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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Alvin L Young High School



Similar to Kendra, I came to Belize last January and taught in Alvin L Young High School. Today, I got the privilege to return to the school on their first day back from Christmas break. The first student that spoke to me, Josh, came running from his taxi shouting "Miss Cassie, you came back!" All I could do was smile and be just as excited that I had the privilege to return. He told me that as his taxi came down the hillside, he saw my bright hair and knew that it must be me because no one has hair like mine. As students came to school, I continued to share hugs and catch up with old friends. It was more than exciting for me that they seemed to be just as excited as I was to see them. It is amazing how you can grow so close to a group of students in just a few short weeks.

Unfortunately, I could not attend the first half of the school day, because we had our own class to attend. Today, was our first day for debates in our Senior Colloq class. We debated Just War vs Pacifism. It was interesting and a good learning experience for everyone since it was the very first debate. After our class, we had a short break and then lunch, chicken burritos on homemade flour tortillas and pineapple. The pineapple here is like nothing you could ever taste at home. It is amazing for lack of better words.

After the delectable pineapple, I got to go do what I had been looking forward to doing most and the reason I took this trip, I returned to the high school. I came up as their lunch was beginning so I talked with students outside of the school as they had their lunch. I was thrilled to hear what was going on in their lives and to see that all the Form 3 students made it successfully to Form 4! One of the girls, Rowena, even told me about how their new math teacher this year was reteaching them what I taught them last year (factoring, foil, and the quadratic formula). They also remembered me teaching imaginary numbers and have been trying to use them. I was so excited to hear that the material I taught was actually remembered! When lunch was over, I headed up to class with Form 4. Math review began (they have finals next week), their teacher mostly reviewed topics with them. Tomorrow, I'll be helping out much more. I also sat through Spanish with them. I was excited to be able to read their written Spanish (even though the spoken Spanish was much harder to follow!). After school, I talked to many of the students and teachers even more. It's sad to think that I only get to spend a few short days here in Succotz with these people that mean so much to me, but I intend to make the most of every moment, reminding each student how special they were to me. This town and these students will always hold a very special place in my heart. They are all so smart and kind and welcomed me into their lives in such a special way. I really believe that they've taught me more than I could ever teach them.

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