Day 4 down…the time is slipping away wayyyyy to quickly!! Hope you’re not getting bored reading yet!
Journal Day 4: May 16, 2013
Woke up bright and early again this morning for breakfast, which consisted of eggs, sausage, beans, plantains, and the sour cream/cream cheese sauce stuff. Then it was off to another day of school! My class started off with Spanish again, and we went to the library to check out some Spanish books. Then we came back to the classroom where the Spanish teacher instructed the students to write a chronology of their lives with at least 4 events. I worked with this cutie, Déborah, during this time. She even asked me how to conjugate the verb graduarse, which I was very confused about. However, after talking with her a little, I found out that she was born in the United States in California and moved to Honduras 3 years ago. She didn’t know any Spanish at the time, and now she’s fluent! Apparently her dad is a teacher in one of the classrooms at ABSS. She then wanted me to write a chronology of my life, so I obliged. I even did it in Spanish and got to practice speaking with her! I love that kids are so forgiving…even though I fail epically with my Spanish, they’re still willing to let me practice on them.
A short recess followed and Becca and I sat outside with some of the girls, who shared their giant grapes with us. Apparently they don’t have small grapes in Honduras! The grape prompted us to practice our words for various fruits in Spanish , and then I had the privilege to have my hair done by the girls…it was really cute…;)
Math was next…we continued working with the beans and finding the difference. I worked with Luis Fernando again as I did the day before. He is such a cutie, even though he doesn’t really like to listen to me or do work. It was a slow process to try and get him to do some of the parts of the lesson, but eventually he complied to my requests. I just tried to be very encouraging, because it doesn’t help to get frustrated with the students. Miss Lacey told me I was doing a good job while working with him, but I didn’t feel that was the case because we didn’t seem to be making much progress. Perhaps I will if I continue to work with him!
Language Arts was next, after a quick brain break, which was a murder game that I compared to Frogger, which I always played during volleyball. The students got to read their books, and this little cutie, Kenneth, read some of his book to me and we took turns reading pages. Miss Lacey then had a project for us: we had to grade some standardized tests the students had taken the week before. There were 20 tests of about 70 pages! So we started the process with our own method, but Miss Lacey later gave us a faster, more efficient method of grading so we could get done faster. Lesson #1: Always listen to the experienced teachers!! They give good advice.
The tests had different parts: reading, grammar, math, etc. What was interesting was that these tests were standardized tests for Iowa. What were they doing in Honduras?! Becca and I felt as if we were marking almost every question incorrect, especially when it came to the words and finding the correct definitions out of a list with almost no context clues. We even talked to Miss Lacey about it: these would be so difficult for students to figure out who are in third grade in the US, let alone students who primarily speak Spanish! It strongly reminded me of a passage I read in one of our assigned novels, Of Borders and Dreams: A Mexican-American Experience of Urban Education. It talks about how standardized tests are biased and are not in favor of minorities because they are set up to be culturally relevant to the majority (Carger, 1996). There might be words and phrases in these American tests that would make no sense to these Honduran children because they are not culturally significant here as they would be in the States. So, why these tests are being administered, I couldn’t say. But I’m not sure how accurate they really are of these kids’ intelligence.
Lunch was next, and it was by far the best meal I’ve had here so far! Our cook made us tacos with some extremely good tortillas, chicken, guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, and sauces. Ohhh man, it was heavenly. We proceeded to join the kids in their recess games afterwards. It’s an understatement to say they were crazy. They were running around everywhere, crowding on the playset to go down the slide, jumping on and climbing up the slide, bumping into one another, and rolling around in the dirt when they got to the bottom. Noé had scissors in his pocket for some reason, so I had to take them before he stabbed himself or someone else! The girls were running around blowing raspberries on our stomachs, and everyone just had way too much energy! But we finally settled down a bit when we taught everyone the game, “Down-By-The-Banks.” It was a simple game and everyone, even some kids from the Kinder class, enjoyed it.
Becca and I graded some more afterwards, and before long, it was time to pack up and leave. Most of us were really excited because we were going to visit the orphanage right after school. Miss Lacey told us that four students in our classroom, Luis Fernando (who I work on math with), Norman, Daniel, and Cristian (one of my favorite kids there!) all live at the orphanage. I was shocked: we knew some students came from the orphanage, but we had no clue they were in our class! I did notice that 3 of these students were a little more reserved and quiet, especially Luis Fernando when I work with him on math. Miss Lacey had said he needed some extra love, and now I understand why. My heart for these children grew 10x more when I discovered this. I can’t even imagine a life with no parents, and it makes me very thankful for my family and not having had gone through childhood without strong role models.
Well, unfortunately, our trip to the orphanage fell through after we had all piled into the van because of some miscommunication that all the students from Jovenes, the orphanage, were actually coming to ABSS after school, because they have a partnership of sorts where the students visit each other. However, we found out that the students would be playing a soccer game here, so we decided to stay for that. I felt like a proud parent watching Danny and Norman and Cristian play their game! I was cheering them on and taking pictures of them and everything. Future soccer mom…? Haha J But it was absolutely adorable: even though Cristian is pretty quiet in class and sometimes seems wary of me, every time his team scored a goal, he looked over at me and smiled. It was absolutely precious!! I can’t wait to tell him how well he played tomorrow!! We might be able to visit the orphanage next week…I really hope so!!
We had dinner at 6, which consisted of chicken, rice, cucumbers, bread, and fruit cups. We then had class, where we discussed the book I mentioned earlier. The book is essentially about a boy named Alejandro, who was born in Mexico and moved to the United States. He had a lot of trouble with the public school system in Chicago, and the book, told by his ESL teacher, highlighted the struggles he encountered with not knowing English well or Spanish academically. It was pretty interesting.
Becca and I went over tomorrow’s math lesson in the math book afterwards because Miss Lacey is letting us teach the math lesson tomorrow! The book lays the lesson out pretty clearly, but it’ll be a really neat experience. We also might get to do the Language Arts lesson!
Another fun thing: Katie and I got to chat with some more Zamorano students today! Many of them congregate in the hotel lobby at nights when we’re studying, and Katie and I were there too. All of a sudden, a beetle flew onto my backpack (they’re EVERYWHERE!) and I freaked out and tried to get it off, but it wouldn’t go anywhere! So I was just spazzing out, and when I looked over, 2 girls who were sitting there were laughing at me. So I took the opportunity to ask what they were studying for in the lobby, and they told us they had a big project due and were writing a paper. Their names were Wendy and Karen or something like that. We found out that a lot of the girls live in the Kellogg Center because there wasn’t enough space in the other dorms, and that’s why they were always hanging out here! Also, Karen actually did an internship with Purdue for 3 months earlier this year! She said she really liked it and experienced snow for the first time while there! She basically lived within a mile of me, too! Apparently a lot of Zamorano students do internships at Purdue because both have such a strong agriculture program. It was awesome being able to ask them questions though! They might even take us out to do something on Saturday! Seriously though, it’s the animals and creatures that get us friends..first the cats, and now the bugs!
Speaking of doing things, Gustavo, they guy we met yesterday, added the 3 of us on Facebook, and now he and his friends are going to make dinner for us tomorrow night! Seriously can’t wait!!
Goodnight for now!
Roxely y Andrea
Library time! (With the attractive librarian…all the girls either like him, the PE teacher, or the 6th grade teacher. Maybe I need to move to Honduras… 😉 )
Rebeca y Deborah
Laura y Norman
Getting my hair done…cute, right?
Deb, the cutie
Down By The Banks!
3rd grade teachers!
Cristian, my little cutie!
Cristian y Norman
Los gatitos again!
A GIANT moth