Entry #017: Saturday, June 8, 2013 (Arusha, Tanzania)

[NOTE: As you might have noticed from the last entry, entitled "Technical Difficulties", I've been experiencing technical difficulties connecting to the Blogger server from my PC. As I've also been getting a bunch of 400 Errors on other websites, I can only assume the issue is on my end. It may very well be that the poor signal quality has caught up with my browsers, and like Popeye, they've stood all they could; they can't stands no more. Unfortunately, I can't actually see if this is the issue (or if it is, worse, some issue with my actual hardware) until I am in a place with a respectable Wi-Fi signal. In the meantime, I'm forced to post this in the most roundabout way possible, using Notepad, Dropbox, a program that uses my laptop as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and the mobile Blogger app. Additionally, this entry was written in two parts. The first was written on my actual birthday back on June 5. My issues began that night, before I could write about the evening's activities. The second part was just written today. I'll be sure to note them, so that I don't have to rewrite the syntax of the birthday entry.]

Today is my 26th birthday, which probably means there's going to be a bit more reflection here than normal, so bear with me.

But first, an update on my condition. Yesterday was my first day since finishing off my malaria medication, and I was tired all day. I didn't have a headache, I didn't have a fever. I was just exhausted. I had originally planned to walk around the orphanage, taking a bunch of pictures (something I've neglected doing as of yet), but after a few minutes of constant yawning, all I wanted to do was lie down and take a nap. I did eventually force myself to do some exercise, in the form of a workout video that I had saved on my computer for just such an occasion. And even that I had to power my way through; it was obvious my body was still just recovering. And my appetite was strange. When I was served lunch (which was a slightly embarrassing moment, as they came just as I was finishing up with my shower, and kept knocking on my room door until I told them I wasn't dressed), I had no interest in eating the pasta, or the veggies, or anything aside from the sliced bananas and watermelon. (That, and one of the tea biscuits I had purchased the other day.) What's more, that's all I wanted for dinner - fruit. Just oranges, bananas, watermelon. I don't know why, but that's what I wanted, and it's all I wanted. I did also sneak in a couple slices of the bishop's white bread throughout the day; maybe I was just craving carbs?

When the children came back from class, I tried to spend time with them, as I normally would. But still, I was tired. Sally caught me several times while I was yawning. "What d'ya want from me?" was my response. It was pretty nice having the UK couple there to help out, as I always enjoy more people at the orphanage. They seemed to have a much better grasp of the children's names than I did, which I will chalk up to the fact that they sponsor several children and have visited four times previously...and the fact that I can never remember anyone's name, regardless of circumstance. They also seemed keenly aware of what the children's strengths and weaknesses were with school. For example, they knew that most of the children were just copying the answers from Rebecca's homework (which is something I've actively been discouraging), and that James is completely stumped when he sees math. I was reminded of this today as I was helping him convert decimals into fractions, and working to get him to simplify said fractions. This would involve him dividing things like 15 by 5, which he just couldn't do in his head, and it took me repeated times telling him "Write it down! It's not a crime to write it down if you can't do it in your head." And I refused to let him go anywhere until it was finished. I can already tell that if I were a parent, I would be the kind that doesn't accept no for an answer. In short, the kind the kid would probably hate.

Later in the day, shortly before dinnertime, I saw the kids gathered outside the apartment areas. There, James was holding a Bible (or at least one of those New Testament books), and began preaching to the rest of the kids, as though he were the preacher that was shouting all the time in the chapel. This was interesting to me for a couple reasons. First off was my continued astonishment at just how indoctrinated these kids are into their religion. And keep in mind, I was an altar boy, high school campus ministry president, and other such things. Still, I'm pretty sure I never pretended to be a priest conducting a mass. Second, in case you've forgotten, James is the jerk kid. The one I nearly knocked over in anger. The one who pushes others around and cries when he gets pushed. And he was the one who was playing the preacher, and everyone was looking on him like this was the natural course of things. And Rebecca (the other troublemaker) was his assistant, translating the Bible stories into English for me...one...word...at...at...time. They then all got up and started doing this song that was like "If you love God, jump up and down." I was still way too tired for this, so I had to explain to them that I loved God regardless. I then tried to bring things to my level by singing a song I actually could understand the words to (Canticle of the Sun, in case you're interested). This got a number of the kids listening to me (after all, the mzungu was singing). They then asked me, for the first time since I've been here, what religion I was, as it was definitely clear to them now that I wasn't part of their denomination. I told them, and they immediately started asking me if the Bishop and I were from the same church, and how long have we known each other, and all sorts of things until they were called for dinner.

