Tuesday, June 15, 2010

random and not so random things

Here’s a list of random weird things that have happened recently:

I caused a fender bender… I was standing on my porch, drying my hands, and guy who was driving his car down the street in front of my house was staring at me hard, like I have 6 purple heads and such… well he was so busy gawking at my whiteness that he hit an oncoming car.

I tripped over a chameleon while I was fetching water and spilled my bucket all over. The chameleon looked back at me with its crazy little eyes as if I was an idiot until I reminded it that it’s very clever at blending in with its environment.

I am a master snail hunter and destroyer.

My house is apparently the cool place to be on Sunday afternoons. All the girls come over and wash their hair in my shower before they get it braided, and everyone watches Friends while we wait. Some of the girls have started coming over and requesting to watch Friends at other times too.

I went to a traditional Malagasy boxing event with my Rasta friend. There was a huge muscular boxer in an obviously women’s cut t-shirt that read “Silicone Free” across the chest. I couldn’t explain why I was laughing so hard.

I went with another English teacher to another school to have question and answer sessions with his high school students. I was in each class for 2 hours, and both classes asked me only the exact same questions: How old am I? Where do I live? If I am married? And what’s my phone number? Each class took two hours to ask these questions. If I wasn’t already so used to feeling awkward all the time, it would have been really awkward.

In my English club, I did the critical thinking puzzle with the triangle with triangles inside, and you have to count how many triangles there are. The education system here is completely devoid of critical thinking, interpreting, and analyzing skills, so I thought I’d try to get them thinking. No one got it right, but as I showed them all of the additional triangles beyond the obvious ones, it was as if I was showing them an amazing magic trick.

An owner of an Indian restaurant, who is friendly with all of the Northern PCVs, set up a World Cup party for us at his restaurant in Diego. We were sitting on a couch, watching the big screen, as the couch collapsed beneath us. We all agreed that it’s Katie’s fault.

I’m currently having quite perilous stomach issues… though that is neither random nor weird…

And finally, last week I gave all of my classes an exam. They, with a partner, had to write a dialogue about giving advice. They had full use of the notebooks, dictionaries, and any other resource, including me to answer any questions. About a third of them copied a dialogue word for word from their books, all of whom received a zero. About a third of them wrote something that was completely incomprehensible. But a third of them produced amazing gems like this:

Maria: Hi Tamia!
Tamia: Hi Maria! You know, I have a problem, because my boyfriend is left yesterday.
Maria: Why?
Tamia: I don’t know, but I think that he doesn’t love me.
Maria: Oh my god! You could go on vacation for sometimes?
Tamia: I won’t go on vacation.
Maria: Why you won’t go on vacation during sometimes?
Tamia: No, I can’t go because I am sad.
Maria: Then, you should seek a another boy.
Tamia: No!! I meant be with him forever!!
Maria: It’s difficult, love, I believe that you should reflect.
Tamia: Okay, I should reflect a long time, because my heart is so sick.
Maria: Yes, Good luck and good afternoon.
Tamia: Bye
Maria: See you

Amazing! Some of the errors make a lot of sense if you think about translating it directly from French. It has all of the grammatical aspects that I required, and follows a logical line of discourse. Also, I love that the advice for a sick heart is to go on vacation. Most of the exams left me banging my head on the table, but ones like this make me feel like my time in teaching high school in Ambanja hasn’t been completely wasted.

In other news, Im an aunt. Baby Alex was born during the USA England match... tonga soa vie namanako! Congrats to Shannon, Dan, and Grandma (haha)

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