The past few days at work I have been helping with the 10th and 12th grade student files. 10th and 12th grade are exam years, so they will be taking national exams next week, thus each student needs to have a form filled out with their information. I was put on this job because my other colleagues are finishing grades, whereas I don’t have any, but I also suspect I was put on this job because everyone gets a chuckle out of hearing me say all these African last names. My Txopi lessons definitely paid off though, just helping me to be familiar with the types of sounds. My colleagues by now are pretty used to me thinking the most ordinary things (to them) are strange and taking the weirdest things for granted. And all my strange questions. The forms we fill out list their parents’ names and we copy all of the information from their birth certificates. I learned that maybe only two-thirds of kids have the same last name as their parent (father, unless he is dead or gone then mother). There are obviously a lot of kids where one parents is dead, so that part is just left blank. And some kids where the father is written as “unknown.” We had one file where the mother was written as “unknown.” “They fill these out at birth right? How can the mother be unknown?” I asked. My colleague opened his mouth to answer me and then thought about it for a second “yeah, you’re right. That is strange.”
As one of the most computer-savvy people I have also been working on digitizing the students’ grades. It’s a step in the right direction, but as of right now I am not sure why we do it because we don’t substitute the digital version for anything, we just end up making a fifth copy of the grades. Last night I was still working at 5:30pm when my director gave me a soda and an egg sandwich. “Uh oh, this cannot be a good sign” I thought to myself.