Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To One of My Students

Querida Mosquetera,

Deseo lo mejor para su vida, Usted ha sido una de las senoritas mas dulces, alegres, sinceras y llenas de vida que he conocido en mi tiempo aqui. Con el tiempo, nosotros los humanos vamos cambiando. Algunos nos ponemos amargados y pesimistas, mientras otros adquieren sabiduria y una vision para vivir sus vidas de la mejor manera posible. De una formo que no solo lo llevara a tener grandes exitos y felicidades, sino que va a querer lo mismo para las personas que comparten este mundo con uno. La quiero mucho y quiero saber que en un futuro no muy lejano esta impactando la vida de los demas.

Con carino,
Seno Anna

Sunday, May 9, 2010

i like this job except the part that says database

The Harlem Peacemaker program is a youth development program, which focuses on training college aged individuals and providing opportunities for them to give back to their community. The program provides additional staff to schools and offers after school and summer programs to ensure that elementary students have a safe environment for learning, enrichment, and recreation. The program provides several services to children and families. We are currently seeking to hire two Site Supervisors to assist in managing the day to day programming. The Site Supervisor will act as a liaison between HCZ and the Department of Education and the Site Supervisors report directly to the Site Supervisor.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Manage day- to –day programming
Act as a liaison between HCZ and the Department of Education
Supervise and evaluate staff
Submit budgets for the program
Collaborate with volunteers and HCZ representatives from various sites
Manage AmeriCorps intern service and training hours
Submit weekly narratives and program reports to the Site Supervisor.
Facilitate, in coordination with Site Supervisor, staff trainings and meetings
Keep the Site Supervisor abreast of incidents and staff issues
Oversee the management of the SMART program information in the Social Solutions ETO software database for the assigned site
Compile and maintain information pertaining to the assigned site
Research and participate in trainings designed to enhance performance
Comply with various Harlem Children’s Zone and AmeriCorps initiatives
Must be able to work at least one Saturday per month and some late nights.
Additional responsibilities may include but are not limited to:
Maintenance of the Out Of School Time initiative and Database
Maintenance of The After- School Corporation contract and Database
Maintenances of the SDPP funded students and compiling relevant contractual information
Qualification, Skills and Knowledge Requirements:
Must possess a Bachelor’s degree
The ideal candidate should have a passion for the mission of the Harlem Children's Zone
A specific interest in higher education
Be creative and possess strong organizational and communication skills, verbal and written.

una carta a mi misma

I'm sitting here grading homework. Que raro! Not. Today is a chill Sunday afternoon. Profe is in the other room taking a nap. He's having troubles with his momma so he's hanging with me all day today. So this homework I'm grading. It's a letter to myself for the self-esteem unit. Some students completely understood the assignment while others started inviting themselves to go on some outing...Hmm. Some of these students are writing to themselves and saying how great they are, totally humble, the most beautiful human being, completely intelligent. I'm like, really? Either you do have some great autoestima or you are still very naive. So if I had to write a letter to myself, I'd prob say something like this.

Dear Anna,

I smell trouble in the air. Or is that just the sweet, intense smell of change. Thinking about leaving has me feeling like at any moment, I could start crying. Like a few weeks ago when I was pissed at the director of my schools and had a small fight with Profe, and had to turn in a report, I start talking to the janitor and he says, we're really going to miss you. I'm not one to kiss ass but you have been an important person for us for the time that you have been here. The tears started to stream down my face. I had gone back and forth about extending for another year but decided that I couldn't decide with peace in my heart so maybe it wasn't meant to be. There are many factors. Ya tu sabes. But I can't really verbalize them very intellectually right now. Every since I got to Guatemala. I shake my fist at you, Guate, for fucking with my English but making me a much better person.

the coolest person you know

That's how my letter would write. It wouldn't make sense. I'd jump from one idea to the next without the greatest transition and then I'd be done.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grading Test

