Edith Roller – May 8, 1978 – Monday

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Towards dawn I heard the p.a. announcements indicating that an emergency call had been made for a government plane.  Terri and Harriet worked all night as did Jim and the medical staff.  A little later Jim revealed that the premature baby of Darlene X  had had respiratory trouble.  Ruth told me he died but Jim revived him.  He was being sent to Georgetown for further attention and with him on the plane Daisy Lee (formerly Stroud) and a woman from Port Kaituma requesting surgery for vaginal cancer.

The Ed Department investigators were expected but did not arrive at all in Jonestown.  They were to inspect the Port Kaituma school first and apparently did not have time to come here.  However, they could have come at any time.

I went through my normal morning routine. Got 21 pencils and paper from the school office to use in my adult class.  The pencils were assorted stubs and the papers strips cut from large pieces.

I worked on yesterday’s journal entry.

Worked on notes for my classes.  Found I did not have the legal names of the students.  Prepared lesson plans for my adult class and two language arts classes.

Went to lunch.

Met my adult class.  Strangely not quite as many came as Friday.  I counted 55 and I took care of the routine matters: checked out pencils, distributed books and paper, explained what the class was and discussed possibilities for other classes and of getting assistance.  Used as class material the list of words I took down from the last rally, for understanding and spelling.  Then I reviewed the phonics cards I had been using in the beginning reading, gave the class a new one.

When I reached home I finished sorting all the papers and teaching materials in my crate and made a more orderly arrangement.  Several papers that could be used for classes, for notes or even for toilet paper.

Nothing had yet been heard from the educational inspectors but we had to be prepared in case they did appear.  I moved my first period class to a new pavilion structure, separated from the rice tent and school tent (which is therefore much quieter).  During the period I also found that though one can hear the loudspeaker, the sound is less blaring. I had the students read silently the lesson they had Friday, intending afterwards to concentrate on what they found difficult.  However, Jim came on the p.a. system with more information on the Eureka Research Association, the strong possibility they sought parachute men in to attack Jonestown and information on what the same group had plotted against Benin.  I let the students listen and wrote on the board some of Jim’s words for use tonight.

The second period class still showed a bad attitude and indicated a sort of slow down and some used a disrespectful tone in speaking to me. The loudspeaker made it difficult for me to assert myself.  I gave the class a spelling test on the words they had had during their last class period with me.  I gave a few directions about a written assignment for tomorrow.  Had planned to do more on it.

Got my dinner and went up to teachers’ meeting.

As there was no general meeting taking place, I had thought of calling a special meeting of the reading class for those who couldn’t or didn’t come at 12.15.  However, we were notified that cottage No. 48 was scheduled for counseling at 7.30.  I thought this might concern the report of the inspectors on our porch or perhaps be a result of former complaints of mine on noise in the cottage after 11.00, which the consellors were just getting around to.  However when counseling started, I found Ann and Anitra had turned in a request for counseling about the incident on last Friday night when I had objected to their studying news items together after 11.00.

They confidently expected to be upheld in their view and must have been increasingly discomfited when the counselors delved into the past history of the whole matter. The chairperson of the group was Laura Johnston and others even Jan Wilsey and Joicy Clark who were sympathetic to make the rules not only require lights out and no noise after 11.00, but that all be home and in bed after 11.00, unless they have an authorized reason.  Inez, who had some other matter to take care of, attended only briefly and made a statement intended to be conciliatory.  The residents of the cottage told to have a house meeting on the next free evening.

A downpour prevented Inez and me from going home right away and we waited on the serving stand at the end of the rice tent until the rain had abated somewhat, then walked home.

I read The Man Who Cried I Am.

Went to bed at 11.00.  Ann and Anitra were not here yet and I did not hear them come in.