Tuesday, November 29, 2011

hand jive turkey man!

Here are my students for grade 5 and 6 making their hand turkeys.
Decorating the turkeys!

Tracing our hands!

Awesome desks without seats on them!
Showing off the turkeys!

Friday, November 25, 2011

go on... shake your tail feathers!

I was so excited for my Thanksgiving lesson on Thursday, which is probably why I was mad when they said there weren't going to be classes on Thursday because Nestle or some other brand was coming to the school to talk to the kids.
So I did what I tend to do, I went to the mall. To be fair I was able to get a bunch of things that needed to be done done. I got some phone time in with the family and filed some paperwork and sent some emails. Then C joined me and we did the most Thanksgiving thing we could think of. We went to KFC. Fried chicken, rice, brown gravy, and 2 orders of mashed potatoes was close enough for me.
Yesterday I did my Thanksgiving lesson and it was awesome. First we made hand turkeys. Then we labeled each tail feather with something we are thankful for. After we wrote paragraphs for each tail feather,  and if they kids were fast they could really decorate their turkeys.
Here are my tail feathers in no particular order, except family always come first.
Family and Friends I've always been super blessed and lucky to have the family and friends I have, but being here one whole year+ has made me realize this even more. I'm very thankful for the communication evaluable to me with them. I am for sure who I am because they are who they are.
Filipinos I've been able to put myself in a great oppurtunity to serve and even though I some times feel worthless I think I'm atleast doing something good. I'm thankful for how welcoming they have been to me. I love how nice and curious, and just good they are.
Fresh Fruit I'm thankful that I can eat a ripe mango every day of the week. I've said it before, I'll say it again between the mango, pineapple and other local fruits this is my favorite thing here. The mangos may be the thing I miss the most when I go home in a year.
Books I'm thankful I can read. I'm thankful I'm educated. I've always been. Here though, I've really found that love has strengthened. I spend way too much of my allowance on books, I miss my book club, but am thankful to have a reading culture with the volunteers near me.
And one more, because something awesome happened  between grade 5 and grade 6 class, I got a care package. As well as a Nat Geo, but still no pen pal letters. I'm thankful for mail so much. It really really makes a difference to get  something and know that people out there are thinking of me.
I know it is late, but Happy Thanksgiving!

battle of midway

November 23, 2011
Last week was my Mid-Service Training, which means I’m midway through this thing. Which means I have one more year! That is kind of scary. Last week was kind of scary also. Part of MST is meetings with dental and medical. Nobody likes a checkup and being a volunteer doesn’t change that.
My medical was fine. They took plenty of samples from me and so far I’ve not been told I’m dying. Now to the dental. Every batch hears horror stories from the batch before about how the Philippines ruined people’s teeth. Cavities all over the place. I came into this thing with soft porous teeth and already have cavities all over the place, so I was nervous. Well, for one of the first times ever I got a no cavity report. Well a no new cavity report. One of my fillings is being funny, but that is fixable. I just have to wait to get dental work done on my evil tooth.
There has been lots of work done on this thing and it is still nasty. There is an infection up in there. So I’m either going to have to get another root canal, which involves taking off my crown and risking the tooth cracking and having to get pulled. Or I could get another surgery on it, which involves the same risks. Or I can just get rid of the thing.* I had a long talk with the dentist, in one of the fanciest dental chairs I’ve ever been in in all of my life (granted, I’m from Wyoming where technology is slow), who went to school at the University of the Philippines, then went to more school to become an endodentist at the University of Pennsylvania, and then went on to teach at NYU and we filed a report to go the root canal work. Now I’m just waiting to hear back from Washington D.C. Goodness me.
After all this happening we went to the actual MST conference. We were heading out of the city right when Hillary was there doing all her important things. I did sleep just around the corner from her. The conference was good. The first time I’ve seen some people since last August. We’ve all come a long way, and we’ve all got a long way to go. Here’s to another great year!

*Since writing this at lunch I’ve learned the DC decided it would just be best to pull it and give me a bridge. They better let me keep the crown; it is probably worth a pretty penny or two.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

a bit macabre

Here in the PI All Saints and All Souls days are a  big deal. Think Memorial Day, but the back yard barbecue is at the cemetery. Here are a bunch of pictures of my local cemetery. 

getting our learn on

Last week I went and did a PDO (professional development opportunity at a site in Bicol. Here are just some pictures I took. We focused on UBD (Understanding by Design, a new curriculum here), multiple intelligences and VARK (visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetics), and some clasroom psychology sessions.
Group projects, making a map of their ideal classroom.

Showing the group ways to motivate the class.

The Elementary teachers at my training.

The high school teachers' ideal classroom. Most rooms have none of these pretty basic things.