Monday, December 3, 2012

My Classes at SIMMS

My Classes at Simms:
My classes are:
IRS (Islamic Religious Studies): This class is by far my favorite class. Since it is an elective, there are only 5 of us. This I believe is due to the fact that everyone, excluding me, takes the subject that correlates to their faith. Thus, almost everyone is in the CRS (Christian Religious Studies). When the students found out I was taking IRS instead of CRS many were aghast and confused why the Christian Obruni was taking the Islamic Studies Class but I am so glad I did. I came here wanting to learn as much as I can about Islam, which is one of the main aims of YES, and am so happy to be in this class.

English: Really basic English grammar which at first I was appalled at the level of this class but then I realized, wait a second Lydia, stop being so critical, this isn't their native language what are you thinking? Our Madame, is a very interesting teacher who takes pleasure in punishments. She has made this girl who said leopard wrong write an apology letter for her and then had her read it in front of our class five times before telling her that it was not the correct way to write a letter and thus she had to write a new one. She had also pounded the class captain’s head & shoulders with a marker, and made some of my classmates who arrived to class late kneel at the front of the class for the whole 80 minute class period.

Literature: Well, I am supposed to have Literature but due the teacher being on maternity leave, I have yet to have a literature class. Here the idea of Substitute Teachers does not exist. If there is no teacher, then the students are obliged to sit in the classroom and study for the whole period. If the students get too noisy usually another teacher will come and cane or threaten to cane some members of the class.

Social Studies: We have been learning about the values, faults, & characteristics of each type of leadership there is which is pretty self-explanatory but my last class was the most interesting since my teacher has now started a unit on development and was discussing how the attitudes of people had to change in order for development to happen. It was very interesting for me to hear him point out the "faults" in Ghanaian society that need to be overcome in order for Ghana to develop. Some such things were Ghana's attitude towards public property as not their problem and their lack of a strong work ethic like Americans have. The last point got me thinking since, as a American I am very proud of the American work ethic for hard work=success but his statement made me wonder; at what point does development start changing culture? Ghanaian culture has its’ own values and way of life yet by assimilating with Western ways in order to develop, the quality of life may go up but will the quality of happiness go up? Development is a very interesting thing and I am not sure how I feel about it. Coming from the developed world, I have definitely reaped the benefits of living in a developed nation but sometimes I wonder if it is really a good thing.

Economics: Pretty basic Economics information such as the finding the equilibrium price, etc. The most interesting part is the few times that my teacher mentions facts about Ghana's economic system compared to the West.

Core Maths: A.k.a. Basic Algebra. This class is so easy it's sad. The math we are doing is stuff I had to do in my head last year. This class for me has consisted of my teacher writing the problems on the board which I copy down and finish within the first five minutes of class which gives me a whole period to read. The class is given about 20-30 minutes to finish the problems and then the teacher explains the whole procedure for the rest of the class.

P.E. (Physical Education): The BEST Class EVER! Sadly, I only have it once a week but I love it so much. There is a special uniform for this class as well which I don’t have but I have been able to borrow some of the other girls extra uniforms the past two classes. We usually end up playing football (soccer) and at the end of class their “cool down” consists of singing and dancing! How awesome is that?

Science: Science is broken down into four different introductory courses in Biology, Physics, Agriculture, and Chemistry. Agriculture is my favorite but all we have done is learn the advantages and symptoms of deficiency of a whole long list of elements. AS for Biology, it's so basic that even though I didn't have any notes and had only been to one class before we had a test I easily got a 100. Which seriously impressed the teachers but it was so simple, how could I not get a 100. Also here, it is totally acceptable to cheat blatantly obviously during tests which I didn't do but about everyone else in the class did. 

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