Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Week That Was

So I just read my daily global intelligence email from Medex, and the report from last night indicated "widespread demonstrations" scheduled for today to protest fuel prices. News to me! It is 5:30 and I didn't see a thing unusual today.

Actually, that's not entirely true, because the first thing I heard this morning upon waking was helicopter blades whooshing not far above our house. My first words to Ben were: check your Twitter. Ben follows several English-speaking reporters who are in Haiti, including a freelancer for AOL, an AP reporter or two, and the correspondent for the Miami Herald. Nothing on the Twitter feed, so we went about our day as usual.

The final round of runoff presidential elections having taken place a few weeks ago, we had read in the news that the results would be announced Thursday, March 31. Then today Ben read that announcement will be pushed back a week, to Monday, April 4. Good grief. These elections initially happened the week of Thanksgiving.

There are discussions of manifestations possible due to gas prices, which have gone up over $1 US per gallon. In one sense, we follow these things closely. In another sense, we've learned to have a kind of casual "eh" attitude about reports of problems, because we've gotten a bit of "freak out fatigue" this year preparing for hurricanes, manifestations, and ex-dictators-reappearing chaos that did not bring down the sky as predicted.

You also can't spend you life freaking out, but you do need to be prepared. In homage to my second favorite American novel Alas Babylon, I have nicknamed our "emergency food" cabinet (yes, it is isolated from the other groceries to avoid tempting us) the Iron Rations.

In other news this week..... life goes on. Prepping lessons, grading tests. Sometimes one of us will have an existential identity crisis while grading tests, occasionally shouting out loud, "I told them this!" or "this was straight off the review guide!" Perhaps this is a rookie-teacher mistake and all you vets are smiling knowingly to yourselves, but we often are thrown into spirals of self-doubt when kids fail our assignments. What portion of responsibility for an F on a test is mine? The parent's? The student's?

I am teaching about the Middle East right now in World Cultures class, and it's been a very touchy topic as Quisqueya (and Haiti) has, interestingly, a large Syrian and Lebanese population. There are four boys in my class whose grandparents currently live in Syria, resulting in very close ties. They have all visited there, many for long summer stays. There are many questions in class beginning with "my dad says......." It makes me nervous! Discussing Islam, Muslim governments, Israel, fundamentalism, issues related to women and the press..... it's quite a loaded conversation. Not to mention today's lesson focused largely on Iraq and Afghanistan, and much of the class conversation centered around the current wars there.

Which reminds me... have I mentioned on this blog that my little brother deployed? I have asked for prayer requests in every setting, every staff meeting, and every class I teach, but I'm not sure I've said it here. My little brother (who towers a foot taller than me) deployed with the Marines to Afghanistan last week. It will be a difficult season for him, his love Kelsey, and my mother in particular, as he stays there the better part of this year.

So all this to say, it's a tough week to be introducing vocab terms like WMD's, IED's, and the Taliban.

Ben is working on scheduling service projects for National Honor Society, which he recently re-started at Quisqueya, and I'm working with the newly-founded Drama Club on their first skit, to be performed in chapel next week. On and on we go!

Katie

1 comment:

  1. Lots happening in the world, but you are right, listening to the news one feels that the world will collapse that day, then you wake up the next and listen again. At some point you treat it like the weather and just stick your head out the window. No bullets today, lets get busy.

    Your comment about wondering whose responsibility it is for kids to learn reminded me I was asked that question when interviewing for my first teaching job. They asked what percent was my responsibility. I jokingly replied 53.8% Maybe that's why I got the job? Tough question.

    Will add your brother to the prayer list of men and women in our military. I often wonder if what is going on in Iraq especially is possibly what is driving this demand for freedom in all these other countries (including Syria). The problem with instability is that there is always the potential that someone worse will take over. I had a Haitian girl in my 5th grade class. Her dad told me that he wished that even the 'evil' leader there had still been in control, because with him he knew what he had to do to not be bothered. Sad commentary, but true. With freedom comes pain unfortunately. Sorry, now I'm blogging.

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