Tuesday, 17 April 2007

And then God sent down a plague of mosquitoes upon the people

I don't know what I have done to deserve this.

I am covered in mosquito bites and they keep on swarming. Everytime they seem ready to die off, there is a horribly rainy day and another three days of heat and sun that brings them all back, these mutant giant blood sucking vampires from hell. I swear, if God is trying to send us a message, I wish he'd be more direct. This plague crap is just unfair to the rest of us who didn't enslave a people, exploit the poor, kill enmasse, or invent aerosol cooking spray flavored like "butter". What did *I* do?

My son went outside yesterday for a mere three minutes and within that tiny moment of freedom acquired five fresh egg-sized lumps on his head...looks like he got in a fist fight with an anvil. He is happy as a lark mind you, but lumpy, and oh so itchy. Poor little bumpy-lumpy peanut, even three layers of Off and citronella doesn't keep these bugs away. Evil I tell you.

I have never in my life prayed for winter before, and just now I am thinking let the cold and ice begin. For the love of GOD, where is the cold when you need it.

Damn myself for loving Aquanet so much in grade seven; how was I to know the consequences of big hair would lead to a melting Ozone and eventually giant blood consuming insects that would try to eat my baby? Damn you Vidal Sasson and your 80s "wings", look at what you've done to us!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Has anyone seen my brain?

I really need it for Third period.

What a weekend.

I am utterly exhausted. Thursday my good friend told me she and her boyfriend broke it off and she was so sad my long awaited weekend of doing nothing was postponed.

One too many nips from the bottle of Smirnoff later she and I were battling a hangover while watching Benjamin, the two year old love bug of endless energy I call my son. Thank god it was a miserable rainy day and there was nothing to do but watch cartoons and rest. There is nothing quite so horrible as realizing that you have stayed up so long that your hangover will kick in before you've even had a chance to sleep, not mention that your child has awoken for the day in the meantime. That has GOT to take years off one's life.

Then there was a birthday party for a co-worker on Saturday night that lasted until 6am and then some, and to top it off another birthday gala for our two good friends Nat and Greg...lovely get together, if only my stomach lining had had a few more hours to rejunvenate. errrg.

I feel today like I have had a lobotomy and yet I have to face the children nonetheless. It's not fair really. One should be allowed to call in self-mutilated, just once a month.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Day One

A day late and a dollar short as my grandpa used to say. It seems I have joined the blogging world. What better way to relieve my brain of all its useless banter and get down to real life, eh?

This day is a day like any other here in Argentina. The sun is bright and doing it's best to warm the fall day which is crisp and cool and feels like tangible freshness. It makes you want to sit still and inhale the air deep into your lungs until they are full and hold it until you have absorbed every ounce of nutrients and oxygen it has to offer...days like this make you feel generous and kind, especially when they come right on the coat tails of a stretch of rain that has flooded the plains to the North of Buenos Aires so badly that countless people have died and thousands have been evacuated from their homes, which up until last week consisted of little more than brick shacks on the mud flats, and today are merely scattered piles of bricks and tin roofing. The cattle ranchers have been fighting the elements to rescue those animals that managed to escape the ravages of the rising rivers and the sinking deltas that served as their grazing land, and too often discovering they were too late for some. These blue sky days seem well deserved after all that.

Yes, the blue skies of Buenos Aires do provide the soul with a sense of hope and peace. It's intense.

Today started off cold as I headed to the school where I teach and I wondered if I had made the right choice in my clothing. I often wonder this as one never really knows which way the weather will turn. By mid morning the sun had confirmed my choices.

I feel very in control of my students at the moment. Classes run with smooth percision, and homework flows in and out at a manageable pace. It's nice to have that centered balance. Nothing worse than feeling like an utter phony in front of 20+ teenager who can see right through you and who resent you for existing in the first place.

It would be so nice if the rest of school was as easy as the classroom. In the classroom there is a simple equation: Well planned lessons + fun activity + well prepared students = great lessons, feel good vibes, and educated students. Win. Win. Win. The staffroom is not easy to navigate. There is no neat and tidy formula. The staffroom is a minefeild, each co-teacher a potential explosion and you never know when you've stepped on the wrong trigger until the mine has already been detonated and probably taken a piece of your eye along with it. You can't turn back time or rewind to clarify, or undo the damage of a misunderstanding with co-workers as easily as you can with a group of students, who through all their resentment and misplaced anger, ultimately WANT to trust you and believe that you have their best interest at heart. My co-workers are too cynical for all that.

But today was a good day; my students participated, and understood the instructions and they listened and they really discussed the issues at hand. It was inspiring.

Currently I am discussing Lord of the Flies with my yr 9 students and Face with my year seven students. Both novels address the theme of human nature, but to very different degrees. LOTF deals with our inner beastie and the nature of civilization. Face on other hand deals with the nature of society and the power of social institutions to exacerbate the dicrimination it is supposed to be fighting. It also deals with issues of self-confidence and where we find self-worth in our society.

The reaction of my students is fabulous. I feel like a proud mother duck watching her ducklings paddle out of the water, spread their wings and fly for the first time. It's very nice.

Well this is my first blog, ever. so I will try to keep up if people are interested.

Thanks for reading,