At my own request, my dinner for that night was just, as you may have guessed, fruit. It was a mix of bananas, watermelon, cucumber, and bell peppers. The latter two, while technically fruit, didn't do all that much for me. Later on, after reading to the kids in the library, I tried saying goodbye to the UK couple (as they'd be leaving before I woke up the next morning), but never found them. So I went to bed early. Like, 10pm-ish early. And aside from a point where the morning service woke me up, I stayed in bed until 9am the next morning. Like I said, I was tired. Eventually, I got up, and lo and behold, it was my birthday. 26 years old.

Some thoughts on turning 26: 26 is a very boring age. To clarify, I'm not saying that it's boring being 26, or that people above 26 are boring. I'm saying that numerically, it's a wholly uninteresting age. Think of the numbers that come before it. 20 is a multiple of 2, 4, 4, 10, a divisor of 100, and can easily be expressed as two decades. 21 is divisible by two interesting primes, and also has the connotations of adulthood in the US. 22 has repeating digits. 23, while still pretty boring in my opinion, is at least a prime number. 24 is divisible every which way. And, of course, 25 is probably the most numerically interesting age that anyone will ever reach. That's it, folks; your age will never be as interesting as it was when you were 25 - at least, not until you reach 100. Then I think that becomes the optimum age. But 26? 26 is so dull. When people ask how old you are, it almost seems like they're disappointed when the answer is 26. It's so close to being an interesting age, without ever being one.

If it sounds like I've given this altogether too much thought, that's because I have. I enjoyed being 25. It seemed like the correct age for me to be. Like, if I was chosen by a squad of time-travelers, I'd want them to stop in on my 25-year-old self to join their team (and, considering the fact that the window of opportunity has now passed, I'm guessing I'm not going to be joining any such teams). I should note this isn't just me bitching about getting older. I could be a gray-haired old man, for all I care (or even better, just have the strips of gray hair above my ears); I just want to have that number 25. But alas, 'tis not to be.

Now, in terms of actually how I'm spending the day, I think this is going to be the first time I'm going to out-and-out say that I miss the United States. I really came to this conclusion when I was out shopping. I wanted to buy some stuff to celebrate the day (mainly, I was thinking ice cream), so the Bishop and I took a drive out to Arusha proper to go to a supermarket (called Shoprite). We probably could have found ice cream closer to the orphanage, but eh, we'd have to do some experimenting. First off, aside from the occasional volunteer groups stopping by the orphanage, it is without fail that you will see the more white people in supermarkets like this than you will see anywhere else in town. We are just so goddamn predictable.

But anyway, I wanted to splurge a bit, so while at the store, I bought myself three baby cans of Diet Pepsi (or Pepsi Diet, rather), a couple of candy bars, a bag of chips, a full-on, fresh-baked loaf of bread (oh my god, the smell of fresh-baked bread was like music to my nose) and some light spread, some cereal, and of course, the ice cream. So basically, a bunch of crap. But dammit, I didn't care. Birthday and all that. But one thing I found interesting was how expensive the ice cream was. For 2.25 liters (less than 2/3 of a gallon) of cheapo Neapolitan ice cream, it cost me 12,000TSh. That's nearly $7.50, and was more than a third of my total shopping cost. So, while things like produce and breads and very simple items are much cheaper in Tanzania (that huge, fresh-based bread loaf was $0.75), things like ice cream, candy, and soda are significantly more expensive, it seems. I'm guessing it has to do with the ingredients used in each country, but it's just an interesting observation.

What? Oh, right, missing the United States. So, yeah, this was the first day I would say I really said aloud, "I miss the United States." First off, the lengths we had to go to for this shopping trip (a 30-minute drive each way) really made it stand out how, in the US, nothing is out of reach. If you really want something, especially food related, you can get it almost without fail. This causes Americans to get really spoiled, because then we start complaining that, "Oh, they don't have that one particular variety of ice cream that I like most," when really, they're lucky to have the 20 different varieties that are available.

