then we were able to leave after our introductions. One of the other teachers gave Hannah and I a ride to the main road so we could catch a bus, which usually stop running around 6pm. Made it home and did my exercise video under the fale again. Also, still keeping up with my stretching ever morning and night. I've also been doing some push-ups (well, I should say getting better at doing push-ups) and some ab exercises at those times, as well.

Watched the end of Finding Nemo - took me three nights, watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother, and then fell asleep to the rain about 10pm. Woke up at 10:30 to find the power was out, got up looked outside (nothing out of the ordinary), but then heard Mel and Steph coming up from downstairs. Their power was out, too. Usually it comes back, you know where the alarm clock is flashing 12:00 again. Well, we reset the breaker switches. Yes, I did take note of where it was when we moved in. :-) Simple fix, and we were back in business.

Thursday morning got a ride to the Tafuna road with a girl who works with the Coral Reef Authority office. Real easy to to talk to, and she's been here since January. She was house sitting up on CanCo hill but lives closer to the seawall.  Then, as we walked a bit down the road, a school bus picked us up.

Huge fight took place this morning on campus while I was eating breakfast. I'm talking with your fists kind of fights. You know there's a fight on campus when a bunch of students go running to watch. Oye. Later learned that there were about 15 students involved. Tafuna does not have the best reputation when it comes to having fights on campus. There are students who come from many different villages and they all have a lot of pride in their village. This was something we had been warned of, but I hadn't really seen it affecting my classroom yet.

Right away this morning, though, it seemed a few of my boys were having an argument in the back corner after the first bell rang. They were all speaking Samoan, and a few other students were trying to separate them. "No, we are not having this in my class" I thought. I simply walked back there, told them all to sit down, they didn't right away, so then I demanded that someone tell me what is going on in English. They all finally took their seats, the boys seemed a bit standoffish, but not too long after they both did a bro hug, and seemed good. I asked them both if they were good before I began.

I decided today would be a good day to incorporate a discussion about this "pride" business, what I see with these fights, student suspensions, and my expectations and understanding. Was a great discussion in my first class, and I figured it would be good to incorporate in the rest of my classes for the day. Address it before a fight would break out in my classroom. I know this can happen here, but I never felt close to any of that happening except slightly this morning. Not scary. I was confident, stopped it before it started, and was later told by the secretary that I probably gained even more respect by settling it the way I did. That's good to hear :) I know some of my students have been suspended for a few days for fighting, which I don't usually find out until they return. One told me the day she was leaving. I explained I do not want to see my students gone for that reason, and that I'm here to help them. Interesting day, not quite what I had planned, but went smoothly, and I feel like it was useful.

Didn't really have much grading as we had reviewed for a quiz in my Junior classes after our big discussion. Went to Zumba class, and then headed for the 2nd half of our football game. Yep, Thursday night this week. Played a much smaller school. They have an enrollment of 200, and Tafuna is 1300. Since there are only so many schools on this island, they play all the teams. Back home, we always played teams that came schools that were about the same size as us. I could tell there was a big difference just looking at the size of the teams. The final score was 60-0. Yeah, not horribly exciting, but my boys were hoping I would come, and I knew I could get a ride home after the game. Might as well. Saw a few of the youth from the church I've been going to at the game, which was cool. Teve goes to Fagatua High School and Reese to Samoana (her mom teaches at Tafuna. I mentioned Teve a few posts ago as we chatted a bunch after service on Wednesday of last week. Nice kid. Got a ride home with the principal. She told me that I'm doing a great job. My VP came in and observed for a while on Wednesday, so it was nice to hear that she felt the students were enjoying my lesson. Really great to hear.

Came home and had a hankering for a chocolate milk. Can't say I've had one of those since I was really little. Went to the store and bought some. Weird little thing that made me laugh and smile at the end of an interesting day before responding to emails and updating my blog. Toodles.

1 comment:

  1. Way to straighten those kids out Jess!!! Your eating so healthy, I might come live with you for the next 6 months and see what happens :) LOVE Chocolate milk. I get a once a month hankering for Chocolate milk that I half to take care of like right now :)