Sunday, December 31, 2006

Merry Christmas to Me

This is the Vera Bradley tote that I bought myself for Christmas. My sister chipped in some money too, so I didn't feel quite as bad about spending what I spent. I'm very excited about the bag though. It's super cute and quite large with a good many pockets inside, perfect for carrying my books to and from school and carrying my laptop around. It will get put to good use!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


So I promised some updates about the drama at school. It's really all pretty silly actually, but these people are so stupid and selfish and hypocritical. Gosh.

#1. Mr. Anthony decided who knows how long ago that he was going to go home for Christmas. And go back to Honduras in March. Seem strange to you? Why yes, me too. School starts again next week. He told the rector (but not the principal) a week before he left. hmm.... To make it worse, he continued to tell other teachers that no longer work at Holy Trinity that they should take his job while he's gone. Then those teachers he talked to went to the principal to talk about taking Anthony's job, but the principal didn't know that Anthony was leaving. Congratulations, Mr. Anthony, I don't think you will have a job in March. But he doesn't even care. He even told me, "I don't care what they say. If they say no, you can't leave for three months, well... then, I'll just quit." Glad to hear that you are here for the kids. Way to go.

#2. I am missing two days of school next week, Thursday and Friday. I decided that I would like to spend a few more days at home since my cousin has cancer, and I won't be home for a year, until next Christmas. Well, a few of the teachers like to cause trouble. (A few reasons exist: 1) They know they are getting phased out since they don't speak English, and it's a bilingual school. 2) They sort of already resent me for getting a free apartment, etc etc etc.) So anyway, they found out that I was given permission to miss 2 days of school, and went to the principal saying that it wasn't fair, etc etc. I think the principal dismissed them and ignored it. So after this lovely Christmas dinner that the 7th graders had for the teachers and staff, there was an impromptu meeting about shutting the school down those 2 days. Of course, it was brought up that, "Well, Katrina is missing those days." Veronica, the rector, gave in on the grounds that we would have class 2 Saturdays instead. (WHAAAAAT????) Well, the next morning, during the Xmas program, Veronica told the parents that we would have school as scheduled on Thursday, January 4th. That night was the teachers special Christmas party dinner at the Golden Palace. After dinner, Veronica made a little speech about why she made the final decision she did. She said that they had made the original decision to have school those two days for a reason, and the night before, the teachers had caught her off guard. Veronica said that it wouldn't be fair to the parents who planned their Christmas vacations around those two days, etc. Then, this same teacher spokesperson (lets call her Miss H), spoke up and brought me up AGAIN! So, Veronica had to go into this whole long shpeal about WHY I won't be there and the circumstances surrounding me going to Honduras in the first place. (Originally, I wasn't going to go until January.)
Anyway, at the end of this whole exhausting conversation, Miss H was crying (fake crying if you ask me) and gave me a big hug and said "Feliz Navidad!"

Yeah. So that's the drama. I'll update on my adventures at home for Christmas, as exciting as they are, later.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Back in PA

Well, I'm back in PA. And I've been up for 20 hours. Time for bed.

But I do have so much drama to catch you all up on.

Friday, December 15, 2006

ESFP and the Fridge

In high school, I was an ENFP. I retook the quiz today. I had my doubts.

ESFP stands for Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

This is the description:

Where's the party?" ESFPs love people, excitement, telling stories and having fun. The spontaneous, impulsive nature of this type is almost always entertaining. And ESFPs love to entertain -- on stage, at work, and/or at home. Social gatherings are an energy boost to these "people" people.

SPs sometimes think and talk in more of a spider-web approach. Several of my ESFP friends jump from thought to thought in mid-sentence, touching here or there in a manner that's almost incoherent to the listener , but will eventually cover the waterfront by skipping on impulse from one piece of information to another. It's really quite fascinating.

New! ESFPs are attracted to new ideas, new fashions, new gadgets, new ______. Perhaps it's the newness of life that attracts ESFPs to elementary education, especially to preschool and kindergarten.

ESFPs love to talk to people about people. Some of the most colorful storytellers are ESFPs. Their down-to-earth, often homespun wit reflects a mischievous benevolence.

Almost every ESFP loves to talk. Some can be identified by the twenty minute conversation required to ask or answer a simple factual question.