I also genuinely miss my friends. Not in a super-homesick way, but in a, "Y'know, it'd be nice to be having lunch with them today" kind of way. Because it would. This is a Wednesday, and I'd be at work right now. My friends and I would almost assuredly be going out to a slightly-nicer-than normal place to eat for slightly-longer-than-normal, and it would be fun. It's nice having a group of good friends at arms' distance, which you really only can understand when those friends are a world away. So I miss that part, too.

Also, I'm randomly missing the American barbecue, which is really weird. It's not like I attended barbecues all that much, but for some reason, I have a longing for one. Maybe it's the same kind of deal of having friends close by, and also having some hamburgers and hot dogs and all sorts of good processed foods (which again, are never out of reach - if you want to have a barbecue in the US, within one hour, you can have all the elements necessary to have a barbecue; just add friends).

When we got back, the first thing I did was peel open one of those Diet Pepsi cans (and I literally mean "peel", it's more similar to a pudding cup style of opening) and drink some alongside a small tear of that still-warm bread. Clearly not the healthiest thing to be eating, but my God, was it satisfying. Add that to the fact that I overall feel better today than I did yesterday, and it's shaping up to be a not-bad birthday. Definitely better than if I was in the throes of a full-on malarial attack.


Most of my birthday was spent as any normal day would be spent. I was mostly just helping the children with their homework. Some of them were asking about my birthday (which I'm assuming was told to them by someone who heard me say it was my birthday when I handed them the ice cream to give to the children after dinner), and I told them that I couldn't have a happy birthday unless they did their homework. Later on, I was told by the cooks that I would be eating with the children tonight. Now, I wasn't opposed to the idea, but I didn't want a big deal to be made about my birthday. Even with the ice cream, the idea was to have it served as a surprise to the children, and then they'd be told it was my birthday, but it'd be too late for them to do anything about it. I would be more of an unseen benefactor. But, that wasn't going to be the case, so I ended up eating with the children that night. I still didn't have much of an appetite, but I managed to down the surprisingly small amount of food put in front of me. For the most part, the dinner was a silent affair. People just sat and ate, with the TV in the room talking about some recently-killed East African singer. I would have made conversation, but I had no topics to address until everyone was finished eating. It was only then that I was going to surprise them and say that there was ice cream in the freezer. But no, it was already on the side table, and the kids were getting bowls and spoons. So much for the surprise.

Even so, the kids were quite happy to get the ice cream, and the speed at which I emptied the 2/3 gallon container made me happy that it was just the big kids at this dinner, and not the full 20-child contingent. While we had the ice cream, they sang to me, which was quite nice. I then tried to make the kids think where they would be at my age. Some lofty goals in there - doctor, lawyer, etc. I used that as an opportunity to evangelize the values of school. This lasted later than a normal dinner, so it was soon time for the kids to go to bed. I went up to my room, and spent the rest of the night getting in contact with folks and doing the normal birthday recipient duties. All in all, it wasn't a bad one. I'm definitely glad that I decided to do something for it - even something as simple as having dinner and dessert with the kids - as opposed to my original idea, which is to let not a soul know. It felt good having someone sing, even if I was feeling a bit wistful for home.

Nothing of note happened on Thursday. Seriously.

By Friday, I was feeling back on top of the world, physically. I wasn't tired anymore, and any remnants of malaria were all gone. So I think I've beaten that, at least for the moment. I'm exercising daily, though differently than before. Instead of going on runs, I'm using an interval training workout video that I had saved on my computer for just such a situation as this. It's funny, because this is the same workout video that, when I was younger (and fatter), my mom would have me do to keep me even marginally active. And it’s so ingrained in my memory that, despite not having done this workout in years (the better part of a decade), I have it memorized. And I don't even mean just the order of movements. I mean all the side-comments ("Ya gotta want this, hayah!"), the parts where the guys in the background mess up, and the little musical cues. I could probably recreate that workout video from memory better than any play I've ever been in. Which is both impressive (well, impressive to me at least) and somewhat comforting, knowing that I can always go back to this video, like an old friend...an old friend trying to get me in shape. (In case you're wondering, it was from the series "Bodies in Motion with Gilad", from the early 90s.)

