This picture pretty much sums up what I look like when I walk through the gates of Leone High School. We’ve been writing poetry using lots of adjectives in my mainstream level classes so I’ll use some adjectives to describe myself:
-Happy. See that smile? That’s plastered on my face wherever I go. Even if I’m miserable, I still get greeted with a bazillion, “Hi Miss Quinn’s” and I’d hate to disappoint without any sort of positive feedback.
-Island-y. I’ve got the suntanned skin, the slippers, and the flowery skirt. Sometimes, it’s just too hot for a puletasi, so I opt for a cute skirt instead. You'll also notice that my hair is down. That very rarely happens.
- Curious. What am I doing in this picture? Making sure 20 blindfolded students don’t do anything out of the ordinary as we walk around campus. A student snapped this when he was in charge of my camera during the activity.
Those are just a few words that sum up my everyday life in American Samoa. I’m happy, I do my best to be island-y, and I’m curious about everything.
This week in particular, I’m happy because…
-I’ve gotten picked up by an ‘aiga bus the past two mornings right outside my house. Free rides to school are great because I don’t walk into my classroom sweating like a river!
- I was given a box of chocolate macadamia nuts straight from Hawaii, and a bottle of cold Koko Samoa from two different students on the same day. Hooray – chocolate overload!
-We had an excellent first track meet on Monday. While it was not at all hardcore like track meets in the states, it was still fun and our team had an absolute blast. Today in practice, I forced my runners to run 3 miles, do pushups, and then 150 crunches. By their ridiculous reaction to the crunches, I could tell that they had never really done them before. “UAHHHHHHH.” “OHHHHH.” “My STOMACH.” These phrases were moaned as they laid on the ground splayed out – exhausted. I just laughed.
This week, I’m island-y because…
-I’m slowly catching on to Samoan phrases and sentences that my students say. A student asked me if I wanted to fight (jokingly) of course. “Ula vale?!” I responded with, “Le’ai!” and a smile. No. Students ask me for pencils or pens in Samoan. They tell me they’re going home in Samoan. Another student likes to constantly speak in Samoan to me. Sometimes it’s annoying, but I really like him, so most of the times it’s funny for me (and for everybody else) to try and figure out what he’s saying.
- I have to get a puletasi made for Samoan day. It’s also about time I get some more skirts made. I rotate about 10 different outfits to school and have been doing so for the entire year. Talk about BORING.
- I might be performing a Siva Samoa (the traditional Samoan dance) in front of the entire school as well as parents and other guests on Samoan Day. Ummm. What? This smiley, enthusiastic, palagi girl always gets herself into crazy situations. We’ll see what happens.
This week, I’m curious because…
-Why not? Ask questions. Try something new. Don’t do the same thing twice. I’m a teacher now. Being curious is just what I do.
Want to learn some Samoan? Or at least the very minimal Samoan that I do know? Stay tuned!