Wednesdays are proving to be crazy days. I had a terrible night’s sleep, my back was killing me. I felt like I had huge knots all over my back. I think it may be from carrying around my backpack so much, especially while hiking Table Mountain… I even at one point got up and took some pain medicine I had left over from my knee surgery and the pain still wouldn’t subside. When my alarm went off come morning I shut it down and had no intentions of getting out of bed. I did eventually get up despite an over whelming urge to stay in bed all day, and I headed to Mama Zulus house to eat some left over pizza for brunch. The idea was to eat here and not have to carry my bag on the walk to school.
When I arrived at school I was greeted by the math teacher who had a test full of questions he needed me to answer. I had no problem working on them, in fact I love math challenges, but the problem lies in the fact that they are just that…challenging. If you as a teacher have trouble or are not able to solve problems on your own test, then what makes you think your eleven year old students are going to have any chance?? Some of these questions required a lot of thinking and some set strategies, and others take some time. I’m almost positive that he had started grading some of the papers before he even got the correct answers from me. He’s an awesome teacher, and he puts forth a lot of effort… but I had to explain more than half the test to him. Does anyone else see a problem with that? I’m glad that he at least asked me for help and didn’t just wait for me to catch the mistakes after he handed all the graded tests back, like I did on the last test haha. This math session lasted about 20 minutes before the day was lost.
I understand I’ve used a lot of similar description words and what not but the word chaos found a new meaning today. I kid you not today put the other ‘chaotic’ days to shame. Their cultural teacher was in the room (she was the one that had them doing the wedding stuff) and today she had them working on writing a fake post card ((I think I’ll see if I can get some of them to write you guys post cards… anyone absolutely want one?)). So I was walking around the room helping them along. Basically, I was just trying to get them to do it. One thing led to another and we started throwing a Frisbee around in the class. Started out with me and a girl playing keep away from a boy, and this gradually grew to 5 or 6 people playing keep away from one or two people in the middle. At this point I think the cultural teacher had abandoned the classroom and I completely lost hope of finishing the post card (it was a really hot day in Africa today and you can imagine how hard it is to focus when your school uniform is long pants and a sweater). A few boys shoved the desks apart and all of a sudden we had a 2v2 soccer tournament at hand. I’m not sure you can even imagine how chaotic this all was. Half the class was playing some sort of a contact sport within the classroom while the other half was doing whatever they wanted. Now this isn’t really that unusual within the classroom during class hours and the fact they had a nice little tournament set up was a bit more organized then I thought possible, but a couple kids thought it may be a good idea to continue the Frisbee toss over the soccer game and in turn they shattered the lone light bulb in the class (it was one of those long ones, and was the only one that was working). It was day light out so there was still enough light coming in through the windows but there was now shattered light bulb and all that white powder that comes with it. Pretty sure the kids were scared for their life that they were going to get beat and a lot of them ran out the door. I wrote on the board; Operation Clean Up Time, and we set to work. When the teacher came back she didn’t even care and the chaos just moved to outside the classroom. We are by no means the only classroom in the school that is like this, in fact from what I’ve observed this specific classroom is a bit more tame then many of the others. So when we went outside we were actually joining the rest of the school. Just outside the classroom a dance party was starting up so I made sure to catch a lot of that on film but I was a bit more interested in continuing the Frisbee toss (one thing that was quite interesting during the dance party was when the kids started singing and rapping. A few of the songs they were rapping dropped the Eff word in them. It’s still shocking to hear young kids say stuff like that but to them it has no significance at all. I’m also still really impressed by all their dancing and singing abilities). As we threw all we had was one of those cheap bank Frisbees that they usually hand out for free but it was more than enough. The only major problem was that it was a bit windy which makes a having a catch difficult. Several times the Frisbee would get thrown up onto the roof of the classrooms, but no worries… it’s absolutely no big deal at all for them to climb right up onto the roof to go fetch it. The rest of the school day was more or less a field day, and I had a great time!
On the walk home, just outside of the school’s perimeter, there are a lot of venders that sell chunk food to the kids. Mawuande bought a popsicle for himself, and one for me. I love these kids already. We took yet a different route on the way home today and I asked them if they’d be willing to show me and two of the German girls around tomorrow. I also made a plan with them that I’m not sure I mentioned yet. I’m going to take them in pairs to Stellenbosch with me starting Friday. In my mind I’m picturing a day like the one Annie experienced when she first moved into the mansion. It’s not going to be quite so extreme but I’ll take them to a book store and let them pick something out, take them to get some dinner somewhere and then some ice cream or something. Time permitting I’ll bring them to the internet café and show them the almighty thing we call INTERNET!!! Haha My super hero status will be official after a day like that. Sooo if you’d like to chat with my students online, maybe I’ll even bring my webcam make yourself available Friday morning (your time) from about 10am-noon. I can’t promise we’ll be there but I’ll try cause I’m sure they’d love it as much as you would.
As for myself, I made it to Stellenbosch today and headed to an internet café. I vary with one I got to because the way the grant you access is a bit tricky and sometimes the 24 hour periods overlap if I got to the same one two days in a row. Even though I was going to be heading to Frisbee practice as soon as my internet session ended I still thought it would be a good idea to purchase an enormous piece of chocolate cake and a vanilla milk shake. It was by no means my best decision but it proved to be a not so bad one as well. When I got to the fields the clouds were halfway up the side of the mountain and it looked so awesome. I got a text from Tersious (the guy I cliff jumped with, in Hermanus) and we’re planning a hiking trip through those vary mountains. That… is going to be awesome! Practice was also a good time and I can feel myself starting to get back into shape. All in all, I had an awesome Wednesday and I hope yours was great as well!