Friday, August 14, 2015

Lived Through the First Week of School, But it Left a Mark

Orientation week was rough.  Too many meetings, not enough time to work with my new Assistant Teacher, Susie, to get our room/materials ready.  Ready or not, the kids arrived on August 10, 2015.

They're cute, smart, funny and energetic.  We spent the first week getting to know each other and practicing our routine and procedures.  Most now know that in the morning when they arrive, they put away everything from their backpacks, get out a slate to write "Today I feel...........because........" and then get their morning work sheet and get busy.

I write those directions on the board and they can read them!  Last year, nope.  Huge step ahead.  Thanks to our AIS kindergarten/Montessori teachers!

In addition to teaching a new group of first graders, I'm also leading our AIS Myanmar Flood Response effort.  I feel so lucky to have been so readily accepted in Myanmar - only seems right that I do whatever I can to help in the recovery from the devastating floods.

I'm also leading a WASC team.  We're working hard to get international certification.  It means that parents can be assured that the education their children get at AIS is comparable to what they would get in the United States.  It also means, if you graduate from AIS high school, you can get into an American university.  A huge step for the school, but involves a big time commitment.

On Wednesday morning I was up early.  Took a shower, put on makeup and was thinking about some things I wanted to add to the flood relief project plan I'd created the night before.  My bathroom has an "all room" shower.  There's no separate shower area so the water covers the bathroom floor.

As I took the two steps from in front of the bathroom sink to step out of the bathroom, I slipped on the wet floor.  I tried to grab the door jamb to catch myself but that didn't work.  Instead I crashed to the floor, face first.

I was freaked out - there was a lot of blood and I was afraid to fall again if I tried to stand up since the floor was still wet with water and now blood.  Instead I started yelling for help.  Within seconds my wonderful neighbors (all co-workers) came running.  They got the spare key to my apartment from Aye Aye Than and one of the women ran in to help.  I had grabbed a towel so she doesn't need PTSD counseling.

She tossed me clothes then helped me up.  I was still gushing blood so used a towel and tissues to staunch the flow as I finished dressing.  By then, the school had roused a driver (it was 6 a.m. by then) and I was whisked off to the hospital, with Aye Aye Than at my side to provide moral support and translate.

I was sure my nose was broken but xrays of my face and wrist showed that nothing was broken.  I got a bandaid on the gash on my nose, cotton stuffed in my nostrils to try to stop the bleeding and was back on my way to school.

The kids were a bit freaked out about how I looked but got over it after I explained that it was just like when they fell and scraped a knee - I just did it to my face.

How I look 4 days later.  I'll look better after I get my hair done this morning!  I am a bit disappointed I didn't get to go to Bangkok for a broken nose.  I was hoping to sneak in an eye lift...

Now, on Saturday morning, my face looks remarkably better.  Black eye, bruised cheek and chin and cut on my nose but swelling is better.  I have a Kardashian upper lip, with an impressive bruise on the inside of my lip.  That's actually the most annoying thing now.  I can't whistle but make interesting noises occasionally when talking and my swollen lip starts flapping.

Last year I slipped on the wet floor outside my apartment door and tore ligaments in my left wrist.  Now this.  And after school yesterday as I was coming back to my apartment I slipped but caught myself when I hit a wet patch of tile.  They guy with me did the same.  We were ok but 30 minutes later another teacher came to my door.  He slipped but couldn't catch himself and scrapped his arm to the point of bleeding.

Asia loves smooth shiny tile.  Lovely to look at, treacherous to walk on!

One last note - the morning I fell, when the kids wrote how they felt on their slates I was touched to read what one boy had written:  "I'm angry because Tr. Nancy hurts." 

Beware - nasty photos below...
What looks like blood on my mouth is actually my bruised, swollen upper lip.

My bathroom was a mess.

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