On Monday, I did something that I hoped I would never have to do here in Cameroon or any other part of Africa..
I went to the dentist!
While I was traveling I had a filling come out. I needed to get it taken care of right away.
They gave me a temporary filling and I will be back next week for the permanent one.

He said that I will not be given Novocain!!

Wednesday's classes went absolutely wonderful! The students have come into 2014 with a great work ethic and motivation to do a great job in their YAN classes!

At Lycee we had 13 students in the class but there were about 3 others who stopped by to let me know that they had an extra class after school and could not make it. That day, there was a general problem with the internet so we couldn’t do any work online. But that was perfectly OK because there was a lot of typing that needed to get done.

I started class by making some sort of checklist for students to copy down and tick off as they moved along.

1. Create website

2. Add 2 pages (Research and Photos and Video)

3. Add information to website:

            Homepage: (Actually a blog post) a photo about your project selected from either the internet or taken in the next months to come. A project description: using step 1 of the homework, you will combine all group members work so that you have ONE blurb that talks about your project.

            About: Each group member will type their own personal statement which is Step 3 on the homework assignment.

            Research: Type your 8 facts from Step 2 of the homework.

            Photos and Video: Leave blank for now – will be working on this page in the upcoming months.

I had to explain the above a couple of times to be sure things were clear for the students, but they definitely got it and went right to work. I think it was really helpful for them to see this in step format and to also copy it down into their books so they know where they are going next. Most groups had finished at 2 out of the 3 pages in a word document with the exception of the Unemployment group (who was not present) and the Waste Management group (who is just a bit behind).

These typed documents were then saved onto my flash drive. Because the internet was down, this gave students an extra and unexpected computer lesson! Every time a group needed to save their work a 'mini' lesson was given on using flash drives. This is something that I feel like many people might take for granted. The simple knowledge of using a flash drive properly. All of the students who were present became versed on how to insert, open from, save to and properly eject a flash drive. Once I taught the first group how to do it, I would call over one of the members to teach the next group (as I supervised to be sure it was done correctly). They say teaching is one of the best ways to learn!

Before the class was over I sat down with the three girls in the Waste Management group. Last semester, 2 out of 3 of them were not too serious but this year I could see a major turn around already. It seemed to me that they just were not understanding how to do several things, especially revolving around research and finding facts. I wanted sit with them ‘one on one’ and find out what was going on – where there was confusion and what they weren’t understanding. It was very difficult to get these girls to open up and say what the problem was but a quote my father told me is what worked for them, “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” After I said that and convinced them I was here to help them and wanted them to succeed, they started to express their issues. The main issue was they didn’t know how to find good articles for research and when they did find them, they didn’t know what information to write down. We are meeting on Monday at 2:45pm after they finish school so I can work with them as a group alone. I think this will really improve their research skills and get them caught up to the rest of the class.

When I arrived in Buea Town at the cyber Charles had informed me that the internet was not working, as I already mentioned, there was a ‘general problem’ which effected everyone everywhere. So for class, we did the same thing as we did in Lycee : typing things to put on the websites. There were 14 students present and everyone was quite focused and working hard.

3 groups had finished all of the typing for their website and now just need to transfer it online and publish it. The other groups are moving along just fine. The biggest contributor to those who have finished the typing is that all group members are consistently present! When there are 3 group members, they can use two computers so that the typing happens faster. If there is internet connection, one member will email what they have typed to the other which also allows them to practice their email skills. One this is for sure: it’s a win-win situation to have all group members present.

Each group also had their own mini lesson on using a flash drive. Then they passed the knowledge onto their peers. Hopefully, next class I will just be able to give them the flash drive for them to use without my supervision.

Next week I have decided to distribute anonymous “Peer Review Evaluations” of each group member. This will help me evaluate who is putting in the most/least effort in class according to group members as well as give me the opportunity to speak with certain students and inspire/motivate them to try a little bit harder.

Next week when the internet is up and working, students will be adding all of their typed information to the website and learn how to add media (photos and videos) to their site as well. Be sure to check back next week when we release all of the website for YANers all over the world to check out! The work the students are doing is fantastic...STAY TUNED!!

Above, GHS Buea Town Students at the Cyber