Thursday, May 9, 2013

More Food, An Experience, Ulas, and Performance Practice

Wednesday breakfast and lunch prepared by students of the Sophomore class. I had some potato salad, wanted macaroni (but it had tuna in it. I swear Samoans put meat in just about anything), some cooked taro leaves (from a traditional Samoan umu), a piece of red velvet cake, a lemon iced tea, and some water. For lunch I took some cucumbers and tomatoes, a sugar twist donut, and an orange. How random can all of this get? haha

They also had some ulas (Samoan word for leis) prepared for the teachers that they placed around our necks. I forgot to mention I received a candy one on Monday morning from National Honor Society full of tootsie rolls. Here's the one I received Wednesday morning from the Junior class. This is one of my favorite so far. It wasn't itchy, and I wore it all day long.

Wednesday morning we decided to take some of our classes down to view the student art show. There's some really good stuff down there, including some work from students of mine and other students I know. Hannah also shared her "World Traveling presentation with some classes in the morning, and in the afternoon I shared my "Summer at the Zoo" presentation.

During my third class of the day, one of my colleagues a few doors down mentioned he had a few girls from the army if I wanted to bring my students over to hear their presentation. Of course! In return, he may be brining some students over to a guest presentation I have lined up for Monday morning.

Here comes a "fun" story. A Tafuna High School experience, I guess. So... there's this student of mine who has never been the most kind student, but this past week he has shown quite the attitude. Disrespectful, talking back to me, and simply being a jerk. The presentation on Wednesday ended a little early, and he thought he was going to be "smart" and go out early. Yeah, right. There were a few other boys with him and Hannah stopped them. Back in the door they came, but then their giant figures were just towering over Hannah near the door. I walked over there and sternly said, "All of you need to sit down now and wait for the bell to ring." A few of the boys scattered as I sounded pretty in charge, but Mr. Attitude stood there ignoring me. I stepped closer and asked him to sit again. Again, nothing. I point to a specific chair for him to sit in, and he thinks he's going to be "smart" again and sit on the floor. My response, "Alright, either you sit in the chair I pointed to or I'm taking you to the office." "Take me to the office." He didn't think I would actually do it. Wrong. "Alright let's go to the office." Out the door we walk, and he immediately turns to the right and the office is straight ahead and to the left. Thinks he's going to run away. I don't think so. I grabbed his shirt (that may sound wrong at home, but here it's how they escort students the office) He asked for it, and he was not running away. We were going to the office. I hold on and we start walking to the office. He keeps saying let go, but I'm not grabbing skin or anything and he already made many wrong choices. Then, he makes the worst of all for the day. One I didn't think would actually happen. He shoves me. "You did not just do that." He didn't hurt me or anything, but you can imagine something like that would take you by surprise, so my voice was a bit shaky as I walked into the office with my hand holding the shirt of this student towering over me. Everyone in the office sorta lookeked like "Woah, the palagi teacher is walking a big kid into the office." Right away my friend Rita, the secretary asks what's up. She walks him straight into the counselor's office, and I fill out a referral form.

Had to get back to my class, which I started late thanks to this fun stuff. I wasn't scared or anything, just in the moment took me by surprise so took a bit for my nerves to calm down, but then had a great class. During my lunch, the student knocks on my door to apologize. He really just didn't want the office to make his mom come to school. I asked him why he's been acting up more lately and tried to make him understand why what he was doing was not okay. I thanked him for the apology, but said that's not enough to make up for what all he did. He agreed to come clean my room after school, which he did not show up for. Then, first thing Thursday morning he told me he would come during lunch. Didn't see him during my lunch. Ugh kid, just do your time already. Kids suck at showing up for detention which is why I really haven't utilized it this year.

Didn't let it bother me. Rita asked if I was okay when I was back in the office later that day. Yeah, no problem. I also spoke with the counselor to follow up. She had talked with the student's mom on the phone, who apologized for his actions. I think there's a parent-counselor conference that was maybe supposed to happen on Thursday or some time soon. Anyways...

On to Zumba I went, which felt great. Let me make it clear I did not have a bad day. Sure I had quite the little unexpected experience, but I was ready to go to Zumba in a good mood :-) The workout felt fantastic and I was having a lot of fun with it. Probably partly due to the fact I felt a big sluggish the day before. Always feels good when my energy level is up the whole time, my stomach turns cold fast and stays that way - burning up some fat :-) Had a nice orange I had brought home the day before and some nuts for dinner. Then, I was lazy and laid in my bed until I decided to go to sleep about 8:30pm.

Thursday morning got a ride with the same teacher that has picked us up the past few days. Two other teachers also join in, so it's been a fun little carpool. I'm thankful for her grabbing us when she sees us. This particular teacher is the advisor for Student Council and teaches in the English Department.

