The past week has been a whirlwind. It’s starting to sink in that my time in Indonesia is coming to an end—I’ll be home in a little over a week!
Last Thursday, my cooperating teacher came into our office and asked “Becca, what would you like to do for Additional Math today?” My reply was something like “uhhh, well, ummm, uhhh…” I have yet to teach this class (these are the truly gifted math students who can do mental calculations faster than I can do paper ones), so I was caught a little off guard. I had about an hour to plan a lesson that was challenging enough for some of the brightest students in the school. Challenge accepted! It ended up being okay! We did a lesson on division of polynomials, remainders, and factors. The students picked up the material very quickly (they’re basically geniuses), which was good because my cooperating teacher suggested I take it easy on them. They had just taken some practice IGCSE exams, and they were very stressed about the results, so we wanted to give their brains a bit of a break from the extremely complicated topics they have been dealing with. This coming Thursday, we are going to dive into some calculus material, which I am very excited for! The students in this class are the type students that many math teachers dream about teaching–they love math, they love to practice math, they’re good at math, and they want to learn as much about math as they can.
There was no school on Friday because in was Good Friday. Out of about 190 students at Sampoerna Academy, only 8 are Christian. Even though this is an extremely low percentage, the school still recognizes the Christian holiday because there is so much emphasis on religion in Indonesia. All students take a religion class at Sampoerna Academy. Anyway, since we had the day off, we used our 3-day weekend to visit the coastal region of Lampung. Several of the teachers are from this province, so the ISU crew, along with several other people from the school hopped into a couple cars and we were off!
It took about 18 hours to get to Lampung, so we were ecstatic to get out of the car when we arrived. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous! Our little bamboo bungalow had its own dock that faced a beautiful sunset. On Saturday, we woke up early to go on a dolphin tour. Kiluan, the area of Lampung where we stayed, is on the southernmost tip of Sumatra, and there are dolphins that live right off the coast. It was so amazing to be surrounded by tons and tons of dolphins as they swam around our little fishing boats. They are fast little guys, so it was very difficult to get pictures. You’ll just have to take my word for it—if you have the opportunity to observe a bunch of dolphins in the wild, do it!
Next came the part of the day that I was most looking forward to. We hopped back into the small fishing boats and headed to a small island nearby. When I arrived in Indonesia, I realized very quickly that I have never been to a real beach before. I’ve been to a lake, but that hardly counts. I’ve even been to Nice in France, but there’s no sand there. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but the beach is all rocks. My first beach experience was amazing. White sand and turquoise blue water…wow…it was fantastic. Our day on the beach included swimming, snorkeling, more swimming, and more snorkeling. It was perfect! And I only got a little bit sunburned!
We arrived back in Palembang very late Sunday night/early Monday morning just in time to get ready for our LAST WEEK OF TEACHING! WHAT?!! I cannot believe that this is my last week as a student teacher. The time has flown so quickly!