It has been an up and down and all around sort of week. I have felt displaced, tired and mildly overwhelmed by the work I have thrown at myself. As part of the yearbook committee I have undertaken to photograph each and every student and class in the school. That is 500 kids. I cannot abide by a bad photograph and cannot sit by and let the yearbook look like a cheap piece of pulp, so I have adopted that small cause. In addition, as part of an effort to increase school spirit I have put together a “Spirit Board” where all achievements will be celebrated. So far there is one shiny fabulous posting on the board, a photograph of a student of mine who recently represented Uganda in the Sub Saharan Swimming games and came home with a bronze. On the inverse side of this celebratory board is a Wall of Shame that I have created on my white board. Exasperated with the number of students who have repeatedly failed to hand in homework, I have turned to public humiliation as a worthwhile deterrent. I think it might be working, at least, many have expressed fear at the thought of their names up there for all to see.
The highlight of my school week was the solar eclipse this morning. Between 7.45am and 8.45am a group of students, parents and teachers stood outside the school to peer through slivers of x-rays at the extraordinary sight before us. Despite not looking directly at the sun, I still spent the rest of the morning and much of the day with a strange pain behind my eyes. It was my first solar eclipse and followed nicely on the footsteps of the New Year’s eve lunar eclipse that helped bid farewell to 2009. The best thing about this morning’s eclipse was the changing light and shadows on the faces of the people watching. The light went from blinding bright to dramatically dim in a few moments. I felt like a tiny ant of the surface of a beach ball.
Shocking news at the social front is that I went out two evenings this week. Even Princess and Trooper looked at us aghast and said “ You are going out again!?!”
Yes we did. Twice, for dinner, with perfectly lovely people. The first evening was spent in a house with a garden the size of a football field, so big in fact that there was plenty of space to grow the salad that we ate as a first course. I came home to my box and sulked. The second evening was spent with 8 people cheerfully squeezed into a house smaller than mine, where wine and good food was served and enjoyed and I came home inspired.
Now with the weekend beckoning with open arms I am hoping to recharge some of those teaching batteries. Only week two and I am losing patience with the throng of puberty. The boys have been literally nuts all week, unable to stop moving. They have either got ants in their pants or they have just realized what else lives in there.