Felicia Black
Felicia Black
South Africa 2011- 2012
I am a recent Belmont graduate (Class of 2011) and I am going back to South Africa. I first went to South Africa in the fall of my junior year at Belmont and I had so much fun I decided to apply for the Lumos award and have been lucky enough to go again! Check out my previous blog at http://coming2sa.blogspot.com/ I will also be updating that blog as I return to South Africa so check ‘em out! Read More About Felicia →

Week 4 Part 1

Let’s face it. This blog is a hot mess. I am so behind, it’s appalling. I’m so sorry. Let it just stand as a testament of my incredible work load. I’m at lost as to how to rectify the situation. According to my records, I am three weeks behind schedule. How is that even possible? Below is my attempt to catch up. Again, sorry!

Tuesday August 9th

I enjoyed a fabulous weekend by myself which I explained in my previous post. Everyone went to Cape Town this weekend but I stayed in enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation. It was wonderful.

I just found out that both Jim and Nick are leaving. They aren’t going far just to Fish Hoek but still it sucks. Apparently some woman named JT will be replacing Jim and Nick’s replacement won’t be here for a while. They’re trying to find someone in the community to replace Nick which seems like it will take a while. Nick will be leaving this weekend which sucks and then Jim will be here for another four weeks before he leaves. It just sucks because I am getting used to the idea of volunteers leaving all the time but it sucks when someone you think is staying is leaving. Both Jim and Nick are awesome so I’m really not happy about them leaving.

Today we didn’t have school because there was a public holiday. What exactly the holiday was I don’t know but we still had things to do. We’re trying to collect books for the school because right now, they have a physical structure for a library but no books. So we went across the area: Gordon’s Bay, Strand and Somerset West to try to see if we could get some books. We got collection points at all those locations and went around to different businesses to see if they would be willing to donate as well. Hopefully within the next couple weeks we’ll get lots of donations so we can fill the library with books!

Wednesday August 10th

Back at school after a four day break. It was lovely and a much needed break but today was completely exhausting. I was supposed to work with one of the numeracy teachers but she had a meeting with her subject teacher so I had nothing to do. I decided to work on my workshops that I’m supposed to be doing with Grade 6. It was very overwhelming. There are so many things to cover.

After working on that for a bit, I talked to Mel and both agreed that I should work with another teacher since my numeracy teacher was busy. I found one of the literacy teachers and helped her out. She had a lot of questions about the exam. Some of the questions were really hard like the opposite of pleasure which I said was displeasure but it didn’t really work in the context of the question. There were other questions too such as fill in the blank. For example: as good as _____ The first thing that came to my mind was as good as dead but that didn’t sound right to me so I asked Mel who suggested as good as gold a phrase I’ve never heard before. English is such a weird language. There were worse questions as well like explain the meaning of stirring ill-will or something like that it was so confusing. I definitely prefer numeracy to literacy. English is too confusing and vague.

Thursday August 11th

Last night was social night which was really fun even though it was so short. We played Family Freud or as the British call it “Family Fortune.” They asked 100 people at Pick N Pay different questions and we had to guess their responses. It was pretty hilarious because people go to GVI literally twice a day if not more. After the official social night ever, we played music and I was the only one dancing. No one seems to love dancing here as much as me which sucks but I still had fun so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Today I had probably one of the worst meetings I’ve ever been in. Mel and I had a meeting with the Grade 6 teachers to discuss my role in the classroom. I was excited at first because they seemed to be very organized. They even had a secretary who read out the agenda but we didn’t even get to my role. We maybe covered three of things on the items. It was pretty frustrating to experience. At one point the head teacher asked how the other teachers felt about extra classes and she was meant with silence. I of course had an opinion about it but they asking me. I honestly think that a lot of time is wasted in the classroom and if that time wasn’t wasted then there probably wouldn’t be a need for extra classes but that’s just me.

The rest of the day was pretty much a reflection of the meeting. I worked with one of the numeracy teachers and they were doing fractions which is probably the most difficult topic I’ve had to help with so far. I was told that we were working on shapes so it was really hard for me to be effective when I hadn’t prepared a lesson for fractions. To make manners worse I had to correct the teacher when she made a pretty big error. It was extremely awkward for me because I knew I was right, but it’s hard to find the right way to correct an error like that. You have the students learn the wrong thing but how to tell the teacher? I think I managed it pretty well :/

Then my teacher disappeared after break. She didn’t tell me anything, just disappeared. I was at a complete lost. I asked around but no one knew where she was so I just ended up finding another teacher and helping her with literacy. Overall it was a pretty bad day. 🙁

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