Saturday, February 18, 2012

Handful of Love

February 13th- 19th:

First topic, Valentine’s Day! My day was filled with plenty of pink and red hearts and it was just perfect. Valentine’s Day was a great reason to take a break from lessons and do some arts and crafts. Due to the fact that I was a nanny for um… five or six years before I left for Peace Corps, my excitement about doing crafts was probably a little over the top. I miss having kids around every day to plan crafts for. A light bulb just went off in my head that I could possible start an arts and crafts club with all my neighbor kids- Sunday Funday with Ms. Gina? Je je je. Anyways, Catherine and I browsed the internet the weekend prior to V-day to look for paper crafts, or any craft that we would be able to make with our students using the materials that are available. I also had to keep in mind that I would be doing this craft with about 200 students, no my usual craft buddies who were at most only five. In a nutshell, we had to keep things simple and affordable! We found a project titled, “Handful of Love.” It was very simple, just a couple important directions and some added creativity and personal touch and the outcome would be suitable for any Valentine. The students loved it! See pictures below.

Another new experience I had this week was washing my bed sheets. I thought jeans were hard but in comparison to a bed sheet, jeans are easy! I have been putting off washing my dirty sheet for a few weeks and somehow one afternoon after school I found motivation to actually wash it. In all honesty I was considering asking someone to wash it for me because I was not anticipating a good experience washing it myself. I carried the sheet outside, put it in the bucket and from then on there was no turning back, it was already wet. It took me about 20 minutes to scrub each section of the sheet, carefully maneuvering the sheet in the bucket so I would not lose track of what parts I had washed and what parts I had not washed.  The tub was filled with bubbles. I needed a break so I let it soak for 15 minutes while I gave my muscles a break before rinsing. I actually ate a piece of chocolate to reward myself. The whole self rewarding thing really works for me. I am much more likely to wash a load of clothes if I tell myself I can eat a piece of chocolate afterwards. Did I just admit that? While rinsing, the sheet was so heavy I could barely lift it high enough so that it was under the faucet but not in the soapy water. It did not help that before I left my mother bought me a heavy duty, high thread count, amazing sheet from bed bath and beyond. After “rinsing” or trying to rinse some might call it, I think there might still have been some soap in the fibers but I decided I could live with it and hung it out to dry. Definitely a good arm work-out.

Friday night I went to Boac after school. Two fourth year students were competing in a Marinduque wide pageant for search for Mr. and Ms. Social Science. Catherine and her friend from home Ashley were also coming to the show because there was a student from Catherine’s school competing too; actually… her student won the competition! Ashley is a film maker who is currently collecting a variety of pieces to lay out the life of a Peace Corps volunteer from beginning to end. She is planning to visit Catherine about every six months. I think I mentioned this earlier too. She told me she has already created a trailer for the film. She is using the trailer to promote the film and collect funds to help her continue and finish her project. She is going to send me the link to the trailer so when I receive that I will pass it on to you all. It is actually really hard to “act normal” when there is large camera equipment extremely close to your face. I kept thinking about the ending credits on Little Rascals when they show a series of shots saying, “Darla, don’t look at the camera!” I always wanted to look at the camera! Before the show started we all ate dinner together and that is when Ashley shot some film about the conversations Catherine and I were having. The show started at 6pm, but in Filipino time it was more around 7. The stage set up was beautiful, complete with spotlights, tri-level platforms, lanterns decorated with butterflies, and multi-colored lighting. The show was intense and the contestants were all very brilliant and talented! Every outfit: sports, casual wear, gown, talent, and uniform, had to be made from recycled materials. This really brought to life the complexities and creativity of designing outfits using rice sacks, plastic bags, pages of a magazine, newspaper, umbrellas, and so on. Catherine and I had a laughing attack during the talent portion of the contest. One of the contestants did an interpretive dance and at the end of the dance number they (there were background dancers too) came to center stage. First, they opened a box and many butterflies went flying through the audience. Then, the two at the ends released (more like threw or chucked) two large birds into the audience. However, these birds did not exactly fly, perhaps they were in shock, they just went up solely because of the toss and then came rapidly crashing to the ground. We could not control our laughter. The birds survived though, I think.

The grand finale to my week and weekend was the Junior/Senior Prom at my school. I will write about this in next weeks post because I did not have time to write everything before I came to the internet today.

One of my classes! Everyone was very excited to have a "handful of love" that they could give to their Valentine.

Close up of the activity. Each student added a little burst of creativity to make it more personal and fun!

Meet Romeo and Juliet! They are busy practicing for the final production coming in March. I was impressed with the balcony scene, they are going to blow me away with the entire play there is no doubt about it. The props crew did an amazing job!

My new classroom display! I may not have a laminating machine, store bought letters, bullentin board and tacks but I do have 100 little hands to help me! They all thought the boarders were really large stickers, it was cute. But I guess when you take classroom boarders and stick about 100 pieces of tape on the back it does become a rather large "sticker." I am adding new star students this coming week!

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