Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cat + Cane + Teaching


Yesterday morning, I was making coffee, and turned around to see this little guy eating out of my dog's bowl.  So, I gave it half a sardine, and named it Mir.


Also, sugar cane harvesting is still going on. This is the before shot:


Then, they set fire to the fields. This is somewhat terrifying. It rains ash for a day or so, and the air is thick with the smell of molasses.


Next, machines cut it all down...


...and haul it out. About every 15 minutes, another truck goes by, shaking the ground like an earthquake.


Burn everything again! They did this to the field next to the school during the school hour, so all the kids and teachers went outside and blockaded the road and threw rocks at the cane trucks.


I can see Russia Tamayo from my house! Almost the entire valley is cut and burned now, and the dust storms are bad. The wind blows every day from around 1pm-5pm, and you can't open your eyes outside because of the dust. My red floor is brown, and everything is covered in a thick layer of dirt.


Grass would help hold the dust down in the batey, but people think it breeds mosquitoes. Whatever the goats and cows don't eat, they machete up. I got in trouble with my neighbors for not sweeping my dirt enough. I need to re-read the housing association bylaws.

4 of my kids taught their first computer class. We planned out the lesson, and I practiced with each of them for the big day. They seemed set. It was curious, but not surprising, when they all decided to do completely different things during the class, and ignore any of the preparation we had done. But hey, they got up in front of the students and said something, and that was pretty great. It may not all have been accurate, or useful, but that all can come later. I can rationalize that this counted as teambuilding, leadership skills, public speaking, etc. 

They also critiqued the hell out of each other, which was way better than me telling them those things. They complained about the same things that I complain about--random people in their classroom, kids screaming, people trying to go on Facebook, students not paying attention--and it was pretty satisfying to sit back and see how they liked it on the other side.

Surprisingly, they want to ramp up and teach EVEN MORE. It has been really neat to see how fast they have progressed. Case in point-- Genito can set up Unreal Tournament LAN parties, and kicks my ass. The game is IN ENGLISH, but he figured out how to do everything. Also, his typing has gone from 4 words/minute to 20, probably due to Facebook chatting. I taught some youth how to do basic things in Adobe Premiere Pro, and this one kid spends hours each day cutting dembo dancing clips together. I'll post it when he's done.

1 comment:

__ said...

i loved your recounting of your kids teaching the class :) -nebula