December 17, 2003

RotK Annoyances, Ice-Breakers, and Math Tutoring

Well, it's the big day for most of the world, but life goes on like always here. I won't be sitting in any movie theaters today. I knew this before I came down. For the past two years, LotR movies have come out here exactly two days late. However, I have just had confirmed by the ever-reliable and always entertaining Prensa Libre that, for "marketing reasons" (shakes fist at Wilson, just because) the movie will not be out here this year until Christmas Day. On the one hand (and it's a pretty big hand) that totally sucks. I have to wait a whole extra week to see the movie! What is that?! "Marketing reasons"?! That doesn't even make sense! But we're looking on the bright side . . . Can you beat that as a Christmas present? I don't think so . . .

Anyway, I spent yesterday afternoon helping out with the much-anticipated, yearly staff Christmas party. My dad wanted me to do the games, so I found a few to do and got all the stuff ready, etc. My favorite one involved taste-testing baby food and guessing what flavor it was. (I picked these games chiefly with my own amusement as I watched grown people play them in mind.) It was kinda fun. I also spent several hours playing Medal of Honor online, since we have apparently acquired a cable modem since last I graced the country with my presence. So that's one more thing for me to waste my time on during vacation.

I was going to keep visiting my old high school yesterday and today (it being finals week, which means half days and a half week), but I woke up sick both mornings. So that kinda sucked. At least I got to go say hello to everyone on Monday. Today my dad wants me to get straight to business, so I went over a few minutes ago and had a meeting with him and the lady who is kind of the head of the orphanage staff and so on. My happy-fun project of benevolence and service is now lined out for the next almost-month.

I used to "tutor" four nights a week during the Guatemalan school year ( late February-early November) while I lived here. I would go over during homework time and help the kids with their homework. This consisted mostly of math, but there was a healthy dose of science, computer, history, and English (as a second language, obviously) mixed in. Now, if you noted the school year up there, you've noticed that it's summer vacation. But it seems that five kids in 7th and 8th grades flunked out of math this year, and the make-up test is in January. So I'll be going over to work with them at 3:30. It'll probably be 2-4 hours a day, at least 3 days a week.

I took a look at their tests from last year, including the final exam and . . . *loud gagging noises* . . . You recall (since I just said it) that these are 7th and 8th graders, but on those tests were some of the absolute nastiest Algebra II problems I've ever seen. Most of them weren't particularly difficult in priniciple, but the math teachers around here, I can't help but notice, choose the most disgusting and complex problems they can think of to illustrate and test over even the most elementary concepts. And there were short answer questions on these tests!!! What is that?! Somebody needs to be beaten over the head with a lead pipe . . . I just hope I'm not feeling like doing that to myself by about 5:00.

Anyway, with this bite out of my schedule in mind, I'll sign off now and go . . . play Medal of Honor some more or something. G'bye.

Posted by Jared at December 17, 2003 10:30 AM | TrackBack