Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday Highlights

Time for more being all sentimental. Bound to happen as my remaining days on island wrap up. I really do have a feeling I may post every single day. Sort of bringing my blog full circle. Back during orientation, I posted pretty much every single day. A mighty fine Tuesday here and gone. My last Tuesday before heading back to the Midwest. A few little highlights of my day for you. 

Messages from Students
Last night I was sitting on my Facebook actually signed into the chat / instant messaging portion. I don't do this too often, as too many people may start talking to me at once. I used to be good at multi-tasking really well with those, but lately not so much. Must be some of this slightly slower pace of lifestyle I've become accustomed to.

I've let many of my students add me as a friend on Facebook so that way they can get a hold of me if they ever need anything and simply stay in touch. Many popped up last night asking when I leave. One week I said, and in return I received many sad faces, many thanks, and one student even told me some of the things he has learned. They're all getting sentimental. That was cool of one to remind me he learned that "Science is everything." All about making observations around the world and universe, asking questions, and finding out more information. Yay for remembering one of the big take home messages! He also said "Thanks for teaching me that touch subject of science." haha. Another said he's going to have to give me a big hug at baccalaureate since I won't be at the commencement ceremony. "Best teacher in Tafuna High School," he said. Hahaha, not quite.

A Failing Grade
One of my senior students that missed 35+ days of class this semester did not do any make up work, and I had to put his grade in as an F. I've got on his case before, and I could only push him so much. It was up to him to come ask me for make-up work and not wait until it was too late. I even notified the counselor, and he still did not come in for make-up work until today. First of all, even one week left is not enough time really to make up for all of that. From my understanding, my class was not the only one he was failing either.

Senior grades were due last Friday. He walked into my class today, and immediately I knew what he wanted to ask if he could do make-up work. I had given a list of my failing seniors to the counselor last Friday along with an explanation on how they earned their failing grades. Right away she said too, can't you give the make-up work? No, I can't anymore. The opportunities were there and they did not take advantage of them. It's too late. I'm standing my ground. If administration so chooses to go over my head and change his grade, then that is their decision.

She sent him to talk to me today, he had said. When the student showed up today, I explained I can't change it. I just can't. It wouldn't be fair to the other students, and honestly I don't even know where to begin with make-up work for all of that at this point. In addition to all the absences, many days he would just sit in my classroom. I got on his case at the beginning of the semester, but him actually doing his work only lasted for a few days. I wish I could help, but I can't. The system here has to learn it is not okay just to pass a student. Maybe I did fail him? Maybe I should have pestered him more and more, but that's rather hard to do when he's not even present. I gave the opportunities, and that was even me being nicer than necessary. Second chances can exist, but those have long gone at this point. Sorry, student. You have to learn. What's done is done.

He listened to what I had to say, hung his head a bit, but walked back out of my room peacefully. No storming off, stomping, or throwing a fit. I do feel sorry for him. He has a good heart in there, but he has to learn. As does part of the system. Make-up work is not that simple, at least not in my class. I hope the student and I aren't on the worst of terms.

Last Week in the AS Classroom Photoss
Took some fun photos with a few of my classes today. My last class time with 2nd period and 6th period. Took a group photo with 2nd period last week. The students were having some fun with it. They know how much I like pictures. Most of these kids go crazy for pictures, too. 

Part of my third period class. I still have one more class time with them. They were one class that went on the official school field trip to the National Park.

Two great girls from my third period class - Annette and Florence.

Another photo with third period, a few more students joined in this one.

Next, part of my sixth period group. That sixth period was one that would like to test me. They've shown much improvement, though. This was our last class time together. I have left my island phone with Noelle, the student way on the right side of this photo. She is one that has spent many a afternoon talking with me after school. I have also shared many books with her. She loves the sci-fi and fantasy stuff just like me. Such a sweet girl. She's heading on the boat to the outer island this Thursday, where her family is originally from - the island of Ofu to be exact.

Now that I look at this photo a bit more, I see that it almost looks like Miss Boschen is lifting up her students. Lifting up this sixth period that may have driven her a little crazy many many times. We've made some connections though, and we all learned something. I can't help but smile when I look at this. All the headaches forgotten :-) There also is a handful of genuine sweethearts and good-hearted people in this class. Been fun to watch them grow.

There is just something about this photo. I'm not always so photogenic. I think another thing I really like about it is how I am wearing the seashell ula that Howard gave me, and he is standing on my right (your left).

My Manila Brothers
I made plans with my Manila brothers, the boys that sang to me on my birthday way back in August, to meet up for a little ice cream and hang out. Wanted to make sure I hung out with them at least once more. I caught Nicholas on chat last night. He and Christopher both came. Their awesome mom Vicky dropped them off.  Whenever these guys make some visits to the states, we are going to try and meet up. We chatted about all sorts of things, and I don't think there was much time where I wasn't sitting their smiling. Spent an hour and a half with them before I had to go get ready for Zumba. Good to see them again, and they tell me they'll see me at the airport on Monday. Am I really going to be that blessed to have a send-off crew as well as my welcoming crew waiting for me in Nebraska?

Zumba Family
Headed off to begin what will be my last full-time week with my awesome Zumba family in American Samoa. I got a bunch of the ladies to take a photo with me before we started. They are all so friendly.

Here is Tutuila and me. She has been my Zumba buddy all year long. The only two Tafuna staff to keep going to the classes in the afternoon regularly.

Finally, here I am with my awesome Zumba instructors - Mariana, Peteru, and Erica. Gonna miss them, their energy, and our shared love of a fitness lifestyle. They've been great friends. One more session with the ladies and Teru, one with Teru, and then I'll see the ladies at the airport as they work check-ins for Hawaiian Airlines (that's why they won't be at Thursday class).


Ended up with five little apples to take home after breakfast. Those kitchen ladies have been super kind lately giving me extra fruit. Then, at lunch. They sent me home with at least 8 oranges. Oh boy! I'm being a good girl and sharing the oranges with Hannah. I'm gonna miss saying hello to the kitchen ladies (and guys) every day. They all know my name now, and say hello with such big smiles on their face, which I always return. Some times, I will beat them by saying hello first, and there is always a "have a good day". :-)

I made myself another fruit and veggie salad for dinner. That is my latest craze! A little different every time in terms of ingredient combination. All freshly sliced with no seasoning or dressing, just straight up fresh goodness. Mmmm mmm. Sliced up an orange, some of the papaya from Katie, a little more cucumber, some tomato, and some banana I had picked up yesterday near the laundromat. 

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