I’ve been meaning to spend a whole day with my camera for weeks now, and today I finally pulled through. So, without much ado, I give to you A Fairly-Typical Day in Ukarumpa.
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are Market days, which for me means breakfast (among other things). And what healthier breakfast three days a week than homemade Papua New Guinean donuts? None, says I.
From there I walk back home on the lovely dirt roads and say “Moning!” to all the passersby (whilst merrily munching away). And then it’s a shower, some dish washing (occasionally), and off to school. This lovely place:
The English department has its own offices, because we’d rather not associate with the math or science people if we don’t have to (but not really). Here’s my desk at the far right:
My first class of the day starts at 8:35, and it’s a lively (and, as you’ll note, very diverse) bunch:
Those are my ninth graders, and as far as I can tell, they don’t take kindly to photo-ops.
I have a bit of a break after this, which I often use to head out and about (unless my paper grading is behind the times). Today, I traipsed over to the local store – a place with all the different types of canned tuna you could wish for, but no lasagna noodles. Really, there’s no telling what the store will have from month to month – they say it all depends on what came in the last shipment. As far as I can tell, the last shipment was mostly Beef Crackers and Blueberry Oreos.
Upon my return home, I typically make do with my Market pickings. Today, 10 o’clock was Guacamole Hour, which happens about once for every three Pineapple Hours:
With that, I’m back to school, grading papers and preparing for my next two classes before leaving campus for lunch:
Lunch, on the best days, is always served with GoGo cola:
Then it’s tenth grade literature, with another fine bunch of folks:
We’re in Animal Farm right now, so one of my eager young minds is reading Chapter 4 aloud to the class from my favorite rocking chair.
A brief break follows tenth, which I used today to read Larry Taunton’s account of the latest Dawkins / Lennox debate on Twitter. Let it be known that I am no friend to Twitter, but this was a very fine use of it, if I do say so myself.
What follows is an altogether untraditional class called Creative Writing, a class with students from grades 8 through 12 (and nine of them altogether). Today I gave them each a different opening line, and had them all start stories that made use of them.
The school-day over, I go home and seclude myself in my room for two hours, where I spend the time writing at a desk I’ve designated just for that purpose:
Should you want to know, I’m currently working on a book called One Could Do Worse, and it starts like this:
The first thing he always looked for, upon arriving at a new home, was a proper tree to climb. This would be his tenth arrival, and at this point in his life he could remember only three good trees. But in front of Eddie Cogburn, on this otherwise unremarkable day, was the fourth.
After that, I either grade papers, read, have friends over, or prepare for the next day, or blog, or all five – but on Fridays, I go to Hamburger Night. I’ve mentioned it before, but this time I have pictures. The first is of one of my Creative Writers scooping out some ice-cream for me:
The next are from the rambunctious game of Risk that followed. I, of course, set up camp in New Guinea and nearly won because of it. I did not, however, achieve world domination in the end. But the New Guineans, you’ll be pleased to know, fought long and hard:
And as my day draws to an end, as the last light becomes unlit, most of yours (though it’s odd to think it) have really just begun.