Friday, August 8, 2008

yes, but a person who hunts hippos?

I have had a bad week of teaching. One of my classes is turning into demons. They are ridiculous! I do this thing where I try to get everyone to talk, in an orderly fashion, in english. Apparently, Oitava 2 is incapable of such lofty expectations. I had people standing up just to say 'When I grow up, I am going to be a such-n-such.' Well, of course everyone was chatting when students were trying to say what they wanted to be. I tried to remedy the problem by throwing kids out left and right. It got so bad that I threatened the falta collectiva...again. So I gave it...again. They are only allowed 7 absences from school in the year in order to remain in school. And then one kid said 'obrigado!' which means 'thank you!' Once I find out what his number is, he's getting a falta vermelha, which is pretty bad. I was ready to cry at that point but I didn't because you can't lose your cool in front of them. And plus that means they've won. So after class, I marched myself over to the pedagogical director's office and did what any self-respecting, frustrated teacher would do. I tattled on them. I talked to a head teacher and am currently arranging for a mozambican teacher to yell at them. They don't behave like this with mozambican teachers and that's what really frustrates me. Then again, they are usually afraid and timid in front of Mozambican teachers. Mozambican teachers, as a result of being overworked and never taught to make innovative lesson plans, usually just come to school with basic lessons that the students just copy and repeat like robots. If I were a student, I feel like I would appreciate a teacher who actually put effort and thought into lessons. Maybe that's just me. But all I know is that I've never wanted to turn around and flick them all off as much as I did yesterday.

I have been teaching them professions lately and that's been a trip. I gave them a list of possible jobs they might be interested in (electrician, teacher, doctor, nurse, driver, store owner, etc.) and then asked if they had any more titles they wanted to know the english name of.

This is how that conversation went.

Them: 'Pescador!'
Me: Fisherman
Them: 'Camponese!'
Me: Farmer
Them: 'Hippo!'
Me: Huh?
Them: Hippo!
Me: (in Portuguese) That's an animal.
Them: (in Portuguese) Yes, but a person who hunts hippos?
Me: (in Portuguese) You don't even have hippos here.
Them: (Shrug)

And then when I was going around the room and asking each student what they wanted to be, one of my students was just like 'CARRRRRRRRRR!' When I asked him to repeat it, once again, he just went 'CARRRRRRRRRR!' Oh, a driver? Yes. And then when I tried to get him to say 'I want to be a driver' I had to go over it syllable by syllable with him to get him to say it. And even then, he whispered. I dunno about that kid. Every time I look at him, he's picking his nose.

This is the board game that I made for students to practice their english. It has a bunch of Monapo landmarks and is appropriately titled English in Monapo. There's the Monapo Rio, the Mosque and Catholic Church, a herd of goats, women carrying a lot of stuff, a kid rolling a wheel and my personal favorite, a stuffed beyond capacity chapa at the chapa stop. The kids really seem to enjoy it, especially since the game pieces are pieces of candy. The winner takes all.

Here's an example of the bag that my REDES girls are going to start making. We will sell them for 50 MT, which is 2 dollars and then the girls can use 25 MT to buy another meter of material and the other 25 as profit. It sounds like women here will buy these so I'm interested to see where this leads. I am trying to get more and more ideas of things they could make that people here would use and buy.

And I also threw in this random picture of the market in Monapo. It's dead at the time in the photo but come dusk and the fisherman returning from the ocean, you've got yourself one bustling market.

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