Thursday, August 05, 2010

Odds and Ends Thursday 63

This week saw the dawn of August. Phil pointed out tonight that our Close-of-Service Conference will most likely start before the end of this month. Also, the application window for one of the law schools where I’m applying opened August 1. If the beginning of the end hadn’t started before, it’s here now. At dinner Saturday night, a few volunteers knew exactly how many days they had left. I’m sticking with blissfully unaware for the time being. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • Did anyone notice I posted twice about Mr. Johnson in the past 2 months? (Here and here).
  • A note on the word “bowl” (as used in yesterday’s post): No doubt, English is an incredibly difficult language with all of its nuances and rules and exceptions to rules (and exceptions to exceptions of rules). But when the curriculum wants me to teach vocabulary that includes “incantation”, “sinews”, and “precipitous” while my kids are asking for the correct spelling of “bowl”, “friend”, and “chair”, there’s evidence of a disconnect. I didn’t use the example to make my kids sound stupid (they're far from it), and I don’t think English comes easy. I think there are systematic flaws and the students in my 10.4 class got the short end of the stick. I think "bowl" provides a good example of the educational divide.
  • Good question, Margarita. The Samoan word for soccer is soka (borrowed from American English), but since most of the English speakers around here have a Kiwi or Aussie background, the game tends to be referred to as football when speaking English.
  • Go back and listen to the streaming audio of Act II of last week’s “This American Life” (Episode #412: Million Dollar Idea). It’s an excerpt from comedian Kumail Nangiani’s (sp?) stand-up routine. Pretty funny. Act II starts just before the 20-minute mark.
  • I’m supposed to take pictures for my school’s year-end magazine, and so one of the teachers came to my class last Friday to inquire as to why I wasn’t taking pictures of the year 13 Samoan IA. Nevermind I was in the middle of my year 12 class. So I had my year 13 Amanda take pictures. She took 244 photos. I only realized this at Friday afternoon’s wedding when the memory card ran out of space. Sad.
  • At Interval today, the year 13 maths teacher asked if I knew anything about calculus. I, in turn, deferred to Apong. Apong’s wry response: “I don’t know any calculus. I only know how to be fruitful and multiply.”
  • Within 10 minutes of the beginning of 3rd period this morning, 2 teachers came to my class to ask me to type something. Then later in the period, a student came to me with a request. Peace Corps Volunteers are forbidden from asking for money, but another volunteer suggested I ask for niu. Great idea.
  • It’s been cold lately. And by cold, I mean as low as 76°F. It’s weird, because I’m honestly cold at night, but just covering myself with a regular cotton bed sheet is just way too hot.
  • Correction: PCV Chris took the pictures of the soccer team that I posted Sunday night, but her name was left out of the original post. Matt’s Samoa Blog regrets the error.
That’s all I got for this week. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Peace Corps engineering. There's been some shuffling of furniture in the Peace Corps office, part of which involved putting up this shelf, which was unstable because of a <1" gap between the shelf and the wall. The solution: hammering a biology textbook from 1986 into the gap. True, the structural integrity is dubious at best, but as an architectural statement, I think it communicates the Peace Corps lifestyle accurately.

On occasion, Scout sits were paws crossed like this. It's dainty.

Check out this outtake photo from Tuesday afternoon of Rachel and Blakey... and a man in the background who appears to be working on a railroad.


Barb Carusillo said...

The hole left in your life when you stop your daily Samoa blog upon end of service will probably be just a little bit bigger for you than it is for all of us that read it daily. We will all be bereft, unless, of course, you keep on blogging about the trevails of Law school after life in the Peace Corp.

Lauren said...

I can't put heroin on a pancake and call it a new drug! Its heroin! haha! best part of the podcast...

Unknown said...

Oh please blog about law school! Anyway, I've been away for way too long. Scout had grown!