This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yesterday I was in a really good mood. I woke up happy and smiling, which is unusual for a Tuesday and I used to think they were my hard days. But since the Children's class, I have come to look forward to Tuesdays as they are the only day of the week where I don't have my children's class. Those classes are so exhausting and this time of year is so stressful anyway, that I look forward to the day where I don't have play Operator or slap hands in a Down By the Banks game with my six year olds. Also, I finally turned in my final exams, and other tests that I've had to make up, so my workload is considerably lighter for the time being. Anyway, I went to my first class at 8:30am yesterday morning, and they are my good eighth grade class and they did fairly well on the test, so I decided that before we got into some heavy review sessions I would let them play a game in class. It was a really fun game with music, and everyone was laughing and having a grand old time. So my good day continued. Well. At 11:40am I have, what I'm sure you're familiar with, my class from Hell, the other 8th grade class who last Thursday received a falta collectiva from me. Most of their class failed the last test, and only one person in the whole class passed the make up quiz that I gave on Saturday so I didn't feel that playing a game was the best strategy to help them learn. Plus, they are extremely hard to control and I know if I let them play a game, I would never regain control of the class. So, I commenced the class with attempting to explain what will be on the final exam (here on out called the PGI). Notice how I used the word "attempt." There are six sections of the test, I explained. Enter uproarious protestations here. "Six sections is a LOT teacher!" Let me just explain something. My PGI was checked by the Coordinator of the English department, the Sub-director of Pedagogy, and the Director of the School. It is in no way unreasonable in length or difficulty. Anyway, when the class finally quieted down (I had simply written 'PGI: six parts' on the board) there were still two boys who would not be quiet. So they got kicked out of class. Meanwhile, my loudest protester, a girl named Monica, had quited down, but she was hiding her head in her arms on the desk because for some reason she had found herself in a fit of giggles for no reason. She occasionally finds it amusing when I get angry. So, the two boys out of class, and Monica with a warning that she needs to face the front and listen respectfully, I attempt to continue. 'First part: reading comprehension' I write on the board. This time Monica has erupted into more laughter, and when I look at her, her back is to me, she is facing the back of the class, and when she turns around her face is red from laughter. So I then attempt to kick her out of class, as her laughing made others laugh as well. I tell her a few times to get out. This was her reply (first in Creole, then I'll translate):
"NO! A mi n ka fazi nada! Bu ka podi mandam pa rua, n ka fazi nada! A mi n ka ta bai, NO a mi n ka ta bai, a mi n ka fazi nada, a mi n ta fika li!! Bu ka podi mandam pa rua, n ka ta bai. No."
Translated: NO! I didn't do anything, you can send me out I didn't do anything. I'm not going to go, I'm not going to go, I didn't do anything. I'm staying right here, you can't make me go out, I'm not going."
Well, the whole class chimed in as well, putting their two sense where it didn't belong. I told Monica she gets a falta disciplina (she is now suspended for two days) and the rest of the class could just get out. I didn't give another falta collectiva, as it's not that fair to the ONE poor girl who wasn't talking, but I refused to teach the class anymore that day. Needless to say, I'm no longer in the good mood I was yesterday. But I've finished making up the tests, and my bad students were suspended, so things could be worse I guess. Oh and my Children's class ends today. So yay. But I just can't wait for the weekend.