Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Bright Sunny Math Day

My hopes are sinking in the gallons of water that are dumping from the sky. Today was supposed to

be the premier, the debut of the Resource Center as a place to hold study group sessions, a place to come

to receive tutoring and to do work together, to research as students at the Lesotho College of Education.

Instead, the day may become a rain check, postponed because of the rain and muddy dirt roads. I am holding in my disappointment, trying to frame this as a learning experience of the difficulties of remote education – weather, transport, unpredictability… But privately I hold a sliver of hope just large enough to fit between the raindrops: it was only 8am, and the study session was scheduled to start at 10am. It was just enough window that the storm might pass before the session times did.

At 8:45am the final drops were sprinkling down, my pots polka dot

across the floor had stopped clinking with leaking roof water, and I was making a grammar game to take to the library later.

At 9:00am I hear, “Coo coo!” And there at the door was a DTEP Year 1 student, a full hour early and in spite of the rain.

“You’re here! You’re here for the math! For the session! That’s great!” My enthusiasm is sincere but a little absurd considering we are talking about an extra study group workshop on a Saturday. But he still smiles delightedly to support me, and we walk down to the library together.

Within 20 minutes another student arrives, and then they all trickle in until the library is packed with teachers working together around the library table. Those who came earlier have become the teachers for the later arrivals, and I am only hovering – butting in on occasion to clarify, answer a question, resolve a debate, offer another strategy. When I bring out peanuts and raisins, I even imagine the mood could legitimately be called ‘festive’.

By the end of the session, the group has already asked [well, demanded] to come back to work on the next assignment together. I promise to check my calendar and sms them. When everyone has gone to make their long journeys home, I lock the door to the library and walk out into a bright sunny day.

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