Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#31 Pix n Other Stuff

I had forgotten to get pictures of the 3 girls who are now happily seeing in class.  Here they are:  Elizabeth, Mary and Carol.  I noted a change immediately in the attention and involvement in the classwork, now that they could see.  I’m just sad they had to wait so long.  Despite the handicap, Mary has always been among the top 3 performers in her form.  Now I’m looking for #1!

I also took a picture of Christopher, the quitter.  He went 2 days w/o smoking and was so proud of himself.  He put his name on the board, with 2 hash marks, indicating his feat.  However, the weekend proved too challenging, so he had to erase the marks and begin again.  Nonetheless he is determined to beat it.  He’s a very nice guy and a great teacher (physics and math), full of enthusiasm, ready to embrace new technology, willing to help the girls, and just as full of smiles as the picture indicates.

Thus I am sad to report that he will be leaving SFG to return to school.  As good as he is at teaching, he wants to become an engineer.  He was unable to complete his training b/c he had to pay school fees for his younger sister.  She is now completing form 4, so he can go back to school.  It is touching that many people sacrifice in order to send siblings to school.  Everyone understands the ramifications of not completing high school, so most are willing to sacrifice, knowing that someone sacrificed for them.

One of the teachers has recently developed a seizure disorder.  She had an episode during a car trip several weeks ago.  It was probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of petit mal to grande mal and left her exhausted.  She went to a Nairobi neurologist yesterday and was given new medication.  The moment she walked into the staff room this morning I knew something was wrong.  She could hardly walk, eyes unfocused.  We sat her down to wait until Ben (accountant) was ready to go back down to town and could take her home.  I went along to show him the way, as she was getting more and more out of it.  We had to support her on both sides to move her into her house, which she shares with mom and 2 sisters.  I was worried that the medication was too strong or that somehow this was not a normal response.  Couldn’t think of what to do, but later it occurred to me to call Joyce, a newly minted pharmacist.  I just wanted to check it out with her, but she is so nice.  She offered to visit the teacher and we made a date for right after I finished my last class.  School matron, Esther, went along so that she would know as much as possible about the situation.

When we got there in the late afternoon, the teacher was feeling a bit better.  Joyce did a pretty thorough assessment and will monitor it until she gets better.

(2 days later)  She called me today to say she is cutting down on the medication and will see her neurologist ASAP.

I must say, I manage to get involved in a lot of scenarios that seemingly have little to do with math teaching.  Not sure how I manage it, but ….

Margo

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