"What is 'multiple partners'?"
"It means having sex with more than one person, so more than one partner."
"Oh" he said, sinking into his chair as the boys sitting around him giggled.
For my second to last Health Club lesson at Karima I decided to continue the peer pressure unit by teaching them about alcohol and its effects on the body. The head teacher had told Dorcas and I that many of the parents are alcoholics and drinking is a major issue among students. I had hoped to include information on drugs during the class, but 35 minutes really isn't enough time to cover that much content thoroughly. I didn't want to leave the students more confused and with more questions than I had time to answer.
I started by listing off and explaining some of the social effects of drinking. Things like problems at school, such as bad grades and skipping class, juvenile delinquency including stealing or violence, as well as risky sexual practices like having sex for the first time at a younger age or having multiple partners. I went on to explain some short-term effects and defined "short-term" as "something that happens after a short amount of time, so in this case, after about 2-3 drinks depending on the person".
"When someone has been drinking they might have slurred speech" I said, writing it on the board. "This means that their words will connect together and they'll be very hard to understand. It basically means they are having trouble speaking. They may also have blurry vision, so things may be fuzzy or difficult to see" I squinted my eyes and walked towards the front row, my arms outstretched "where are you?", they laughed.
"They may also have poor coordination. That means that they may have trouble walking. They might stumble" I said, tripping over to my desk. Since there can be a bit of a language barrier at times, I've found that acting out things is sometimes the best way to ensure they understand. I spent a couple of minutes relating the short-term effects back to some of the social effects we talked about in the beginning of class.
"OK, to better explain the effects of alcohol I need three volunteers." Three boys reluctantly walked to the front of the room and huddled in the corner.
"Great. Now I need a short sentence. It can be anything, about anything." No replies, just a room full of blank stares. "Does anyone have a funny sentence? No? OK, how about..." scrawled across the back cinder block wall in chalk was 'the sky is the limit'. "How about 'the sky is the limit'" I said, writing it on the board.
I gave each of the boys a piece of chalk, "Please copy this sentence". They hesitated then started to write. As they did so, I walked around the room and showed the class some +3.25 glasses. "OK, for the blurry vision I want you to wear these glasses" they put them on and laughed "and for the poor coordination" I said, starting to spin, "I want you to spin around 5 times. One...two...three...four...five. Now write your sentences again". They caught their balance and rewrote the sentence.
"Can you tell the class what happened?" No response. "Was it harder the second time?"
"No" said one of the boys. Great. I'm trying to prove a point here.
"Are you sure? I don't know if I believe you" I said, laughing. "What do you think?" I asked the class prefect.
"It was harder. It was hard to see."
"So that was an example to show you what happens after someone has been drinking. Now let's talk about some long-term effects. 'Long-term' means something that happens after a long time, so in this case after a few years of drinking frequently and drinking a lot."
I went on to explain some long-term health effects and the meaning of alcoholism. A number of students had asked me last class how someone can stop drinking once 'they are addicted'. I did some research and found that abstaining from drinking is usually the best option. I explained that it is very difficult for someone who has been drinking for years to quit drinking. I told them that to be successful, they might need strong support from their family and friends.
I reread the scenario from last class about someone who steals alcohol from their parents and tries to convince their friend to try it with them after school. I paired them up and had them write skits pretending to be in that situation and using the choice they made last class to "tell friend not to drink". I told them to use information we had learned in class that day in their skit. After a pair of girls presented I asked what they should do if the friend had continued to push her to try alcohol. No response. "Maybe if someone continues to push you to do things you don't want to do, they aren't a very good friend."
"if you have been given all the support and you cant stop alcohol what can you do?"
"What is cirriosis????" It think they meant cirrhosis, which I didn't talk about, so they must have already learned about alcohol.
"if samoenone greed while a friend when hapens if they drink?"
"what is meaning of word blurny vsion in Health cLuB? ThANKS."
"what if your fried keep on pushing you to take alcohol. and you have told her that you dont want to take alcohol."
"Can a person use a alchol?"
"1) What is the meaning of violence?"
"what if you can try to take a little?" 'Take' meaning 'drink'.
"can bornes develop weak when we using alcohol?
"Alcohol can make sermone to be sick"
"Which nitriotion does alcohol had in human body. because had some poeple saing it hads nitrients."
"when A person try to drink alcohol and his body has to change? what changes his body?"
"what can happen to the body when you stop drinking and you have drunk for two years."