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Archive for October, 2010

Back from Quetzaltenango


At the mercado on Sunday.

So, since I’ve been back from Guatemala, life has been fairly busy.  Scratch that: crazy is more like it! I’ve started the fall semester at Columbia University, Teachers College.  Full-time.  And they really do mean *full* time.

Also, I’ve been busy writing articles on a freelance basis; unfortunately, most of the articles are not about education, so I’ve really missed that.

I want to come back and write about some of the experiences I had in Guatemala, but the “crazy” thing doesn’t seem to be diminishing. So, I’ll make time for one story now, and just hope that I’m able to “come back” and update again soon.  Sorry for the lack of updates–I promise once my life gets back in order, I’ll update much more frequently.

Story 1 from GuatemalaThe Lion King

So, before I left for Guatemala, I found and downloaded a Spanish version of “The Lion King” (El Rey Leon). And thank God I did! I ended up teaching the pequenos (4-6 year olds) for over 3 weeks, and bribing them with 20 or 30 minute chunks of the video was sometimes the only way to calm them down after play time.  Class was: 1 hour of lesson, 20 minutes of break, and 40 more minutes of lesson afterwards.  This all took place from 4 to 6pm every weekday.


smallest theater ever

Some kids went to another school during the day, but as we were operating in a very poor neighborhood, many kids had no other schooling opportunities, and we were it.  The classroom where I taught wasn’t exactly set up for audio-visual experiences: so we improvised!  We ended up sitting on the floor, propping my 11″ netbook up on a chair, and enjoying the movie from the ground.

The kids actually *loved* the movie. The death of Simba’s father was very affecting, but they were very drawn in by the drama and the comedy. They laughed so hard and so loud, it made freezing my butt off three days straight on the cold stone floor totally worth it.

I hope I can go back one day and share other movies and books and experiences with them. There’s always such a quick transition of teachers with the Org I worked with that I’m sure the kids assume they’ll never see their “senos” again (someone taught them to call all teachers, male and female, enseno). I’d like to be an exception, if possible.

Frost should have written a poem about the road traveled only once…