Thursday, October 25, 2012

Site Visit, Science Words, and PTC

Monday morning got a ride to school with a nice guy who works in the are. One of the first questions people ask you here is if you are married. When I respond "no", the next question usually is "Do you have a boyfriend?" This guy asked if I had a Samoan boyfriend. "I don't need a boyfriend," was my response, and that made him laugh but it closed that subject. haha. I lied once and told someone I had a husband to stop any further questions on the matter. Really common question here, and not just from men. Women ask me, too.

Classes went pretty well on Monday before heading to Zumba class. I had a feeling it might really kick my butt since I had been sick over the weekend and hadn't exercised much, but it wasn't too bad. Yay Zumba! My field director was there again, and we had a great group. Ran a little late, and the ladies who usually offer me a ride home were not there, so I high tailed it for the bus stop. I decided to jog more than half of the way there, and I got on a bus at 5:55pm.

I had been given a mango at church Sunday, had one more banana to finish from the batch my roommate picked up, and a cucumber sounded good. I chopped all three up, and had a little fresh veggie and fruit salad. Good stuff :-) I love me some fresh veggies and fruit. I officially decided I am practically a vegetarian again. I had done it for 4 months before moving here, as I mentioned in an earlier post. The only time I may eat a little meat is if it is really hard to refuse or seems rude from my perspective; perhaps, I will find myself at a dinner at a Samoan house one day, where meat is the main course. I have respect for the culture here and people's varying views. I have also told myself no more soda. I hardly drink it anyways, so I might as well not have any at all. Good goal to have. Anybody with me? I have a feeling my mom and aunt won't give up their Diet Pepsi. haha Right?

Tuesday morning got a Tafuna bus right as we walked out to the road. Got some stuff ready for class, although I was mostly ready to go. I was very excited for my activity in my Junior classes. We are starting a new unit - the universe, and I wanted to recover our idea of what science is. I chose the word "curiosity" as my one word definition for science. I asked the students to choose words, and then gave them each a piece of paper to creatively show me that word. My Field Director was in my classroom during 3rd period for my site visit, and she gave me some good feedback. Said she can tell I'm rolling with the punches and not letting myself get bothered by much or stressed out - something many people find hard to do. She also gave me a few tips on things I could try incorporating. We had a nice little chat, which was cool.

Zumba again after school, which started even later as JROTC was in the cafeteria doing some stuff, but my ladies were there to give me a ride. Ended up waiting with one of them for a bit til her husband picked us up and had a nice chat. She actually teaches Math at Leone but lives in Pava'ia'i close to me.

Wednesday morning caught the Tafuna bus that has been coming about 7:10. Stood out there for a while with no luck on a free ride. My Junior students presented their science words in class, and I was pretty proud of some of the thinking outside the box that went on. Here's a few examples:

This project turned out really well, and I had a lot of fun with the photos. Lots of colors. They turned out really well. :-)  One of my favorite activities thus far.

My photo was the example.

With my seniors, I decided to give them a break from note taking and discuss some photos. I had been looking through some of my Ecuador photos the other day and realized that some that I have taken in American Samoa remind me of them. I thought it would be cool to put some of them side by side and have a little compare and contrast discussion about these two locations. Here's an example:

Walked to the intersection, making one stop for a few groceries. I purchased some honey and immediately thought of my brother during his senior year of high school. That boy guzzled honey by the bottle. I also bought some slices of cheese. I used to eat those all of the time when I was little. Good memories of home :-)

Made it home and didn't have much energy to exercise. I did a little, but then decided it wasn't going to happen. Instead, I got a good amount of reading in. My mom sent a few books in my last package, and I'm really getting into one of them right now. Feels good to just sit and read for aw hile again. Then, I went to bed around 8:00. Mighty early Wednesday night.

Thursday morning caught the earlier Tafuna bus, decided to hit the bank before sitting down in my classroom. I didn't have much prep to do, and I knew we were going to have a short day for Parent Teacher Conferences (PTC) in the afternoon. Turns out I only had to teach two of my regular five classes. I did have to sub during my prep period, though, in addition to that. I shared some photos from Ecuador with them. Didn't feel like just letting them loose to waste time today in my classroom.

Morning flew by really quickly, then it was lunch, and then time for 3 hours of sitting in my classroom waiting for parents to come. I ended up having about 9 parents stop by if I remember correctly. Considering I have around 120 total students, that's not a very good percentage. Oh well. I got some lesson planning done for next week. The parents I did meet were very kind, and we had some nice little chats. I don't have any major problems with any of my students. I even got one nice compliment from a mom on my puletasi. I wore my blue one today. She said I look really nice in it. Thanks. The fashion here is growing on me, and I've been able to add my own flavor to it.

Now, as I currently finish this post I am sitting in my classroom before Zumba. I went through some of the photos from my webcam, as I know the students take pictures of themselves sometimes. I completely forgot that I have found videos of them lip syncing to songs before. Well, here is a shorter one for your viewing pleasure. Those boys. haha

Time for Zumba, so this is where this post ends for now. I will likely go home have some healthy food for dinner (although I must admit I've bought an ice cream cone a few too many times this week and had a little chocolate cake the other night. Ooops. haha. All the ice cream was eaten before I went to Zumba, though, so I burned it right off.)

Hope you all have a nice weekend. I will be visiting Tisa's Tattoo Festival on the East Side, so we shall see what all comes of that. Really cool cultural event that I'm excited to check out. Don't worry Mom and Dad, I don't plan on getting a tattoo. :-)

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