Day 53: Our Photography and Short Stories and Games

In the morning, we added a new game to our repertoire: handball. It was an instant classic with Ilana, Amelia, Jess, and Tia combining as a formidable offence who looked like they had been playing together their whole lives. They had scored two goals before the other team had a shot. It was 7:15am and the sun was blazing hot but it didn’t stop the handball players from running hard in what proved to be a fun, close match.

After breakfast, journal writing and our Business lesson, we dismissed to prepare for the Media acticity. In the afternoon, we held Round Tables where the students discussed their photography in small groups, sharing their best work and all that they have learned. Ilana’s work stood out because she’s been taking enough photos to capture both thoughtful composition and the happy, artful accidents that happen when you keep clicking. One of her photos was an optical illusion that used a reflection to make it look like she’s sitting on a dangerous ledge. Her image is so effective that, even after a careful explanation, her worried teacher told her to stay off all ledges real or reflected.

Later on, a group led by Antoine was victorious over the teacher’s “keep ups” challenge. Remember this game from back in our Sihanoukville blogs? Keep ups is where we throw a ball in the air and a circle of eager students tries to keep smacking it with one hand, counting the amount of consecutive hits before it drops in the water. The teachers promised any group that could surpass 100 could sleep in! The previous student record was 72 smacks in a row. Today, an elite squad of Olympian keep up athletes won the day, reaching over 250 consecutive whacks of the little ball before it dropped and they erupted in euphoric cheers.

In the evening, we discussed Feminist analysis and applied it to Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. It led to a lively discussion. Sydney couldn’t resist weighing in on how we can update the definition of Feminism. She recommended we shift all English classes to studying modern literature, as opposed to the famous, historical “classics”, so the gender balance of authors could be more equal. The discussion spilled over into dinner. We had another nice night with each other as a family over candlelight.

Afterward, many students were excited to play with Simon our teacher and Gamemaster who has the class addicted to the card game, Trumps. It’s fun to watch the students master the games that they’ve taught to one another. Vanessa’s expert explanation of the card game Durok, way back in Phnom Penh, has continued to pay off as a class favourite. We had a later night tonight with plans for a sleep in tomorrow.

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