Alright, I realize I only wrote about 2 of 12 days in Patagonia. I am getting to the rest, I swear. But I figured I would keep the half dozen of you who read this up to date with the rest of what is going on, plus I already had this written. So here is what I am doing now that I am back in Santiago at Colegio San Lorenzo.
Upon returning to San Lorenzo after our trip to Patagonia Cole and I received a schedule for work and some projects that we needed to start. We have 7 main things that we are working on now.
Taller medio ambiente (Environmental Workshop)
One of the projects we will be working on is a workshop for the students to help improve the environment of school. I think this is going to mean several things. First, I think we are going to try and improve the recycling system that is in place at the school. They recycle some stuff but I haven’t seen any bins in the classrooms and haven’t actually seen anyone recycle glass, cans, or paper. We are also going to work to improve the actual appearance and landscape of the school. There are some trees and plants but the athletic fields are in rough shape and the patios are mostly dirt and dust. We also will probably include a little environmental education for the kids that want it.
Cole is helping with the tennis classes twice and week and I am supposed to be helping out with football practice when it starts soon but we will see how that goes. As I have already mentioned I am not good at football and I am guessing that all the kids who I will be working with will be much better than me. I guess I can help them out with running and calisthenics or whatever. I am pretty sure that there is a guy who comes in a couple days a week and does some track and field stuff with the kids so maybe I will try to help out with that instead.
Last Wednesday Cole and I started our first baseball lesson for the boys in 7th and 8th grade. We didn’t have much to work with our first day: some cones for bases, a tennis ball, and two homemade bats. A few hours before we were going to start we realized that we didn’t have any bats but Jaime, a funny guy that works with us in Tutoria, explained to us, in Spanish, that we could find something. So we went over to the trash area/ mini junkyard and found a nice big wooden stick that we cut in two to make a couple of bats. The “class” went well and kids already had a pretty good understanding of the rules. The next day we put up a couple of signs with the names of all the positions and some simple rules in Spanish. I think we are going to wait until the kids get a better grasp of the fundamentals before we introduce more rules, like called strikes, force outs or the infield fly rule.
I started working with the 7th and 8th grade English classes (boys and girls) last week. This is probably the simplest of our projects because we already know how to speak English and we don’t really have to prepare anything right now because we are just helping out the teacher. Although later on we will probably have more responsibilities. There are a few things that make English classes tough – 1) I still don’t speak Spanish that well and these kids don’t know that much English. 2) I’m pretty good at speaking English but I am terrible at explaining English. I have no idea why things are the way they are in the English language. 3) The kids aren’t very disciplined. They are always talking, getting out of their seats, and they don’t work very hard. During one class we went over the question words and the teacher had me write out questions and answers with who, what, when, etc. After I went over them the students were supposed to write down the five questions and answers in their copybooks and then think of 20 more questions. They had almost an hour to do this. Some of them didn’t even write down the 5 questions and answers. They seemed much more interested in talking with each other or asking me what the meanings were of the dirty words they knew in English.
We have tutoria with the 8th graders, kindergartners and pre-kindergartners, but like I said before, I still don’t really understand this. Tutoria with the 8th graders seems like its just getting them to calm down for the first 10 minutes and then playing football. And with the younger kids its pretty much the same. The other two guys we work with talk for about 15 minutes while the kids bounce off the walls, and then we go have recess.
When the dean of the school asked me if I had any skills (aside from numchucks and bow-hunting) and I made the mistake of saying I knew a little bit about computers. So now I am supposed to work on some databases for the school. I haven’t started this yet but I actually don’t think it will be very hard. I think they use Microsoft Access, which I know nothing about, but I think I can figure it out.
Recreo Entretenido (Organized, Entertaining Recess)
Although its just for 15 minutes twice a week, (Tuesdays with 1º ciclo, younger kids, and Fridays with 2º ciclo, middle schoolers) this could be our toughest task. The whole point of recreo is that it is not organized and the kids can do whatever they want, so getting them to listen to us and follow directions for 15 minutes might be hit and miss. Anyway, what we are supposed to do is think of some games or activities to organize for the kids to play during the allotted time. We haven’t started this yet, but I was thinking something like the game stoplight, or maybe some human knots, fun relay races or even duck duck grey duck if it doesn’t get too out of control. If anyone out there has any good recess or phy ed games for kids that are simple, safe and don’t involve much equipment, please let me know.
So that’s pretty much what we are doing right now, in addition to prayer, lectio, and just hanging out and talking to the kids during recreo. Its not set in stone and other projects might come up as well. This may seem like a lot but we don’t have all of these things everyday so we still get some down time at the school which is nice.
2 years ago