Thursday, August 14, 2008
Today was an insanely dramatic day at my little Instituto. I wake up this morning at about 5:30 contemplating if I am going to present the activity that I originally had planned for the kids (schools of the future, basically picking up garbage and building a model school out of it), and finally decide against it, concluding that I will do this later because I have other evaluation type things that I would rather have them do. Ok, not to bore you but I´ve been in the process of surveying the students on how they feel about their school (do they like it, what they like, don´t like, what they´d change, etc.). I´ve gotten some really great and interesting responses. Mainly, they really want a cancha and basketball court; they wish the school grounds were more ample (its really small); they aren´t too fond of the principal and Music teacher; and they wish it was cleaner (the litter largely their own doing). So those are some of their key concerns. This Monday I had this small dramatization on contamination and basically told them, you have to be the change that you want to see. You can´t just identify problems and expect them to go away or for someone else to take care of them for you. You yourself have to act. You´re young and uh, you´re young...so yea. Ok, I didn´t say that last part but I said that. And, now I´ve decided well, if you want to see change, then we are going to be the change. The working title of this project is Youth Empowerment (Empoderamiento Juvenil)...I stress, WORKING title. What I´m thinking is that I will have them first research organizations composed of mainly youth that are in Guatemala that are doing positive things for their community (make them begin to see that change by youth is possible). Then have them discuss what exactly is the problem with each of these issues that they identified in their questionnaires and what it is they want to change and how, then begin to research organizations or institutions that can help them with funds (for example for the basketball court) and then begin to take it from there. That´s what I have for now. This is the type of things that I think about from 5:30 to 7am and then from 12:30pm and on. Anyway, back to the drama. A student got kicked out of the class by the Language Arts teacher for disrupting the rest of the class. This student has anger management issues. He got extremely pissed that he was kicked out and started crying for hours, punching the walls, etc. It was bad. I tried talking to him and it seemed to help temporarily. I think he has some family problems because this was early on in the day and he hinted at being upset about something at home and later the secretary said that his father doesn´t speak very well of him. He eventually calmed down after a few hours, many teachers taking to him, some medicine. At the end of the day he came to apologize for his behavior and I told him I forgave him and just wanted him to be ok and not hurt himself. Poor kid. The teachers tried to dismiss it as just the way he is and he does it to get attention but I´m sorry, kids don´t act like that for no reason. There´s something behind it. Anyway, about 6 kids were late to school so they were made to sweep the halls (they prefer that to being in their first hour classes), a girl fainted and had to be rushed to the hospital, another boy went home sick and 3 boys got in trouble for throwing paper in class. Geez.