Friday, September 14, 2012

Surprises, Exercise Crazy, and Good Days

Monday morning rode the bus to the Tafuna road, walked for a while, and then it began raining. A dad taking his two kids to Tafuna pulled over and picked us up. Very nice of him. I'm really getting used to this beyond nice thing here. I had my juniors write a 1 page autobiography today similar to the one I assigned my seniors last week. It was interesting to read through what they wrote and get a better feel for their attitudes toward school, life, and their plans after high school. We talked about the five kingdom classification system in Marine Science. Over lunch a few of my seniors were being all artsy on my chalkboard again. Jeff is on the left with his creation, then you have three different portraits of me apparently. I kind of like the football helmet with "Boschen" on it. haha I was the sub for a Life Science class during 7th period today. Then, one of Dr. Rose's students came down and said I should send a few up for my textbooks. Now I have a set of Marine Science textbooks, most in decent condition. 

We knew there was a faculty meeting after school, but we had no idea the bell was going to ring early until it did at 2:30. Another "welcome to Samoa" moment. Headed to the professional development meeting, which lasted until nearly 4:00. Oye, and I had so many autobiographies to read. I ended up taking some home, which is the first time I've done that. My brain just seems to stop working when 4:00 rolls around at school. 

Started walking home when someone pulled over and said they were heading my way. It was a family that has seen me before waiting for a bus or rides in the morning. They drop off some kids at the daycare right by where we live every morning. The daughter, who is a freshman that goes to Tafuna, who was riding in the back with me talked up a storm. When her dad dropped me off, he said he comes by here every day so if I see him he'd be more than happy to give me a ride.

Made it home, then it was time for a meeting with our landlords to go over some formalities before I went to do my laundry. Got all my grading done that I brought home while my clothes were in the washer. I usually just sit there and chill while they wash, but was nice to get a portion of my grading done - mostly reading through the autobiographies I had the juniors write Monday. I was pretty tired, had been a long day (not a bad day, just long and busy). I ended up dozing off in my hammock for a little while before I crawled into bed.

Tuesday morning we had waited til about 7:15 for a ride and before getting on a bus, I decided to stick the thumb out and see what happened. Ended up getting a ride with a dad taking his kids to school - one to Vo Tech and one to Tafuna. Perfect. He was friendly, chatted a bit, and then kindly dropped us off with his son at school. I remembered to bring the surprise posters that came in the mail on Saturday from my dad. He's been paying attention to what I'm teaching and ordered soem posters for my classroom. Great surprise! Thanks, Dad!

A nice volcanic sunset photo poster:

One for plate tectonics and one showing the size of the universe:

The solar system and volcanoes:

An ocean photo poser:

As it was 9/11 I decided to focus on quiet activities in class today. I had all my juniors pick one of my new posters and write about it in their notebooks first explaining my dad had sent these from the  States for us. They thought that was cool. Then, I had my juniors work on drawing a periodic table in their notebooks, so we have it to refer to throughout class without having to grab textbooks all the time. We talked about some basic information on the topic of bacteria in Marine Science, and I had the students read and take their own notes to see how they did. Some of them struggle with paraphrasing and picking out the important information. Notes don't need to be full sentences. Guess I'll keep modeling and explain it as I go to help them out. One of my students did a little drawing during work time in his notebook for 9/11. Nice job.

So... Tuesday morning was not the greatest day. It was a little rough. I had lots of talking was witnessing disrespect from my students, and they could tell I was irritated. This was another reason I ended up not adding in a fun activity and made them work on their boring periodic table the whole period. A couple students later in the afternoon asked if I was okay because I looked exhausted. My afternoon classes did a much better job (even 2nd period, who is usually one of the rowdy ones). Definitely improved Miss Boschen's day :-) Remember, every day is a good day despite bad moments, and I had that in the back of my mind the whole time. I also had Zumba and another workout of some sort at home to look forward to :-)

Zumba class went at a bit quicker pace today after we got started. Andrea and I got a ride to the main road with one of the VP's before catching a bus home. Melanie asked if I wanted to workout, and I said I'd be up for some. We didn't think the guys would be around for Insanity, so we decided we'd do some abs. I jogged up CanCo Hill first to warm back up, and then we did the 15 minute P90X abs workout. Turns out the guys were home, and Melanie convinced them to do an Insanity workout. I'm not going to say no when the opportunity is there. Don't get to do Insanity every day, so back up the hill I went with her. We did the 40 minute pure cardio workout, sweating it up. The Josh and Frank weren't exactly super excited to work out tonight. haha. "My mind says yes, but my body says no." Yet, they did it with us, and then Frank decided we should do the cardio abs too, which is about 16 minutes. Think I got enough exercise in on Tuesday? hahaha You bet I did.

