Friday, April 16, 2010

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Before I began regaling you with tales of my first day at Moshaweng, I want to take a quick moment to respond to comments. I can't figure out how to post comments in response on my Blackberry, so this will have to do.

Thanks for the moral support, Neelam! (It was definitely the glittery pencils.) I will talk to you soon, we have much to discuss.

I can't wait to see you, Mr Cooper. We can compare the horror of our living situations. I came home from school today to find a giant piece of plaster on my bed. What's worse is that because there are so many gaping holes in my walls, I'm not even sure where it came from. How far away is Ganap? 20 km? Are you near Laxey?

Other administrative issues: I know my e-mail inbox is full. I can't delete anything on my Blackberry. I will clean it out in the next week or so. Also, please be aware of the time in South Africa when you are making phone calls attempting to reach me. I am usually in bed by nine (my time) which is mid-afternoon your time. It's not that I don't want to talk to you, but I turn my phone off when I'm trying to sleep so you will not be able to reach me.

School today was, as they say in South Africa, hectic. By that, they usually mean crazy busy, and, boy, I did more today in 7 hours than in 7 months in Deorham.

During the school briefing I was introduced to all 5 of the educators not currently attending workshops in Kuruman. It was very low-key. I was then shown to my "office", a desk and chair in the computer lab. A few minutes later the learners arrived, and we all went to assembly. There were songs, prayers, announcements, the usual. I spent the rest of the day filling in for absent teachers. I taught Newton's laws in grade 10 physical science, transport in plants in grade 11 life science, compound interest in grades 10 and 11 maths, and human evolution, trigonometry, and mitosis and meiosis in grade 12 life science and maths. Phew! In between I had great conversations with learners about their role models and plans for the future, as well as checked out the fabulous computer lab where I will be teaching computer literacy. I was busy all day, but it felt great! I haven't done so much work since I left America! Also, I had no textbooks to teach from. I taught all of the above from memory! Most of it from high school as I only took one science in college (thank you, A.P. Biology). It was scary at first, but turned out to be quite fun. I especially enjoyed teaching physical science. The learners knew all the formulas, but they had never heard of Isaac Newton! I drew an apple tree with a little man underneath and proceeded to explain the whole concept of gravity. It was fun for everyone. The learners clapped when I left.

Anyway, now I'm back in my closet. Tired, but content. Tomorrow I will attempt my laundry, then pack for Pretoria. Hopefully when I finally return, the DoE will have delivered my wardrobe. Living out of a suitcase is tough in a place where everyone expects clothes to be in perfect condition at all times.


  1. Wow, sounds like your room is pretty bad. Mine is quite a bit better since my host brother rewired it and I put about a gallon of caulk in all the cracks and holes. It's really all the drunks that are the worst part, and luckily they aren't too often.

    My village is between Laxey and you, about 5k from Laxey. So I'm actually closer than Lauren.