After having worked out and showered, I decided it was about time for me to do some laundry, something I was putting off for quite too long (seriously, I had worn my black shirt for about eight days in a row). So, I went to Josephat and his assistant Agatha (I keep forgetting if it's Agatha or Agnes, but Agatha sounds slightly less curmudgeonly, so I'll go with that). After the two of them spend no less than ten minutes trying to convince me why I should get married, I finally am able to ask for a bucket to wash my clothes. Agatha immediately gets up to go do my laundry with me. I try telling her that she doesn't need to, but she's having none of it. After all, she says we're family now, so of course she'll help. I was, and still am, conflicted about this. On the one hand, she did a very good, thorough job - better than I was going to do - probably because everyone here is used to hand-washing clothes, and so have the techniques down pat. On the other hand, I don't like people doing things for me when I can do them myself. I don't know if it's because I don't like people being servile towards me, or because my American independence spirit is still strong, or because I generally prefer doing things myself. Also, there was a couple pairs of underwear in there; not that they were dirty or anything, but still, you once someone sees your underwear, there's no going back. In any case, despite all my misgivings, Agatha helped (that is, did most of the work), and then I hung the clothes up to dry.

Now, one thing I hadn't known until I did the laundry was that all the kids were home early. Or rather, they hadn't gone to school that day. I knew this was the case on Thursday, because the school system here is beyond my comprehension, and apparently, whenever Class 7 students (which is not the equivalent of our Grade 7 in terms of content, despite coming right before high school) have exams, the rest of the school has the day off. Well, apparently, exams last two days. So these kids are enjoying a four-day weekend, simply because the schools don't have enough space to have both kids learning and kids taking tests? Ugh. Having said that, some of the kids still had homework, so I wanted to help with that, because I am probably the most pro-education entity these children have ever seen. First up, one of the girls (Tamara, we'll call her) needed help with her English homework. The problem in her workbook? "Answer the questions in Essential English book page 39." Easy enough. I asked her to take her book out. She just stared at me, as though she were waiting for me to answer the questions for her. I asked if she had the book, and she shook her head. So, we walked down to the library, where we looked for the book. This was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of my new textbook organization system. Or it would have been, if Tamara would give me a straight answer about which English class she was in. Depending on when I asked her, she was either in English Class 1, 3, 4, or 5. Not that it made a difference, though, because none of those sections on the bookshelf had the necessary book. I asked if she had the book at school, and she just stared blankly at me. She then asked me to answer the question in her workbook, and I was exasperated in telling her how, even if I would do her work for her (which I've repeatedly made clear to kids I will never do), it was quite impossible. Unfortunately, she used this opportunity to close her book and bother Taylor, a boy trying to do his math homework and...jeez, lemme start a new paragraph for this one.

So, I'll preface this by saying that I sincerely dislike the math teachers at these schools. At all levels. Because the majority of these kids - at all levels - do not seem to understand fairly basic things. Like, remember how I was saying in a previous entry about the kid who was fairly bright, but didn't understand the concept of zero? Well, that extends to other concepts, and Taylor was a prime example. Now, I understand that some people don't like or really get math, and I'm well aware that my being in honors courses in school has probably given me a warped perception about what people should know, but Taylor couldn't even grasp the concept of the tens place, for crissakes. Literally, several times during this session, I said aloud, "What are they teaching you?" Anyway, after shooing away Tamara, I look over Taylor's subtraction work. First problem: 98-9=37. And it went downhill from there. I couldn't even see where he started making his mistakes, so I told him to start over on a new page. What I saw was confusing - he was subtracting the 9 from both the ones place and the tens place, and was even getting that wrong because whenever he made little tic-marks to do his work, he would skip numbers, or add too many, which he'd cross out in a way that looked exactly like how he crossed out numbers to subtract, meaning...meaning it was a big mess. I decided to work him through a problem of my own creation (something like 32-6 or similar). I ran up to get my pen and sketchbook, because there was no scratch paper in this whole room for me to work with. I went through, step by step, the reasoning for why I did every single aspect. Why I had to borrow from the tens place, why I don't subtract the ones place from the tens place...all this while trying to get Taylor to pay attention to me and not to Tamara, who had come back in the room and begun messing around. Then the music began. I guess the chapel wanted to have a service, because there was godly music playing at an ungodly volume, perhaps meant to pierce the ceiling of Hell itself. I had to close all the doors and windows of the library, though this did little good. I then gave Taylor the same problem I had just done, and told him to do it. He completely missed the mark. I decided to try to make things more visual, so I redrew my problem, this time using large boxes as tens and small circles as ones. (So, I had three boxes and two circles minus six circles.) I showed him, again, step by step, exactly how to work out this problem, using the forms to illustrate the principles. I then ask him to do the problem. He completely falters again. I tell him to think about it like the boxes and circles. "What does this mean?" I ask (with barely-concealed frustration), pointing to the first box in the problem. He stares at it for a second, begins ticking the three boxes and the two circles, and says "Five." I then write down, in big print, "□=10". I ask, not but ten seconds later, "What is the square equal to?" Blank stare. I point at what I just wrote, moving my finger along the each aspect as I verbalized them. "What...is the square...equal...to?" "......Nine." At this point, I asked Taylor if he'd like to go back up to the main building, further away from the loud music. He agrees, which gives me a bit of time to catch my breath. I run back to my room to grab more paper, and bring it with me. I then sit down with Taylor, who I noticed had a piece of paper that he wrote squares and circles onto. Maybe I got through to him? So, I begin writing down a series of problems:
You can probably see where I was going with this. I then tried asking Taylor if he could solve the first one, when I saw him pressing on his piece of paper. "What is that?" I ask. "Phone." I tell him to put it away for now and try the first problem. He was able to solve it...after a few tries. He was doing the tic-mark style of subtraction, but that only works when you're counting at the same speed you're writing down your tics. Then came the second one. Well, again, he wrote down tics...24 of them (actually, 22 at first, until I told him to double check). He then wrote down "81". So...dyslexia, maybe? That would explain some of it, perhaps? In any case, for the third problem, he tried writing down 32 tics, but I tried to tell him how inefficient that was, and that he couldn't do that for big numbers, and he needs to think of the ones place and tens place as separate things, and remember the big squares and little circles, and...and he was playing on his goddamn paper phone again.

