Almost October

Trip Start Aug 01, 2006
Trip End Jul 14, 2007

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Flag of Guyana  ,
Friday, September 29, 2006

As the first month of teaching at Friendship comes to a close, I can honestly say that it is still going very well and that I do love teaching the students here. However, I have never been so exhausted in my entire life, and I cannot even begin to understand why someone would think that putting 45 8th graders in one class was a good idea. It must have been the same person who made my schedule have back-to-back classes all day, every day, while other teachers have only 1 or 2 classes a day. Anyway, some of my students are absolutely great and I can tell that they are learning and are really striving for a better education. I have started after school sessions for help and review, and it is here that I really get to spend more one-on-one time with the students who really care about learning and science. These kids just make my day and really keep me going when I'm really overwhelmed or tired. To see the look on their faces when they really begin to understand a concept that they couldn't understand before--it is just priceless. It gives me tingles every time, and it really reminds me of what I am here for.

With that said, I'm almost positive that some of the students here are demon-possessed. Some of them are so rowdy, rude, and out-of-control, that I sometimes think they really are of a different species. I've found that in order to really have an effective class period, I have to take care of the bad kids right away. I never thought I would have to yell and scream at students to get out of my class. But doing that is really the only way that students will listen and behave. It is definitely true that a few bad apples can ruin the whole bushel. Anyway, I'm trying my best to maintain control and order in the classroom, while also encouraging questions and participation and staying friendly.

Today was "Sports Day" at our school, and so classes were cancelled and the students competed in a big intra-school track meet. The students were divided up into for teams, or "houses," to compete against each other. It was really fun to see the kids competing in running and jumping events--and some of them are really good! It was also a very nice break from teaching for a day.

Outside of teacing things are going well also, and I really love getting to know the people here. I really love just sitting around and "gaffing" (talking) with the locals. I've gotten to know some really great people who've taught me a lot already.

Tomorrow some of the other Friendship teachers, WT volunteers, and I are going to an Amerindian Festival, where I hear there will be fun cultural stuff, dancing, singing, food, drinks, etc. It sounds like a lot of fun, and apparently you need a 4-wheel drive truck to get there. So we'll see how it goes...hopefully I'll make it out of the jungle alive!

"To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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