MJ Live

Monday, January 30, 2006

Classes Begin (Written 1/30/06)

One week later and we are finally underway of doing something. Today classes started which meant that the kids actually went into classrooms and set down. No actual work was done because we do not yet know if the classes they are currently in will be the classes they will have for the rest of the term – so it was an interesting day to say the least. Every Monday we start the day off with an assembly, so that’s what we did today. Father Kevin thanked the kids for their great singing on Friday and then dismissed them into their tentative classes. I of course had no earthly idea what I actually was suppose to do with these kids since this was not going to be their class setup for the rest of the term. Fortunately, the other teachers told me what they were doing which in turn gave me some idea of what I should do. So for my classes what I had them do was come in and introduce themselves to me – then have them write their names down so I could remember what they were (now I understand why teachers in America had such hard time remembering names, its even harder here!) and then I introduced myself. I then gave a light quiz trying to figure out what the kids remembered about basic computing (asking them to point out a monitor, keyboard, mouse, CPU and UPS) and I was somewhat relieved that for the most part kids knew what they were dealing with. After that, I took them outside and took their pictures for the magazine (since we may lose some students as the year goes on, it was suggested to me that I should take their pictures early in the year and as new students come in just update my collection). Once that was all out the way I let the kids play some games on the computer (the one most of them played was a game called ‘Chicken Invaders’) and it gave me a chance to evaluate how comfortable the kids felt with the keyboard. Some, of course, were peckers i.e. pecking away on the keyboard, being hesitant with their hand movements or looking down to see where their hands should be and some were very comfortable on the keyboard. So while it was not a hard day by any stretch of the imagination I think it got the kids off to a good start and gave me a chance to look at them without boring them to tears on the first day. After that fun filled, action packed day I contacted a source that was referred to me by another Peace Corps for a person who was looking to unload some spare computer parts. And when you have 3 computer labs to keep maintained you’re looking for all the spare parts you can get your hands on. So Father Kevin and I went over and had a look at what the person had and they had plenty of monitors to give away (along with keyboards) which was just what we were looking for (2 of my current computers don’t have monitors – they’re CRT’s and they’re really hard to fix in Samoa). So we made plans to come back tomorrow and get as many monitors as we can – then we can focus on just getting the CPUs which are easier and lighter to ship from overseas if necessary. Unfortunately that means I won’t be having a full day of class tomorrow because I’ll be trying to get these monitors back to Chanel – so day is officially in the books and I’ll be skipping day 2! It was just to much let me tell you.

Also, for those of you who are still experiencing snow where you are – it was pouring down rain all day long today. So it was like snow, only not as cold. Oddly enough, for the first time today and last night I was actually cold in Samoa! Cold I tells ya! I was like “Where’s my comforter!” Strangest thing, but I guess that means I’m getting use to the weather here. L8r.  

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