MJ Live

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Gorilla Teaching (Written 6/27/06)

Yesterday was an interesting day for two very big reasons – one school related, the other Peace Corps related. In terms of school, Monday was the day that I was finally able to get all three computer labs up and running at the same time. Over the weekend I finally installed the hard drives into the new computers and turned them on for a bit, along with the other two labs as sort of a stress test to see if it could handle the power. Over the weekend everything went okay so I was like 'Alright, cool – Monday's going to be a breeze'. Of course if you know anything about computer tech and/or troubleshooting when things look like its all working together fine – you're in for a very rude surprise. So on Monday, when I went into the third lab to turn on the computers I encountered my first problem – one of the power supply's on the computers didn't work. So I had to fix that real quick, luckily we always have assembly on Monday and that gave me plenty of time to fix that problem. Then I thought, 'alright, just a little problem – we're still good, we're still good'. After all the computers had been on for a while (about an hour into the day) and right when I was about to start teaching my first class of the day – the power went out in all three computer labs. After doing a little bit of looking around we found out it was only the area in which the computers lab were located that was affected.


And that changed quite a few things I was planning on doing on Monday, but it also showed me how much I have changed in the past few months of teaching. If this had happened during the first term or even the first few months of me teaching, I would have had no idea what to do – maybe started panicking a bit. But instead of doing that, I thought about what I could teach the kids about computers without actually having a computer (the two subjects we are covering right now are Powerpoint and Excel, so it wasn't easy) but it really felt like I was just doing Gorilla teaching – throwing things together to see if they would work. Fortunately, it all worked out (and I didn't have an 1:30 class today which was extremely fortunate) and at the end of the day some electricians came in and told us that the computers were all pulling from the same power line which was probably never meant to hold 55 computers on it. So we'll see how Father Kevin handles this situation, but for now we're limited by power to only 2 computer labs. The dream lives on, but reality gets in the way.


After that interesting day at school – I went into town to do a little shopping and to say the first of my goodbyes as a volunteer. The last 2 volunteers to leave (Brian and Virginia) I wasn't able to see them off – which was sad – so I made a conscious effort to see these folks off: you only get one chance to say goodbye. So on Monday we said goodbye to Nela (72), Jodi (72) and Mike (74). We had dinner at Chopstix – which is a good Chinese restaurant near the Peace Corps office that volunteers go to a lot. There was a lot of laughing and picture taking which was good. I think I've said it before but this island literally feels like the island on Lost – people that I know from like church and stuff were coming into the restaurant to eat and I found out there were other volunteers who know these same people. Thank goodness our plane didn't crash here! At 9, we said goodbye to the trio as they set off for the airport – it was definitely a hard moment because you get to know these people so well and then 'poof' they're gone and you're like 'Wait a minute, something's not right'. This is the first of 3 groups that will leave while we (Group 75) are volunteers here and something tells me its not going to get any easier. But it's a sad and happy occasion – sad that we are losing some great friends, but happy that we get their stuff! It's like a very mixed up Christmas!

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