Thursday, August 25, 2011
# 28 Winding Down
I’m back at SFG, staying 4 nights in Jecinta’s (p) house so I have the evening classes. Monday I spent 2 hours with the Form 4, beating vectors to death. They teach really gnarly vector questions here, of a kind I had never seen before. I’ve struggled with them for several years, but decided enough is enough. I spent some hours solving vector problems and tonight I strutted my stuff for 4A. They have felt defeated (I know the feeling!), but we worked through so many, by the end of the 2 hours, they were laughing, flexing their vector muscles and feeling very proud of themselves.
The Form 4’s have been GREAT! Both classes are cool with vectors and if a reasonable vector question is asked on the KCSE in November, most will get it. Now we are working our way through graphing trig functions and they are beginning to feel empowered! Watching the transformation has been a gift! They even went to see Jecinta to tell her how good they are feeling about math.
I’m also teaching the Form 2B’s, whom I did not teach last year so they’ve been a bit shy and reluctant to respond. But now that I’ve taught them for 1 1/2 weeks and they are much more willing to offer suggestions and ask questions. They too have slogged through some hard questions and are now much more confident. Just interpreting the question, in English, is hard for them. Often when I clarify the wording they know how to answer the question. Many of the kids have huge language hurdles to overcome.
Monday morning was one of those days when I wakened late, lolled about a bit, trying to get my brain turned on, then suddenly had no time for a shower nor to gather up clothing for my 3 nights at SFG. “Oh well,” thought I, “I’ll just go back home in the afternoon, take a leisurely shower and get my packing done. “ Oops! No electricity! Here at SFG we have our solar and wind power. We never have a blackout. At Ndingi and at the parish there are blackout’s virtually every day, in addition to the scheduled one on Thursday 7 – 9:30 pm. So I still didn’t get the shower! Had I come earlier I might have gritted my teeth and taken a cold one, but lately the warm morning’s have morphed into overcast and chilly afternoons. Even when I used to backpack in the Sierra, I hated jumping into those cold lakes. Guess I’m just a wuss.
But I was glad I went. I found our 2 newest residents at Mji Wa Neema, Lucas and Joseph, 2 of the sweetest little boys I’ve ever met. They were in front of the pile of wood pieces which are donated by coffin and furniture makers, of which there are many in town. They were doing what kids do—building out of the odds and ends of boards, having the best time. I think they are among the best toys. Below are Joseph on the left and Lucas on the right.
All for now,