Sr. Pamela Marie Buganski
“God is always talking to me when I am in Guatemala.”
Today I spent a lot of time with Josselin who is 15 years old. Josselin was the youngest student to graduate from the third year of basic education last year which would correspond to our grade 9. She was one of eight students in the village of Purushila who graduated at this level.
All eight of the students have gone on to collegio. The other seven work during the week and attend school on the weekends. Josselin does not have a job during the week. This gives us a bit more freedom to work together during the week. She also attends collegio on the weekends.
Today we studied English together for an hour. We do this each Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning at 9:30 am. Today we focused on English words beginning with the letter 'T'. (This also gives me a chance to practice the corresponding Spanish words). On various days we review pronunciation and word meanings, practice spelling words in English, or practice translating Spanish sentences to English sentences to see the corresponding structures. We are also reading the classic Go, Dog, Go! in both English and Spanish. Josselin takes the book home and practices her reading and teaches her younger brothers by engaging them with the book.
Today our schedules allowed us to spend even more time together. I asked Josselin many questions about her studies and her schedule, her classes and her teachers. These are some of the things that I learned:
1. Josselin has 8 one-hour classes on Saturday and 2 classes on Sunday, one lasts one hour and the other one-and-a-half hours. She has a different teacher for each class. She has homework in some of the classes and not in others. There are about 60 students in the same class with her. She does not have any books for her classes. She copies notes that are dictated by the teacher. If she wants a handout for the class, she pays for it.
2. Her class schedule is as follows:
7:30 am Matematica I
8:30 am Introduction to Economics
9:30 am Administration I
11:00 am Sociology
1:00 pm Computer
2:00 pm Study Techniques
3:00 pm Marketing I
4:00 pm Business Compositon and Correspondence
7:30 am Accounting
9:00 am Statistics I
3. Her favorite classes are Accounting and Administration. The teachers of these classes are also her favorite teachers.
4. In collegio, the students are allowed to use a calculator. Josselin uses a Casio fx-82MS. It appears to be a four function calculator with other screen and memory features.
5. Some classes require online research. To do this, Josselin travels by bus to Santa Ana which means that she has to pay to get there. She also has to pay about Q5 per hour to use the computer. If she has to ride the bus back home, she has only three hours to get her work done as there is only one bus from Purushila to Santa Ana and back each day.
6. Today I watched as Josselin completed her Accounting homework. She is a very focused student. I can tell that she is learning the material and that she likes her studies. Her homework in this subject took over an hour.
7. Next she showed me the homework that she had completed in math. She is studying the number system as well as simplifying numeric and algebraic expressions containing positive and negative exponents as well as radicals. She was stuck on the last five problems and was ready to ask her teacher about those. Instead we got to work on them together. When I used the concepts to give her more difficult problems, she was eager to learn and we both had that mischievous look in our eyes which I love to see in students whom I am trying to trick and they know it!
I hope to be able to spend time with her on her other subjects as well. My hope is that in the upcoming weeks we will be able to install the internet in this village. Then we will need a place and time to open a set of computers to the students for their research. I am not sure how difficult this will be considering that most of the collegio students will likely need the computers at night....and night is not the safest of times to be working especially with items that are valuable. Pray that we can come up with a workable solution.
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012