Thursday, January 28, 2010

Week 3...already??

Wow... time has FLOWN by!! I cannot believe I have been in Grahamstown for 3 weeks already! I am still soaking soooo much in! I have taught for 3 out of the 4 days this week so that makes the day pass by very quickly. Tomorrow after school, I am helping with the swim meet. The local private schools in Grahamstown are all competing so it should be a lot of fun. The girl I live, Diana, is student teaching at the Diosean School for Girls, which will also be at the meet so we will cheering for opposing teams :) Next week, grade 5 is going on an overnight outing to Boknes, which I am not sure what exactly that place is... but hopefully I get to go. Sometimes I feel like I am cheating with my student teaching by going on all the awesome field trips, but I actually work with the students so much that I am gaining more experiences on these trips. I wish schools back at home went on more trips. The philosophy at Kingswood is that these overnight trips are meant to unite the grade and build relationships to promote teamwork and leadership.

The local university starts next week so Grahamstown is getting busy. On my walk today I saw many students moving into houses. The weekend is called "The Big O" meaning orientation. As the South Africans would say, "This weekend is going to be hectic" meaning this weekend is going to be awesome!

Things I learned this week:
1) The southern accent does not pronounce their vowels well... I have the hardest time saying African names!
2) In the US, we have a phrase called PEMDAS to remember the order of operation. Here it is BODMAS meaning Brackets, Of, Divide, Multiply, Add and Subtract. Needless to say, my grade 6 class taught my what "of" meant
3) Instead of saying zero in math, students say "nought"... I am finding this difficult to remember when I am teaching
4) People here write decimals as commas... so for example 10,000 is not ten thousand but 10.000

I wish I wrote down all the new things I learn everyday... I just have to laugh it off and remember when I am back at home that foreigners are not always going to understand me


  1. PEMDAS??? Really??? I guess we use the same up here, but I've never seen it as PEMDAS before! That's cool! And we live in the same country. Up here in the north we say "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally," which is essentially the same. :)
    By the way, I love reading your blogs (and Auburn's)! It's really nice to have some idea of where I'm going before I get there! I've talked to a lot of different people about SA, but they all tell me completely different things! I'm so excited!!! See you in 27 days!!!

  2. Alex, This is the first time I have had a chance to sit down and read your blogs. WOW! how facinating. I can actually picture the things you describe.

    Please take the time to write down everything you have learned or observed each day. In doing so, they never dissapear from your memories.

    Keep up the great work Maam!