We've been here for exactly one week; and since it's going to be a slowwww day for us, I thought I'd use today to write about a sample day in the MaP life. While I'll be focusing on schedule now, in the future I hope to cover food, social spaces on campus, the hunt for wifi, performances/sporting events, how to taxi, etc.
A Typical Weekday in This MaP Life
5:40am- WAKE UP!! Neither Heba nor I really does makeup or our hair or anything, so we've been known to stay in our beds until 5:53am and still make it to breakfast in record time (this happened once).
6am-6:30am- Eat breakfast. I've only made it to breakfast twice, and once ate salted oatmeal and once Rice Krispies. I'm usually not hungry so early in the morning, so while I remember there being hard-boiled eggs and slices of deli ham, I went for the lighter options. The main points of going to breakfast for me are 1) to show that you can, 2) to hold yourself over until 9am sandwich break so your stomach doesn't growl in classes, and 3) to make sure you're getting enough protein and/or to stock up on fruit.
6:50am-7am- Staff meeting in the staff room. Teachers chat amongst themselves until Mr. Taylor, the Principal, arrives and gives a few updates. Then they take turns raising their hands to make announcements about how past events went or what's coming up, so everyone is on the same page.
7:10am-7:20am- Assembly. Tuesday assembly is for Forms 1-3, Wednesday for Forms 4-6, and then Thursday is PACKED with everyone. Here, Mr. Taylor makes remarks and introduces whomever is running assembly that day, and then the person or group comes up and does their thing! Assemblies on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week were devoted to the Harvards, as we introduce ourselves to all Forms. Thursday's assembly was dedicated to two Princeton in Africa Fellows who were leaving the next day. :( Students made speeches about them, screened a short video thanking them, and then gave each a nice gift. And in the future, I know that one will be for the ballroom dancing students to showcase their skills—obviously cannot wait for this one.
Classes operate on a 6-day rotating schedule with 6 periods per day, so every day students (and interns!) have different schedules.
7:25-8:10am- Period 1
8:10-9:00am- Period 2
9:00-9:20am- SANDWICH BREAK!! We should have this in America, too. Sandwiches are served for teachers in the staff room and TAs in the cafeteria, and are just regular bread sandwiches cut into triangles. There's the classic pb&j, which I actually have yet to try because it always goes first, as well as a cucumber/cream cheese type, tuna fish, and a lettuce and tomato. Missing breakfast is just fine when we have a built-in snack break at 9am, which is when I get hungry anyways!
9:25-10:10am- Period 3
10:10-11:00am- Period 4
11:00-11:10am- Short break.
11:10-11:55am- Period 5
11:55-12:45am- Period 6
My mornings usually involve one-on-one tutoring, Cultural Literacy classes with the MaP Top Scholars who are studying abroad next year, teaching a SAT/college prep course to the Form 6 students with the other Harvard interns, and meeting with students about anything at all (e.g. one girl with a question about how to handle a social situation with a friend, a group that asked if I would help them make a promo video for an upcoming performance, and a student who wanted to show me her artwork!). And if I have a free period, I try to work on my projects or read in the library, where I'm visible if students want to stop by and chat, introduce themselves, or ask any questions. Alternatively, sometimes I return to the annex for a nap.
12:45-1:15pm- Eat! While I write that lunch is from 12:45-1:15pm, most students finish eating and leave to wash their plates in fifteen minutes or so. There are separate food lines for boys and girls; and boarders and day scholars who get lunch at school (since some go home to eat) each sit at their favorite tables—I'll explain more about this in the food post.
These vary widely from person-to-person, but generally pertain to SPEs. I'll give my schedule for tomorrow (Monday) as an example.
1:15-1:30pm- Quick meeting of MaP Journalists. There are four students who write for the school newsletter on behalf of the Communications department, and they're currently working on feature writing. I volunteered to help cover photo and/or video for any event necessary, and I'm hoping tomorrow I receive a few assignments!
1:30-2:15pm- Meet with a student. I've been spending time with one Form 1 girl who has been having a bit of trouble making friends every afternoon before she goes to her SPE, and we usually sit on a bench under a shady tree and chat.
2:30-3:30pm- African Philosophy! I'm SO excited to go back and begin the curriculum that the students voted on last week, though I think I have some work to do in figuring out what type of presence I'd like to have in the group.
3:30-5:00pm- Shoot a teaser trailer for the MaP Mega Bowl! Jack and Austin are trying to get everyone hyped up for this, and they plan to show a 1min intense teaser at the assemblies this week. I have the music and storyboard all figured out, and we just have to actually get everyone together and film it! And I'll edit it in my morning free periods.
5:00-6:00pm- Intend to run but probably won't.
Reminder that this is just my afternoon schedule for Monday, and looks so different every other day of the week, as you can see:
6:00-6:30pm- Dinner! Dinner is quieter than lunch because it's just the boarders eating, I believe. There's always hot chocolate to drink (which students mix with spoonfuls of sugar), bread for toasting, and some fruit if you arrive early enough to get it!
6:30-?pm- Pretty unstructured time. We've been using it thus far to research places to travel and plan our trips, but it's also nice to relax back in the annex after a long day and process all the activity. As we get increasingly involved here, I think we'll probably end up using this time to plan lessons and work on projects for our SPEs.
9:00-10:00pm- Boarding house duty. Teachers rotate through boarding house duty from 7:00-9:00pm, which involves checking in and making sure students are working and/or not disturbing anyone else. We interns are taking over the 9:00-10:00pm shift, which means we check all the younger girls into bed and ensure everyone is settled in for the night!
10:00pm-ish- Most likely our bedtime. It's been kind of a funky week sleep-wise, but I think I'm now getting the idea that the earlier the bedtime the better. That being said, I have the bad habit of reading or especially *BLOGGING* into the night, so my goal for this week is to be more disciplined and get on a regular schedule.
And there you have it! I hope it makes more sense now when I talk about classes being just in the mornings or rushing to SPEs in the afternoons. Let me know if there are any questions, and otherwise I will write more tomorrow!
For a little Sunday update, the main events of today were going for my first 3-mile run on the track and filming Jack, Austin, and Mr. Taylor for our Mega Bowl promo videos. My favorite part of today was some Harvard intern bonding in the evening. Jazil, Harsh, and Siqi came to Heba and my room to buy tickets from Gabs to Cape Town using our wifi; and everyone ended up sitting on the floor or on our beds and talking for three hours about life, the universe, ourselves, and everything. It was great! None of us even cared as the time approached our bedtime (which sadly is like 10pm). Heba and I actually continued talking more about our own personal experiences even as the others left, and are now preparing for sleep a lot later than we should, considering there's a 6:50am staff meeting tomorrow. But hoping for many more of these types of evenings this summer. :) Night!