I, it brings me no pride to admit, flipped out. I threw my pen at the wall and stood up in a huff. Taylor began laughing, probably because, y'know, pen throwing is silly. "Fine," I said, "Just...do what you can. Just do what you will." And I walked back to the apartment area, past the blazing music in front of the chapel, and back to my room, where I sat, fuming. Lack of comprehension I can tolerate, even sympathize with. But considering the amount of genuine effort I was putting forward to try to teach him these concepts - concepts he should be learning in school, mind you - I felt insulted by his apathy and flippancy for the whole situation. And yes, I do realize how absurd it sounds to say I felt insulted by an eight-year-old. But hey, I have my limits, which is useful to know. Good thing I never became a grade school teacher, eh?

(I later tried apologizing to Taylor, but he genuinely had no idea what I was talking about. I feel the whole situation played out completely differently in his head.)

That night, it seemed like all the kids went to bed early, because there was nobody around to do reading with. I decided to make the most of this by doing some stargazing. It was a new moon, so I'd have the best view of the sky I was gonna have while in Tanzania. I think I was shown just how potent light pollution is, though, because even the light from Arusha (which, despite being the fourth largest city in the country, is really not that big) was enough to keep me from seeing a "true" night sky. I guess I'll have to wait until I'm out in the South African bush for that. Still, it was a better sky than you'll ever see in Los Angeles or San Francisco, so I made the most of it. I stood out in the darkest spot I could find looking at all these stars and constellations I've never in my life seen before. The Southern Cross, for example. I've never seen it before Friday night. It's been there for millions (billions?) of years, half a dozen countries use it on their flags, and this is the first time I'd ever seen it myself. That was such an odd and exciting feeling, like, "I'm really somewhere else." I also was inspired to sing to myself, softly, the entirety of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, which I've always found quite moving when you go beyond the first couple lines.
...When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon, then you show your little light, twinkle twinkle all the night.
Then the traveler in the dark, thanks you for your little spark. He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.
...For you never shut your eye, 'til the sun is in the sky.

Today, I decided that I wanted to bring my camera out with me when I was with the children, because I've taken barely any pictures since arriving, and maybe I should take some, as proof of my existence here. And also to remember the kids by later. So, I went to the main building, where I saw a number of the children watching some sort of spy drama on the Bollywood Channel. And that's not even a description, it literally said "Bollywood Channel". I had asked Josephat if it was okay for me to take pictures of/with the kids, and he gave me the okay, but I couldn't think of a good opportunity to do so without making it seem like it was my last day. So I eventually figured that I'd take whatever pictures would come, and save the "remember me by" photos for my actual last day.

