Omanjor

2 Apr

So about a month ago I dropped out of school. Now I know you’re probably thinking wtf how will you graduate? But let’s not worry about those things now- let’s just embrace where we are now…well that’s what I tell myself to keep from having a mini panic attack. All sarcasm aside, I am stressing about what I will do back in the States as far as schooling goes, but summer school along with online classes should help me to graduate on time. So now you may be wondering what I’m doing with my days, well I have been teaching at Omanjor Primary School, I teach primary three (third grade), the student’s age’s range from seven to about eleven, this is due to either starting late or being held back, my classroom has 69 students with no fans, doors, windows, and for part of the school, roof. 

The students are…let’s see searching for a word that is accurate and non-offensive, they’re interesting, ah I have a better one, different, yes that sounds nice, different. Now if you’ve been reading my blog you know where I stand on canning, well where I DID stand on canning. My very first day officially teaching my fellow Madam had a meeting so she left the class in my hands. Goodness me, they were all over the place, 69 kids in one small class room, yelling, laughing, fighting, it was pretty bad. Now I lost my cool a few times with them they just wouldn’t  sit and listen– I grabbed the cane and hit the desk a few times to look intimidating but I don’t think it worked because they just kept on chatting, some even got up and left. So now after observing for some time I’ve realized that the children seriously will not listen unless they are canned. Most of you who know me know I don’t think any child should ever be hit, and most definitely not lashed with a cane but these children, aye they won’t listen at all! Now that being said I think the Madam I teach with goes a little far, findings reasons to cane them such as they take too long to turn in their homework books or they score low on a test. My feelings on canning are so all over the place, I don’t think it should be done but if the teachers don’t cane the students won’t listen–and I’m not being dramatic it’s completely literal! Bad but affective.

Now it seems that I’ve put the children in a bad light. Don’t get me wrong their thee most respectful children I know. Their always so willing to help and never forget to greet, this afternoon I just did not want to be at school but as I was walking to my classroom one of my students came up greeted with a curtesy and “Afternoon Madam” I couldn’t help but smile, she then proceeded to take my bag and carry it to the classroom. How cute is that? 
Everyday that I enter the classroom the students rise from their seats and recite,
“Afternoon Madam, you are welcome”
 I then reply “Thank you, how are you? 
And then they respond with a total disregard of how they’re actually doing with, “we are fine, thank you and you?” 
“I’m fine, sit down”  
“Thank you Madam” 
I can’t lie, it’s nice having so much respect when you walk in a room. 
At first I was teaching English but having such a big language barrier it really wasn’t working out, my accent was just too much for them so now I’ve switched to mathematics and whatever else the Madam needs help with.
Today we learned that unfortunately one of our students of the age eleven has died of a disease that is easily treatable but deadly when not cared for. When I heard the news I was shocked and saddened. I just taught him. He was in my class on Friday and Saturday he died, dead, just like that. No one seemed to take much notice, the only thing my Madam said was “Oh that’s too bad” and when the students heard no one’s facial expression had changed, no one so much as flinched. It was as if they had heard that it would rain later, no one really cared. I also learned that a girl day in class six (sixth grade) died not too long ago. Death is just a part of everyday life, and that is exactly how Ghanaians treat it.

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4 Responses to “Omanjor”

  1. Grammie April 3, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    My beloved Adriana,
    That must be so hard to take death so matter of fact….again I say what an experience you are receiving. Madam, such an honor to be given that respect. I am sure your students “love” you as you are so caring and giving. I am so proud of you Madam. Be safe, I love you more than you will ever know.

  2. Tawni Anderson April 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Oooh, how interesting! I can’t wait to hear more about the teaching. And no sweat about school–you’ll learn WAY more doing what you’re doing than just going to school anywhere. Sorry to hear about the student; so so so sad.

    (And I can’t resist saying: it’s “caning”. “Canning” is what I do every summer with peaches and tomatoes and jam and mason jars and stuff. 🙂

    LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!

  3. bookwormdaisy April 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Dude, I can’t believe you’re a freakin’ teacher! Insane!

  4. Nana April 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Hi, Adriana, I was so sorry that I did not get to speak with you the other day at Aunt Tawni’s but I got to see you which was great! I think that you are an amazing young woman and, oh, my, the things you have learned surpass any schooling you would get here in any traditional school.

    I want so much to hear your voice and be able to hug you in person. You are truly amazing! You take care and know that I love you. Nana

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