Sunday, May 07, 2006

talent coming out the ears

Yesterday was the Ramses College for Girls First Grade Talent Show.

Here at RCG we believe that every girl is talented.

That's right, all 240 of my students were showing off a talent in some way....some individually, some in pairs, some in small groups, and some in the whole class. Every class had an act--a skit, a set of songs, or something. Plus there were poems, songs, dances, etc performed by small groups or individuals.

The talent show--first grade only, remember--lasted from 9.45am until almost 1pm.

And the WHOLE TIME, the parents in the audience were talking. Not just the occasional "look at that!" whisper, but like full-scale, full-voice socializing. It was incredibly obnoxious. The principals--both the primary school principal AND the head honcho principal for the whole school--stood up once each and asked the parents to be quiet because they, from the front row, couldn't hear the girls on stage--who had microphones. I think I now understand why the girls can't be quiet in class, why they don't listen to the person up front, and why they don't know how to listen at all. Because, obviously, their role models don't know how to stop talking long enough to listen! (sidenote: I suspect this may actually be the main problem in this country and culture in general.)

Having said all that, the show was great. The kids were adorable and they did a wonderful job. There were some foibles--like the class that couldn't recite the alphabet (and the corresponding words describing their school community) in order, or the MC girl who forgot the beginning of one of her speeches and ran off stage to get a prompt. There were some things I think are odd in a talent show--they use recorded music and the kids kind of sing/kind of shout along (not unusual if you consider that there's not really a music class here, though), for instance. There were some things I noticed where I culturally dropped the ball this year--one class teacher asked me to write down the words for the songs on a tape she was using for the show, which I did. One of the songs was the Hokey Pokey, and it never occurred to me that they maybe didn't know what the Hokey Pokey dance actually was. Well, they didn't. They did some funny kind of made up dance on stage, but it was NOT the hokey pokey. The whole time I was like "oh, I guess I should have taught you the hokey pokey!" LOL. There were some really wonderful signs of improvement--three girls from the slowest class recited poems (two as a pair recited a poem (with actions) about friends, and one girl recited a poem about promising to always do her best). These were girls that 8 months ago could hardly answer basic questions in English, and now they are reciting poems flawlessly. There was a parent who came to speak to me to tell me what a blessing I've been to the religion classes this year, and to thank me for teaching the kids songs in religion class.

It was a good show. Long, but good. And the best part? The "miss teri, two kisses!" from the girls I got afterwards...and the beaming faces when I told them what a good job they'd done. School is beginning to end here--only two weeks until exams. I'm proud of those girls, and I will miss them.

RCG: every girl is talented. and indeed they are....

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