Thursday, June 25, 2009

It wouldn't be very grateful of you to break my heart

Today ended my first week (only four days) of teaching. Here are anecdotes (I believe that is why I was asked to be here):

1) Our first day, my co-teachers and I introduced a racecar theme for our classroom of entering first-graders, complete with chant: Teacher says, "Racecars Go!" Students say, "Work hard, get smart, ZOOM ZOOM!" We try to review it half an hour later; I say, "What happens when RACECARS GO!?" A student raises his hand. "They drive."

2) During a community meeting this morning, when we were going in a circle saying what animal we would like to be and why, a student answers, "A CHORK." "Do you mean a shark?" "Yes. A chork." So. Cute.

3) Kittens, Part I.
Today, I saved a kitten from drowning. I'm not kidding. In the desert, to make grass grow, they flood an entire lawn and let the water soak in over several hours. At my school, I was walking past a group of other TFA Corps Members clustering near a custodian. He had on a sheet of metal, a tiny gray kitten, soaking wet, mewing for dear life, shivering and small. The girls said awww for a minute and then walked away. I asked what he was going to do and he said he had to go back to work, and put the kitten down on the grass, turned on its back, tiny pink feet waving in the air as it cried.

I put down my stuff in my classroom, took an empty plastic box, ran to the nurse's office and stole an extra uniform t-shirt. I picked up the kitten, wrapped it up, and rubbed it to warm it, looking around for milk. Eventually, I had to go to my session, so I gave it to some staff members, one of whom called a bunch of her friends in the area until one wonderful soul agreed to take in a baby kitten.

Its eyes weren't even open yet. Now it is going to a home with a mommy who will care for it, since all the shelters we called said they would euthanize it.

Part 2.
I'm leaving school at the end of the day. I get outside the gate when I hear the person right behind me say, is that another kitten? I turn to see a tiny patch of black and white fur, floating in one of the aforementioned pools of water on the lawn (can I just state for a fact how fucking stupid and wasteful growing LAWNS in the DESERT is?!!?!!). I pray under my breath, automatically, that my eyes are playing tricks on me. Someone walks back in through the gate, splashing his dress shoes through the puddle to check.

"It's gone."

I feel my heart clench.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Daniel and I, Oil on wood

Hehe, Daniel's mom took this from him to put in their house. Mama Nguyen is funny.

Thanks Lai Lai for doing the quick sketch of my face.

Hehe, this is the 123rd post on this blog!

Pushing Daisies painting

The most beautiful, original, quirky, clever, and Doro-favorite show is now cancelled. Man. I need to touch up Ned's sneakers and legs, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it. I got an A in my painting class (drawing, too!).

Daniel sleeping

I'm awake early early on a Saturday, in a dorm room at Arizona State, waiting to get food and energize to study and read and make lesson plans for my first week of teaching kindergarten entering first-grade summer school. I'm feeling the weight of everything I've left behind. I'm going home July 4th weekend, though, so that will be lovely. Plans: Pack what I need for Louisiana and get it ready, spend time with family, Grace Young back from Africa, (dim sum, niu rou mian, vegan food), relax, yet continue with lesson planning. Oh life. Short, but wide.

Girl at CLICS

Monday, June 8, 2009

“Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause—the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, is dialogical. As an act of bravery, love cannot be sentimental; as an act of freedom, it must not serve as a pretext for manipulation. It must generate other acts of freedom; otherwise, it is not love.”
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970.