Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Secret Astronomy Stuff

Hi friends ☺ Before I begin, I should probably explain the title of this post. I talked to my sis the other day and she told me that in our mom’s basement, she happened upon an old folder of my entitled “Secret Astronomy Stuff”. Apparently the insides had nothing to do with astronomy, but I’m pretty sure they did at one point or another. Not really sure why it had to be secret, but yes, I was a nerdy child. I bring this up because I have been rekindling my romance with astronomy since being in Namibia. It’s not so secret anymore, but the sky and stars are some of my favorite things here. I’ve recently been trying to (not so secretly) study some of the southern hemisphere constellations. I am going camping this weekend and can hopefully try out of hand at identifying them. Ok, enough secret astronomy stuff. Let me update you on the haps:

Things are going really well. Things are really hard sometimes (especially with the teaching), but I just sort of accept it and am able to move on. The language barrier thing is becoming more and more apparent and is therefore inspiring me to learn more and more Oshindonga. There are also little semantic differences that really seemed to come up in the past week. Here is an example: On Friday, I planned an activity for my math class that I thought was going to be really freaking cool. I spent lots of time trying to make it user friendly (or so I thought) and really put my modification skills to work. Basically there were six different stations where the learners needed to complete different activities. Two of the stations that I thought were the most fun involved decks of cards. At each station, I had written very clear, numbered directions on index cards. At one of the card stations, the second direction was to “draw 5 cards.” As I am making the rounds, checking on each group, I notice that the group working at the card station is way behind. Upon further inspection I see that they had actually drawn pictures of five cards in their notebooks. With rulers. And very accurate details. I will now and forever say “take five cards”. Little things like that can frustrate you when there is limited time and lots of your own time and energy has been put into something that fails. Luckily, I have been able to see the humor in this and so have my learners. There are other times where I get downright pissed, but that happened all the time teaching in the states. Sometimes I have to remind myself that teaching is hard everywhere, not just here.

Computer class is still a struggle for me. I completely understand the importance of getting these kids on the computers, I just feel like I really have to force myself to get into it. I really would rather be teaching a core subject, but am working on changing my outlook. We had many power outages this week that complicated my classes a bit. There are three different fuse boxes associated with the computer lab, so much of the time, I am running around between the three to try and get my class back on schedule. I am a little intimidated by the fact that I am like the IT person for the entire school…there are computers just not working and my limited knowledge and turning on and off skills are not going to fix them. If anyone has any spyware programs or knows of any that I could easily get my hands on, that would be greatly appreciated ☺ Also, while I am soliciting, if anyone has any old iPods or MP3 players that you are looking to get rid of, that would be awesome. Along with the cameras, I am hoping to have some kind of listening stations in the library. Let me know if you think you have anything and I would be more than happy to help with the shipping costs.

The library is still running smoothly. I am enjoying having my library helpers around…they teach me lots of new words and phrases and I teach them about America. Lots of kids from my math class are also coming in for extra help which I really love. The kids never ask questions in class…it’s just how it goes here. Because of that, it is really wonderful to have some smaller group time with some of them. I really love that class…they are pretty spectacular.

Another story… I was running this evening (yes, I sometimes trade in my evening walk for a run if I am feeling ambitious) and ended up being followed by like 3 or 4 kids. I really felt like Forrest Gump. Then one of them caught up to me and asked if I was being chased by a robber. Running is not a very common activity in these parts, so people often question my sanity or safety when they see me jogging. I assured the kids that I was just fine and went on my way ☺

Ok, so here is the plan for the evening…I am going to set my alarm to wake up at 1am so I can load some pictures. I will put lots on facebook and some on here. I have been wanting to do this for a while and have been putting it off. Wednesdays are my suckiest day of the week anyway, so I figure a little less sleep won’t really hurt! I won’t probably caption any of them tonight, so hopefully they make some sense.

Hope those of you in the Chi are surviving the Snowtorious B.I.G.! Talk soon,



  1. HilarE!!!

    Yes, good morning - I'm working on guide book...

  2. I always knew you were meant to be an astronaut! There is hope for you yet! : )

  3. Hey Hey!
    Still working on that phone call...tried the other day and stupid gmail voice didn't work for me=) Will try again tomorrow!

  4. LOL! As sooon as you said the directions said "Draw five cards" I started laughing. Totally understandable, and the kids will still appreciate all the work you're putting in for them!