Grading tests has really got to be one of the most time consuming activities that I've had to deal with in this country. 550 students. Tests that try to get the students to share opinions and think critically. While some give me these amazing answers, most of the others are somewhere on the moon. For the past few days, I've been grading papers. I hate the red pen. I hate the red Xs that I have to make when a student is wrong. And I'm too objective. "Well...I can see where he's coming from..." And I want to give the student the point just because his answer was interesting. Anything where they have to give their opinion, I generally give them all the points. Unless, it is blatantly obvious that they barely read the question and gave me a half-ass answer. The tests make me sad. I realize that most didn't study. Or they don't know how to, or simply didn't because they were doing other things. Some students work but most don't. I'm not sure what they spend their time doing. Maybe thinking about doing it, like I sometimes do. It's a sickness. But honestly, it makes me slightly depressed. I start to think about high school and the students that didn't try. Achievement is partially related to things you have no control over, but more than anything it's attitude. There are students here that have it all, in relation to others, not US standards, that perform so poorly, that just don't give a fuck. And then you have a students like Norman that have to come by bus an hour away, bring their notebooks to class smelling like firewood but they get it done. And they pay attention and they ask questions if they don't understand. I'm in love with my students. Some of them give me headaches and I think, what is going on in your head. But most of the time, I like observing them, listening to them, and talking to them. They crack me. On the tests, they make up answers. Hell, they make up words! Question: pais donde hubo conflictos etnicos entre los Hutus y Tutsis en 1994, causa de resentimiento de un grupo hacia el otro...answer: Musulmania...My dear student, as far as I know (and I studied International Relations), this country does not exist. Never had they heard about Rwanda. Never had they heard about the Holocaust until a month ago. But honestly, most of the topics that I teach them, they had never heard about.But they like them. And I find that the students miss our classes and ask me, "When are you going to come and teach us? It's just that your class is so nice." And its true. Those classes are my own special little time with them. Talking about real things affecting their lives. That's whats up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guatemalan Janice

The day before yesterday, my friend, the contadora, and I went to get manicures. Living the high life, I guess. The teachers at our school decided to do a Secret Santa but for Valentine's Day and I picked my friend's name out of a little plastic bag. I was happy too because what the hell do you get a Guatemalan man or woman. I am not a fan of cheap gifts. The set amount was $6 which is A LOT here but after going to at least 15 stores, I realized that it's really not that much because any gift worth giving was way more expensive. I wasn't about to give a stuffed teddy bear or a box of chocolates, nor did I want to give her something for the kitchen. She's not really a traditional Guatemalan woman anyway. She doesn't make tortillas everyday. She isn't in charge of the cleaning and her husband helps her take care of their 3 boys. Nonetheless, like most or all Guatemalan women, she is overworked. Who wouldn't want a manicure? I've never had one so I didn't know what it would be like but I assumed it had to be enjoyable. I was having doubts though because flashes of Paula Abdul were racing through my mind and how she tried to sue her beauty salon for, what?, making her nails fungus-y. Hahaha. Of all the things to go and start a revolution for...sterilizing beauty utensils. Whatever. It's important I guess. I got tired of going to so many stores so I made my friend a card and wrote, "Go to this place to get your V-Day gift." She was pretty damn surprised so that was good. I couldn't have lived with myself if I gave her a set of spatulas. A week later she convinces me to go with her. Just like teenage girls that can't do things alone for the first time. So I went but not before getting my caffeine fix at the Museo Cafe, a glorious establishment in the heart of Huehue. Mmmmm. We make our way to the Rotonda where Evolution Spa is located, which is apparently run by a lady that lived in Chicago for many years. I'll have to confirm because I've had people tell me that they have relatives in Chicago and it ends up being Iowa. Sorry folks, but it's definitely not the same. A slim beauty leads us upstairs and starts working her magic on my friend. This lady was so friendly but had a very bizarre personality. Her name was Veronica but she made us call her Vero. And she had a laugh that was out of this world. A la Janice from Friends. A Guatemalan Janice if you will. I can't recall everything she was saying but she was ripping on Mexicans' mustaches and for treating Guatemalans poorly. Then she started to say that she was going to file down my friend's nails until you could see the bone. All this was said in a very light-hearted way....but damn, how morbid. All in all, this lovely experience lasted 3 hours! It was fun. The time went by fast and I also got a manicure (my first time ever in all my 24.5 years of existence). Only problem was the girl who I got, sucked at painting nails (she was the sister of the owner). When I went home I took off the nailpolish and painted them clear. That's how I like them. Clean and simple. We almost missed the bus back home and my friend's husband threatened to lock her out of the house. False promises though.