The dominant function of ESFPs is concerned with the reality that is perceived through the senses. This type's prime directive is to examine the tangible through taste, touch, sight, feeling and hearing. ESFPs' need for new experiences surely results from this function. Feeling gives focus to the collected information, producing the amiable nature of this type. As perceivers, ESFPs do not linger on moral concerns unless it is in service of a Greater Good and/or a unifying cause.

So I'm not skeptical anymore. This hit it right on the head. The perceiver part at the end isn't completely right on, but I'm only an 11% perceiver. I'm really high in the other ones. Just today I was thinking that maybe I would rather teach Kindergarten then first and second grade. I do like first grade though.

Oh yeah, my fridge is fixed!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


This week has been going better. The kids have had a bunch of quizzes, since Christmas is right around the corner, but they have done relatively well. I won´t be sending too many progress reports home this week, thank goodness.

It is helpful to put things into a different perspective. Veronica said something that helped as well. She said that in the US, discipline in a classroom is complete silence. Here, it´s not too much noise. She also said that the culture is a lot different in how the people communicate with each other - talking over each other a lot - which I definitely agree with. Therefore, it´s more normal for this to happen, and quite often, the kids really can be listening to you as well.

The first grade devil child is even doing better. I´ve started calling him my ¨mejor amigo¨ (best friend), and after much reassurance to the other kids that I´m just joking, he has started to come around and focus more and listen and stop hitting the other kids as much. I did, however, have a mother come in and yell at me for something that happened after I had left school on Monday. School ends are 2:30. I was there until 4:00 doing a bunch of stuff. These two sisters were STILL there. (One is in first and one is in second). Ridiculous if you ask me. Anyway, AFTER I LEFT (an hour and a half after school was out), they were playing on the steps, and Alejandro pushed her or something and she got scratches on her elbow and side. Alejandro´s mom is the secretary, so that´s why he was still there. It wasn´t until later in the afternoon that I realized that this incident had taken place almost 2 hours after school had ended for the day. Teachers are only required to be at school until 3:00. COME PICK UP YOUR KID AND MAYBE SHE WON´T GET HURT! And when she does get hurt, don´t you dare come to me and yell at me and act like it happened in my classroom or even during the normal school day. BECAUSE IT DIDN´T! Wow, that made me mad on Monday.

Alejandro is, however, extremely behind. He doesn´t know any of the letters. He can´t even identify or write the letter, and he surely doesn´t know the sounds they make. He is going to need A LOT of work. I´m going to make a packet of materials that his mom can use to work with him over break. I need to make one for Alejandra too, but she has come along and does know some of her letters now. She´s doing much better with the identifying and even knows some of the sounds.

Tomorrow is Thursday. I go home in a week! I´m excited to see everyone, and there is definitely things that I will stock up on! This weekend I need to do some Christmas shopping, and hopefully I will be going out dancing.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I really do love my kids ...

This week was a bit exhausting. I felt tired all week, because I didn't get to bed as early as I should have. Monday night, I did not go to bed until midnight, because I was out with some friends at Mango Tango. Tuesday, I was in bed by 11, but I was out again. I met up with BFC and two of her friends that she met in Honduras, the Banana Beach people. She left on Wednesday. A little sad, I must say. She hopes to be back in March though, which is only a few months away. She gave me the email address of a Peace Corps guy that works with Habitat for Humanity here in Ceiba. I emailed him the other day, so we will see if he responds.

It isn't raining right now, but it rained all last night and all day today. I hope it doesn't rain so much tomorrow. Veronique's is opening tomorrow, finally. It's a boutique (dresses, jewelry, perfume, shoes), that Veronica's daughter is opening in the same building that I live in. There's a store front, and from what I've seen, everything is absolutely gorgeous and super cute. The inauguration thing is at eleven. It's a really cute store, so I hope it does well for Lorna. In the evening, I'll probably go over to Expatriates and do some planning and have a few beers. Maybe I'll meet someone new. I need to relax and try to forget about all the kids at school who won't shut up and failed their verb and noun quizzes today (only 4 out of 15 or so passed). I'm going to review on Monday and retest on Wednesday. For the retest, I am going to give them a study sheet, even though all of the things are right in their notebook, and we reviewed everything right before the quiz.


