Hold on and pretend this was your decision

Life is going, here in Macha. The electricity has behaved admirably well since Tuesday night; it’s water that we ran out of for the past three nights, instead. People here are accustomed to that, so there are buckets sitting around for just such an eventuality, but I do hope this isn’t a permanent feature of hot season, because I do like having running water later than fourteen or fifteen hours.

I haven’t seen any rats for a while, but I suspect that is because Claire and her infant son have moved in, along with a number of people who I think don’t actually live in her room, but are around all the time, thereby more than doubling the ambient number of people present in The Wooden House 3. It keeps things lively and increases the amount of Tonga being spoken in my immediate environment, which I think is all to the good, just as soon as I figure out who all these people are.

I had supper Monday night with the pilot and his wife and their three children (all under the age of five). It was an interesting meal, including this highlight:
“L, Auntie Miriam is new here, and doesn’t know everyone. Will you pray that she gets settled in?”
“Dear God, help Auntie Miriam meet a nice man . . . that she wants to be friends with, and some people to give lettuce to.”

I really don’t know where that came from, especially the lettuce.

And last night I had supper with the boarding kids at MICS, the innovative school right across the street from The Wooden House. If I go back it certainly won’t be for the food, which made college dining halls look like the height of style, but it was fun after the kids warmed up to me a bit.

Today’s big news is that I started teaching the International Computer Driver’s License class. I’d been told that I would start teaching it on Monday, and sit in today (I sat in on Wednesday, too), but it got to 40 minutes after the time for class to start, and there was still no sign of a teacher, so when it came to a choice between me teaching the class or there being no class, I taught the class. They’re doing Microsoft Word right now. Even if it is Office 2007, how hard can it be?

I think it went decently. I was, unsurprisingly, horribly unprepared, but I know my way around a computer pretty well, and it helped to have the textbook sitting in front of me. Eviis (Avis?), the actual teacher, showed up about halfway through and sat through the rest of it watching me teach. She told me afterwards that I’m a good teacher. I don’t know if I would go that far. We’re still having accent difficulties, so about half the time I need to repeat myself twice before I’m understood, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I also have some tendency to assume a higher level of basic computer literacy than some of the students actually have (Yeah, I’ve taught grownups who know NOTHING about computers, to whom you need to explain the concept of double-click, but mostly just one-on-one, where it’s easier to tell when you’re losing the student. I’m not accustomed to a group of people my own age who need to be told to highlight text before you try to change its formatting. One of the guys is still having trouble just with mouse navigation). But I draw pictures of the icons on the board, and walk around a lot to see that everybody is more-or-less on the same page.

We start Mail Merge next week, which I don’t know how to use, but hey, I have the textbook all weekend, and maybe when I copy sample letters and mailing lists to each of the computers, I can fix the display settings so that none of them have that ridiculous running horse, which is really too big to be practical when trying to navigate ribbons in Office. I think I’ll need to emulate smb and start carrying around my own tea towel or washcloth for the board, because not only is chalk dust and computers a TERRIBLE mixture, the eraser provided is several eons beyond being on its last legs.

This afternoon I’ll be sitting in on the A+ engineer training class. Just as long as they don’t want me to teach that one, because while I have a general understanding of the material covered, I certainly don’t know it well enough to be able to stand up and teach it on the fly.

I do seem to recall saying that it would be very nice if someone gave me some work to do.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Hold on and pretend this was your decision

  1. Dottie Baumgarten

    So work begins! Love the prayer! (-;
    How often does this class meet? How many students?
    Dottie

  2. Vorindi

    You mean you _don’t_ have a chronic surplus of lettuce, obvious to all small children you encounter? (Also, can I use html to do italics here?)

  3. Very interesting…children always manage to say some pretty funny things. Like the time I was doing a counting book of farm animals and we got to the page where the piglets were nursing and one of the kids shouted in a scared voice, “They’re eating her!”

    A mongoose! That is great. Perhaps the cats are helping with the rat population, although as a soon-to-be rat-mom, I feel a little sad about that. Perhaps you could give the rattie some lettuce? Pet those orange fluffy cats for me. I’d be wanting to save them all.

    Cows wandering around one’s yard could make for some interesting trips to the wash house!

    So, does the pilot fly a plane or helicopter? Perhaps he’ll take you up for a ride someday!

    I’m glad you started teaching and that it is going well. Why on earth do they need to know mail merge for their driving license? Teaching is challenging–trying to get things across to so many different people with different learning styles, etc. You are very patient and resourceful and that will help you with your teaching responibilities.

    • I don’t have any lettuce, and if I did, I wouldn’t feed it to the rats. Not intentionally, anyway.

      The cats are very soft, and very friendly.

      Mostly the cows don’t wander that close to the buildings, because the places where people walk frequently are gravel or packed bare dirt, and they’re looking for greenery.

      The pilot flies a plane. I have yet to see it, but I’ve heard it several times (if he hasn’t got any passengers, he’ll buzz his house a couple of times, and (I’m told) his kids come out to wave and yell.

      It’s a computer driver’s license, which is to say, the basics one should know about operating a computer. And don’t start making self-deprecating remarks — you’re much more computer savvy than all of the students.

      • O.K. I thought it using the computer to study for their driver’s license… Makes MUCH more sense now!

        When you write these posts where are you? At your home or the computer lab?

        What was ever decided about the intellectual property rights question–i.e. they own all your email correspondence…

      • I’m usually at home when I write posts. The Wooden House gets very good internet.

        It pertains to MCC emails, but not to personal ones.

    • Where was there a mention of a mongoose?

  4. How are the computer drivers doing these days? Was mail-merge a success? I used to use it here, but it got really complicated and I gave it up.

    I need to look up what type of salamanders you might have there.

    • They’re doing pretty well, although I wouldn’t let them out on the road just yet. I think that mail-merge was a success, although it was somewhat complicated by the HUGE virus problem on these computers.

      We have lots of types of salamanders. I’ve seen little brown lizards and salamanders that look (and move) like snakes with feet, and a number of other variations, ranging from an inch and a half long to about five inches long, including the tail. They’re hard to photograph, though.

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