Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Program

School Christmas programs tend to be the same the world round: lots of proud parents and lots of cute kids, a few who participate loudly and with pride and the rest not having a clue as to what's going on. I love this picture of the maternal class (2-3 year olds). The tallest boy in the class is also, as you can see, the most enthusiastic singer.

As the ninth grade homeroom teacher, I was reponsible for working with them to prepare something for the program. I asked the other teachers what classes usually do and was told they sing a Christmas song. I get a chorus of painful groans when I ask the students just to take out a notebook or sit in their seats, so I couldn't imagine getting a group of 14-year-olds to sing a Christmas carol in front of the school and parents.

When I asked the principal for advice, she told me she had seen the girls practicing a Christmas dance to "Jingle Bell Rock" so why didn't I have them to that? Both their dance moves and costumes were based on the movie "Mean Girls" and while I did work with them and they kept assuring me it would be great, I still had nightmares of inappropriate dance moves, scantily clad students, and me having to claim responsibility. But like so many other things here, it turned out just fine. The girls practiced a lot (usually during science class, which was fine by me) and we were all proud of how it turned out.
The boys' role was to stand on the side and snap their fingers. Though they didn't do this with too much enthusiasm, they participated and some days you take what you can get. Lots of days in fact.

Right now I'm home for Christmas for 2 weeks. It's been really wonderful to get caught up with family and friends and just be home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some Things You Just Can't Get Away From

A few days ago, I was at the home helping some girls with their homework when somebody came into the library, said something in Spanish I didn't understand, and all the girls dashed out. The cause of the excitment turned out to be a box of candy they had opened and were handing out: Peeps. One of the girls offerered me some. I wasn't sure how to say, "My teeth hurt just thinking about those things" in Spanish, so just said no thank you.

And then last night I went to the Mall with some of the other volunteers to watch a student Christmas performance. The kindergarten class recited a poem and one little boy kept grabbing the microphone from the MC to repeat the poem again or just talk. A few of my junior high students played a few songs on the guitar. You could hardly hear them, but the most entertaining part was watching them pluck out the chords with concentrated expressions. The choir sang some Christmas songs, and it brought tears to my eyes. They were stunning, and it finally felt like Christmas to me here.

Aftewards we went to the movies. Nothing looked that good but someone mentioned that The Day the Earth Stood Still wasn't bad. It wasn't until after I bought the ticket that I was told it starred Keanu Reeves. Luckily, he plays an alien, a built an excuse to not have to actually portray any human emotions. And I got to eat my favorite Honduran food, the caramel corn at the movies, so it wasn't a wasted night.

Next Sunday, I head home for two weeks. I haven't been as homesick as I thought I would be here (Thank you Skype!) but I cannot wait to just be at home and with the people I love.