Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Day in the Life

Oh hai there folks!

So it's been a while. Partially because I need to be in a very specific mood to sit down and type one or two full pages of nonsense from my brain and then post it on a public form for all to learn about my life. (Oh yes, university essays are going to suck next year.)

I thought it would be cool to present to my readers just what I get up to on an average week day. How fun are timetables though. Mine is super weird and greatly contrasts to the 100 minute periods I slogged through last year at high school. Because every week day is different, I decided to choose Thursday, because it happened today and it's all fresh in my memory. So, here we go:

6:00am (or thereabouts)
I arise from my bed bouncing with energy motivated by the proximity of breakfast. I commence my morning routine, which is nothing out of the ordinary really...the mundane getting changed, eating porridge (yus), packing lunch and brushing teeth.

I hop in the car and we drive to school, which takes about 25 minutes and is both delightfully scenic and visually stimulating dusty and beige. I thoroughly enjoy signing in by pushing my thumb into a digital finger print scanner when I arrive at school. I feel like I'm fulfilling my childhood dream of featuring in Spy Kids.

It's time for our staff meeting, where very sophisticated things occur such as the presentation of weekly "You Rock!" awards and accompanying chocolate, plus any relevant notices for the day ahead and staff covers.

The students and staff gather inside the air-conditioned school hall outside for morning assembly. We usually sing the Bahrain national anthem, and often have performances and presentations by students, or a motivating message from a staff member.

The teacher calls the roll and our school day begins officially. Our timetable consists of thirteen 30 minute periods, some of which are double periods.

Period 1 and 2
Islamic Studies for Muslim children, and Citizenship for non-Muslims. The latter entails learning about the culture and history of Bahrain, and the former is rather self-explanatory; students learn about the stories of the Qu'ran, the five pillars of Islam, and proper recitation, among other things.
This is followed by language, which breaks into three streams: Arabic for First Language (native speakers), Arabic for Second Language, and French. Both of these periods have specialist teachers.

8:50am Period 3
It's snack time yo. I unwrap packets and undo caps for the feeble-handed children. (Seriously so cute though.) Side note: did you know that pre-packaged single croissants exist? They come in different flavours and everything. New Zealand, we need to import more processed crap, pronto. We have a kid with type 1 diabetes so I get to take him to the school nurse to check his blood sugar levels. I mention this only because he tells me the cutest and most random things in broken English. Then I sit down on the dwarf chairs and eat something with the kids too.

Period 4 and 5
Double maths, where we dutifully practice our counting, measuring, addition and subtraction. Often we break into small groups and rotate activities. Since there are four of us in the class (the teacher, two individual teacher aides, and me), we all have a group each to work with.

Period 6 and 7
Double literacy, where we do class reading, small group reading, and practice our word blends and writing skills. Today I took a table and we did word bingo, which is way more fun than it sounds.

Period 8 and 9
Outside play for 30 minutes. We take the kids to the playground and proceed to accumulate buckets of sweat in places which no person should ever sweat. This is followed by 30 minutes of lunchtime. Some students buy their food from the canteen - a popular favourite is plain rice with ketchup? (Not actually on the menu, but they seem to want to buy plain rice and hoard lots of ketchup packets to smear on top.) Others bring theirs from home.

Period 10 and 11
Art time! This often gets messy and is always a fun way to end the busy school week. They recently painted cut outs of themselves full size, and incorporated the human body inquiry topic by sticking pictures of organs and bones on the other side of the paper.

Period 12 and 13
Period 12 begins at 1:10pm and while this is the end of the school day for all the Foundation students, Year 1 and up all work until 2:10pm. During this time I help the teacher with anything that needs to be done - and trust me, there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the things due for the rapidly approaching end of academic year. I try to help with whatever I can to make sure it all gets done.

3:00pm (give or take)
I'm back home briefly, before heading to my guitar lesson. I've only had two lessons, but so far I'm really enjoying it and have been learning lots. When I don't have a voice or guitar lesson I'll usually hopefully use this time to exercise, be it a run upstairs with the gym equipment or a swim in the sea.

My own time to do whatever. I use my laptop, eat dinner, and maybe watch some television or swim in the pool. I usually go to bed between 9:30-10:00pm but I'm trying to get back to earlier bedtimes like I did in the first few months when I was adjusting to a full-time work schedule. I'll say it again: not enough hours in the day.

Hope that was interesting! I realise I haven't posted many photos recently so here are an assortment from the last few months.

Beautiful authentic Indian food with friends

Looking fly at the wedding

Being swag on a bridge

Really cool house I saw (excuse the thumb)

Skinniest water bottle ever

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