Halfway to the Chicken Coop….

….down…. all the way to the chicken coop….down…. all the way and half as far again…. down….. all the way to the chicken coop….down….halfway to the chicken coop….. down.

And so went Jess and my “ladders” on the hill. And by “the hill,” I mean, that one that you get to after you climb the first 1/4-mile 20-degree hill, reach the 1/8- mile level area, climb the second 1/4-mile 10-degree hill, and reach the second 1/4- mile level area.

In all we probably ran about 2 miles. Woo.

Earlier today I could have sworn I had mono. I’m serious. I was like, “Dammit, so-and-so, you gave me mono. Jerk.” I had a sore throat, I ached all over, I was falling asleep, I had fallen asleep at 9:30 last night and had a hard time getting out of bed at 6 this morning. Mono. Goodbye spleen.

And then I had tercero básico. After nearly bursting into tears in segundo básico earlier (“I don’t have enough energy left to fight with you guys, so either you have to be quiet or I’m going to leave and get Julio to come down here for the rest of the period”) and being whistled at… yes, •whistled• at, every time I turned to write on the board in cuarto magisterio (for wearing a corte, I can only presume) I was in no mood for Otto’s shenanigans in tercero.

So, I pulled a “bad teacher” move. I printed out an article on how digital cameras work (in Spanish) and came up with four questions for them to answer after reading it.

Yes, I know, I’m terrible. That is a horrible way to spend class time. Numerous studies have shown that students should spend class time engaging and interacting and all that good active stuff.

But seriously. It was the first time EVER they were quiet for more than 10 seconds at a time.

Except… they don’t •read•. I’m serious. The article was all of a page and a half long. Four questions. I took the wording for the questions right from the article. It should have been easy-peasey.

How many times did they insist– INSIST– that the answers weren’t there?? How many times did they come up to me with some random fraction of a sentence copied down for an answer, word-for-word from the article? And the sentence had nothing to do with anything in the question!

Q. “What unit do you use to measure the quality of a digital photo?”
A. “developed by Kodak but not taken far enough to compete with”

NO! Answer = either pixels or megapixels. I accepted both.

And when one student finally read the article, found the answer, wrote it down, and confirmed it with me– the rest copied.


Somehow, they still made me laugh, though. Some of them work so hard! And the ones that don’t… they’re just funny in how they imitate my Spanish and are so darned insistant that I’m wrong– wrong!– about what I’m trying to teach. I love it.

And then I got home and Angela had made hot cocoa.

The hot cocoa embargo has ended! The tienda where we usually bought chocolate-en-bloque has been out for the past several days. But– Angela found a new place! That has chocolate-en-bloque! Woo!!

It must be true that the Aztecs drank hot chocolate for fortification before a battle. ‘Cause darnit, that was amazing.

This was the best I’ve felt yet, exercising here. Sure, my oxygen-starved limbs screamed after a mere 1/4-mile, but I still had enough breath to belt out the chorus to “Dear Sergio” to Jess as we ran ladders (she knows all the words also, so I didn’t seem that crazy).

Fan-flippin’-tastic, yo.


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