Tag Archive | teaching

Happy Pi Day!

True to our nerdy roots, Hans and I are celebrating Pi Day. For those of you who have happily repressed memories of high school math classes,  Pi Day celebrates the constant pi, π, which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. Since the most common approximation of pi used is 3.14, it is celebrated on March 14… which is 3/14. (Although today’s date in Bolivia is technically 14/3, my students don’t mind changing the order if they can have a party!)

I promised my precalculus students a pie-making party this Friday, since we don’t have class on Wednesdays and therefore miss the real Pi Day. Friday is the last day of the quarter and they’ve worked hard, so I felt a Pi Day celebration was deserved.

But life in Bolivia doesn’t always go as planned… and this week is no exception.

This photo was taken just outside the school gate by David Fuller, one of the teachers who lives at the school property.

Due to protests in Colcapirhua (where the school is located), school has been cancelled since Monday. The protests are over a territory dispute between Colcapirhua and Tiquipaya – apparently Tiquipaya is claiming 45 hectacres that Colcapirhua says belongs to them. Due to the recent movement to give more power to local governments, this land is important for tax purposes.

We saw on the news last night that leaders were in closed meetings to come to an agreement over the dispute, but apparently they didn’t agree since the roads are still blocked. They reported 38 block points throughout a 5 kilometer area, and people are having to walk, ride a bike, or take a motorcycle to get into Cochabamba for work and classes. Not fun in normal weather, but to top it off we heard it was raining out there this morning.

Taken by David Fuller

Please pray for:

  • Colcapirhua and Tiquipaya – that the leaders would come to an agreement soon
  • People who are having difficulties due to the extended blockades. (Usually blockades start early in the morning and end in the evening, only to start again the next day. These have been in effect around the clock, with some trucks parked in the middle of the highway since Monday.)
  • Students at CCS, who are on their second day of doing work assigned at home. This is affecting students, their parents, and the ministries of parents.

We’ll see what the rest of the week holds. Unfortunately, I’m not sure we’re going to get to that pie-making Pi Day celebration…


School’s Out!

Although I have always enjoyed school (a necessary requirement for a teacher!), there is something wonderful about the last day. Having just experienced my first last day as a teacher, I can say it’s just as satisfying to finish the school year from the other side of the teacher’s desk.

Somehow, my students all enjoyed the year – and they were surprised to hear it was my first time teaching. I must have done a good job pretending I knew what I was doing! I think the nicest compliment I received from my students was being asked repeatedly if I was returning next year – and what classes I would be teaching. The plan is to take the first semester off from teaching (since baby Nyberg is due in the second week of school!) and return in January for the second semester to teach one class (calculus or chemistry).

Several of my junior girls asked to come see me in the hospital when the baby is born and the junior class gave me a pack of diapers, while singing “Happy Baby to You” (to the tune of Happy Birthday). It was priceless.

I really enjoyed teaching at CCS this year, and hope that in between finding derivatives and balancing equations, my students learned a little about themselves, responsibility, and being a Christian in the “real world.” Of course, if they actually remember some of the math and science, that wouldn’t be bad either!

My First Calculus Class

These three brave seniors spent the year learning calculus with me. It may have been a small class, but they worked hard and we had fun.

My First Chemistry Class

My chemistry class!

They gave me diapers!

Two of the lovely ladies from my chemistry class, presenting me with diapers for baby Nyberg.

On Stage for Graduation

The teachers sat behind the graduates during the grad ceremony. Unfortunately, the photo with the graduates didn't turn out. Congratulations, Class of 2011!!

No Snow Days Here

I loved snow days when I was a kid. Those unexpected vacation days that happened once a winter if we were lucky and several times if we were really lucky.

Well… there is no chance of a snow day in Cochabamba. (Unfortunately, we live too close to the equator for that.) But today we are experiencing a “Paro Day” – a day off because of protests. It’s not quite the same as a snow day – it’s too warm for snowmen – so I’m not sipping hot chocolate underneath a blanket, but it is nice to have the day off!

This pictures is from Los Tiempos, Cochabamba's newspaper. The sign reads "We want fair prices"

Prices for food and transportation have been rising lately and there is country-wide sugar shortage at the moment. Saturday, several public transportation unions raised their prices and today there are protests against the raise. (And against the rising food prices.) According to Cochabamba’s newspaper, roads have been blocked and marches are occurring in several Bolivian cities, including Quillacollo, which is 14 kilometers from where we live.

At home, I haven’t heard any protesting and the restaurant in our building was open for lunch as normal. There doesn’t seem to be much happening in Cochabamba. So, I’m enjoying my extra day at home. It may not be snow, but I’m not going to complain!

Please pray for Bolivia and the problems the country is working through. Several sectors of the economy are upset about prices (that are either too high or too low) and the sugar shortage has many upset and worried. Pray that in this time people would know God’s peace in their lives.

Happy 101110!

Happy Binary Day, everyone!

Today my students and I celebrated one of several binary days we are lucky enough to have this year. How did we do it? With cookies!

I am either super-cool or super-nerdy. I’m not sure which one it is, but either way, I like it. And besides, what student doesn’t like when the teacher brings goodies to school?

p.s. Today’s date is 46 if you convert the binary to base ten. 🙂