Before I forget, wanted to say that I've been doing a better job of stretching every morning when I wake up and at night before I go to bed. I've read before that this is good for you, and I usually do some for my neck, but now I do legs, arms, and back. It all started as I was a bit sore after all the hiking this weekend and falling down. (I think. haha) Getting into the routine of it, though. Plan on keeping it up, along with my good attitude and drive with the exercise thing. Something I need to keep up all year long, bring home with me, and continue to do. In the past I usually get on 2-3 month good strings of working out regularly, then it slides off. Anyone out there who is looking for some motivation, I'm right there with you. I've been losing weight since I've been down here. Other volunteers have noticed, my students notice from my photos and where I am now, and I can tell in my clothes, as well. Hope that helps encourage anyone who is looking for some support. I do enjoy exercise :-)

Got a ride Wednesday morning with our ladies in the blue truck. Hadn't seen them in a while, and they said it was because they had been leaving earlier as one of the girls had been sick, so they weren't going all the way into Tafuna. Was nice to see them again. The little girl, Aliana, seemed happy to see us. Later, her mom told us that she said "Aunties" when they pulled over to pick us up. Cute.

Found a random Christmas ornament hanging on some of my photos when I arrived at school. Not sure where it came from or when exactly it turned up. Sure hope it was one of my students who was just in there when I was, and I was a bit unobservant. haha Still hanging there today as I write this.

The rides in the morning get us to school rather quickly giving us extra time in the morning. We never mind walking, but the shorter commute time is nice. I decided to make some Bingo cards for Element Bingo in Earth Science. Figured we'd have a more active activity after that day of boring periodic table writing. This was a nice way to practice element symbols, as well. So, I gave the juniors time to work on their periodic tables before we took a few notes and played Element Bingo. Many of them enjoyed it. Great day minus 6th period. Grrr 6th period. They were rather chatty again Wednesday, so we stopped playing early. Discussed diatoms, which are really cool microscopic single-celled protists. After notes, I had my students do a little diatom art project.

I didn't have much to grade Wednesday, so I finished my lesson plans for Thursday before heading home at 3:30. I needed to leave a little early to make it to the power company before closing to pay our electricity bill. Took care of that and started walking home, when a school bus pulls over. "What is a school bus doing going by right now?" I think. Turns out it was the Vo Tech volleyball team (one of my fellow volunteers helps coach and two of the other volunteer teachers were riding along to the game). They asked if I wanted to come to the game, but I had plans to go to church that night. They kindly dropped me off at home, as we went right by. Random free rides. haha

I decided to jog up the hill quick before showering and heading to church. Junior and Lucky picked me up in the van about 5:30 for my first Wednesday night service here. It was nice - some song, some prayer, and some Bible study and brief message. Afterward Rita and Tala, the twin girls who have been in the van with me before, were extra friendly playing with me. Then, Teve, whom I remembered goes to Fagitua High School, told me how much he likes my friend Mike's class. Mike is a volunteer like me teaching science. Teve was fun to talk to, and then he went home on the van, too. Made it home by 8pm and dozed in the hammock again. I was getting some bug bites, so I headed inside where it was rather stuffy, but I did fall asleep.

Thursday morning got a ride with our ladies in the blue pickup again, dropping off three of the girls at a private school on the main road before heading into Tafuna, where the youngest girl goes to a private school on the Ili'ili road. There was some watermelon served with breakfast. Watermelon! Worked on atomic number and mass number on the periodic table in Earth and Space Science and dinoflagellates in Marine Science. Only about half of my senior class was paying attention, I made note of it and kept going. Thank you to those who were paying attention. Dinoflagellates are another cool set of microorganisms in the ocean, especially the bioluminescent ones. Their choice to not pay attention and their grades will reflect it. I decided wasn't worth fighting them for it, as they weren't disrupting my class. Oh well, they have their days.

Then, a student walked in my room and asked if I remember him. "Remind me," I said. He said his dad gave me a ride to school the other day. Oh... yeah he did look familiar. I told him I didn't remember right away since I didn't really meet him. His name is Junior and seemed like a nice kid. Did a bunch of grading before heading to Zumba class at 4:30. Then a rainy ride home in the back of a pickup with a new lady from Zumba today. She's a friend with one of the teachers and lives out our way. I was thankful for the ride home, and being out in the rain is part of living here. Just a little water. My pre-shower after getting all sweaty. haha. Came home, just chilled, and decided to catch up on the blog for the week before Friday and the weekend begins. Should be some good stuff to report again if the weather allows. Some rough class periods this week, but it's all part of the job. Nothing I can't handle, and  remain positive and go to bed in a good mood. Every day is a good day :-) Hope to understand what the kids are thinking sometimes and get through to them by the end of the year. One of my students came in during lunch so we could discuss what was going on and why he hadn't been doing all of his work lately. He took some home, and I think Friday should be an improvement.

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