I know what you're thinking - "It's about time she updated the blog!" Sorry about that. The last couple of weeks have been extra crazy! On top of the normal planning for classes, teaching, and everything else involved, we had overnight camp to plan for. So although it's taken awhile, here is the update you have all been hoping for.
Overnight camp was this weekend, and it was TONS of fun! Michael and I both had a blast. We loaded up the kids from grades 5-12 and took them to a resort/retreat area for a few days. Most of the 12th graders had been there 2-3 times already, so they complained a bit about going there again, but from what I observed, they all had just as much fun as everyone else. We had camp activities for most of the day on Friday; I was grouped with my homeroom, 12th grade, and Michael helped out with the 6th grade class. The activities included team-building activities and various camp-type games. The afternoon was the best because we got to play (almost) all the water games! I only got to do a few of them, unfortunately, and the toughest one by far was the "Sky Walk." This involved walking across a rope (strung across the lake), hanging on to other ropes that came down from a rope strung above. I don't really know how else to describe it! I made it about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way across before I fell. Considering how I was expecting to fall at the second or third rope, I didn’t do too bad! =)
Unfortunately, though, those were about the only ones I got to do. Our next activity included paddling rafts across the lake. It doesn’t sound that difficult, does it? I didn’t think so, either. I decided after a while to get off the raft and help push alongside. It sounded like a much better idea than it actually was...turns out I’m much less coordinated than I thought. In the midst of sliding off the side of the raft, my leg got caught and I twisted my knee pretty badly. Once I got unstuck, I couldn’t even feel my leg; it was completely numb (the shooting pains started after a few minutes, though!). Ugh. Good thing I had a lifejacket on. I limped around for the rest of the day and decided that I shouldn’t participate in anything else, even though I really REALLY wanted to. I went to the doctor the next day and it turns out I just have a muscle contusion (really large bruise) and sprained knee. I got off lucky – I easily could have broken something, and I’m SO THANKFUL I didn’t! =)
Another part of overnight camp included night games. The first night was hilarious! Grade 12 was in charge of the night games for the older kids (grades 9-12), and our game on Thursday night was titled “Horror” (or something like that). The basic idea of the game: run away from the 12th graders. They were dressed in black, most with hoods, and some with masks. Michael, Ruth (another teacher) and I stuck together during this game. We had a lot of fun right at the beginning of the game – we snuck up behind 3 different groups of kids, and as soon as we got close we’d start running and screaming. We caused a bit of mass hysteria here and there – hilarious! We also snuck over to Michael’s cabin and got the water guns that were used during a scavenger hunt earlier that day. I got a few good shots in at 12th graders before one of them took the gun from me. =)
Anyway, overnight camp was a success. Not a whole lot has been happening other than that. Michael is going to be subbing in 4th grade this week. He subbed one day last week in that class as well. He really enjoys being a sub, I think – it breaks up his schedule a little bit and gives him something to do throughout the course of the day. He is still working on sermons/speeches for Ajan Sahat, but we have no idea when (or if) he’ll be able to use those.
School is still going well. Lesson planning is getting a little easier, but some classes (mainly history) are still really difficult for me to figure out. I am also getting better at improvising in the middle of class. I have it quite often where my plan doesn’t take as long as I think it will, so I have to come up with something else for the class to do…. One of the most encouraging things for me recently came from a student during overnight camp. She walked over and sat by me (as I was watching the 12th graders on one of the activities) and we chatted for a while. She asked if I was coming back next year, and I said I wasn’t sure, although I hope I will. She looked at me and said, “Well, I would like it if you came back next year.” It warmed my heart. There are days where I think, “What in the world am I doing here? I don’t know how to teach these kids!” I often wonder if they even learn anything from me. That one little comment from one of my students was so encouraging – it makes me think that, if anything, I’m at least helping one student, and that is worthwhile.
Anyway, that’s helped me look forward to a new week. We have a 3-day week again this week (hooray!). I’m excited to teach again, but it’ll be helpful to have one more long weekend to (hopefully) plan ahead for the rest of the semester. There’s always work to be done! Ahh, well, that's part of life. That's about all I have for this blog update. If you'd like more stories about various things, feel free to send me an email! We'd love to hear from you, too! Blessings to you all!