Today is the day the ambassador is coming to visit. I’m dressed up really nice. I arrive at school about 10 minutes before 2pm, and most of the teachers and a solid percentage of the students are already there.

I think everyone realizes that today is an important day. I review Lesson 8 with Professora Arlete; she has a few questions that she wants to cover before class starts.

And then class begins.

Today is the polar opposite of yesterday. The teachers are working together beautiful…their teamwork is like magic. The kids are angels. I swear they’re all sitting up extra straight today, nearly silent. When they speak, it is to ask a question. We conduct class like this for an hour, until the ambassador shows up.

The ambassador is a wonderful man who I know believes strongly in the power of technology. He likes the computers, he thinks they’re cute, he’s watching the class and he knows that the kids are enjoying class, too. We only have about 50 students today (out of 80 total or so), and I explain to him that because it’s vacation, attendance is a little bit more lax. The students aren’t part of the São João School anymore so the students that are here are here purely because they want to learn, and for no other reason.

He seems impressed by this, and things are looking up for us. I’m feeling good about our program, about the ability of the Ministry of Education and the Embassy of Taiwan to work together to achieve something really beautiful with this computer program. The Embassy is considering purchasing 500 computers, but not giving them all to the São João School, but rather 100 computers to five different schools. I explained that it would be necessary to purchase internet, train teachers, and do lots of organizations five more times in order to successfully place 100 computers at five more schools. But it’s not impossible.

There are pros and cons about this idea. Obviously our goal is to have enough computers for the São João School and not any other school so that the computers can be used in the classroom, the way they were intended.

At the same time, however, our class has been quite successful, even if it has been severely lacking in computers. Perhaps if we spread out computers among multiple schools, it would spread across the country and have an even greater influence on people merely through its geographic accessibility. I don’t know if this is true, but it’s a thought.

Though Ned summed it up perfectly- why not let the Ministry of Education decide where the computers go? The program is going through them anyway.

It’s funny how Lesson 8 seems so difficult sometimes…but also so fun. The teachers wanted to pick one test and one response, and it took a while for me to urge them to simply show the different tools and let the students make their own decisions as to what happens and what consequence follows. I think the students really started to get it, though. I was content with what they had learned.

The teachers asked that we review Lesson 9 again after class so they can be prepared tomorrow. We reviewed it in 20 minutes. Amazing that Lesson 9 suddenly feels incredibly easy!

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