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Reisverslag Too school for cool
10 september 2014
Too school for cool
So let me first answer the two most important questions. Is it cold yet? The answer is YES. To the second question, are you doing all right my dear, the answer is also YES. AFFIRMATIVE. So. Nobody needs to worry. If you want to know more, then by all means, read on...
School has started, and a lot has happened in just one week. On the very first day of school, I was introduced as “Mathilde Van!!!” followed by a loud applause. They do a lot of clapping over here or so it seems. So anyway, since nobody here is able to pronounce my last name, I go by Miss Mathilde, to the confusion of some girls who asked me whether Mathilde was really my last name. After a lengthy explanation I have now decided to answer "yes" in the future, and walk on.
After one day of working together with a colleague and following her schedule, I now have a schedule of my own. I work from when school starts till it ends and from next week on until later, so from about 8 till 5 because I also help with (mostly math) homework at the learning centre. During the school day I am positioned in several classes with different subjects and different students. I help the science teacher with grade 9, I help in English for grades 8 and 11, and am always present for Northern studies in grade 10. Northern studies is basically learning about northern culture and geography, and unfortunately for the teacher most students believe they already know everything about the north. Not all students show up to that class and the ones who do seem to fall asleep so I'm hoping I can help change that. I enjoy science and English the most, science because the teacher does fun experiments and my sole job so far is to yell: WASN'T THAT AWESOME GUYS?!?! DID YOU SEE THAT?!?! which I am very good at, and English is great because I help kids with reading and writing, and wording their thoughts and opinions. The students are used to getting help because the Frontier Foundation has had volunteers help at this school for several years now, and the students even ask for help sometimes.
There is such a big difference between students here and at home. So far they have been quite quiet, timid, and very shy. I believe that they do not have a lot of confidence, and of course the classes I assist in the most are the ones where the students have learning difficulties or disabilities or special needs. Many kids are older than they "should" be, for example grade 10 (derde klas) has kids of almost twenty in them. Several students have had to redo a year (sometimes twice) or have skipped school in the past. Some of the older kids still read like a primary school kid, and others just can’t focus very well. I was happily surprised that students respect their teachers (more than in the Netherlands?) and do not speak right through them, ever, and it is as though the teacher does not need to work very hard for their silence or respect. Of course the school is not perfect and the situation here isn't, either, otherwise I would not be here, but... Overall, I like the kids, mostly because there is so much honesty in them. Although they are not the smartest kids per se, I see that they definitely have potential, and I hope to help them feel better about the things that they CAN do.
One way I’m hoping to do that is by starting up an Improv Comedy class. It starts TODAY and will – hopefully - be every Wednesday. I really hope that more than two students will show up, with most of them being shy and all.. The same goes for the student council, which I’ll “lead”, if enough students sign up for that we shall have meetings every Tuesday. So I hope that more than two students show up there too or it will be very hard to organise parties around here! The student council will organise theme days, Goat Fest, perhaps a dance. Prompompomom.
What I also did in the past week was have dinner with the English teacher, which was lovely. I went out of town to pick berries and came home with...three. I got a Canadian phone number and bank account and all of those extremely exciting things. I slept with a hat on because my apartment is eight degrees I am not kidding. I sang OH CANADA several times because each school day starts with singing OH CANADA. Actually I have yet to master the lyrics but I hum along in tune. I cycled to the lake twice, and got chased by a dog on the way, like it just ran off somebody’s lawn and followed me for at least one kilometre. Stupid dogs. The neighbour’s dog won’t shut up and has me wake up at night with his howling regularly. I swear cats are so much better.
Furthermore, what a wonderful linking word that is, I went to the fall fair and witnessed award winning carrots and a scarecrow competition. This was a big happening and there were ladies selling cakes and cookies and it was totally cute. I met family friends there who gave me a duvet and so now I am warm!!! In bed at least. Because, I also saw the first snowflakes on Sunday. Is that foreshadowing or what!!! I saw some of the northern lights, they were greenish and dancing and the clouds were pink. Unfortunately I could not take a decent picture of that. The northern lights are said to be prettiest in October so you’ll hear me all about them then. I went to have dinner with the other volunteers which turned into a clothes swapping party. I am now reading a book that a student recommended me. And I got insulted by a deaf man in the elevator who told me I have a French accent. LOL times a hundred. The elevator is where a lot of funny things happen I swear I could do a whole separate blog on that or perhaps a TV show. Since I am drifting off I suppose this is the end of this week’s blog. More in a week or two, bye now!! *waves*
Foto's bij verslag (5)
10 september 2014 22:37 | Door: Marianne
Keep on blogging. Meid, wat schrijf jij leuk en beeldend.Ik ben heel benieuwd hoe je comedygroep gaat lopen. Laat je niet afschrikken door een lage opkomst......het duurt even voor de kat uit de boom is gekeken. Jouw positieve energie gaat er vast voor zorgen dat het uiteindelijk lukt. Ik ben nu al jaloers op je noorderlichtervaring. Veel succes daar. Ik ben wel trots op mijn stoere nicht die dit soort uitdagingen aangaat. xx Marianne
10 september 2014 23:46 | Door: Martine Guitjens
Wat een geweldig verhaal. Je hebt talent. Heb het ook voorgelezen aan Luuk. Hij kwam kijken toen ik moest lachen. En. .. he was not amused over je opmerkingen over honden.
11 september 2014 12:53 | Door: Aartos
Ja heel benieuwd naar die elevator blog!!! :PPPP
11 september 2014 22:37 | Door: Lex
Riveting stuff !
11 september 2014 22:56 | Door: Annemarie
Wat schrijf je leuk! :)
Ben benieuwd naar je franse accent (onion ipv opinion?)
Geniet er van!
12 september 2014 09:53 | Door: Marjet
Klinkt als hele lieve kids, hopelijk kun je ze echt een stapje verder helpen!
Zijn kinderen daar leerplichtig? Of zijn ook de gemotiveerde kinderen op school?
Ik heb altijd al gedacht dat je een Frans accent had hahaha. Ik denk niet dat hij het bedoelde als belediging :P.
12 september 2014 11:15 | Door: oma van heereveld
Hi Mathilde, leuk en interessant verhaal. Ik kan me helemaal voorstellen hoe het gaat. Je kunt het zo duidelijk uitleggen. Kijk al uit naar je volgende verslag. Liefs van je Oma.