24 April 2010

I am a bad updater

As witnessed by the fact that the first things on my list happened at
our last conseil de classe, which was a month ago!

That's the meeting we have every trimester to discuss what went & what
didn't (mostly the latter). Highlights of the last one: a 15 minute
argument about whether the word "refusal" is appropriate when a
request is denied due to lack of funds; an exposition on one
professor's lack of need for a doctor, EVER, because he once spent 3
months caring for his sick uncle and therefore has learned all that
need be learned in the field of medicine; and a 3 hour wait for
chicken because our organizer didn't think to let the grill guy know
we wanted any until the meeting was over, even though it had been
scheduled for two weeks (and keep in mind that while in the states,
when a restaurant takes a long time with an order, we joke that they
had to go catch the chicken first, here that is exactly the case!).

Last weekend I and some neighbors headed south to spend time at a good
friend's site and see the annual festival for the main ethnic group in
her region, the Dagara. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures,
because in a clever subconscious scheme to keep my bag light, I
neglected to pack batteries for my camera. But the dances were fun to
watch. No masks. Fingers crossed that the masks in my site come out
while my brother is here!

09 April 2010

I spent over a week in Ouaga and didn't update my blog once

Apologies for that, but COS conference is both hectic and
overwhelming. Basically, they sit you down on Tuesday and say, "We
know you've been out of the loop. We know you only have vague notions
of what you might plan to do after Peace Corps. We know that, since
you're miles from internet access most of the time, you have no way of
knowing yet what employers may be interested in you. But you need to
start thinking about it. Because we need to nail down what day you
will no longer be a volunteer. We need to know by Thursday."
The upshot is I more or less arbitrarily chose August 5th. Where I'll
be on August 6th I haven't a clue...

This is a question I ask from time to time when I'm not sure about the
gender of a noun in French. On the other hand, it's a question I've
always avoided asking when referring to names, for fear of offending
someone (would YOU know that Pamoussa is a boy but Lamoussa is a
girl?) But I guess it must not be TOO insulting...when my volunteer
neighbors, a married couple, came to visit last, the husband came with
me to pump water; while there, the old ladies asked me if he was a man
or a woman. Really, I'd have thought the full beard a dead giveaway,
but then maybe that's why so few men grow facial hair here...

A disciplinary measure I heard a teacher claim to use after having
caught a cheater: first, they get a -5 to their class score because
they cheated. Then I take their paper and throw it away, because I
won't grade a cheater's paper. So then they get a zero, because they
didn't turn in the assignment.
I bow to that teacher's superior vengefulness!