Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Day in the Life

A look at March 5, 2013 at Quisqueya Christian School.

6:20 Attempt to drag sleepy eyes over today's Scriptures. I started a "read the Bible in a year" plan on my Bible app 18 months ago... finally arrived in Mark today. Yeesh.

6:40 Frantic email notifications popping up from juniors... who have a major paper due at 11 am. Really intriguing email from a junior girl who says she's now reading The Help and her "eyes are being opened". She says her family has an outdoor bathroom for the maid, and she never thought before how the maid might feel about that. Make a mental note to talk to her. LD says I put in the wrong grade on the online grade book. Remember to check that.

7:15 I've got morning duty this week. I grade February outside reading papers while sitting outside the high school building. Sleepy students finish homework and everybody kisses everybody (Haitians greet like the French). I wrangle a junior boy over and discuss the unhappy email I sent to his mom the night before. He's doesn't seem to care that much.

8:00 school starts. Calculus meets in my classroom. Doing battle with copy machine that prints 50 blank pages before spitting out my Robert Mugabe article for world cultures class. In the teacher's lounge, Ben types nearby, brainstorming aloud about St. Patty's Day food and researching where one might buy corned beef in Haiti.

9:15 Break period. Helping a 12th grade yearbook student proof three stories. The yearbook was due to the publisher last Thursday. Run home to take Jefe out (perks of on-campus living!), unpack from this weekend's staff retreat. Muster up some Haitian cash to pay Carol for the Creole books we ordered from her. Double-check grocery list- Ben is going to "the fancy grocery store" later today for the first time in a month. If the school's car is working.

10:35 I'm conferencing with a student in reading class who wrote in her last paper that good behavior is what sends people to heaven. She just switched last August to English school after K-10th grade in French school... poor thing. She remembers the verse about people who say, "Lord, Lord!" but Jesus responds that he never knew them. Good talk.

10:52 For the last eight minutes of reading class, I reward their focused silent reading by showing a hot new viral video depicting wealth inequality in America.

11:10 I'm teaching the words "cognate" and "curb", today's SAT words, to the American Lit class. We sit in a circle and every kid reads every other kid's final draft of our major paper on The Great Gatsby. One sweet student takes me aside and gravely observes that some students appear to have not read the book. I giggle. Oh, really? Every single student turns in a paper, even the one that is absent. A huge sigh of relief. In about one hour they will all start asking if I've grade the papers yet.

12:30 It's French fry day, the best lunch of the week! Also the longest lines. Rejoice! There's still some pizlik (my favorite Haitian food) left when I go through the line.

1:09 World cultures class. I've been looking forward to this lesson on apartheid, Nelson Mandela, and Robert Mugabe. The kids gasp at pictures of the tiny prison cell on Robben Island where Mandela spent 18 years of his life. We scroll through a slideshow I made on South Africa: Great White sharks, penguins, gondolas, the World Cup stadium, slums, ancient cave paintings, Victorian architecture, and warthogs.

2:30 I'm scanning 21 papers on the Holocaust in 10th grade English. Students are editing their first drafts. Their prompt asked students to write about their personal theology of suffering. Was I out of my mind?! Still can't tell. They talk me into giving them tomorrow's full class period again for partner editing. Final draft due Thursday.

3:15 Start of 9th hour, a study hall period required for kids on probation. I'm subbing for Ben today since he's making the trek up to the "fancy grocery store". There is a vibration in the floor and a thumping, drumming noise that's giving me anxiety (a result of the earthquake). Road work?

3:30 My boss stops in and we talk about "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. Then we talk about how some people we know are having earthquake-related symptoms pop up, after so much time of being "fine". Afterward as I walk home through our gate I see five men crammed in our tiny guard shack. Must be a soccer match on tv.

5:21 Ben bustles in the door carrying two cardboard boxes of groceries. Christmas morning! And, hallelujah, he found jalapenos.

5:45 We're working on schoolwork and other to-do list items. I'm writing a check; tomorrow is the weekly mail day. Arielle sends me the final draft of fliers for our student council movie night next week- we're showing Brave. I'm emailing people to find out about Haiti's electric company, EDH, on behalf of a Baylor professor who is bringing an engineering team here in May to do solar panel installations.

6:00 We're Googling "dogs who won't eat". Jefe is looking skinny! Ben bought wet dog food today to mix in, but it doesn't work- Jefe stops after a few bites. Ben is trying out a new recipe for roasted, seasoned carrots we ate at the Pruitts' house one time. We're figuring out what to make for the Bible study potluck tomorrow, and the dessert party on Friday night for Jill's birthday.

7:40 We receive the Creole books we ordered. We got Pilgrim's Progress in Creole as well as a Creole Bible- those are both gifts for our guard, Ceyab, who is constantly flipping through his taped-together Bible and singing hymns while on duty. Ben presents the books to Ceyab and takes a picture of him posing with the new one.

8:32 An email pops up from the White House, informing me that all future tours are being canceled due to staffing cuts from the sequester. I sadly email this to the 12 students on our Washington, DC trip. We leave in three weeks.

8:45 Ben discovers that Hugo Chavez has died. Work break to read some CNN. I read that increases in wait times at airports are likely. I'm fretting about getting our DC kids through customs in Miami in time to make our connection to Washington, DC.

9:46 Finish this blog. Electronics shut off time. We said it would be 9:00 tonight, yet here we both sit. Ben plays jazz while Jefe sits in his lap. Only got one paper graded. Need to sort the laundry before we go to bed- Wednesday is our slot for the campus laundry machine.



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