Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sub Umbra Floreo

The title of my blog this evening is actually the motto of Belize, which translates roughly to "under the shade I flourish." I wasn't aware of this until Margo named her blog this and told me about it. I don't think I quite grasped what this motto meant until today.

It started like any other, a little humid, some heat in the air, but then somewhere around 10 am, someone turned up the heat. I was doing pretty well with it until I went into the faculty room and the heat just engulfed us. I was walking around during my free period only to find John had changed shirts in the morning because he had sweat through his first one. I think he lost his weight in water before 10 am. I wondered how I wasn't gaining any weight eating all of this delectable food, and it was apparent that walking everywhere and sweating will keep you in shape. It makes for a tiring day, but I've never felt so fit eating such unhealthy food. While I didn't sweat as bad as John, the heat was still very oppressing and it made me quite sleepy. As soon as the day was over, I changed into my board shorts and jumped in the pool at our hostel. EVEN THAT WAS HOT! Don't get me wrong, it was refreshing, but sometimes it seems like there is no escaping the heat here.

Enough bellyaching from me. I had another fun day of teaching. Today was especially fun because one class brought in all of their materials for their formicarium and we put together the ant colony. Students were really fascinated by the ants and even the students who misbehave were fascinated by the observatory they made. It was very impressive. From here, students will have to watch the ants as they hopefully build a new life for themselves in this false environment we created for them. After observing for a week, students will have to write a report about their findings. I like that we are making the lessons interdisciplinary. Dr. K even helped with the class so that he could help point out the queen ant and all the helpers to the students. It was a fun lesson.

I had a bit of an embarrassing moment today, however. As I was reviewing with the students, I asked them what the fancy word for ant observatory was and one student said "fornication." While I tried to ignore it, I told him that fornication was very different from a formicarium and I attempted to move on. However, one girl pulled me to the side and asked me what fornication was and I told her I didn't feel comfortable telling her. This is apparently when my face turned red according to Miss Usher. It was then that the young girl took out her dictionary and started looking for it. I thought I was in deep trouble, talking about fornication in class, but Miss Usher called the girl to over to her and explained exactly what it was. I was in the clear. This girl will apparently have a head start when she has life skills class next year.

Anyway, some of the other classes that were less prepared got a less interesting lesson- sorry, that's what you get. Today we reviewed how to talk on the phone with friends and then we started another fascinating topic: subject-verb agreement. I was hoping all my classes would be ready for the ant activity today so I wouldn't have to put them to sleep with this lesson, but they weren't, so I had them napping midway through the class. If students aren't prepared tomorrow, I'm going to have to continue teaching grammar. For my own sanity, instead of giving students notes, I think I might try subject-verb charades, where either one student or a group of students will do an activity and students have to make sure that the subject and verb match. I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, tomorrow promises to be another great day. It is our last day of classes before Easter Break, so the students should be in rare form. However, I have a feeling we are as excited as they students for a break, seeing as we will be traveling to the mainland for a week during the break. I'll fill you in more tomorrow. It's dinner time and I'm hungry.

Sending my best from Belize,


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