26 January 2009

So You Had A Bad Day?

Today was rough.
The rest of this post details a few of the many silly things that happened today...I know it's childish to write an entire post of complaints, but I do think it's okay to share the bad with the good...

I totally understand if you do not read on...

ROUGH DAY PART 1:
It was my turn for 7th grade today. We started with Math (large number multiplication) and moved on to English after break. (I cried during break talking about leaving...three weeks away.) I had a trouble-maker in class today. I asked him repeatedly to stop talking, stop distracting, stop making unnecessary noises...he would not listen. So I went and told Geoffrey that I needed some help...when I came back in to the classroom, I assigned the English homework: write two stories: one about Geoffrey's family and the other about Daina's life in America. (The idea was that this would give them practice identifying he, she, hers, his, daughter, son, etc. with male or female.) My trouble-maker (a boy I typically love) instantly had a problem with the assignment. "We've never been to America...how would we know what to write? AND, we don't know Geoffrey's family...so, it can just be about Geoffrey? Okay. Thank you. That's a good change." (All in one breath, before I can even stop him).

I said, "A story doesn't have to be 100% true. It can be fun...Geoffrey's family could be a monkey and an alien...they could live in a giant mushroom in China..."
[interrupted by the kid] "You can't just make fun of Kenya! You are saying our babies are monkeys and we have terrible houses?"
[I continue] "...Daina could be a Kenyan who just moved to America and is learning about life in America..."
[interrupted by the kid] "Oh, now you are saying things about Daina because you know I caught you saying bad things about Africans..."

So, I finish describing the assignment (which the rest of the kids seemed excited about) and then went to stand in front of this kid's desk.

"Daina and I don't have to do this, you know. We don't have to come here and teach you everyday. We could stay at home, watch movies, drink soda...but, we love you and we want to spend time with you...and we want you to be smart and learn...so we come here everyday. But, if you are going to be mean and disrespectful, it's not fun for us. [cue tears...stupid girl] It breaks our hearts that you don't care enough to be kind, to show us that you like having us here...We totally love you, but we like when you show that you love us, too."

And I left. I walked in to Daina's classroom to explain what had happened...the 8th grade boys were wide-eyed since I walked in all teary...then, they were quickly apologetic for the 7th graders...

When I walked out, Moses (a 7th grader) was there to say, "I was coming to check on you...are you alright? You know, it's not everyone who is bad...so you should just talk to that one kid, not everyone..." (He is a "feeling" kid, so he is instantly sad if someone else is sad...or by any sign of ) I avoided the other kid for the rest of the afternoon and am a little nervous about seeing him again tomorrow (only because I don't want a fake "Geoffrey told me to say I'm sorry and stop being an idiot" apology...you know?)

ROUGH DAY PART 2:
Daina and I put our white laundry outside this morning before we left...soaking in water (that would hopefully turn warm in the sun) and tons of bleach. Then we left for Oasis.We get home from Oasis and the grocery store to find that our clothes had been moved in to the shade (since the cows were drinking the bleach water)...so the water is cold still (making the "soak all day" plan moot). When I begin to move from tub 1 to tub 2 (oh, laundry-by-hand), I notice ALL of my whites are turning PURPLE. And not a consistent purple...more like a really poorly-done tie-dye job...This is all but two of the white shirts I have here...and a majority of my tank tops...I rinsed and hung them to dry...luckily, as they began to dry, they looked more white than purple...we'll see what happens...

ROUGH DAY PART 3:
Steve is returning this week...so Daina and I have to move rooms (since, right now, we are in his room). We spent about an hour tonight packing EVERYTHING. Clothes, books, toiletries...our closet is empty...it's so strange to be packing up to leave Kenya. I feel like I just got here...I'm not ready to live daily life without these kids...

As we packed, the electricity went out...so we packed by sunset light until it was too dark and then, thankfully, the power came back...but, minus power and plus 8 party-hosting Ukrainians, dinner is impossible to prepare...

So, here it is: 8:30 and I am sitting, waiting for dinner...

Wow...what a complainer, huh?

4 comments:

Luke St.Hilaire said...

you teach? thats awesome

Jess said...

Look, all you've written about since you got to Kenya is all the stuff you feel so privileged to do...we all get a free vent card every once in a while...this is yours!

Sorry about that boy making you cry...I've cried a time or two on the account of a little one!

Julie Hibbard said...

I am sure he was trying to be funny and to get the attention of the class. Remember Bill Cosby telling the story of his teacher's note to his mother?
The note said, "Dear Mrs. Cosby, William thinks he's a comedian."
You never know...
Imagine that a month from now you will be home. Wow. Wow!
I would apologize and make sure he's ok. He's probably feeling bad about it already.
I hope.
Let us know how tomorrow is!
Love you

Mama Oasis said...

Ok....because I'm the "mom"....I had to go through them boy by boy in my mind. Bram...not possible..too sweet and not enough English. Same with Paul (both reasons). Clearly not Moses (Enough English and he has his moments...but, the story shows it wasn't him). Now....who does that leave?

It was Steward, wasn't it?

Based on my many experiences with him hurting MY feelings....I know that he does to deflect his real feelings. He is stubborn....he will let you "stew" in your own juices for awhile....because the more you try to get him to apologize or to tell you what he is really feeling...the more he digs himself in. Give him a few days and when he seems back to normal...take him aside and ask him what all that was about and I bet he tells you that he hates that you are leaving. It's easier for him to be mad than sad....he hates goodbyes more than most of them (except Johnstone). Oh...and Moses hates it when people cry.

I'm sure you know all of this already. It just makes ME feel better to be able to give you some of my insight into my "sons".

Love you honey.....