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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Only Mostly Dead



And my Miracle Max is my mug of wine.

The science fair was today and it was a very long day.  I spent the ENTIRE time going around to see presentations from the kids.  Because I have 6 different grade levels I had to go through 6 full classes of presentations.  And boy was I disappointed.

I sort of knew I would be.  But it was ridiculous.  I had kids in 3rd grade and kids in 8th grade doing the same project.  I had at least 3 groups do the egg in vinegar deal, 3 groups do the lemon juice and fire ''invisible ink'', and 2 groups with bones in different solutions.  One group in SIXTH GRADE did baking soda and vinegar to blow up a balloon.  Seriously?  One kid must have not understood the word EXPERIMENT and instead did a research project on tectonic plates.  ''My hypothesis is that tectonic plates rubbing against each other creates earthquakes''  That's not YOUR hypothesis.  That was Alfred Wegener's hypothesis.  In 1915.

I hated how awful the projects were because I feel like it reflects on me as a science teacher.  I obviously suck at teaching the difference between science and stupid.

I even had a group do mentos in coke.  Mentos.  In.  Coke.

Is that even an experiment?  When you know what's going to happen?

And then I ask them 'hard' questions like ''why does it happen?'' and they can't give me an answer.  So you just put mentos in coke and took pictures and that's it.  You had over a month and this is what you came up with.

sigh.

The day was super long and I didn't even get to all the classes.  For whatever reason all the kids started leaving after lunch at 1pm when school doesn't end until 3pm.  So when I finally got to the 4th grade class, no one was even there.  I'm going to make them bring in the projects on Friday and present then.

Luckily I got a ride home with a neighbor so at least I didn't have to take the bus.

I'm exhausted but my Miracle Max sure is working a miracle.

Here's some pictures from the lame projects--

Actually, forget it.  They're taking too long to load and they're not that interesting.  Let's just leave it at that.

Monday, October 29, 2012

School Stuffs

I'm tired of the science fair project.  These kids have had a full month to do their science fair project.  I'm not surprised they're doing it at the last minute, but I am surprised they're telling me that they're doing it at the last minute.  If you're going to BS your project, cool, but do it so I can't tell.  Idiots.

Today a kid came up and asked if she could do ''self inflate a balloon'' with vinegar and baking soda.  She's in 5th grade.  I told her she had a FULL MONTH to come up with a good experiment, and if she decides to turn in a vinegar and baking soda project, she'll get a vinegar and baking soda grade.  I mean seriously...

I'm also upset because I told all the kids they had to dress up for the science fair.  I think it's important that they learn to look presentable for certain occasions.  Well just today I get an email from the principal saying no, I'm not allowed to ask them to dress up and they have to come with their regular uniforms.  Whatever.  I don't know how I'm going to be able to tell all the kids two days before the science fair they have to wear their uniform after I just spent the last 5 weeks beating into their brains that they have to dress up.  So, I'm not putting in an effort to tell them.  If they come dressed up, great, if not, great.

Also, if you haven't noticed, I'm a lazy ass hole.  And for whatever reason I thought it would be a good idea to make myself in charge of organizing a project with a marine life protection organization.  I mean I love sea turtles and sharks, I just love not working more.  Anyways, I'm going to try to get some people from this organization to come talk to the whole school about their projects.  Maybe get a fund raiser together to adopt a turtle or two.  And also try to get a group of students to go on a volunteer trip sometime next year.  Mostly just because I want to go.

I just have senioritis real bad.  I had it last year I taught, too.  We have about a month and a half of school left and I am so ready for it to be over.  I'm having trouble coming up with fun ideas.  I don't have the same enthusiasm about teaching as I normally do.  Plus my computer has been in the shop for almost two weeks which means I have no access to any of the science stuff I have saved there.  I'm trying to cram in labs because I need to re-excite myself with science.  I'm going to do a pH lab and static electricity lab this week, and hopefully get stuff together for a DNA extraction lab for the older kids next week.

This Saturday Oscar and I are going to the Lady Gaga concert!  That will be fun!  I wanted to dress up as Lady Gaga (you know, just the wig and probably the beer cans) but a wig costs $50!  That's almost as much as the tickets!  Forget that!

It'll be just as fun without the wig!

Also, best wishes to all of you in Sandy's path.  These pictures are making me remember Hurricane Fran back in 1990-whatever.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Funny Chicken Story

This blog post comes from my mom's husband. (that is a link, click it)  Reading it makes me miss home and all the locuras that happen there.  I wonder if it will be funny to everyone, or only to people who happen to know my mom and her husband.  Well, either way, I thought it was damn funny.

Chicken Eggs

Me and a chicken about a year ago


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Something I won't miss

I'll miss a lot of things when Oscar and I decide to move back to the USA.  But I'm sure of one thing I won't- the abundance of street dogs.


Here, there is no animal protection or any other societies.  There are very very few places for street dogs to be held until they are adopted.  So they stay on the street.  And make more street dogs.  I've read that there's just as many street dogs in the USA as there are in CR.  The difference is they are collected in the USA, and, unfortunately, usually euthanized when they are not adopted.  I don't know how true that statement is, but I guess in this instance ignorance is bliss.  I don't think there's any good answer for what to do with the street dogs.

