Weeks are full of good days….and then a bad day shows….At least a box of candy can make it better.
Yesterday was a great day. School was amazing. I felt like me and the other teachers worked real well together. I rearranged my schedule to go over to the kolisi in the afternoon so I can assist with a computer class. At my school they fed us well in the morning and again at lunch. When the kolisi school day was over, they fed us again, and I got oka! I got to ride my bike all over, and there is nothing more exhilarating and refreshing than zooming downhill on an awesome mountain bike in the rain. I still love how in villages all around everyone knows my name. In the afternoon and evening I had a good time relaxing with my family.
Today I should have realized was not going to be good from the start. I took my time getting ready for school, and usually I am the first one out the door on my walk to school. However today, my sister had to knock and see when I would be leaving. (I still was the first one at school, although not by much.)
I started my day by attempting to fix the school computer that decided that it was done with working. While I was working, I was interrupted for lotu. I don’t mind going to the table to join in the prayer, however it frustrated me how I was approached about it. I was accused of not attending when I have not missed a prayer session in weeks (the only time I missed was when I was teaching an early morning class.) There were three of us in the morning prayer. Normally there are 11 teachers including myself.
The lack of teachers should have been my second clue that something would be off for the day, that and the fact that there was no breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and I feel like I am dragging if I do not eat it!
With an empty belly, I went to my year 7 class and had a few kids acting up. I had them sit in time out on the side of the room. It frustrates me that other teachers do not seem to respect my behavior plan for my kids, as another teacher came in to hit a student for being out of line. The kids continued to act up a little (is it a full moon?) so I decided to give them a quiz based upon what we were just doing. I became real frustrated as several students copied off of one another. They do not even pick the brightest student to copy off of which is a mystery to me….
I then headed to my second class when we were going to do interactive writing. On my walk there I passed the teachers’ office where out of the 4 teachers who attended (there was a few meetings and Samoa has such a teacher shortage that there are no substitute teachers), three were in the office. One is always in the office as he is resigning soon and does not go to a classroom, even though he might be needed. The other two were just talking. One of them was the teacher of the class that I was supposed to go to, and asked “E ke alu ai? Vasega fa? There is no teacher there today so you should go there.” I told her no I was going to her classroom since there was also no teacher in that classroom. I was surprised when she showed up to sit in the room for a bit while I was teaching. We worked on interactive writing about professions we might want and I love how different children’s views are here than in America.
I then headed down to the classrooms full of little kids. One teacher was alternating between years 1, 2 and 3. I took one of the classes off her hands and had a good time playing games with the kids. There are some days when a class of 30-40 little kids who speak a language that I am unsure of my abilities in are intimidating, however, today I felt on top of my game.
I was worried that there still wouldn’t be food for lunch, so at interval I went back to the teacher’s room to try to fix the suicidal computer. Thankfully, someone heard my tummy growling and brought food for us to munch on. At lunch they discussed how since there were not enough teachers they would be dismissing all the students shortly after lunch.
When lunchtime was over I headed to my class, which since the teachers decided to eat in their classroom was moved to another room. (Frustrating!) I taught them about acrostic poems and the kids were doing a great job with it, but since the day was not my day, the good times had to end. Other kids who did not have a teacher for the day began wandering into the classroom which completely interrupted the students work as they could no longer get the help they needed as I became a traffic cop. (The other teachers decided not to go back to class and were still enjoying their lunch.) All of a sudden the bell rang, and the kids were to head to an assembly to dismiss them for a day. I was no longer allowed to teach my last classes.
I went back to the box that once resembled a computer and tried my magic on it, however I still do not know any magic potions and was unsuccessful. The kids were being dismissed and I really wanted some Lili time, so I stayed in the office with the box of error messages.
When I thought the coast might be clear I started to head home. I should realize that kids really enjoy walking with me and will always wait for me to leave the building. Still wanting my Lili time, I decided to use skipping to see if I could lose them…however they decided to skip with me. Then they started being cheeky and one boy pulled my hair and ruined my pig tails. I just stopped, gave a nasty look and said “leai fia fia” (not happy). The kids have learned the contrast between happy me and upset me, and I quickly had the boys apologizing.
In the afternoon I learned that I had lice, and I was given the shampoo to get rid of the little creatures, however the water was shut off.
I was beginning to think that it was going to remain a horrible day, when I received mail.
Tammy had come to the rescue. I finally received my Christmas package from (4 months after she sent it) Tammy and I now had a giant box of candy. Real candy is hard to come by, so if you get it, you treasure it. Hopefully this box of candy is my turning point to a brighter day.