As of now, we have successfully finished 3 days of English Camp. The second day involved teaching the kids directional words such as left, right, forward, back, in front of, behind, etc…We started the day off by playing ship and sailors which they really got a kick out of and so did I watching them. We moved then moved onto another teamwork activity which was call toe-to-toe. The point of this activity was to have all the students stand up at the same time with their toes touching one another. The students fell down many times before we gave them a hint and they figured out how to accomplish the goal. We had the students do the community mapping project that I mentioned in the previous post. We divided the students up into 3 groups and they each had to draw a map of Sangeorz and then explain it to the class and tell us about the points of interest. We then had the students participate in some blind relay races. We, as counselors, even challenged the kids and said we could do the course faster in Romanian than they could in English. We were wrong. Melissa was blindfolded and I was giving directions and we ended up in 3rd place (out of 4). The winning team had a time of 5:22. After they had some more practice of giving very precise directions, we had them each write out specific directions from 1 of their points of interest to another. Since we didn’t have enough time at the end of the day to see how valid the directions were, we will be doing this tomorrow.
After camp, the 4 of us went back to my apartment, made lunch and spent the rest of the day planning today’s lesson which was the most challenging to plan and to facilitate. Around 3pm we headed to the museum with Mary and Loredana which i absolutely love. My town definitely has a hippie/artsy vibe to it and the Museum of Contemporary Art is probably the staple of that aura.
Today’s lesson was about Gender Roles and Stereotypes. It was a little bit harder than the previous days but the kids did a great job. Melissa started off with a lesson on media and showing how much information she dug up on some of the students through facebook. We then facilitated a discussion about colors, toys, and games. What colors are for boys, girls, same went for toys and games. This conversation brought up some interesting view points. We continued with this lesson and went into stereotypes. We had the students write what they think a stereotype is or an example of one. We got a lot of great responses which facilitated even more conversation. The next activity the students did was a collage. Each group was given a piece of paper that listed some things that a specific person liked to do and that group had to draw a collage about that person and then write if they thought the person was a male or female. Within the 4 groups of students, 3 groups thought they were drawing things for a male and 1 group thought they were drawing things for a female. We talked about why the students thought they were drawing for a male or female and then we revealed that each one of those lists belonged to one of the counselors. When each counselor stood next to his/her collage, the students noticed they were only correct 25% of the time. Jeremy’s collage said that it depicted a male which included things like soccer, tennis, cooking, and apple products. Anthony’s collage said that it depicted a female which included philosophy, talking, playing the saxophone, poetry, and soccer. Melissa’s collage said it depicted a male because she liked things like fixing cars, watching baseball, reading, wearing tall socks, and baking. My collage was for a male because the things I liked included watching baseball, playing Ultimate Frisbee, watching star wars, fixing things, and traveling. Even though our collages that things that were both typically “masculine” and “feminine” it was interesting to see that the groups decided to err on the side of masculine. The next item on the agenda was an “agree and disagree” exercise where the students would stand to one side if they agreed with the written comment or disagreed. Some of the statements that were presented for this was “I would date a gypsy”, “It is okay for 2 men to kiss in public”, “It is okay for 2 women to kiss in public” It is okay for a man to hit a woman”, “It is okay for a man to cheat on a woman”, “It is okay for a woman to cheat on a man” and etc. Some of the thoughts were very interesting and definitely sparked conversations and debates about the subjects which was very nice to see. We ended the day off with a role play. We had two boy/girl pairs that had to act like the opposite sex in a specific scenario. They had 3 different lines written on pieces of paper with them and when instructed, were told to read the lines out loud and to continue to use them within the conversation. This was a good and humorous way to end the day.
There are a few things that I will do differently next time but for the most part, it was a very educational day. The students left with a lot of food for thought and I’m hoping I got them thinking about gender roles and how large of a part they play in everyone’s lives.
I haven’t been taking any pictures or videos of the camp but luckily the other PCVs have so, thanks to Jeremy and Anthony, we have proof that this camp has been taking place 🙂 Below you will find some videos of the activities and the link to the album. I would like to point out that if you watch the blind obstacle race with Melissa and I, i should drept inapoi at the end which actually means straight backwards…I meant to say straight forwards but I apparently don’t work well in Romanian under pressure. At least the kids got a kick out of my lack of Romanian skills.