The past few weeks really feel like they’ve been flying by. Now that we’ve gotten into a consistent schedule working at the Education Center (3-6pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am-3pm on weekends) I feel like we’ve found the sort of rhythm moving forward with our classes we’d hoped to achieve. Attendance at the Center continues to be great (without being overwhelming), and we’re all starting to really get to know the most regular students. Our work outside of the Center progressing similarly well, as Lexy and Austin got a big meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sports earlier this week to discuss their efforts to promote field hockey and basketball in Mauritius, respectively.
I’ve also been keeping in touch with our government contacts in the Ministry of Arts and Culture, who inform me that my proposal for a youth poetry prize will be pitched for approval next week. If all goes well, the Mauritian President’s Fund for Creative Writing will be offering the funding for an ELI Africa-supported English-language poetry prize. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!
Poetry class has also been going very well. A group of about 8 students now consistently participate in the class each day, and have been doing a great job working to gain an understanding of the topics we discuss in class. In the past few days, we’ve been spending a lot of time working on Shakespearean sonnets and iambic pentameter in my poetry classes. We were even lucky enough to have McKay conduct a dramatic reading of the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet to demonstrate the way iambic pentameter sounds when read aloud. While it was obviously challenging for students to grasp such difficult concepts initially, they’ve started to do a really good job in lessons the past few days. Today, they took a stab at writing a short verse in iambic pentameter, and here’s some of the work they produced.
(Note: due to the French pronunciation of the word, we’ve come to calling poetry class “class po-EM” in recent weeks, thus making the second syllable in “poem” the long/stressed one—an important distinction when writing in iambic pentameter):
I have just joined poem classes today
Maybe even Shakespeare find it boring
To write poem with just ten syllables
It is funny to write poem like this. -Lafouine
I am reading a book on science now
I want to go to Port Louis with friends
I am watching an interesting film -Rebecca
Estelle is very beautiful today
Christelle wear a beautiful pink t-shirt
Rebecca is using her mobile phone
Lafouine has just read class poem right now
Lexy has write a poem for Edward. -Kevin
I mess with my friend and I forgive him
Kevin is my best friend and we badboys
I wear my hat on my head like my bro
I am not the best but I try to be -Ved