Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feeling Great Today

Today has started off very well. I went to bed early last night, which might have something to do with it. I woke up early this morning with a feeling of contentment. I went to the kitchen to help my host mother prepare for 3:00am breakfast. I ate a bit and then went out for a power-walk. I went 4 miles... which doesn't sound like a whole lot, but for me it was a great accomplishment, especially at 3:30 in the morning.
The early morning is so peaceful. All of the stars were out and the moon lit the road. I was able to walk and think. I found myself smiling and even singing along with the music on my iPod. It took me exactly 1 hour to go four miles, but I am not too concerned that I am slow right now, the important thing is that I went out and did it. I will get better if I stick with it.
I only have to teach one class today but I am going to go visit one of the 10th grade classes because they have been asking me since the start of school to come in and teach them. They are so excited. It makes me very happy. Every time I walk by their class I hear them yell "Miss Angela, Miss! Come here!" Of course I go and they are all smiling and wanting to talk to me. So after those two classes today I think I will head home and just relax and try not to be hungry. This whole fasting thing is taking some getting used to! By 5:30pm I am ready to eat EVERYTHING!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Its a Beautiful Day

So I am feeling very motivated and upbeat today. The past few days have been pretty freakin' good. I have talked with old friends back in the states, done a lot of strolling down memory lane, and am walking around with a smile on my face. Which is a good thing for my students because the little buggers still refuse to do their homework. I just don't get it! Nothing seems to work. They are not afraid of any repercussions so they just choose not to do it. I will have to work on that! Might have to get a little mean on the homework front.
I have come up with an idea that I am very excited about. I am wanting to start an ongoing game for my classes... Survivor-English Class. The class will split into two teams, and compete against each other in puzzles, relays (to gain clues for those puzzles) just like the real Survivor TV show. At the end of the competition they will vote for the person who was the biggest asset to the team winning (and that person will get a mark. At the end of the semester the person with the most marks will win). I feel that having the kids vote someone off the team would not be a very good motivational tool. So I am going to change it a bit. I will have the competitions once a week and they will review what we have go over thus far in class, that way they students should know what is going on, and it will keep everything fresh in their minds. Lets hope this works and is not just utter chaos!  Now it is time to brainstorm and come up with puzzles and challenges.
I have completed a week of fasting. It has been wicked hard but I am sticking with it! I am determined to complete the whole month, and then I will celebrate with everyone else when it is over. I am planning on going to Surabaya for a few days and relaxing, eating good food, and getting a massage. I can't wait! We will see what happens.
Right now I am sweating my butt off. I am sitting in my teacher room and between wearing the heavy uniform and the head covering (jilbab) it is 1000 degrees! I finally got the teachers to agree to turn the fans on, but they are saying that they are cold now. LOL. I know that I should feel bad, but I don't. I just need a little bit of air!  I keep reminding myself that all of this sweating that I do is good for me! It will help with weight loss and make me healthier. But I will tell you this... there are times when it is absolute torture! Now I am going to go and ride my bike in this heat and complain about it some more. LOL.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Teaching....well sort of....

So I have started teaching. I am teaching in a Muslim High School. My students are all really nice to me, but most of the time they are afraid to talk to me or participate in class. I think it is because they are afraid of making a mistake. I try to speak Indonesian to them so they can see how much I mess up, but I don't think it is helping.
Also I think they are really bored in class. I am trying to figure out a way to make my classes more interesting. I could use any help and advice that anyone has! I am going to make journals for all of my students and have them do at least one journal activity a week and then out a fun assignment in it once a week also before I hand them back after grading... something like a fun translation assignment or word search and define assignment . I am hoping that will be something they will enjoy.

The teachers I teach with are all nice and welcoming to me. It makes me feel really good. But they do things a lot differently than I was expecting. They don't lesson plan. They don't set rules in their classes. They really don't have any fun activities and just teach right from the book, which really isnt all that great. It is very noticeable that the book was not made by a native speaker. That kind of makes me sad and frustrated but I have to work with what I have. So I will be spending the next couple of weeks going through the course book and making new assignments and activities that I feel the kids will actually enjoy. Listening activities that are fun and from movies or music that they like. Everyone of these kids is crazy for Justin Beiber and even Celine Dion.  Hey... if that is what it takes... I will totally work with it!
If you have any words of wisdom and ideas PLEASE send them my way!

The school days are shortened for the month of August. It is Ramadan time. We are all fasting from 4:00am to 6:00pm, so everyone is low on energy and not wanting to be in school. So I will have the new lessons ready for the end of Ramadan. We are going to restart with a bang! That is the goal anyhow. Hopefully this works and doesn't blow up in my face.