Friday, November 23, 2007

great news!

first of all, i have to report that despite last year's dismal numbers of graduating 6th graders going on to 7th grade (two boys, one girl), this year 6th graders are all moving on to 7th grade! that's such great news to me. i'm so happy that they're all going to get a chance to continue their educations. i'm particular proud of the girls. they're going to give it a shot and i know they're gonna do great if they keep with it. here are some photos of graduation day for the kindergarteners and 6th graders!

kindergartners ready to take their seats

brenda and her escort

leydi and her escort, abel

marlon and his escort

6th grader jonathan and his escort

6th grader omar with his escort, 4th grader selena

leydi walking to get her diploma

brenda with her diploma

luis with his diploma

4th grader ruth de los angeles with her brother, 6th grader francisco

4th grader jose with his grade card

3rd grader alba with her grade card, and her little brother with his diploma

all the teachers and i (javier, on my right and his brother, on the far left, both teach computers)

secondly, it looks like my school library project is going to be realized. i went to a library workshop the other day and decided to take mirna. i've decided that she's the most capable of the three teachers to maintain the library and care for the books. the workshop was put on by the u.s. embassy and another volunteer organized everything for us out in the western part of the country. i'm really proud of mirna. she showed such enthusiasm for the project during the workshop and kept telling me about all these cool things we should do with the library - along with a reading program for the first graders, building on what i started last year. basically the workshop entailed teaching the "future librarians" how to organize and maintain the library - no matter how big or small. i think most of the salvadoran teachers in attendance had never heard of the dewey decimal system, or been exposed to any kind of organized library like what the people putting on the workshop talked about. for some reason, though, during the workshop they stopped talking about books and numbers and spent a great deal of time talking about the dimensions of bookends. some of the workshop attendees took a ruler to every possible measurable piece of a metal bookend, and i kept thinking "why are they going on about this?" but then i heard somebody mention something about soldering - and i realized that some teachers were going to solicit a metal workshop to make the bookends. in my mind i was thinking "ok, we'll go and pick up some bookends from office depot in san salvador" - i never considered having them made! see how perceptions can be so different, even on something as small as this, when you have two minds from different cultures assessing the same situation?

anyway, i'm so excited about the library! i wish my dad lived down in el salvador so he could build us some bookshelves. he'd totally do it. i mentioned the project to a carpenter in san jorge, don pedro, who makes really nice furniture and he said if we could just get the materials, he'd build what we needed for free. that'll have to wait until next year - after i get back from the states. i wish i wasn't going home so i could start on the project in december when i'd have more spare time on my hands. the embassy is going to donate books to us to supplement the library and hopefully i'll get some more donations from the states. the kids are gonna be so excited!

well, happy thanksgiving everyone (they call it `día de acción de gracias´ in spanish, in case you were wondering). i will admit, I was jealous thinking of everyone eating turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing….oh, the stuffing….yesterday. i had plátanos, frijoles fritos and crema for dinner….a candlelight dinner - as the electricity was out. no, it wasn´t what i wanted to be eating yesterday, but it was still mighty tasty.

finally, here is a picture of me, brenda and her little sister, carlita. they are so great!

anyway, happy turkey day and cuidése!