Recap: Dec. 6 – 12

December 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm (Colombia)

Only one more week of “school”, which will consist mostly of rehearsals for the presentations on Thursday and Friday. Then I’ll have the weekend to pack and be off to Peru. Can’t wait! But enough about the future, here’s my recap of the past week:

Sunday – I discovered a fellow air cadet in Nate, the pastor’s son-in-law, who is here from British Columbia with his wife for a few months. It was fun reminiscing about drill, Remembrance Day parades, summer camps and hours spent polishing our boots.

Monday – After a teacher’s meeting all afternoon, the pastor and some friends invited me to join them on an evening drive through Cali, specifically a couple of neighbourhoods that go all out with Christmas decorations. It was also the eve of a big holiday in Colombia, so everyone had candles out in front of their homes. Some houses were gaudy and ridiculous, but most were beautiful.

Tuesday – A large majority of Colombians are Catholic, so they’ve proclaimed the day of Mary’s conception a national holiday. Not when Jesus was conceived, but when Mary was. Interesting … whatever, it was nice to have a day off school and catch up on some things around the house – I even used Emilse’s breadmaker for the first time.

Wednesday – Today was the absolute last call for recuperation work from failing students. Finally, our period one grades are sent off. I officially have three students that failed (one in seventh, two in ninth) and who showed virtually no interest in changing that status; and only one kid in the “superior” level. Apparently I’m a hard marker.

Thursday – Now that the pressure of grading deadlines is over, I feel like I’ve been able to enjoy my students more than ever. In a casual conversation with a ninth grader, I admitted I had never done this teaching thing before, and she assured me I’m doing a good job. I’m rewarding my top students in each grade with Canadian pencils (thanks, J&S!), and my sixth grader who earned the honour gave me a very heartfelt thanks and a kiss on the cheek.

Friday – I played soccer with fifth grade for an hour to help out another teacher who was busy, which means I’ve officially spent time with every single class. I definitely don’t have everyone’s names memorized though …

Saturday – For a change I’m not spending my Saturday afternoon making lesson plans for the coming week. All regular classes are essentially over; I’ve been playing games and watching movies with most of my students this week when they’re not in theatre or dance practices. So … I officially survived my first period!

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