Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Last Day of School Before Winter Break

To see photos of the last day of school before winter vacation, click on the title of today's entry, or copy and paste the following site into your browser:

Following the special schedule that was set last Friday, school began with the Pastorela (telling of the Christmas story) just before 8:30 a.m. From the first bell at 7:30 until then, students chatted, flirted, chased, grabbed and hit each other and were then arranged in a semi-circle in the patio area to watch the show. The performers passed the microphone among themselves as they raced through their lines and the background scene changed once, from “heaven” to “hell”.

Afterwards, the soccer tournament ensued; the fierce competition began on Monday and continued Tuesday. The school spirit was fantastic – students surrounded the field and cheered on their counterparts. Each team was made up of four players and, thanks to donations made to the school from the link on this website, there were prizes for the winners of the boys and girls’ divisions. Each winning team received an authentic Nike soccer ball and each player on those teams collected a water bottle and a chocolate candy cane. The winner of each game was the first to score and if at the end of ten minutes no goal had yet been kicked, penalty kicks broke the tie. While the games took place on the concrete field at one end of the school, on the patio one student beautifully played an electronic keyboard while another sang along.

As the soccer games ended, students gathered in their “homerooms” to enjoy a snack. When I saw the two gigantic boxes of Benedetti’s pizza, cartons of ice cream and liters of refreshments, I thought I was so lucky to have been assigned to be with Group 1C – rather than one that was enjoying ham and cheese sandwiches. The feeling didn’t last long as I spent a lot of energy trying to tame the wild animals of the group. Students wandered in and out of the classrooms and then were drawn back to the patio area by the noise coming from the “stage area.” While a band played, I hung back, as far from the monster speakers as possible, while others gathered in front of the stage. When the students left around noon, the teachers gathered in the kitchen to enjoy a meal together – there was a carrot salad with apples and walnuts, a pasta dish and meat.