Thursday food brought in by the Junior class (we've been a bit spoiled this week). It has been fun to see the cultural part on how the students bring in all these things, how we have breakfast and lunch food all there at once - packing your box for lunch, how the students walk around serving a bit, and chatting a bit with fellow teachers in the morning. Even though I had a full container with an orange on top, they thought I still needed to get more. haha They were proud of me eating some pani popo again. The breakfast plate I put together Thursday included a large fluffy bun with a little cream and jelly up in the middle, a piece of pani popo, a kool-aid jammer, and some water. At first I didn't feel like I really should grab a piece, but then again it was a rather fine looking piece, and who knows if it may be my last opportunity for a free piece of pani popo made in American Samoa. I am going to attempt to make it at home, though :-) I also had a lemon iced tea I took back to my room and enjoyed during my first class. For lunch I grabbed another big bun that just looked pretty plain to me (surprise when I bit into at lunch time to find some cooked coconut in the middle), a small yellow cupcake with pink frosting, and a little piece of baguette  I saved a few pieces of baguette to take home for whenever. I also had snagged a muffin, which I ate as a little snack later in the afternoon before Zumba.

Before the first bell rang, Howard, one of my best students during one of my worst classes popped in said "this is for you Miss". I saw it was an ula, bent my head down, and he placed it around my neck. I was able to say thank you quick before he ran off. My first gift from a student during teacher appreciation week. I had seen a few floating around, and it made me smile. Nice little seashells. I wore it all day and will definitely wear it again :-)

Then during my third class of the day, my skinny Miss Attitude came in a little late, apologized, and I just happened to compliment her cute bracelets. She had two on. Remember, I've told you before how she often offers them to me, well she insisted this time. I ended up receiving this nice piece here she had picked up at the market with some turtles on it. She kept explaining how this one represents Samoa with the turtle, a sacred animal here.

Remember I mentioned the candy ulas above, well one of my seniors - Chardine - presented me with one she had made herself during our Marine Science class. She is a great girl and loved coming on the field trip out toward Vatia. She has been one that has said thank you so many times for the trip on Facebook I lost count. There's some fruit hard candy and some random chili and salt candy. have no idea. haha I only had 11 seniors show up for class that day (It had actually been a rather low attendance day overall). A handful of them started clapping when I put on the ula Chardine had given me.

So a few weeks ago our principal had mentioned a half day for this Thursday, but when we walked in the office and asked about the bell schedule she simply responded, "regular". Hmmm... Well, we were still suspicious of dropping a few classes. Especially since there would likely be another performance practice. I hadn't gone to song practices since the first one as they told us we really didn't need to. Today, though, the announcement was made 5 minutes before the bell would ring for our 2nd to last class saying school would be ending and all teachers were to report to the stadium by 2pm for practice - no exceptions.

They still were not all there, but I was. Hannah and I rode over in Tuila's truck. Tuila is my Zumba buddy. Let me explain what is going on here. A new event the DOE decided to have. The Friday of Teacher Appreciation Week there is this event taking place at the stadium. The teachers have been pracitcing to put on these performances for one another (different districts), the DOE, and the governor. Yeah, the teachers are performing, me included.

Hearing what I had I was picturing something like Flag Day in my mind. I was pretty much on with that as I participated in the performance practice. We began by practicing the song and dance up in the bleachers under shade. I was able to follow the Siva Samoa moves decently well I think. I'll sort of blend in tomorrow. I sort of just hummed along to the song while we were up in the stands.

Then, we went out to the field to practice our entrance, went through the dance and song, and then moved to sitting positions for a few more songs. Tuila had her lyrics, and I was able to sing along to the best of my ability. I had my camera on me and filmed a bit of the song, but I'm going to see if I can grab some stuff like that tomorrow while we are out there in our matching outfits. It will be cool to be down and part of it this time and try to capture that with my camera. A new perspective as during Flag Day I was photographing and filming from the stands in the back. Hopefully I don't get too much sunburn tomorrow while I partake in this cultural activity.

As we were walking out one of my fellow teachers handed me this Snickers ula after I had commented on it. I do enjoy some Snickers from time to time, and these are all minis. They had melted while we were outside, but I popped them in the freezer a bit, and now they are sitting in the fridge. I shall enjoy them slowly one at a time over the remaining weeks. Not eating them all at once :-)

Another good Zumba class, lots of energy, and throwing my hips all over the place. I really don't care what I look like. I'm having fun, pushing it, and staying fit. Plan on being at the stadium by 7:30am tomorrow morning. The program is to include the following: an opening prayer, breakfast, a parade (we will be walking in it I believe), games, lunch, and then entertainment. Entertainment is the part we were practicing Thursday afternoon.

Hope you all have a nice weekend. Look forward to my next post which will hopefully include some good stuff from my partaking in this event. Although, many of the teachers grumble about it and not just getting the day off. Understandable, but parts of it I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to participate in. My week has been a bit crazy and odd, so let the fun continue.


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  2. That student is a little turd :) I love the Turtle bracelet! I LOVE sea turtles. I brought a stuffed one home from Hawaii that sits in my Bathroom and one that was a dog toy for Cheerio :) SO enjoyed this post. Love the Seashells too!

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