I'm thinking about this a lot today because coming home from my walk with Perlita, a street dog came up to us.  From far away he looked fine, healthy even, and really pretty.  He was blonde and light brown with green eyes.  A beautiful dog.  And he was covered in some sort of skin disease.  He looked so sad like all he wanted was a pat or two.  I didn't want him to get near Perlita just in case whatever he had was contaigous.  I gave him the normal ''tsh!'' which usually scares dogs away here.  But he didn't do anything.  I happened to be carrying a stick because Perlita found it and wanted to take it home.  So I took the stick and gave him a little thump and pushed him away.  He didn't do anything.  He just stood and looked at me.  I walked quickly away with Perlita and he stayed where he stood.

After I got home I felt so awful about knocking him with the stick.  I thought I should go get him and take him to the vet to see what he has and get him medicine.  I thought I should take care of him until we can find him a good home.

But I have no money.  I have no idea if he would try to bite me if I went to get him.  And we certainly don't have enough space in the apartment for two dogs.  

I tell myself these things because I try to make myself feel better.  I adopted one street dog.  I gave her a good home.  I can't save every dog in Costa Rica, can I?

I thought I'd maybe get used to all the street dogs.  You see them every day.  But I haven't.  I still hate seeing the starving, disease ridden dogs running across the street in the rain.  I hate the Nicaragua border with the filthy dogs who follow you around waiting for food to drop.  And I hate that there's problems worse than that in this country.

So yeah.  That's something I won't miss.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Resourceful!

For the past week I have been wanting to make chia pets with my fourth grade class (we're studying germination).  Last Monday I asked them to bring in stockings, an integral part.  Last weekend I was feeling sick so I didn't make it out to buy soil and seeds.  Tuesday, everything was closed by the time Oscar and I tried to go.  So today, right after work, I went to buy dirt and seeds.

After being assured that I could get both dirt and seeds at WalMart, I found out they had neither.  They have fertilizer and mulch, but no dirt.  They have flower and veggie seeds, but no grass.  I bought two packets of cilantro seeds just in case the vivero (plant store) didn't have any seeds, but I really thought they would.

Well they didn't.  I didn't feel like going back to WalMart so I decided I would just split up the cilantro seeds and hope they grow fast.  I told the guy working at the vivero that I wanted the cheapest bag of dirt they have.  I don't know if I misunderstood something, but I somehow ended up with a 50kg bag of dirt.  *face palm*  At least it was only $5.

I get home and think about how Oscar said to me earlier "I doubt anywhere sells grass seeds.  I mean grass grows everywhere!"  Then it hit me-- duh!  I can get grass seeds from.... GRASS!  So I went out to the patio and just spent about 10 minutes gathering two types of grass seeds.  I don't know if my timing was just lucky but it seems like everything is putting out seeds right now!  Hoorah!

So, we'll make the chia pets tomorrow and they will take them home during "winter" break next week.  Then bring them in the week after so I can give them a grade based on how well they took care of their pets.  It'll be fun.  I'll bring my camera and take some pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

German Unity Day

(I was originally just going to make this a facebook status update, but couldn't figure out how to write it short enough so here we go...)


Today is German Unity Day.  Because we are a German school the school decided to take almost half of the day to commemorate.  Of course, being the "pura vida" school we are I had no idea what the activities were until all my guia (homeroom) class came into my room asking where the paper was.  Huh?  I eventually found out that each guia class was going to get paper to paint a graffiti from the Berlin Wall.  So we spent over two hours deciding what each group should paint and finishing the painting.

Boxes were then piled up and the graffiti paintings were taped on.  It actually looked pretty cool.  The kids did a lot of the famous ones--




Unfortunately I don'y have any pictures since I didn't bring my camera.
After the wall was constructed a few kids spoke in German, and then two of our German teachers spoke.  And by German teachers I mean teachers from Germany.  The first one lived in the West and told a strange story.  Maybe I didn't understand perfectly, but he said he was very proud because the Berlin Wall came down without "one drop of blood".  Yeah except for all those people killed?  Anyways, next a lady who lived in the East spoke.  And all that wasted time of doing the stupid graffiti became worth it.  She had an awesome story.

She talked about how her house was given away to soldiers, how they had no food, how they weren't allowed to talk in groups larger than 2 at a time.  She said her and her sister were lucky and got sent to live in an aunt's house in the West after a few years, but her brother wasn't.  He was arrested and put in jail for over a year for trying to escape.  She told me how tanks used to pass in front of her house and they would play hide and seek with them.  She expressed how she doesn't understand why people still believe communism is a good thing.  She says "I lived Communism.  And I prefer democracy."


The kids were then allowed to rip apart the wall.  Everyone ran at the same time and tore everything apart.  All that work for nuttin.  Of course later a teacher comes to tell me one of my 5th graders ran over a 4th grader.  Well duh.  They all ran over there at the same time!  Someone was bound to fall.

But anyways.  Even after wasting 3 hours of class time, I was happy I got to hear this one woman's story.  The rest of it was pointless, but the story made it all worth it!  Sort of...