Saturday, February 28, 2009

Systemic Discrimination.

The other day after class, one of my Grade 10 students shyly approached me to tell me that she couldn’t read. I asked her if it was the order of words she had trouble with, for if she was mixing up the words it would likely be dyslexia rather than illiteracy. She said no, that it was the words themselves. The smaller ones she was okay with but the bigger words she simply could not understand.

Spending time dwelling on how this young woman has made it as far as Grade 10 without being able to read is futile. This harsh reality serves as only another reminder of how sub-par the education that black children receive in this country. She is unable to read in High School because in Primary School she wasn’t properly taught the fundamentals.

This student is not unique in being a victim of this injustice. She is just the only one who has been brave enough to speak up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"What a strange thing a dead bodies."

After a lesson discussing the use of imagery and painting a picture for readers in creative writing, students were asked to write something beginning with the following sentence:

“I turned the corner and couldn’t believe what I saw…”


I turned the corner and I could’nt believe what i saw. Last weekend i saw two people were drunk, they were drinking alcohol one of them drink too much than other one. So Sipho beat Xolani. I ran to tell my parents they were in the dark place, my heart was beating fast beacose Sipho was having gun, and Xolani was having knife. I was afraid as if they will shot me then my parents go to that tavel so they were stopping them but Sipho did’nt listen to them. He shot Xolani and he died immediately. At that night I did’nt sleep beacose it was like Xolani is in side the house I was sweating and I did’nt even breath beacoze I was scard.

I turned the corner and could’nt believe what I saw…

A young lady was beaten by her boy-friend, her mouth was red like a tomato. People were watching that scary thing. Her boyfriend was like a lion seeking for a meat, everybody was scared at the beach. The boy took the young lsay and they went to the sea to wash the young lady’s face because, here face was stll full of blood. I was very very angry that day I felt like that boy is beating me. What is worse is that the young lady was wearing swimming clothes and it was a hot day.


I turned the corner and couldn’t believe what I saw, The guy that I dreamed about yesterday at night and I was very shocked because it was my first time seeing him, I saw him once on my dream and I couldn’t believe it. I never talked with him, I never walked with him but I dreamed about him, why? The answer is... I’m in love with him. It was like i’m seeing the president or someone special, I had that feeling when the world is smilling and you and you’re smiling back. It was a sunny day, and I was walking alone same as he. When I looked at him i blushed and he smiled back at me, I thought he loved me be he didn’t because I found out that he has a gal of his own, I was very disapointed and sad Because I never felt that way in my life. The moment he pass through me I was like i’m in heaven where there’s only happiness not sadness but all I had was a dream.


I turned the corner and couldn’t believe what I saw The beuatiful child and who was the girl. She cried so sad and with a sad face. And she was so hungry. If think she is about 7-8 monts her mother left her in the dump. Becouse the boyfriend left the mother of the child. He said this child is not my.


I turned the corner and couldn’t believe what I saw a beatiful moon and stars in the blue sky and I felt like I was dreaming. Because I never saw the darkenss of the night. What a romantic night to day. Just me chiling on the beach. But most people were enjoying the part in the beach near to me. But on my mind therse something is telling me that something is going to happened. But I didn’t mind for that. People were swimming other enjoying their drinks. And this thing in my mind keeps going and now I felt so afraid and cold. Then I feel the wind after that I started shaking. One of the girls asked me What is going on you seemd like you afraid of something? then I said yes, I feel like therse some thing is gion to happened. And the wing was too strong. Therse nothing I can all I have is to worn those people to hide now because now I have I huge feeling that it is not wind only. I sai hide, hide. One of them said what. Then I speak loudly every on hide, hide. But they were not strong enough to high. The what a dark huge rain and block of ice were falling down. Then I hide for my self with the others that they have power to stand up. But when the wind, ice and rain was gone in the morning. What a strange thing a dead bodies. Some of them they fell under the bottles of alcohol and glasses. What a strong blood of people. Then after that my hope was gone I felt therse no one left.


Sunday, February 8, 2009


February is often the hottest month in Cape Town. With the mercury hitting 38 degrees over the past few days, 2009 looks to be no exception.

At school, in a loose blouse and skirt, I am sweating. Yet my students – in some combination of polyester tracksuit, poly blend skirt (with nylons) or trousers, button down shirt, wool sweater, tie and blazer – rarely make any adjustment to their uniforms. When I tell them they can take off their jackets and sweaters or loosen their ties, none of them do, even when they are constantly fanning themselves and perspiration is visibly forming on their faces.

At home sitting in our kitchen, my feet on the cool tiled floors, every available door and window open and a fan in my face, the heat is not unpleasant. Take away these luxuries, replace windows and doors and cool tiles and fans with corrugated metal walls and a tin roof and this scene does a complete 180.

In seeking relief from the scorching temperatures, many Capetonians head to the beach and the more affluent lounge by their pools. For most of my students, this is simply not an option. Despite being less than a half hour drive for most, beaches are generally out of reach due to lack of transport. Camps Bay is not a popular route for the mini taxis that go to and from the townships…