oh-OH! Livin’ on a prayer. Thank you Bon Jovi.
Yep, we’re over halfway done with our experience. Where has the time gone?!
Last week was certainly a good one. Our Iowa State supervisor spent a few days with us, and we couldn’t have had a better time.
These are for me?!? (Hooray for math books! – April 5)
I was in class when she arrived, but when I returned to our office it was like Christmas. She’d brought me presents! There, on my desk, was a huge stack of math books. I have never been so happy to see textbooks in my entire life. Plus, I love math, so math books are always fun to look at. Thank you to my former professors who sent them! Anyway, I’ve been teaching from a curriculum that is written completely in Bahasa. These books will be so helpful for me and for any future student teachers who come here to teach math. My cooperating teacher is even excited to look through them. This was definitely a great start to the week!
You want me to sing?! (Dinner/Karaoke – April 5-6)
On Tuesday, we had dinner at a fancy Japanese restaurant (on ISU’s dime) with our supervisor, principal, Pak Ade-the head of Education in South Sumatra, and some teachers. I really liked the sushi, but I know it’s not everyone’s favorite. We had a great time just talking and joking around with one another. Wednesday’s dinner was a bit of deju-vu. Pak Ade took the same group to the karaoke restaurant we’d eaten at only a week before. After dinner, of course it was karaoke time! Daryl went up there with our Principal and called Elisabeth to the stage. I reluctantly followed after much persuasion. Those of you who know me know that I’m not exactly what you would call a good singer. I held my head high and we performed “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. After that one, Daryl suggested we do a reprise of “I Will Survive”, so Joe and Nick joined us for an enthusiastic encore of the Gloria Gaynor hit. After us, others took turns and then the ISU crew went back to the stage, this time with our supervisor. We sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” because it was the only other song we knew from the selection. All in all, it was a phenomenal night!
All I want is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (Post Office – April 7)
I am truly blessed to have wonderful friends. On Thursday, one of the teachers came into our office with a note. It was for me from the post office. It said I had a package!!!!!!! I was so excited to go pick it up. A couple teachers took us there and I was so happy to see a wonderful care package from my best friend in the entire world and her family. Special thanks to the Frandsens for being AWESOME! The box contained Reeses’s (my favorite candy ever), jelly beans, magazines, Glee CDs, cheetos, and other fantastic items that absolutely made my day. It’s been a week and I’ve already listened to the CDs multiple times, eaten half the cheetos and dug into the Reese’s. What a great gift!
Pi? Pee? Phi? Phee? Like cake! Squirrel!!! (Class – April 8 )
In class on Friday, we were going over polar coordinates, and that involves using pi (the number – 3.14) quite a bit. Since we are on the other side of the world and the students speak a different language, sometimes we don’t all say things the same way. Here’s a transcript of how the whole thing went down. I swore I heard them all saying “fee” instead of “pie” last week, so I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page.
First, a bit of clarification. The Greek letters pi and phi are used in math quite often. Pi is pronounced like “pie” and phi is most often pronounced like “feye” although it is sometimes pronounced like “fee”. Alright, now for the conversation.
Becca: How do you pronounce this symbol? Writes the symbol “pi” on the board.
Becca: Like fuh-fuh-fee? As in fun? That’s a different letter in English. Phi looks like this. Draws the symbol for phi.
Students: How do you say that letter?
Becca: “Fee.” Okay, I’ll try and say it your way, but if I mess up, when I say “pi”, I mean this symbol. Points to pi.
Students: We say PEE!
Becca: Oh! You say pee! Like puh-puh-pee! As in people?
Becca: Alright, instead of switching all the time, are you guys okay if I just use my word, pi, from now on? I don’t want to forget and then confuse you.
One student: Pi! Like cake!
Entire class (including Becca): Yummmm…. giggles.
Becca: Alright, so we know that an entire circle is “2 pi” radians, right?
Students: giggle giggle giggle
Becca: What’s so funny?
Becca: Wait, what?
One student: SQUIRREL!!
Becca: Squirrel? What are you talking about?
Same student: Squirrel! “tupai” means “squirrel” in Indonesian!
Becca: Like, (Pantomiming a squirrel) squirrel?
Students: YES! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Entire room (including Becca): HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
So I’ve learned a new word in Bahasa, and I’m sure that I will never forget it. Tupai(pronounced like two pie) is the Indonesian word for squirrel. If you ever find yourself in Indonesia, feel free to use this bit of knowledge in whatever way you see fit.
It was one of those times when I actually felt connected with the students. We all had a great laugh, and we were all in high spirits as we finished the lesson. Little exchanges like this are what this entire experience is about. I’m learning from my students as much as (I hope) they’re learning from me. I’m looking forward to more interactions like this one!