Friday, October 2, 2009

more tales from this dominican life

Thank God it's viernes! A few anecdotes for you:

  • Yesterday I introduced my classes to the online multilingual dictionary I gave them a worksheet with some English words and some Spanish words and asked them to find the word in the opposite language. This activity was a little bit high-level for a lot of the kids, who just haven't been taught many reading comprehension skills. So I'd look at the worksheet and see that kids had defined words as "verbo" or "sustantivo" (noun). But my favorite was one student who defined "reirse," which means "to laugh," as "to laugh at grammar." Wouldn't it be great if English specifically had a verb that meant "to laugh at grammar"? I would use that verb all the time. I bet German has a word for it.
  • The standard demand in my computer classes is "Juegos! Juegos! JUEGOS!" (Games!) The kids want to play computer games. Understandable, but whenever I give them a little free time to play games, it turns out... they don't really know how to play computer games. So they call me over to show them how to play whatever Flash game they have encountered--assuming, naturally, that I automatically know the rules to every single Flash game on the Internet. Usually I can figure it out, and then they don't even want to play the game. They want to watch me play the game. So I have 10 kids all going, "Sssst! Profe! Sssst!" urgently calling me over to play Internet games for them. Which, I mean... there are worse jobs.
  • DREAM has a pretty good database of all its past and present students, often including observations from teachers and parents. Today I looked up a student and saw that under "Parental comments" it said "He is not good at anything." WOW. I called everyone else in the office over to look because I thought it was so hilarious. And so sad. And also, can you ever in a million years imagine an American parent telling their child's teacher, "Oh yeah, he's not good at anything"? I mean, there's a good chance that the Dominican parent honestly meant for "he's not good at anything" to be a helpful comment. Like, he should take all the classes... because he's not good at anything.
  • I realized I never really updated my blog about my health--I'm totally fine after my week of near-constant sleep. However, I'm bitterly disappointed that my diagnosis was "a dengue-like viral infection." Come onnnn, I couldn't have gotten regular dengue? I had all the symptoms, but now I don't get the badass points of being able to say "Yeah, I had dengue fever. No big deal." "I had a dengue-like viral infection"? LAME. I also technically can't say for certain that I had a parasite. "I had a long-running stomach ailment that resolved itself after I started taking anti-parasite medication, but I didn't go in for a stool sample so I can't conclusively state that I had a parasite." All I wanted from my Peace Corps experience was one impressive-sounding tropical ailment. Is that so much to ask?
  • Also, the electricity situation has been better. I opened my milk box and it hasn't gone bad yet, hooray! Next to the fridge, I did discover a banana that I left at my house the entire week I was gone being sick. It was basically liquid, but strangely didn't smell bad or have any flies or ants on it. (It was in a plastic bag, but that doesn't necessarily keep bugs out in this climate.) Interesting. I wonder how long I could potentially have rotten fruit in my house before I would notice.


speedo said...,8599,1920271,00.html?iid=redirect-Shaqvsjoel

shaq is about on par with your students

Priscilla said...

1. When you come up with a word, let me know! There is a hole in our language that desperately needs to be filled!

4. You'll always have dengue in my heart.