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,



Joellenyc said...

I am so happy to see you have a blog, and just posted on my blog about it! I miss you so so much and will call you this weekend!!!!!

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