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Oceania » Northern Mariana Islands
October 6th 2007
Published: October 6th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

today is the first day of a 3 day weekend and boy do i need it. we haven't had a day off for over a month and i'm starting to feel a bit burnt out. the vice principal always teases me because i get to school early and leave late everyday. it's time for some relax time.

i was going to go with some friends to forbidden island and go cliff jumping this morning, but it has been raining like crazy for the past couple days and the trail is really bad right now. also, it makes the water really choppy, so it wasn't a great idea to go. oh well. instead, i made myself some breakfast and watched a movie. i think soon i'm going to go wander around town and do a bit of shopping.

this thursday is the last day of first quarter, which means i need to have all my grades and attendance in on tuesday. it's a lot of work, and it may mean spending some of my day off monday at hopwood catching up on that stuff. i can't believe how fast it has gone! already done with first quarter! i kinda got in trouble with one of the administrators a couple days ago because on monday, she sent out a letter saying we were supposed to give final exams tuesday and wednesday, then make up work thursday and friday. way to give some notice. i decided not to give a final exam to my students because i don't feel like they are ready for it, and we are in the middle of our chemistry unit right now. it's just a bad time to formally assess them. i told the administrator this, and she firmly replied that i needed to turn in a copy of a final exam for her to see. well, this weekend, i'm going to write one and give it to her, but not my students. i think it's stupid. i am the teacher in the classroom, she doesn't know what is going on, or how crazy far behind these kids are in every subject. we were supposed to get through the chemistry unit in 13 days, then do assessments, and i have now made it half-way through the unit in 20 days. my poor students have absolutely no background information on any of the materials i am covering. right now i am trying to teach them how to balance chemical equations, which is impossible to do since they don't know basic math facts. i have to take baby steps, starting with how to add, subtract, find common numbers, which they should surely know by 7th grade! it's just frustrating. oh well, my kids are rockstars, and they are doing a great job. i have seen a huge amount of improvement, and i can ask them something we covered from the first couple weeks of school and they still remember it, so obviously they're gettin' their learn on in miss sally's science classroom and i don't need to do a stupid quarterly final exam to see that :)

so, remember when i was doing that afterschool program from hell at the private school for 2 weeks? well, i picked up my check from there and deposited it into my account a couple weeks ago. yesterday, i looked online at my balance and saw that the check had been taken out, so i called the bank, and they said there were insufficient funds. ugh. tuesday, i'm going to march over to that school and demand cash or something, because i did not go through all that frustration, stress, and way too many tears for charity work. i couldn't believe that the money they gave me wasn't even there.

every thursday night there is a street market down in garapan and we usually go there for dinner. they have really cute jewelery, live entertainment, fresh produce, and amazing food from all over the world (my favorite is chicken on a stick..mmm...). last thursday, after looking at all the stands, we walked over to where a huge crowd was gathered. it was hard to squish in there were so many people, but once we did, we saw that there were break dancers on the stage. they were absolutely amazing. i have never seen anything like it and they were only high schoolers. it was super cool. i could've watched them for hours. they were twirling all over, doing flips, spinning on their heads, holding their whole bodies upsidedown wiht like 2 fingers. what they were doing just doesn't seem humanly possible to me, but they were really talented.

here are a few more pictures i put up this morning of some saipan 'wildlife':
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2364896&l=5c2c4&id=13910347

i hope all is well! love you!

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