Accomplishments and Failures

This has been a very up and down kind of couple weeks.

I started one-on-one lessons with a woman who is the quality manager of Al-Arz icecream. I teach her English, and she teaches me some Arabic. She is amazing and has become a good friend. She is unmarried and is a female manager. Both huge signs of independence in this culture. She also chooses not to wear a hijab, the traditional head scarf used to cover hair. Anyway, I’ve been having lessons with her for about three weeks and I helped her prepare for a job interview for an NGO in Ramallah and she landed the job! So I felt that I helped in some way. Apparently the German man interviewing her had worse English than her anyway.

I also have really established a connection with my young adult class. They all enjoy the class. One of them gave me a present last week. It was a clear mug with a personified dog on it that said “Keep it simple” and “Molly.” Not sure why he picked that one out, he knows full well my name is Abby. But it comes with a lid! Which is ingenious. However, this also says “Love You Forever” around it with hearts. Hmm. I choose to believe this present is completely innocent though. He has a wife and he is 35.

I have almost given up on my five and six year olds. They can’t handle a single game I try and play with them because they start scooting around the classroom in their chairs. Rewards don’t work, because the kids being rowdy don’t care that other kids are getting stickers, snack bars, etc. Don’t care. Kicking them out of the class doesn’t work because I have to physically remove them from the room. But they resist, and then I’m afraid of hurting them. They’re not my kids. How do I know they won’t complain to their parents for trying to pull them out? Then I put them in time out instead and I have to stand next to them to make sure they stay there. How do I teach the rest of the class while trying to physically restrain one of them? I also tried the “Well, Lana and I are leaving if you don’t all sit down.” And we start packing up our things and they leave as well because to them it doesn’t matter if class ends early.

And my theatre class is way behind. They didn’t show up last week both times, and then they told me there are no classes this week either because of exams. Then we have 10 days off for Eid, and I have about four sessions left before I leave. They were supposed to get the script this week and start working on it, but now I’m afraid it will not come to fruition. It’s very short, but not do-able in four sessions. I need to figure out how to get the script to them before Eid, but the director at Askar didn’t have their contact information or a way of getting a hold of them.

Oh well. I’m trying and making a difference to some I suppose.


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