15 June 2009

Bananas of the World: Unite!!!

First day of class today. I don't even know what to say about it.
To begin, I was exhausted when I woke up this morning. I spent yesterday afternoon out with my host family. There's Olga, my host mother, and her boyfriend, Rafaele, and her brother Luis and cousin Roberto (or something) were staying with us, along with their friend Noelia. We all went out to eat at a pizza place for a late lunch- so late, in fact, that the waiter and owner had each left before we had finished our meal. Then someone else came to join us and we all drove to the next town over (through a national park, fyi) to hit up the pool. We laid out for about 3 hours (it was the late afternoon though, so no tan) and then went back to Modigliana.
Last night, after Luis and the cousin had both left, the rest of us went on a walk through town to get dinner and gelato. I saw the route I would take to school and the school itself. As you could see from my last post, I got to bed waaaay too late.
This morning, I woke up with my lesson plans all ready. We got to the school at 8:05 to prepare. Most of the children had arrived by 8:15 or so, which surprised me, as I was under the impression that we would not begin until 9. Apparently, our camp directors were under a different impression, and we started at 8:30.
Today was a little rough. We spent about half of our time playing games with the kids outside, and the rest of the time was spent playing games inside or teaching lessons, so I was standing almost the entire day. I had expected that there would not be air conditioning in my classroom, but I had at least expected there to be a working window. There was none. The building is very interesting, as it was built in the 1930's or so, but this also means that its plumbing is not quite up to modern standards. The only toilets are squat toilets. I'm not okay with that.
Also, our directors aren't really respecting the 'no Italian' rule. When I say something, they translate about half the time. That's not our program's philosophy, but I suppose they don't know any better because this is their first camp. Then again, it's my first camp too, but I'm pretty sure that when I was told to use Italian never if I could help it, that that meant Italian should not be spoken in my classroom.
What else. . . we went over colors, feelings (emo, I know), and parts of the body. Parts of the body are easily taught with songs like 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' and 'Lalalalalala Body' (yep, to the tune of 'La Bamba'). For colors and feelings, I used balloons and drew faces on them. We had contests to see who could identify the expression or the color fastest. There was also Musical Chairs used to stall for time when we ran out of things to do at the end.
I've got them trained fairly well though. When I need their attention, I yell, "BANANAS OF THE WORLD!" and they all turn to me and jump to attention with their arms extended above their heads and their hands together and respond, "Unite!" If you think it's silly, well, it's something we learned in orientation, so lay off me.
When I got back from that exhausting day, I essentially passed out with my clothes on, on my bed, for a couple of hours, until Olga woke me for dinner. She made Spanish tortilla, with Italian salad, and fresh bread, and for dessert we had watermelon! It was delicious. After that, I took a much-needed shower and did laundry for the first time since I got here. Definitely overdue.
Not sure what the plan is tomorrow. Need to do that now, actually. I'm thinking way more games, and then extensive planning for our end of the week show on Friday. The kids wanted to do a play about either Garfield or Pokemon, sooooooooo I decided we should combine them. I'm really not sure how to manage that, though. Ideas are defnitely welcome.

PS: Dear Grandmom: Olga can't understand why you are so worried about me dying in an earthquake when I come from the land of tornados. I have to say, she has a valid point. Think about it. Plus, all indications are that Amanda Knox probably did kill that British student back in November, so I feel like I will actually have to commit a very serious violent crime to be held extensively by Italian police (and for the record, I have no plans of doing that).


Mom said...

Garfield has limited characters, and Pokemon has unidentifiable characters, so. . . hmmm. I'm no help.

Enjoy the tortilla!

Uncle Dave said...

As I was catching up on your blog tonight, a big ol thunderstorm rolled across Kansas. We had a lightning strike very close. Pepe does not like thunder! No tornados, though.
Not that I'm trying to incite an international incident, but be sure to tell Olga that with tornados, at least we get ample warning.

Uncle Dave