Friday, April 15, 2011

Jamaican Sensation!

Green Lake GEA was privy to a rare treat on April 12th. Damian Anderson, a 5th grade teacher from Kingston, Jamaica, came into the class to talk and answer questions about his country and how students differ between Green Lake and Kingston. Students listened to a brief introduction by Anderson before they could no longer contain their questions, and hands were raised all over the room. Students asked questions that spanned a wide variety of topics, such as what Jamaicans liked to eat for dinner, what kinds of sports are preferred, what the main income source was for residents, what kinds of technology do Jamaicans have, and what role to government plays in their everyday lives. They were stunned to learn how one US dollar is worth almost 100 Jamaican dollars, and Jamaican currency goes all the way up to a $5000 note. “I would love to go to Jamaica!” Exclaimed Travis. Some other aspects of Jamaican culture that was discussed was how hard it is to go to school there. “Most people have a hard time just getting their children to middle school,” explained Anderson. “It’s very difficult to reach college. Only about 1 in 20 students make it that far.” Transportation is sometimes hard to come by, and schools are often times poorly made. “I can hear the other classes right through the walls of my classroom. Sometimes it’s hard for students to concentrate because they can hear the other classes just like we were in the same room with them.” After the visit, students were asked what they thought about Anderson and what they learned about Jamaica. “I thought he was awesome,” said Max L. “Just in general, he was awesome!”  Travis thought he was “beast!" Because "it’s kinda hard in Jamaica to go to college and get a job, yet he got enough to become a teacher.” Kylie’s favorite part was his accent. Damian Anderson is currently staying in Ripon and has offered his help in coordinating pen pal relationships with his students and ours.

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