Thursday 27-06-2013

Today Alice and I were planning on getting up early enough to go to breakfast. But by the time our lovely alarm clock rang at 5:50, though, we both just weren’t feeling it, so went back to bed for a bit. Once 6:30 rolled around, I was actually feeling much more refreshed.

I got up super-quickly, got changed and managed to have some milk and cereal in the room. I even ate an apple on my way to the staffroom (and arrived at the staff room before the meeting started!) During first block, I corrected lots of homework, and during second block Daniel and I had maths.

Maths went really well today. We realised that we need to break everything down into its most basic form (i.e. yesterday we casually brushed over the fact that a trapezium has only one pair of parallel sides, since the kids had already been introduced to trapeziums in prior years and we were most concerned with finding areas) but today we had the kids write out the different definitions of the parts of the circle.

To add some fun to the class, Daniel, who has memorized about two dozen digits of pi, wrote them out on the board from memory. As soon as he wrote this, one of our students muttered under his breath, “and then he invented Facebook!”

After that, we gave the students who hadn’t turned in homework the choice of having detention after school or spending their 20-minute break in the classroom with us going over said missed homework. Two of our kids chose the detention route, but one (smartly) chose the break route. I stayed with Allen during break, and it was much easier to go over the things he missed on his homework one-on-one. I told him he was smart for missing his break (20 minutes) instead of going to detention for an hour, and he agreed.

Miracles of miracles, when I came to the staff room around 9:18, there were not one but TWO peanut butter sandwiches left that I was able to eat (which is super-rare, since normally the PB sandwiches are the first to go!) Then all the MaPterns headed over to Mr. Taylor’s house for a special MaP scholars session.

Today, past MaP scholars (i.e. past MaP students who had already spent their year at boarding school and are going to be freshmen in college this coming fall) came back to talk to the current MaP scholars. They talked about the academic, social, and racial challenges that they faced in the states, and gave particularly sage advice about what the MaP scholars should be doing right now (i.e. writing their college essays and studying for the SATs).

After that, I had the next couple of blocks free, and it was nice not having to lesson plan for once (since Mr. Laverick will be teaching maths tomorrow, because we’re off to Kasane!) Then it was time for lunch – chicken and pasta (and yes, I will keep bringing it up, because I have to enjoy it while I can, but I was part of a MAJORITY today of people with ketchup on their pasta at lunch!)

Then we had quite a bit of free time. I had a delicious pear and cashew nut snack before “heading out” for the afternoon. I went to the staff room to try to get some WiFi and ended up having a really nice conversation with Ms. Turnball. She is the organizer of all the SPEs – quite a few of which happen off-campus! She was lamenting the fact that the public school and private school calendars don’t always match up, and therefore it’s a challenge when a lot of the Service SPEs involve going to visit and help out at (less privileged) public schools.

I was then able to catch some of the girl’s football scrimmage. They were playing Legae in a half-field scrimmage/friendly, and I even witnessed MaP score a goal (and they ended up winning 1-0)! After a bit of football watching, I headed back to the library to do some last-minute Vic Falls research.

Later, Jennifer and I headed over to Daniel’s room to discuss whether or not we wanted to go to Riverwalk Mall today. We decided not to go, but I ended up having a great conversation with them and Bikey. That’s what I love about being here – while sometimes having “too much” free time can be boring, it often leads to spontaneous conversations, things that you can’t really “schedule” into any part of a day.

After a shower, it was time for dinner. I took malerone (anti-malaria meds) for the first time tonight with dinner. I’m starting the meds today because we’re headed off to Kasane/Victoria Falls tomorrow!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be) that means that I will be computer-less until Monday/Tuesday (depending on what time zone you’re in). I’m going to try to take detailed(ish) notes in a journal I’m bringin with me, and hopefully when I return home, I’ll be able to re-construct the past few days.

TGT: 1) honey cheerios for breakfast 2) chatting with Ms. Turnball and Daniel, Jennifer and Bikey 3) delicious mid-afternoon pear and cashew snack

Until next time (it’s days like today when that ending comes in handy!)
~JK

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