Saturday, June 22, 2013

Traveling Part 2--One of my student's is a Nazi

I miss Sicily, this whole stay-somewhere-for-a-week-then-leave-thing is difficult. I thought this year would be easier, but somehow I think it's the opposite. it is. This is my public apology to any, and every teacher I was ever a shithead to. Teaching is difficult, and when you are giving it your all, and receiving little to no response--it sucks. Add texting, and talking to friends into the equation, and you really realize just how rude and disrespectful it is. Our culture is not full of multitaskers, it is full of half-assers. It's pretty impossible to listen fully to someone speak, and text at the same time. Maybe you'd like to think you are a master at this, but in reality...really? 

I just completed my third week of camp, and it went pretty well. My host family is wonderful, and once again I am living with Meg haha. We have our own little apartment in the attic  It's really nice, but I think half of it was designed for dwarfs. Our shower/bath situation is kind of funny. I think I have become a master of showering sitting down. The ceiling is too low to stand (Poor Meg. She's like 6 feet tall)--but it's okay. I have a new unique skill ;) This is the view from our flat:

We have a host sister, who upon greeting us could not stop jumping up and down. She communicates through hugs and jumps. It's cute. We also have a little host brother named Constantino. Our host dad owns a plant factory which is attached to the back of their house, and it is amazing. It's nice to be surrounded by so much green.

I decided to take the older group of kids this week, and so far they are pretty cool. Their English is great, and because of this, I've really struggled with my lesson plans. The most beneficial activity for them is to just... well, sit around and talk. They dread book work--they dread writing--I even tried to modify a few drinking games for them, but they bombed.

There is one kid that we call superbad, because he looks JUST LIKE McLovin. Then there is Ciro, who is obsessed with saying BANANA! Oh and we must not forget....The Nazi. 

I have a student who has a notebook covered in swastikas. It wasn't pointed out to me until the 2nd or 3rd day of camp, but yep...there it is. I thought maybe it was just an innocent sketch--but I finally confronted her about it. "What is that?" "Uhh...nothing. Nothing" "It's a swasticka" "Yes I know" "Why do you have it everywhere?" "because I like it..and I think it is a very good thing." She also has drawings of semi-clothed anime girls holding eachother, with jars of nutella between their bodies. Some of the other drawings are pretty interesting as well. It's hard being 12.

She also thought my version of beer pong was boring. "Who's idea was this? Yours? It's boring." Thank you. I appreciate that. She then proceeded to find a razor cutter we use for cardstock, and wouldn't hand it to me. "I know it's dangerous," she said as she opened, and closed the blade. AHH GET ME OUT OF HERE. The camp director spoke with her, and she apologized, but that doesn't change the Nazi thing. We had carnival day on Friday, and during the face painting station, she asked for the German and Japanese flags to be painted on her face. Oh dear. 

Today I explored the Ruins of Pompeii with the other tutors. It was incredible. We went on a free two hour tour, and explored afterward. It's amazing to see what was able to survive after the eruption. Viewing the human casings was a bit intense, because of how clear their facial expressions, and body language was. So sad. It's kind of scary, that the most dangerous volcano in the world is essentially in my backyard. I'm so very thankful for this weekend. It's really the only small break I'll have had since arriving three weeks ago. The heat, and the children are wearing me out. I don't think it helps that my class is outside. 

I'm really struggling right now, and I'm hoping the weekend will help me clear my head.  My future is freaking me out. My next lesson plan is freaking me out. I miss home. It's weird, I never thought I would miss home this early on, but I do. I miss my bed, cat, and friends. I'm not alone right now--but I've been feeling alone. I don't feel myself. I feel boring--and uninteresting--On the other hand, I know that I am way too hard on myself. I also know that I am not a trained teacher. After emailing one of my favorite professors,she told me that teaching is learning--and you never stop learning. We probably learn the most from our failures so it's okay if things don't go to plan. I need to accept that sometimes I won't know what to do, sometimes my ideas won't work out, and sometimes they will. This is going to be one hell of a summer. 

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