Nearing “Half-Time”

For many students, the Christmas break was not to be spent entirely on relaxing and enjoying the time away from school.  In fact, several of my students mentioned that they would be busy with homework, projects and study to be prepared for those first few weeks of January. 

Now that the school year begins in September, the end of the first quarter has been pushed to the last week of January.  Therefore, the four weeks in January are the last four weeks of the first semester. 

For Cristina Meier, this means getting final project guidelines prepared for her students and getting ready to grade them all when they are finished. 

Her Journalism class of twelve students has written articles for four “issues” of their on-line newspaper known as the AAI Witness.

Link here: http://208.110.83.190/~aainews/

They will be writing articles for one more issue before they focus on completing their final project, which is a portfolio of their work and what they’ve learned.  It has been a tough semester for this class, because English is a second or third language for most of these students and writing does not come easy.  Spiritually, it has also been a difficult class for Cristina, because the students are either nominal Christians or do not believe Jesus is anything besides a religious tradition.  Still, she begins each class with a moment of prayer and tries to integrate her faith into journalism as much as she can.

Cristina’s computer classes are winding down to their final tasks and projects.  Her eighth grade students will soon be learning how to use Power Point and will create a presentation to share with the class during the final days of the semester.  Her high school keyboarding class will get a chance to test their keyboarding skills to see if they’ve improved in their typing speed over the semester.  They will also do a small project to prove their skills at word processing.

January is a busy month for everyone at AAI.   In the middle of this month, Stephen will actually leave for a week to attend a conference in Miami, Florida to learn how to be a better curriculum director.  He will be flying to Miami on January 11 to attend the conference from January 12 to January 14 and then return to Quito on the evening of January 15.  Unfortunately, the rest of the family has to stay in Quito.  So, Cristina will have to take care of two energetic, little boys on her own for about five days.

In the midst of all this activity, Cristina is also trying to pull off a political cartoon contest among the high school and middle school students.  She is hoping that there will be enough entries to make the contest valid.  So far only three high school students and two middle school students have submitted artwork.

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