We've been talking about nouns and verbs for three weeks, and we were REVIEWING what they learned last year. I'm not sure what else I can do to help them understand the difference. Half of them didn't even put any effort into taking the quiz, which was part of the problem. The other part was that most of them talked throughout the entire quiz. Excuse me? We do not talk during quizzes. Give me a break and at least shut your mouth during a quiz. These kids are relentless. I'm going to give them a retest, but I'm making everyone who failed to get their test signed by their parent or they get no recess for an entire week. I've been giving zeros for kids who don't do their homework. I have some who haven't done hardly any. 20% of their grade is homework. Most of the homework I check for completion, not for accuracy. It's an easy 20%. I have a feeling that the first quarter, parents will not be so happy with their children's grades. Then, I can show them all the zeros on my grading sheets and see what they say. We send homework sheets home, in Spanish so the parents can read them to make sure the kids do their homework. Some parents really do care and work with their children. But you'd think that the others would at least give a shit. For example, Leana went to public school last year (read: not very good, no English). She went to Holy Trinity for kindergarten, but they couldn't afford it last year, and now she's back for second grade. She doesn't really understand much English, and was doing very poorly at the beginning of the year. Her father asked if I would tutor her, and writes me notes regularly asking questions about the homework and quizzes so that they can help her study. He speaks some English, which of course helps. She did very well on the quiz, only missed one or two points, while the smartest kid in the class just didn't do it and got a 6/12 or something similar. His mom is a teacher too. Oh well, at least I have Leana.

Alejandro, the first grade devil child (son of the secretary) was back today. He couldn't take the Phonics quiz, because he doesn't know the letters. He didn't do the spelling practice worksheet this afternoon. He wrote his name on two of my letter blocks. However, we did play some this afternoon, and I told him we were friends. I need to give him a reason to listen to me, and I think that befriending him is my next plan. He also wrote "I will listen," about 12 times after he wrote on my blocks and I got upset with him. I talked to his mom, but I think she just thinks that I don't "deal well with kids." Who would ever think that it might actually be your OWN kid

Alejandra's mom was there for the birthday party she threw. It was super cute, and the kids had a good time eating cake and pizza. She told me that she had talked to Stephanie and Angie's grandmother, who had said something about me hitting the kids. The girls, cousins, stopped coming because the school had gotten too expensive. So, they'll start another school in January when all the other schools start up. But apparently, Angie said she was afraid she was going to get hit and didn't want to go to school. I assured Alejandra's mom that she had nothing to worry about, but did tell her that Alejandro does hit and kick them. I said that I talk to his mom everyday about it, and while Alejandro does get punished, there is only so much that I can do about that. She also said something about Anthony, so I said that while I do trust him, I have no control over what happens in the classroom when I am not present. She didn't seem too worried about it. I think that if she really thought that I was hitting the kids, that she wouldn't have even said anything about it to me - she would have gone to talk to Veronica or la directora. I guess she just wanted to see what my reaction was.


It rained so much today. My block was dry, but the next block towards town was completely flooded. I took some pictures but it's hard to tell. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it when the bus was driving through. It's supposed to rain for a couple of days, but I hope tomorrow it isn't quite so bad. Today was miserable. Three of my first graders went home early today, because their parents came and picked them up after lunch. At least it stopped raining long enough for me to walk home from school.

I didn't do anything today when I got home from school since the weather was so crappy. I took a nap until about six, and then made some dinner (ramen and peanut butter and jelly - my fridge still isn't working very well) and watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, followed by a couple of episodes of the Gilmore Girls. My TV is at the shop getting fixed, so I don't have that this weekend either.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fridge, Coffeepot, and TV

So, my refrigerator isn´t very cold inside. The freezer is though. The TV was fixed, but stopped working again. Hmm. I don´t mind so much about the TV. It will get fixed again or replaced. I have no doubts. The fridge will get fixed too, hopefully tomorrow. It was like this yesterday, but I thought that maybe the power just went out and it had to cool back down. But, now my cheese smells. Better throw it out. It´s the only really parishable item, so it´s fine. But, they did say that they had a coffee pot for me! So now, I´m just waiting on a coffee pot and a trashcan. And well, the fridge and TV. hahaha. But, this is Honduras. And I´m okay with it. I just don´t want anymore cheese to go bad.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Pictures *with descriptions* at :

