So let me take a second to say that I LOVE my school and I am so excited to do awesome things with them!!
This week I went through a whole crazy process of putting up my world map. (<——For my not so tech savvy readers, click on things that come up in a different color and/or are underlined)
I picked this project to do first because it seemed like I was going to need to talk to a lot of people to accomplish it. It was also something that had little to do with academics and I knew that school was winding down so why would I spend the majority of my time fussing about what we were going to do at the beginning of the next year when that doesn’t even start until the middle of January?? Also, my Mom gave me really good advice and told me that when you are being a sales person, you don’t call your biggest potential prospect first, especially when you don’t have your ducks in a row and you know what you are talking about through and through. I applied that concept to what I am doing here because I have some really good ideas for HUGE projects for next year but I know nothing about the people at my school, I know on paper who is in charge but I don’t know who is going to help me. I am trying to sell myself and prove to them that I can do good things. I was not going to risk falling flat on my face on a project that could, ultimately, define my service.
So I come in on my first day of school and I start talking about my goal to get this world map up by the start of the next school year. Perhaps a camp during the break of school? No Angela, the school is closed closed during breaks. Kids will not be allowed in from Dec 15-Jan15. Ok well, Wouldn’t it be great to do it the last week of of school with some kids who did really well on their finals, a reward? So I asked around about where people would like it and we decided on the wall, and then I talked to the Art teacher who is not my biggest fan let me tell you. She told me a lot of mis information but I don’t think it was on purpose. She told me that it was going to about 250,000 pesos for the paint (which is about $125 USD) Which is INSANITY and I did everything in my power to just out right tell that to her that it couldn’t possibly cost that much. So my counterpart and I were talking about ways to raise such an enormous sum of money when 7, 11th grade boys walk in to the teacher’s lounge and sit down in front of us.
You see the Art teacher doesn’t like to teach art, she teaches crafts and instead of valuing creativity she values precision. Instead of teaching a medium and letting the students create within a set of guide lines she creates a something and then asks the kids to duplicate it and the closer it is to the original then the higher marks you get. Well for the 11th grade final project they were tasked with making a doll. A GIRL doll dun dun dun.
So I have 7 boys sitting in front of me saying that they need an extra point in art and that the teacher told them that they could get that point by painting my world map mural. I was really surprised, I asked, “Why do you boys need a point in ART??”, “well,” They fidgeted, “we didn’t want to make the dolls.” Silence…. then I said in English, “that’s stupid” They laughed. Then they explained that they wouldn’t have minded making the dolls if they could have made soccer player dolls but they didn’t want to make girl dolls. I told them that the map was supposed to be a reward for people who did their work. Then they said that they would do a really good job and that the art teacher told them that they could do it as long as they paid for my paint.
Welcome to the world map project boys.
After the weekend the boys came in on Monday with some money. Total they gave us a grand total of 70,000 pesos ($35) and my counterpart and I took it to Home Center and bought all the paint we needed for a mere 74,000 pesitos! and he paid the 4,000 ($2) out of pocket.
On Tuesday we painted the whole wall white and projected the picture onto the wall and traced it with pencil, then started tracing the lines with black paint. Day 2, Wednesday, we started the ocean and filling in the countries. This map was based on languages spoken so all English countries were Red and all Spanish was Yellow and so on.
(picture note, a friend jokingly said I had child slave labor so I made sure to ham it up in my next picture near the end)
I was only making sure they were paying attention to detail! Although, we did erase a rather large island from Canada but don’t worry no one lives there.
This guy spend HOURS tracing and painting language names and steadfastly REFUSED to stand anymore.
This kid sat there with a little canister of paint, dipping and dabbing with a PENCIL TIP to make sure he was as precise as he could be. (his Idea not mine!
All in all it turned out great with a few bumps along the way but it went so much smoother than I thought it would. And all the teachers in the school are down right flabbergasted. It’s nice. And now they have a visual representation of my resolve to get things done.