I have blogged more in September than usual, but haven't actually mentioned all the crazy events that have happened. In short, the month went very fast and was crammed with activity. Here's a recap:
-Friendship Day: Grade 12 students get assigned a "buddy" in Grade 9. They dress up for the day and then do dares after school. It used to be a terrifying hazing experience, but it is now actually quite fun for all parties involved.
Boys. Apparently it is cool for boys to dress in girls clothes. Or like old men...
Dares after school.
-Cross-country: The bane of a teacher's existence, at least this year. Basically, Woodstock seems to think that monsoon season is the best time to have the annual cross-country races. BAD IDEA. Most years it works out fine, but this year we rescheduled it many times due to the consistent down pouring. This means that everyday for about a week we didn't know if we would have normal class periods, shortened periods, or no class at all. Annoying.
My roommate (a PE teacher) looking very excited about cross-country in a downpour.
-Protests: For more than a week, protesters sat outside the school gate screaming. They worked for an organization that Woodstock used to do basic janitorial work (sweeping, trash collection, etc). Woodstock decided to end the contract with the organization, so the workers were quite mad. Unfortunately, my classroom has many windows in their direction, so my students and I had to live with constant chanting. (Sorry, no photos.)
-Goal-a-thon: Woodstock students are amazing. They have decided to raise money for a local village school's library and so organized Woodstock's first annual Goal-a-thon. The event was completely student led and initiated. Because football, sorry, soccer, is such a huge sport here (and World Cup fever is still running rampant) they put together a football tourney. Three days of matches. It felt very much like a mini world cup, since many of the teams organized by nationality (Nepal, Korea, Tibet, Bhutan, and - my personal fav - Team UN which consisted of a motley crew of my art students from Tanzania, India, Mexico, Nepal, and Japan). Each team rallied supporters to pledge money for each goal the team scored. An incredible amount of money was raised - way more than I make in a few months of work here!
Nepali students pumping up the crowd before the final match between Nepal and Korea.
-Monsoon Art Show: My colleague Paul and I organized the second annual Monsoon Art Show. Staff and student artwork was displayed and we had a grand opening. Overall, the show was a huge success. For more info, check out the post on the art blog: www.artatwoodstock.blogspot.com.
-Staff Talent Show: Bad timing, mixed with new staff still settling in, meant that the Staff Talent Show was lacking in enthusiasm. Instead of doing a dance routine with friends, I decided to put together a stop-motion video. It originally was devised to mock a student video that aired in assembly, but due to lack of time didn't quite get there. Oh well, it is still entertaining. Students and staff both loved it, so I'd say it is a success! I also participated in the annual staff bollywood dance. This year was old-school: songs from the 50s and 60s. Mine was a song about a chinese girl (clearly I'm the best candidate at an Asian school for this role...). I am pretty sure it was racist, but my Indian colleagues claim it isn't and I don't understand the language so I claim innocence.
Video Still: Back bends on our lawn with monsoon clouds rolling in :)
Video Still: Don't we look like a fun group?!
Video Still: Lady GaGa impersonation
Grand entrance. Our principal is the man in all white.
-End of Monsoon! Monsoon is over! We've had about 2 weeks of sunshine - hurrah! I am making the most of it and try to do something outside everyday. I've really been enjoying walks and sitting on the porch. And....laundry that takes only 1 day to dry (in monsoon it can take up to a week).
-St. Olaf in India: St. Olaf took part in a college fair at a boarding school just an hour away from Woodstock. I was ecstatic to find out that a friend of mine would be representing Olaf. Even though his stay was quite short (barely 24 hours in Dehradun), Dave managed to make the trip up to Woodstock for an evening. The next day, I made the trip down to Dehradun with 60 or so students. It is exciting to hear how many students are interested in Olaf!
Dave and I at the Doon School college fair - Um Ya Ya!