No! Stop! Don’t get sick. You’re too busy to get sick! The thoughts flashing through my mind last night as I felt the on-comings of a sore throat and stuffy nose. Despite chugging water and taking some vitamin C, this morning yielded that “feel like crap” feeling. And though itching to get to the school and continue work, I decided to do myself a favor and stay home this morning. However, I suck at just sitting around doing nothing so I decided to write a blog and share with you what’s going on here in the Phils.
You may remember last year’s post around this time. February is the month of our school anniversary, village fiesta and Junior-Senior Prom…and more activities just keep piling on. But this time, I keep telling myself it’ll be the last chance I experience these things so better make the most of them. And although crazy hectic, I’m looking forward to the happenings in this month of love.
The nice thing about taking a break from formal teaching is that I can explore and try my hand at other things within the school. I began helping with “career guidance,” a term used for educating senior students about college and plans after high school graduation. I realized our students were pretty much clueless about the possibilities out there. And while college is becoming a very popular choice for high school graduates, many don’t think about it until the month of enrollment at which time they’ll most likely pick a college and major that their friends or older siblings took up.
I started collecting resources to share with our advisers and students. The mass of information turned into a book that we've bound and distributed to other schools. A teacher and I also made a game to help students map out a degree based on their likes and interests. Hopefully our students will become more interested in college, and use higher education as a means to pull themselves out of the poverty in our community. This weekend we are planning a field trip to take the seniors to visit some universities so they can tour the campuses and speak with advisers.
Because I’m no longer in the classroom, some students have requested meeting outside of school. This has lately turned into a sort of “Sir Matt Club”. Every week we cook dinner and play English games or play the guitar. While their artistic talents may be bland on paper, these kids sure can play the heck out of the guitar. The group has decided to translate some English songs into their local dialect and record a CD that can hopefully be sold (interested?). Learning the ins and outs of recording software is yet another skill I’m trying to master. By the end of this service I will be a professional music producer, teacher, dance instructor, guidance counselor, chef, computer programmer, film editor, journalist, event planner, curriculum developer, and training coordinator…all roles I've *expertly* performed on request from the teachers and students. So, tell all your friends and bosses that there is soon to be an ex-Peace Corps Volunteer in need of employment who can assume the capabilities of any professional (or at least pretend to).
Hope you’re all doing well at home! Counting down the last 7½ months till I get to see you all!
P.S. I thought I wrote a blog update for January. But since I didn’t here is a very short recall of Christmas: I ate a lot, relaxed a lot. Dry season means no running water, which means I left the faucet on in hopes that it would come, which means it did come when I was away in the capitol, which means my apartment flooded and my host mother is now assured that I am suffering from Alzheimer’s (wish I was kidding). Also, I introduced the gift-sharing game of White Elephant to the teachers and this was the result:
Wait until the kids see what games are in store for their Valentine's Day prom...