Here are a few:

Things are going pretty well here. The 2nd graders had a quiz today. Everyone got at least 6/10 except for 2 I think. Which, for the first quiz, when they don't really listen - isn't so bad. They have a grammar quiz on Friday on nouns and verbs. We'll see how that one goes. This picture to the right of my 1st graders was from today. Fernando, the kid in the middle, turned 6 today, and his mom brought in pizza and soda and cupcakes for a little birthday party today over lunch. It was cute. The picture above this one is of some of my 2nd graders being silly. The first one was taken off of the balcony area of the 3rd floor in my apartment complex area. Pretty mountain eh?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Los Maestros, Part 2

You may remember that not too long ago, I wrote about a certain teacher, Anthony. I now know a bit more about some of the other teachers, and it isn´t all so pretty.

The 7th grade teacher is named Chanel. She teaches Science, American History, Grammar, and Literature to the 7th graders (the first grade of high school that we have at this school). We hung out a little this weekend, and she is a very cool girl. She´s much younger than I thought, only 19. She´s lived here for six years though with her mom and younger brother. She´s originally from New Orleans, and her family (not sure which side of the family, dad maybe) is from the Islands.

The Bay Islands, for those who don´t know, are three beautiful, Caribbean islands just off the coast of Honduras. There are ferries that go to two of them, which conveniently leave from La Ceiba, where I live. You can also fly into Roatan, the biggest and most developed of the islands. Interestingly enough, there are charter flights directly to and from Milan.

Roatan, the largest of the three islands, has the world´s second largest coral reef, which hugs the shore, providing calm and clear waters which are some of the world´s best beach scuba diving. That said, the islands are also one of the cheapest places in the world to get dive certified.
Anyway, that´s where Chanel is from. Her dad lives and works in the US, but comes down every six weeks (sweet life, right?). He´s some kind of petroleum engineer guy who works on a boat. They have a nice, big house right across from the airport. Chanel is actually going back to the US in February to go to school. Her boyfriend, who she met in the States, moved down here in October to be with her because he was sick of being so far apart. Must be nice to have that option, huh?
On Friday night, there was a parent meeting at school. Afterwards, we went out and got something to eat. Saturday, we went to the salon together and spent 4 hours there getting a manicure and pedicure (which only cost me $7.) To be fair, we only waited for an hour, it just took three hours to do the manicure and pedicure. It wasn´t bad though; it was nice to get pampered. They told me that I should go back every 2 weeks, so I think I will.
I´ve also gotten to know another teacher a little bit, named Seydy. She teaches Ciencias Sociales (in Spanish). She is from Olanchito, which is to the west and a little south. She came to La Ceiba and found a job at this school through her cousin. She lives with her cousins, like 3 of them, I think, only about 3 blocks from me. I think we may hang out sometime in the future. She might be a couple of years older than me, but II think she´s in her mid twenties. She´s worked at the school for 4 years, but considering she probably got her teaching training combined in the 12 years of high school. Maybe she´s older than I think. I´ll have to ask sometime.
The other teachers are all nice to me, but I think that some of them might resent me behind my back, which I guess I can kind of understand. A lot of them have worked here for years, and I think I´m making at least as much as they are. Granted, I have a college degree, and I´m a native English speaker, which when you are switching your school to a bilingual school, is kind of a necessity. Also, I am living in a very nice, furnished apartment that I´m not paying for. I only pay the electric bill. At the same time, I moved how many thousands of miles just to teach in this school. I´m certainly not in it for the money, considering I took like a 75% pay cut. Not to say that I´m not making plenty, because, really I am. I don´t have a ton of disposable income, but I certainly do have some. Living is cheap, and most of what I spend money on will not be my electric bill, groceries, and cell phone cards, it will be all the other stuff I do. Chanel´s mom works at another bilingual school, and apparently, Chanel had heard of me before she even got a job at Holy Trinity, where I teach.
But really, this isn´t that weird for La Ceiba. Mazapan is a really nice, expensive bilingual school in La Ceiba, owned and operated by the Standard Fruit Company. From what I understand, their teachers make way more money, along with getting residency, and their flights paid for and everything. So, yeah. I understand why the other teachers might be a little frustrated, but I don´t really feel bad either.