Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A day at Sakeji-

Wow—I managed to survive another Tuesday! Tuesday is my hardest/longest/most challenging day, so making it to the evening without falling over is always a triumph! Here is what I was doing all day:

6:05—My alarm goes off. I fumble with my mosquito net, turn off the alarm, roll out of bed and go to the kitchen to let Ceili out. She made another puddle last night, so I stick her nose in it, smack her and say, “Bad dog!” She tucks her tail between her legs and whines until I let her go so I can unlock the door and send her out. I get dressed, gather up the marking I worked on until late last night, and head for breakfast about 6:55.
7:00—Breakfast in the dinning hall. I have a little first grade boy beside me who takes constant watching. He has managed to get himself and most of the table around him thoroughly sticky with honey these past few mornings, so I’m trying to catch him and remind him that one spoon of honey on his rice cake is enough!
7:25—I’m making copies and a transparency to use in Social Studies class—we’re studying Mexico this term and we need to label some land forms.
7:40—I lead singing assembly. Tuesday thru Thrusday is singing assmebly, Monday and Friday are for character qualities, and Friday is also for giving out certificates. I have the kids walk out to class singing “I have decided to follow Jesus.” They sing so beautifully and with such amazing harmony—I wish everyone had as good an ear for music!
8:00—First period. I have literature with the 6th graders while the 5th graders have grammar next door. We read the story “It Happened on the Brooklyn Subway” and talk about chance and God working things out.
8:40—5th grade comes back in and we switch to math. Saturday was a math test, so we start the new topic—properties of addition before handing back the math books with their test grades. I use the kids as manipulative to illustrate the different properties we’re studying, and then I send them back to their desks to look at their grade and start their homework. I’m letting them do corrections for half credit to raise their grade today only—tomorrow it is too late. We’re working on getting things turned in on time right now...
9:20—Third period. We put up the math books and get out our social studies duotangs (three ring folders). We work on labeling the landforms of Mexico as well as some of the major cities. I warm them that a map test is in their near future. We shall see how far to heart that took that hint!
10:00—Morning tea. A welcome break to grab some tea and a snack and visit with the other staff. We talk about people traveling, missing parts for the tipper that have finally been located, issues with students, and details of the day. After closing in prayer its back to the classroom.
10:30—Fourth period. We have reading response today, and I play some music as the kids write. I’ve found that the music helps them to focus and cuts down on talking and wasting time. Reading response is where they write to me about books they are reading and then I respond back. Its kind of a fun private letter throughout the term, but it takes a lot time to respond back to 16 kids! I enjoy the little break though.
11:15—Fifth period. 6th grade goes for grammar while I have 5th grade for literature. We read the story “Boar out there” and work on timelines of their lives. 6th grade is doing the unit on journeys, and 5th is doing growing and changing. Several of the 5th graders make beautiful timelines—I’ll put them up on the board this week for everyone to admire.
11:55—Normally we would be about ready to dismiss for lunch, but today we have a fire drill. The bell at upper school starts to ring continuously, and I hustle my kids out of the classroom closing windows and the door on my way out. Its takes about 2 ½ minutes to get the whole school assembled in front of the hall, and then Bethany calls role to make sure everyone was there. My kids later indignantly wanted to know if I had known about it in advance. Ha!
12:10—Lunch. Today its Spaghetti, Garlic bread, green beans, squash, and carrots with chocolate pudding for desert.
12:30—The kids are hading up for rest hour, and I head to my house to get some things to make animal cards to use in music this afternoon. I spend rest hour in the admin copying, pasting, and laminating with Beth’s help. We finish just before the bell rings again.
1:30—Sixth period. I have the 1st and 2nd graders for music. We play “The Old Gray Cat,” review things from last week, and talk about quarter notes and quarter rests. We finish by starting to work with the animal cards. I have to explain what sound a turkey makes!
2:15—Seventh period. 3rd and 4th grade come charging up from Lower School—apparently News was really exciting today. We play some games to let them get the wiggles out and review things from last week. I might send them for a marching lap or two before coming in next week to burn off some of that energy!
3:00—Afternoon tea. I go over to the chotta by the dinning hall and enjoy the break.
3:30—Afternoon prep. I go into my room even though I’m not on, and answer some math questions. Prep is homework time, and I remind my kids that they need to be completely caught up by the end of today. We shall see how that goes...
4:00—Piano lessons. This time is free games for everyone else, but the seniors who signed up to take music lessons at this time. I have Natasha Phiri, a 7th grader who is just starting piano. 5th grade will be allowed to take next term after having some time to settle in, and apparently no 6th graders wanted to take. I work with her for 45 minutes, and then head down to the house to let Ceili off her rope and fetch some things for my classroom.
5:30—Supper. Today there are bowls of pineapple and fruit at the kids places instead of having them go for fruit—my little first grade boy asked me if he could “Please touch my desert” as he wanted to eat his pineapple with his hands. The kids have to ask to start their desert when it is already dished out for them.
5:45—I make quick stop in the classroom for books to mark and head back down to Valley View (my house). I let Ceili out, make up a big pot of dog food with rice and the meat Vickie gave me, and spend some time with Ceili. She’s been a bit neglected as of late, so I give her some loving and relax a little. She chases a Zozo (LARGE black ant), and soon the characteristic odor fills the evening air. Normally there would be a staff meeting at 7:45 up in the main sitting room, but as there wasn’t anything to discuss other than the fire drill, it is canceled for this week (last week we had 12 points to discuss on the agenda—it was a loooooooong meeting.)
7:00ish—Beth comes home from marking, and we take Ceili on a walk behind the dorm, past sick bay (where we pick up some yeast from Mrs. Ronald) and almost to the bridge, left to the dam, and then back up past Bethany and Mrs. Loudon’s house. The steep hill up about does us in—we’re both out of shape and the altitude sure doesn’t help, but we needed the exercises. We get home and make a pot of tea while I soak my foot. I go ahead and use hot water from the tap, hoping it won’t empty the solar tank too much as we both want a shower. Beth cuts up the pineapple one of her parents former workers brought us last Friday, and we mark and savor the unforgettable taste of Sakeji pineapple. We both shower (there was enough hot water!) and work on letter writing until we go to bed a little before 10pm. I let the dog out one more time in hopes that there will be a clean kitchen floor in the morning, and then read in bed for a bit to let the gunk in my chest sort itself out before turning out my light and closing my net.


  1. Wow, the schedule has changed quite a bit since the old days! Fascinating! Hope you are getting enough rest . . .

  2. Whee, good thing you are young & healthy !!
    Made me tired just reading all you did...
    Thanks for sharing gives us a peek
    into your day...Hugs g.weaver

  3. Wow! That is a crazy day! I hope that things are still going well for you! And Ceili is super cute. I love her name, too.