Friday, February 20, 2009

hangs between

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Placed on this isthmus in a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the skeptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die; and reas’ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused, or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
~Alexander Pope


I know, I know - I’m not updating enough. But really there’s nothing that incredibly exciting going on. I know people want pictures too but that’s going to have to wait a while longer. I get online through my cell phone and pay by the bite (amount of info transferred) – pics would be expensive.

I’ve been teaching for 2 weeks now. I’m still experimenting with ways to teach these children and behavior is still a big issue. This week I tried to do a little experiment – wanted to see how my Class 2 and 3 kids compare to the older students abilities. I asked a couple Class 4 and 5 kids to write a sentence about something they like. “You like to run. You like school. Something.” Blank stares and then one girl started copying the days of the week off a poster hanging on the wall. A lot of the kids love math. It makes sense to me. Although, they don't really seem to understand what they are doing they love using the multiplication chart and were pretty excited when I showed them the lattice method for multiply large numbers. It's really the only subject that doesn't require them to read a lot of English. But my Class 2 kids can't even count yet. "Fill in the blank. 23, _, _, 26" Nope. I just don’t know…

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. (I’m actually out of books now until I can borrow more from someone or get my boxes that are waiting in Nairobi.)

Stones from the River – Ursual Hegi
Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
Unbowed – Wangari Maathai
Can-Cans, Cats and Cities of Ash – Mark Twain
Kite Runner – Khaled Hossein
The Unheard – Josh Swiller

It saddens me that my kids will never enjoy reading like I do – never really have the opportunity to enjoy reading. But I don’t know how to change that even a little.

So, a typical day for me:
I get up around 6am and get dressed and ready. Around 6:50 I go outside and buy mandazi which I eat while I check email and Kenyan newspapers online. At 7:15 my counterpart comes by and we walk to school together.
8:00 – English Class 2 and 3
9:00 – Math Nursery Class
10:00 – tea and mandazi break
11:00 – Social Studies Class 2 and 3 (Mon/Tue) Environment Nursery Class (Wed/Thu/Fri)
12:00 – Lunch Break
2:00 – Creative Arts Class 2 and 3 (Wed/Thu/Fri)
3:00 – Class finished kids play, I read
I leave school at 4pm and walk home with my counterpart. As soon as I get home I jump into a cold shower because I’m hot a sweaty and if I sit down to relax for even a second I’m not going to enjoy the cold water (of course, that’s only if the water is working.) The rest of the night I eat a snack (either cinnamon “toast” or fried potatoes,) check blogs, read, etc. For dinner I usually have a peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and honey sandwich. Although, I did find some avocados at the market last weekend so I had more variety this week. Around 9pm I go to bed.

1 comment:

mom and dad said...

What books can I send you? Did you ever read Out of Africa? I know we watched the movie but maybe you'd like to read the book. I'm looking for a quote for you. Love, Mom and Dad