Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The little things

About a week ago today, I was abruptly awoken to an extremely loud clap of thunder, followed by an obnoxious car alarm that must have been set-off as a result. I guess Hurricane Irene wanted to be the first to say good-morning. I made my way to the kitchen for some breakfast; I could hear people voices and dog noises mixed with the pounding rain outside, so I left my cereal bowl at the counter and went to the door where I found Sarah taking pictures of the commotion outside: Two nuns wrapped in sheets and wearing garbage bags on their heads were searching for mangoes in the pouring rain and flooded yard beneath a fallen down mango tree. Carmello and Luna seemed to be enjoying the scene a little bit more – they were frolicking around in the gigantic rain puddles. It was really sad to see that one of the two big mango trees had been knocked down by the storm – it was part of the monastic community. Anyway, I wanted to help salvage the mangoes (mangoes are my favorite fruit and I like playing in the rain!), but I was too scared to go outside, because I don’t think Luna and I are good enough friends yet. However, she doesn’t bark and growl as much as she used to when she sees me… little steps.

So, Hurricane Irene set off some car-alarms, knocked over a mango tree, flooded the yard, and left the school without electricity or water for almost a week, which meant we could not have classes for almost a week, which meant we stayed inside the Monastery for almost a week...
In just under a week, we were able to work on a lot of necessary lesson-planning, which was a great thing! However, not being able to go outside for that long was also quite difficult. Finally, towards the end of the week, Sarah and I were feeling pretty anxious, so we decided to brave the weather and go on a run. It wasn’t raining when we left the monastery, but it didn’t take long for that to change. As we were running, it started down pouring! It was raining so hard that it was a little bit painful, but refreshing at the same time. I felt the happiest I had felt all week while running through the flooded streets of Humacao…  little moments

We finally returned to school on Friday, well, most of us. I only had six of my eleven students show up. The students were supposed to give presentations in Health class and start a new unit in History/Geography, but with only half the class there, we had a change of plans. So, my class didn’t really resume until Monday. As far as classes are going, the biggest struggles remain the gap between the students’ comprehension levels and the technology. There is a huge range between what some students already know and understand and what other students already know and understand. To get some students caught up, I am hoping to spend a little extra time with them during their homeroom period if possible. As far as technology goes, on Monday I was FINALLY able to project the powerpoint that I had put together for History/Geography class! However, I had three video clips from the historychannel website that I was hoping to play, but apparently the projector does not have sound, so that ended up not working out very well. Nevertheless, being able to project my powerpoint and not having volume is better than not having a functioning projector at all… little improvements

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