Saturday, June 19, 2010


Ah the last week of school. It was... well...... On Thursday I had my last session with my worst class. They're uncontrollable, and I usually kick out a student every class (yes, I realize that this is a futile effort as it has not resulted in any long term change in behavior, but it makes me feel better, and sometimes I just can't look at them anymore). They were in a particularly rancid form (or as Beth would put it “more like monsters than human”) for their last class. I was reviewing for their final, and felt like a broken record of my former and all teachers before them as I said “You know, I'm not doing this for my health. I already know this; I'm just trying to help you.” I told them that if they didn't want to review they were free to go, but no one accepted my invitation and all remained, perhaps in an epic final game of Lets Try To Make the Teacher Cry. I'm not going to pretend I've never participated in such a game (Mr Tra.... whatever his name was... he only lasted 4 months at Stivers... and he and his little bell had it coming). My afternoon class was with my favorite section, and they were a joy as always. I don't know how two classes of students can be in basically the same room and with the same amount of students and in practice be so completely different. They aren't exactly quiet, but they make a lot of noise talking to each other in English (I heard a rousing argument over whether or not you can say “I Amn't” or “I'mn't”) and asking me questions. We had already completed all of my review tasks since they're always on the ball and listen to me the first time, so we did tongue twisters. It was a rumbustious task and very fun. I was trying to end class, when they started asking me a bunch of questions, like if I can stay and teach them next year, if I was going to come back to Ambanja to visit, if they could come home to America with me... I told them that the only ones who could come home with me are the twins (they both have earned a perfect 100% for all three trimesters), but that I would only take one, and they had to decide which. Then, as I said “Goodbye!” to dismiss them as usual, they stood up and serenaded me (spontaneously?) with “Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles. If I had a heart, I might have shed a tear.
I also had my last English club this week. I showed them pictures of little Alex, who they declared to be the “strongest” baby they've ever seen, and asked when he would be visiting me in Madagascar. I will miss English club.
I love spending the World Cup in a country that cares about the World Cup. All three games are broadcast everyday on the one national channel. It beefs up my small talk to have a sporting event to recall. I've been watching a lot of the games at my friend's house. I'm cheering for Nigeria (which hasn't been easy). It seems like most people here are rooting for France or whatever African team is playing. If anyone needs a Brazil “RONALD 9” jersey for 2 dollars, I've got you covered.
My future here in Madagascar is still uncertain (i.e. I don't know where I will be living a month from now, or what they next months have in store for me) but I'm really good at going with the flow at this point, and not knowing barely even bothers me anymore. (but it would be nice to know...)

Oh yeah, and thanks to everyone who texted me with the news of touchdown jesus... Im glad that giant jesus statues burning the ground made so many of you at home think of me :) I got more texts about it than I got happy birthday texts! haha!

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