8.1.09

ECRS Again, Only Different

I've been doing a massive amount of updating. This is my third straight day of posting, I think, but I've had to talk about some stuff. The New Year's Resolution post had been building up in my head for a while (9. Brush my teeth twice a day, every day.), then Ngozi asked me what MITES was like, and now I had an event that can't go without saying. I got my grades today, from my Ecuadorian School, and I actually did much better than I thought I would. Unfortunately, I don't have my grades in front of me, since Anita snagged the report card and took it with her to Atuntaqui. But I remember some things, and I'll get to those in a minute.

First, let me set up this week for you: We just got back from vacation, and I've been dog-tired all week. Getting up at 5:45 again has hit me really, really hard. I woke up to my alarm this morning and laid there with my cell phone in my hand, thinking "I really don't want to get up." Next thing I knew, Anita was saying my breakfast was ready, and it was 6:20 (!). So I rushed out of the house without showering and ate my hard-boiled egg on the bus. I did brush my teeth, so that's good (see above). I got to school on time, like always, so that was good.

Tomorrow, I guess as a reward for making it through the first trimester (The schedule is kind of screwed up. The first trimester is four months, the second one month, and the last five. That's not how dividing things into three works in my part of the world, but then, it still is three parts, even if they're not equal.), we're going on a trip called "La Caminata." I keep confusing it with "Campeonata," which is "championship." The Caminata is where each course (grade) takes the day and goes off to some place for a mini-vacation. Except it's obligatory. And you don't get to pick where you go. Actually, this is a funny story. I'm getting kind of off-track from what this post was supposed to be about, but I don't care. On Tuesday, the course director, my Social Sciences teacher, came in and said we were going on the Caminata, so pick where we wanted to go. That was actually a pretty awesome day, because teacher meetings meant I didn't have Artistic Anatomy. So, anyways, Diego, the class president, decides we're going to do this the Democratic way, and list some places to go. I personally advocated for the United States ("Look, it's a 2-hour bus ride. We'll be back by 7!")

Mexico's actually part of Europe, and Canada doesn't exist.Map of South America, according to me.

Other places were Peguche, a bunch of waterfalls, Chachimbiro, some resort place, Baños, the beach, and Imbabura, a mountain. Baños got shot down because it's too far away, people balked at the $3.50 admission price to the resort, so Chachimbiro was out, Peguche never really caught on, even though that was my second choice after me taking everyone to visit D.C., and there's nothing really to do on Imbabura. So the nice orderly discussion degenerated into a rowdy contest to see who could yell out the name of a place loud enough. I really was pulling for America, and Edwin and I actually got Diego to put it on the list. Andrea erased it. I was sad. Diego eventually got fed up with trying to keep things organized, and went and got the course director again. She put things into order, and offered up the alternative of the Piscinas of Chorlavi, which is within walking distance of the school, so that would avoid paying for the bus. But then someone (I think it was MaiTé) caught wind of the fact that four other courses were going there too, and pitched a fit. Diego disappeared again, and then the course director was saying, "I don't care anymore what you guys want. You're going to Chorlavi, you lousy ingrates." She gave us a giant speech about how none of the other courses got to choose, and she was really going out on a limb giving us that opportunity, and we broke her trust, and we were awful. I think I've figured out gender roles here for my teachers. The males think they're God in their subject, and so they don't care what you say, and the women give you long speeches until you finally break down and say "No More! No More! I'll be good! I swear!" My Literature teacher today (a woman) spent 5.5 minutes telling us that whenever we address the class, we have to first say, "Teacher, classmates," just so everyone knows we're talking to them. And not to, the ceiling. Or something. Keep in mind that we have this class for all of 80 minutes a week. So 5.5 minutes is an important amount of time. She started winding up into how she had tried to teach the course manners for three years, and no one had learned, but thankfully she was cut off mid-rant. Incidentally, this is the tactic my dad uses in his class, with remarkable success. I think if he can't find a job teaching math in South America, he could get one teaching education.

But that's enough of the school week. Now onto the grades, which you've been waiting for. Oh, before I say that, I was wearing my Peru jacket to the meeting (Thanks, Jesse), and one of the other kids was like, "¿Qué más, chompa?" which is "What's up, Jacket?" Hopefully, that won't become a nickname, but I think they were impressed by how cool I looked. My grades, though:

I averaged a 16.076/20 out of my 13 classes, which is above average (10/20 is passing). I was pleased. I got 7 As, including a 20/20 in math, a 19/20 in computation, and an 18/20 in English (I own in things I already know). The real shocker there was a 19/20 in Social Sciences. The teacher really likes me, apparently (I'll get into that in a minute). I had 4 Bs, including a 16/20 in Sculpture. I was disappointed about that one, but the teacher doesn't like my soap sculptures. My two worst courses, which I knew, were Artistic Anatomy and Gym, with 14/20 in each, my only Cs. I hate those classes. Sooooo much. But all in all, I did okay, I think. In fact, the course director gave me a giant compliment. When Anita went up to get my report card, the teacher said that I was the best exchange student they've ever had, that exchange students usually just go when they feel like, not taking tests if they want, ignoring homework (cough cough Sarah cough cough. Case in point, Sarah didn't feel like going to the thing today where they handed out the report cards.), but that I'm not like that. I get things done. Yeah. Somewhere along the line, I got in good with the director of the course. I'm doing something right.

After the handing out of the grades, Anita gave a short speech on the fact that she's the treasurer, and only 9 families out of 24 have paid the class dues of $5 that were imposed in September. Dot dot dot. Silence filled the room. There was a long argument about wanting to paint the course, and on what day, and I suddenly realized where all the kids in my course get their argumentativeness from. It was the first time I'd seen most of the parents, so it was interesting trying to guess whose parents were whose. I was right on some. It was easier since the indigenous men all have long hair in ponytails and the women wear distinctive clothing.

Thanks to Ngozi for commenting on my blog. Hope I answered your question. Thanks to Victoria as well. Maybe I'll call you "Vicky" when we finally meet, but writing out Victoria seems more correct to me. MITES is really cool beans. Make sure you get people to edit your essays when you're done. It really helps. I'm free for that, if you want to shoot me an email: jacob.austin.breneman@gmail.com. And no, I haven't heard "Que hueva" here. What's it mean?

That's all for now. Sorry for the mono-pictured post. I really like doing quick Paint photos when I think the opportunity knocks, but it takes a surprising amount of time. Keep reading! I'll probably post about the Caminata tomorrow, completing one full Monday-Friday of updating.

¡Ciao!

2 comments:

Victoria said...

"Que hueva" means...um...well its like "me da flojera" .. idk if you know what that means. I can't think of the right translation. OH! ok so it's what you would say when you're procrastinating and feel too lazy to do anything. EX:If someone tells you to clean your room, you respond with que hueva; go to school-que hueva; come play tennis- que hueva; eat your veggies- que hueva. hehe, ok i'm done.

Emily said...

Jacob!
It's Emily Goodwin from chemistry last year! Anyway I didn't know you had a blog until I read it on your facebook and so I just finished reading them. I hope to continue too... anyway my general comments are the food sounds really good, minus guinea pig. Your teachers sound... interesting... I really liked your painting of the ocean and I'm glad you started ignoring your teacher. And lastly congrats on MIT!!! Super condensed version of comments, but its late. Hope to read more as you post it!
--Emily G =)