30 March 2011

Sounds Like Rain On A Metal Roof

Well, the Iron Band's first practice with instruments happened Tuesday.  It went, all things considered, as well as could reasonably be hoped.  All the students showed up, including half-a-dozen unwelcome guests who, on several occasions, tried to muscle their way into playing an instrument.  It was harder than I expected maintaining control of 10+ students without the aid of audible speech.  So for a good 30 minutes or more, all of our respective abilities to hear deteriorated somewhat.  As an aside, I have looked around in town for earplugs, but as of yet have not found them.

What I did find, however, were a couple different items useful for striking the various pots, pans, and objects that form the instrumentation of a traditional iron band.  For a mere EC$25, I was able to purchase 10 drumsticks, which should be enough for everyone to strike their respective instruments with.  In addition, my neighbor, who cuts the metal for burglar bars as a side business, had some scrap pieces of rebar that we ground the sharp edges off to be used on the pans.  With everyone getting a chance to "knock" on something, a good time was had by all, and the kids really look forward to future meetings.

The only exception to all this is one student by the name of Shakimba, who you will no doubt be hearing plenty about for the coming months.  For all of those readers faithful in their resolution to pray for me and my mission here, I ask you to remember one more item: Shakimba is an 10 year old boy who, in addition to being placed in the lowest stream of 3rd graders, displays classic EBD tendencies.  He has difficulty participating in group activities, and deeply resents both disciplinary action and being singled out for any reason.  While it is widely understood that he shows a strong competency for drumming already, making him the prime recommendation of (not one, not two, but) three different staff members, of their own accord, the clear reason they suggested him was due in large part to his need for a positive group activity.  And now that the responsibility of engaging him in those activities lies with me, and I don't have any material training in dealing with EBD students, I request your prayers for him and me in the days ahead.

Well, that's about it for now.  So, right on schedule, here's the highlight reel for March.

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