Camp started off crazy first thing in the morning...of course. The American Coaches were exhausted from travelling all weekend,and the Vietnamese were exhausted from the heat of the early sun. But the kids were far from it. I walked into English class and the normally quiet Yellow Team stood up and screamed out their greeting: "GOOD MARNING TEECHUH!" Whoa. But they listened through the lesson, so I suppose that one turned around pretty nicely. Sophia and I were only able to teach about two-thirds of what the lesson called for because the classes last forty-five minutes, and half of that time is used for translating and getting the information written on the board into their notebooks. But somehow, Sophia and I were meant to teach the students how to sound out the beginning of English words so they could identify the starting letters.
Example: What does 'Basketball' start with? And then the students would yell out B and we wrote it on the board next to the letter B. And the lesson called for each letter to be filled in. But, being the bright students we are, added into the fact that the English test from last week had questions from material we couldn't get to, Sophia and I looked ahead to this week's exam and figured out what exactly needed to be highlighted. So we put a star next to the letters that are physically on the test, and then added in a few letters of our own to cover the basic sports names.
Then we had to move on to personal pronouns. Not only did we have to teach what a noun was, we had to teach personal pronoun, and then specify the difference between a subject pronoun and an object pronoun....in ADDITION to teaching them how to use them properly in a sentence. Note: some of these kids hardly knew their ABC's. And yes, I did in fact re-learn English grammar planning this lesson, in case ya'll need any help in the future. The kids wrote down our simple sentences and cirlced the placement of the verb in regards to the location of the noun. Are you lost yet? Because I'm sure they were by this point.
And as if that wasn't enough, we had to teach linking verbs, aka, "to be". There are five forms of the verb in case you didn't know: is, are, am, was, were. We only decided to teach the three present tense forms. And the kids did alright with that...until we had to add in Nominative Predicates and Predicate Adjectives. The Vietnamese coach had to look up the Vietnamese word for the two in the manual...yeah. Fun stuff for an eleven year old at 9 o'clock in the morning. So far, Yellow Team was able to get through about two-thirds, stopping just before the predicates. Red Team was rambunctious all morning but was able to finish the lesson and get everything written down in time for sports.
I think I practiced my teacher-voice with the Red Team today. They have two of the prettiest girls in the camp, two of the most talented boys in sports, and then all of them just seem to be intelligent and well-spoken. Except for one. So of course, when I had the slower boy stand up to answer a question, the rest of the class was ooh-ing and waving their hands through the air. And even better, they started yelling the answer out. Oh to be smart and eleven again. But now that I'm on the other side of the picture, it's funny to watch. Yet I find myself feeling bad for the strugglers, instead of dying to tell them the correct answer too.
So yes, I did have to tell them to stop talking. Then I said be quiet. And then I said, why would you talk while he's trying to talk? I forgot to mention that I said it so quickly that the translator couldn't keep up...so it was immediately lost in the language barrier. Fail. At least they got to run around after class with Sophia at their basketball lesson.
For our third volleyball lesson, we're reviewing bumps, sets, and serves. Our warm-up/practice consisted of standing in a great big circle, which they had to form by holding hands, and teaching them to call for the ball when it came their way. "Buong!" is what
you shout out before bumping, but half the time I still say "Got it!" and it does the job. This was the first time I really saw all of the kids enjoy the sport. They ran from their spot into the center of the circle, called out their hit, and then did everything in their power to get it to the next person. We still have a few control issues with direction and power, but that is to be expected on the third lesson. After we bumped and setted for about fifteen minutes, we switched and let them try out serving once more. And this time, we had a few more successes! And if the ball didn't make it over, it at least went forwrard every single time! Yay for good coaching.
The highlight of the lesson was when I realized there was no pig being slaughtered in the backyard of the camp! No squealing cries, and no pig being wheel-barrowed up and over the bridge. Yes, that did happen last week. And yes, I did cry.
The final part of the lesson the coaches stood on one side of the net, while the kids spread out into various positions. organ set the ball over the net to them to get it back to us in three hits. It usually happened in one, but most of the time the ball was immediately bumped out of bounds. So I pointed to the ball and yelled, "Chai Lom!" (Run, ball!) to get them to understand that they are responsible for the ball as a team. The day ended with a minor English lesson... we asked each coach to teach important parts of their sport in English. So we taught: bump, serve, set, net, and ball. And they picked it up right away! Maybe Sophia and I should start teaching outside or something...
It is a blistering hot day out-- I'm definitely getting my tan on. I miss Can Tho City, it was a weekend filled with drinking, bargaining at the markets, buying things for next to nothing, and lots of good and not-so-good food. Oh, did I mention I did in fact get to go to a rave? Pictures will be posted. Preview: I spent a total of eighty American dollars this weekend and you won't believe everything that that got me.
Update on the Race for First Place after Week 1 Exams/Competition: Orange Team AM is currently in 2nd place overall, with the highest Lifeskills score out of everyone! So I guess Amy, Ricky, Jenny and I must be doing something right!
Peace, love, and Vietnamese KFC,