The worldwide Augustana College experience

Complete 180

Today was our first full day with all of the different grades at the Alpha School. Our lesson for today tied in the Olympics which we introduced briefly yesterday. We had each group do 4 events: the discus (a frisbee throw), the long jump (a standing horizontal jump), the 100m dash and the 4x100m relay. In the morning we had grades 1, 2 and 3, but here in Jamaica grades are ability focused, not age focused. We tried hard to have our lesson easily flow and explain to the boys what we wanted them to do, however they were not having any of that today; no one was listening to Casey, Tara or me. They were running all over the place, just throwing frisbees and playing soccer on the field. I have never met such reluctancy by students before and at one point felt ready to just cry out of frustration! Even Dr. Egan had to lecture the boys about their behavior being unacceptable when he was observing. Relief fell over me when it was our lunch break and I started falling asleep on a couch I was so exhausted from running after children. The boys also know I am in track and kept asking to race me because I am “fast” haha it was so cute. I held my own though! Some also saw my arm muscles and insisted I arm wrestle them – I won 5/6 matches with the boys :) I definitely got my track workout in today!

After the extreme frustration of the morning out group did not want to go back to that field after lunch for more groups. We found out though we had a break for another hour before we got the older boys. We took this opportunity to just play with the kids; I have never really played soccer like most kids have, gymnastics was my life, so the boys taught me how to play. They had to start with basic small kicks, where on my foot to hit the ball, then we worked on running with it and learning how to pass it to them – it was so weird for me but one of the bit’s reassured me I was a quick learner. Then he showed me how to hit it up and use my knees and head and three of us passed it and did all those cool moves (cool to me anyways!). They then told me I needed to learn how to do a far shot and I tried and failed…. 3 times. They did let me score a goal! It was literally my first ever soccer goal! After soccer, Casey an I played basketball (another sport I am horrible at and never play for that reason) and I had a blast!

The older boys came soon after and we did our last Olympic games lesson. These boys, to our surprise, listened and did all the activities. Once we finished we took pictures with the winners and the awards we gave them (we did this with every group), but it turned into a picture taking frenzy! All the boys started taking pictures with us and waned pictures with us – they even killed Tara’s battery on her camera they took so many!

Today was such a blast and I’m note sunburnt, covered in glitter bc they thought it would be funny to throw on me, but I am still super happy with today and the 180 turn around it made. Tomorrow will be very bittersweet.

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