Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Pooped

Today was a day.   It started when my host dad came by (which is very rare) to apologize for my visitor the other night.  The young man has been spoken to and will not be back.  I assured him that I understood it was a Vailima (local beer) induced event and was not worried that it would happen again.

I strolled to school in the sunshine after hanging out laundry.  I love the sun but miss the cool. And what’s with the mosquitos coming back in droves since the rain stopped? Out of the 9 teachers, only 5 were present and one (the principal/Year 8 teacher) announced he had a meeting to attend.  There I was with 42 Year 7 students and 25 Year 8 students.  That’s 67 kids, all of whom seem to be having a tween hormonal crisis.

To make it more interesting, one of the school committee members showed up and asked for printouts of the photos I’d taken for him of the school.  He’s applying for a grant to get money to fix broken windows, etc. and I had the photos.  I had to download them into a document, format them and print them.  Luckily, I have the electronics and skills to do that.  But I was doing it while also “teaching” 67 kids.  Let’s face it, at that point it was crowd control.  And it wasn’t going well.

As kids got “cheeky”, which translates to talking when they shouldn’t, running around the room, running across the desks (yes, really), hitting each other, etc., I banished them to another room.  Where they would have a chat with the principal when he came back.  But he didn’t come back.

I managed.  At one point I had to go to each classroom to take pictures of damage to the cement floors.  There were no other teachers in the school.  Just me.  The other teachers were busy preparing tea for members of the school committee.  Instead of yelling at just 67 kids, I had the opportunity to try to keep 200 + under control.  I surrendered.  The first floor, Years 1-5 were on their own.  I stuck to the second floor.

I moved from classroom to classroom upstairs, giving out assignments and reprimanding children.  Did I mention that I have a cold?  Didn’t sleep well last night and didn’t feel well today?  The day flew by.  By interval a couple more teachers showed up.  As we sat and chatted, I watched the kids on the playground.  Four appeared to be practicing for auditions in the WWF.   I strolled out into the blazing sun to stop them.  I was immediately surrounded by my young fans.  In an effort to get them off me I yelled “Make a circle!”

They know that means some kind of game and before I knew it, about 150 kids had made a circle.  All I was planning was a quick game of Duck, Duck, Goose for a few kids.  I was the first to be “it”.    I touched heads (yes, that’s why I have a cold and skin infections) and finally yelled “Goose!”  The kid took off running and I went the other way.  I won.  Ok, so I beat a six year old.  I still won.  The game continued, with me playing along.

After getting fully sweat-soaked, I went back to where the teachers were hanging out.  Seems they’d been discussing my pubic hair and contemplating what color it was.  I declined to show them but offered a description.  They seemed satisfied.  No, when I joined the PC, I never figured the subject would come up.

During crowd control today we worked on Valentines, practiced maths (in NZ it is maths, to me it will always be math), and read aloud in Samoan.  The kids did the reading.  I made them tell me in English what the story was about.

The day and the week flew by.  My house is clean and after hitting the market in the morning, my shopping will be done.  Then I just have to spend about 5 hours on lesson plans; redo a PC report (that’s too frustrating a story to even tell) and finish the customer service training materials.

Tonight, I have Nyquil.  God bless U. S. drugs.

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