Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mis alumnos

Written by: Maria
The students at the bilingual school of azuay learn quechua, spanish and english. We're having a little fiesta this friday and I was unsure exactly what was the cause for celebration. It ended up being something like they're graduating to the next level. In the picture you can see a hazing of sorts held for the youngin's. A girl is getting a face-full of this whipped egg white and sugar goo for which the name escapes me. They almost dragged me in there, too, but I hid in a corner and shoot my head, "no, gracias." You would have laughed. Pobrecita Maria had no clue what was going on. They managed to get me down there to eat a piece of gum (part of the ceremony) and some of that goo stuff with an itty bitty spoon. it was an eating contest among the teachers. if you know anything about me, you would guess i would have been all about winning that, but i was afraid of the goo. raw eggs! so i ate a little bit to be polite and then, "oh, me! oh, my! it's just too much! teehee. teehee. help me! Look at how cute i am I could never get all that down~" so, basically, it worked. i probably seemed pretty boring from then on out.

For many reasons, I've decided to stop attending the school after two days of trial. Boy, do they need some help. But I'm not the one for it. Not only do they not have computers or internet, but a curriculum hardly exists. For heaven's sake, I've never taught in my life and I was not expecting it when they threw me in a box with 24 fourth graders. "You're late, maria. you're class is starting." Great, well, why didn't you tell me sooner??? wait, my class? what? (I guess the next question would be) where? but i should have just refused. Instead, ya know what thoughts were going through my head???: "Shit, I can't let the children down. I have to do something! These teachers must know what they're talking about. Maybe it won't be that bad. Here I go." and it took me a little while to get the black aluminum door slid open while the children were ooooing and awwwwing. i was a bonafied spectacle. how dare they. The children didn't know a lick of english and they behaved as they should when a show-and-tell gringa stumbles into their quarters. Nothing to write on the blackboard with. No text available for me to reference. TWO HOURS OF NOTHING. well, i did manage to take a tally of how many of them had parents in the united states. Concentrated in chicago and new york, 80% had at least one parent in the us of a: holy cow.

So i've left them to their devices. We'll see how long it'll be before I revisit this teaching thing, but for now I'm going to spend the rest of my precious time in Ecuador being selfish.

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