Thursday, April 30, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 11

With no teaching responsibilities and minimal proctoring responsibilities, this week has been light on the workload front, which has been a bit deceptive. Though there’s been no lesson planning to do, I got 165 year 11 exams to correct, and tomorrow I’ll have 30 more from the 12s and 13s. My parents are also coming in next week. And a bunch of volunteers are getting together on Savai’i on Saturday. So it feels slow, but really it’s all kinds of busy. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • I paid to get laundry done and I got a haircut today, so things feel kinda fresh and new. Although in humidity like this, it’s difficult to feel fresh and new for very long.
  • I proctored the 11.4 science test this morning, and the kids seemed genuinely bummed when I told them I wasn’t coming back to proctor business studies after interval. I can’t tell if they enjoy having me there, or if it is easier to cheat when I’m there.
  • Based on the short excerpt of a song on Weeds and a relatively high score on Metacritic, I downloaded Rogue Wave’s “Out of the Shadow” album. I searched for it on my iTunes and realized it was already in there. $9.99 US down the drain. Boo. Who knows what else I have?
  • I sipped my tea during interval and it tasted familiar. I asked the teacher next to me what it was called. “Koko palagi,” she said. Hot chocolate. Like… real hot chocolate. It was exciting.
  • I had to get a shirt tailored for Culture Day next week. One of the teachers told me I could get it done in town for $30, but when I asked around town, the best I could find was $40. Then another teacher offered to do it herself for free. This was a better deal.
  • Cheating on tests is kinda rampant here. There are a number of distressing things about this:

    • They’re not slick about it;
    • They make no attempt to conceal it; and
    • They’re not good at knowing who to get answers from.

    If you’re going to copy someone else’s answers, at least make sure it’s a smart kid you’re copying from.
  • I printed a bunch of New York Times crossword puzzles at the Peace Corps office the other day, and I’ve been working on them while I proctor. It’s kind of a thrill. And nice to have current puzzle clues, e.g. “Obama:Bo::Roosevelt:____”.
  • How about that Arlen Specter?
  • Though we’re supposedly moving into the cool season, I’ve noticed my clothes have been smelling sweatier and I’ve been more dehydrated than usual the last couple weeks. Maybe temperatures are down but humidity is up? Maybe it is less rainy now, but that’s only because the humidity in the air can’t gain critical mass to actually precipitate? Maybe I’m talking out of my ass?
  • This weekend is the Cinco de Mayo party on Savai’i. There’s talk of staying at the fales at Lusia’s, a hotel close to the wharf. There are pros and cons to this situation. The pros are it is conveniently located for an easy return boat trip Sunday morning, and there will be a bunch of volunteers there, which will be fun. The con is it’s $55-$65 for the night, which isn’t that expensive, but after paying $45 for the locksmith yesterday, I’m feeling like I need some penance with my wallet.
  • They speak to me in Samoan at the Laundromat, and I can usually hold my own. In almost all my other interactions in Apia, things resort to English. I’m not sure why we’ve been able to maintain a strictly Samoan rapport at the Laundromat, but it makes me feel good about myself.
  • We’ve received a bunch of emails about Swine Flu from the Peace Corps, but it seems like all the advice is to avoid Swine Flu is the same as avoiding the flu of the non-Swine variety.
That’s all I got. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

This kid is sleeping while the others take the science exam. So I took his picture. I like this picture a lot.

Two people have asked recently about my water purifier. My water purifier is essentially an über-Brita. I pour water in the top, add a couple drops of bleach, and wait for it to seep through. These are the two filters pictures here. The bleach is necessary to prevent the living things that get filtered from setting up home in the top of the filter. I like that image... The bacteria hanging Bob Marley posters on the wall, inviting other bacteria over for parties. Bleach it is.


The Limey Git said...

The Arlen Specter thing was quite the turn of events. Some people claimed they saw it coming, since he was always such a moderate, but that's BS - switching parties is not normal. Sadly, though, the real reason is that he's screwed in his GOP primary this year, and he couldn't pull a Lieberman and go independent if he lost (the "sore loser" clause in PA that prevents a losing primary candidate from appearing on the general election ballot). But hey, even if it's Dem by name, so be it.

Katherine Inman said...

LOL! I think that kid didn't sleep last night just to review for the exam. Too bad, he'd slept on the exam.
Hmm, I've heard my friend complaining about algae growing on her water filter. I think she needs to pour some bleach on it prevent algae formation.