But before that! I had to work out in nothing but my shoes and underwear. I hadn't thought that far ahead when doing my laundry, and I didn't want to get my current batch of clothes all sweaty. This made for an almost-entirely-too-awkward meeting with the Bishop's visiting niece. (It ended up being only slightly awkward, as I had time enough to wrap a towel around myself [in the female, nipple-concealing manner] before the door opened.) Also, I then found out that the water ran out on the top floor, so I couldn't take a shower, and had to resort to furiously scrubbing at my armpits with a dry bar of soap. First world issues, amirite?

Also, the Bishop asked me for help with his homework, which was about business ethics. The problem was about a dude who sent a letter to another dude with regards to buying a car, saying he had two weeks to agree "by post" to pay the negotiated amount. Then one week later, someone new comes in and offers an even higher price, so the dude sells the car to her, and then the first guy, who responded on the last day agreeing to buy the car, threatened to sue for breach of contract. The Bishop asked me what I would do if I were an American judge. After giving my disclaimer that I have no authority in the subject, I said that a far as I was aware, a letter was not equal to a contract, and while the car sellers actions made him a bit of an ass, it wasn't grounds for a lawsuit. (Hell, that kind of stuff has happened to me on Craigslist all the time.) If any of you know the actual answer to this, I'd be curious to see if my rationale was correct.

Back to pictures! Thankfully, there were some things to take pictures of, because we had another group of Americans coming in, this time a business class from the University of South Carolina. As per usual, the kids loved having more people around. Cameras seemed to be the big theme here, as basically all of these kids had cameras, and were letting the kids borrow them. A couple of the kids borrowed mine, though not without my hovering within grasping distance (it's an expensive camera, dagnabbit!). All the while, every single kid was calling my name, begging me to look at them. Also, Sally took no less than 8 dozen photos of me with a camera she borrowed. Just of me, including close-ups of my eye and everything in between. I apologized to the girl who owned the camera, who replied by saying, "Don't worry, and congratulations that you're apparently the most interesting person here." This made me feel a bit self-conscious, though when you actually look at my occupation, and where I've been on this trip, and where I'm going, it actually does make me sound rather interesting, objectively speaking. But that's neither here nor there. It was nice, as always, speaking with countrymen, and unfortunately, they had to leave after only a couple hours.

I also had another argument today with Sally about how humans are, biologically, animals. I can't tell if she genuinely believes that humans are completely separate from animals (which, considering the dogmatic atmosphere, is quite likely) or if she's just being contrary (which is equally likely). I did like how later she told me not to go near the dog in the area, because it was mean and would bite me, and literally fifteen seconds later, I have it licking out of my hand. I tried telling her about St. Francis of Assisi, but I don't think they're allowed to learn about saints here.

Before I sign off, I'm considering doing a fundraiser to get a couple things for the orphanage that I personally view it as needing. It's not the stuff that Josephat will ask for, but I'm looking at it from a different perspective. First, I want to get these kids some abacuses. I know that sounds really random, but think about it. I've talked about how horrible the math instruction here is. An abacus is, like, the best tool for grasping basic arithmetic. It has a physicality to it that makes it easier for kids to visualize concepts, it could take the place of them writing down tic-marks, and it would force them to learn about the tens place, the hundreds place, and so on. Maybe if I had that, I could have gotten through to Taylor. So I'd want to get about three abacuses. Second: a large whiteboard, or several smaller ones. I really love whiteboards when it comes to explaining things to people. And there's a lot of wall space here. If the adults who assist with homework here, be they volunteers or perms, could use whiteboards, I think it would definitely help the explanation process. Again, these are not things the orphanage officials would ask for, but I think that's because they don't know how useful it would be to these kids. And I want to encourage them to follow those dreams and become doctors and lawyers. I don't want them to become flies in the windowsill. I want them to break through those windows, and a good education makes for a fine breaking stone. So, leave a comment if you might be interested in doing such a fundraiser, and if there is such interest, I'll look at setting something up for those items. Thanks for any/all input!

1 comment:

  1. That's the weird thing about kids. From my own struggles with math to having little nieces and nephews, I've wondering if some academic struggles are rooted in the kid simply not wanting to learn. Perhaps it's a little bit of both - a kid that falls so behind with school eventually gives up and writes off the subject as irrelevant or pointless.

    As for the fundraiser, I think that's a great idea. It's a shame though that such things even have to exist. But considering that school districts throughout the US have to do fundraisers too, I guess I can't be a critic. If something more develops, let us know!


    P.S. You've totally harshed 26 for me know. Thanks, Andrew!