Thursday, November 12, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 33

As was alluded to at the end of yesterday’s post, I’ve spent the week bracing myself for tomorrow afternoon when I will stare down the long end of 500 exams. I acknowledge I brought this upon myself, but that makes the process no easier. I’ve been strategizing different ways to approach tomorrow’s pile. I think I’ll leave the multiple choice until last, and jump right into the nasty short answer section. How fun. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • My propane stove ran out of propane on Monday night while I had guests over and I was just about to make popcorn. This is annoying for so many reasons, which include:

    • This new tank didn’t last half as long as its predecessor;
    • I have to go back to the filling station, which is obnoxiously far away; and more than anything
    • We couldn’t make popcorn.

  • The security guard outside the Peace Corps office always gets really excited to see me now, and then usually proceeds to tell me dirty jokes. My Samoan isn’t good enough to understand these jokes, but I recognize enough words to get the gist. And I can usually pick out the inflection of the punchline, at which I laugh heartily. I’m unclear on how this relationship developed, but I figure it’s best to maintain it.
  • It’s really REALLY difficult to stay awake when you’re sitting in a silent room watching other people take a test. Even with a good book, it feels impossible. I get up, walk around, look over kids’ shoulders, stand in the doorway and look outside, but once you get that feeling that you absolutely need sleep immediately, it’s hard to shake.
  • I found out last minute there was a Rotoract function last night. It was Salsa dance lessons. In Samoa. Taught by a Samoan. I got there late, but it was a good time.
  • Now I don’t feel bad for setting the Fiafia slideshow to Salsa music.
  • A number of faleoloas allow you to fill your propane tank or exchange it for a full one. I called, and the lady recommended I go to Lynn’s Supermarket up the hill. So I carried it up there. Mine was too small. So I carried it back down the hill to Mari’s. They don’t do propane. Finally I went to KK Mart by the Peace Corps office. They were willing to exchange mine, but all of theirs were empty. So I walked home.
  • I probably walked 3 miles carrying that damn 25-pound hunk of steel, and I still don’t have a working stove. This frustrates me.
  • I really want to finish marking the 500 tests over the weekend. I don’t want it to drag into next week. There are going to be whiney overachievers on Monday, beside themselves to get their scores, and I want to appease them. I also want to be done with my stuff so I can be ready when other teachers turn in their marks. I want to be ready with my automated spreadsheet.
  • The printer in my school secretary’s office has been grumbling about how low its toner level is. Twice a day for the last two weeks, I’ve been called in to make the printer work. I take out the cartridge, tap it on one side, tap it on the other, put it back in. Magic. I’ve tried imparting this skill to others, but they keep calling me. What can I say? I have the touch.
  • Two of my year 12s asked for my phone number so they could contact me if they had questions while they were studying for the big test. I caved and gave it to them. This has yielded an unending stream of text messages, very few of which have anything to do with curriculum.
  • I’ve been exhausted all week, and then inexplicably, I feel great today. What’s that about?
  • Phil and AJ were complaining last weekend about how expensive it is to come into Apia. And it was funny because I realize their complaints about coming this way is exactly how I feel about going out to Savai’i. After comparing notes, we all agreed it’s the boat.
That's all I got for this week. I hope you're well. Picture below.

Man trimming hibiscus bush while Lady picks up trimmings to move them off the road.


Anonymous said...

Hey Matt, I got an idea on how to grade those exams quickly. You could get volunteers to grade the multiple choice by reading the answers to them while they grade the tests. Back in the day we used to help the teacher do that and it made the grading easier and faster:)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the pics of your workday and scenery. This photo of the surrounding water and horizon is quite relaxing. Brings on that TGIF with big sigh of being so ready for the weekend. Ahhhhhhnother beautiful day in paradise!

Sure sucks when the tank empties during cooking. Sounds like you and Sara have been doing a lot of running to and fro lately. It is great to read both your blogs. Fa'afetai tele, malo Matt!