Last week we got stuck in traffic because of a tire fire. It is a usual thing...but do you see the big billowing smoke?
16 December 2012
When I saw that he had read it I freaked out and immediately read all my past posts. I mean they aren't the cleanest, or most public, but as I told the student, if I didn't want my life out in the public I shouldn't put it on the I internet.
Now follow my tangent...
At the bar this weekend, I met a guy who said he knew I was an Ahole. I was a little thrown off guard, insulted (I'm so not) yet flattered (just glad not to be a goody goody), but I decided to just go with it. Apparently, I give off an attitude? Well when I go with it I really can be quite an ahole. Anyways, one of the things this guy was complaining about, about me, was that I liked Bahrain. First of all, to each his own, but I'm sorry, you are not allowed to judge me and my country, pick one.
He couldn't get over the fact that I thought it was a lot like America. I go to school, the mall, watch movies, go out to bars, wear what I want, buy what I want, I really do think it is a lot like America. So while playing my "role" I said he must really miss his girlfriend. That would be the only reason he couldn't appreciate the awesomeness around him, he was hung up on what he left at home.
Because that is the only thing Bahrain is missing, my friends and family. I'm not going home on Friday for food (although I want bacon and home cooking if Joan is asking). I'm not going home to buy things I miss (although I plan on doing some cheap shopping while I'm there). I won't go directly to bojangles when I land in NC (although if joe reed wants to split a boberry biscuit i wont turn him down). I won't rush to see an unedited movie (but i want to see Les Mis). I will hug the necks of everyone I see though. I miss people.
Well anyways, this guy said he didn't have a girlfriend, he just thought Bahrain was a dustbowl of nothing to do.
Well when you insult girls as an introduction I can only imagine how much positivity you have in your life.
So lesson: only put info on internet you don't mind people knowing. Think positively about everyone around you and your surroundings. Hug everyone you love as often as you can. It is important to make sure everyone knows how much you love them.
03 December 2012
"no other country has a greater stake in seeing a peaceful transition to democracy there. And that requires the United States to find its voice."
made me question all the other points that Massimino wrote about in her article. All of the sudden I was not concerned with the care of the medics, but rather why the 5th fleet is being dragged in to the article?
Do I believe in Democracy? Yes I do. I think it is amazing that we vote for our leaders, we all have a say in what state we live in and rules govern us. Do I think the US needs to change everyone in the world to their ways? Heck no. We have so much we need to take care of that we cannot take on all of the world's struggles.
Should the prisoners be treated fairly? yes. Should they be prisoners? Um, probably not. Massimino's article from the standpoint of a CEO of Human Rights First is valid and belongs...her talking about the US's next political move? Not needed.
Sorry for sounding like a horrible person who doesn't want equal rights spread around, it's not that, but I just think that this line does not belong in this article. If it had been titled "What the US should do to 'help' Bahrain" I would have felt differently.
Also, one final comment about this...I have never felt threatened, accosted, belittled, in danger, or persecuted (or any other word to mean unsafe) for being an American here. My school is safer than in America. I go places with my friends in groups or with Jay** (who is 6'3" and covered in tattoos, seriously, they avoid us) 90% of the time, so I'm never alone. I avoid confrontational areas because they are of no interest to me. So when Ms. Massimino says we are "(i)n a region where threats to U.S. interests abound" she should specify the countries, because I know that UAE and Bahrain are very different than other areas of the Gulf.
*I knew that the article would be about the unfair treatment of the medics. Every article is about the unfair treatment of the medics.
**There was one time I felt unsafe, but it was in broad day light when a drunk Scottish*** guy was hitting on me...
***Drunk and Scottish go hand in hand
22 November 2012
09 November 2012
08 November 2012
So i officially avoided the election in the states. And by avoided i mean i had the election smacked in my face more. It was amazing how involved my kids were (they were even more excited about Illinois and Colorado). The teachers here were hugging after the announcement too. I am always am optimiat and felt that both candidates have their good points and their faults, so while yes, i was very happy Obama won, I could see reaons to vote against him.
Really I am just sad I am not in a probability unit right now so that i could use this cool data?
25 October 2012
18 October 2012
Its funny how technolgy differs here. Some things are so advanced and others seem so behind.
Cell phones (mobiles): text messages are the most expensive things on earth here. Ok not really ( 35 fils, which is 10 cents) but you do have to pay per text, most packages come with 30 texts a month.
Wifi: the reason texts are so uncommon is because people use wifi. i actually carry around a hotspot with me.
14 October 2012
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”
09 October 2012
I'm at the hospital, not for me, with a friend. I'll update about her nausea and abdominal pain later (hypothesis is appendix, but really we're hoping for just BGs).
Here is what happens though.....
Go in to ER. Everyone looks at you like you are crazy. Apparently you only go to ER if they deem you to be an emergency. My friend was not, but they escorted us to check in. We waited for about 5 mins before they took care of her health insurance forms. They called her back to triage, which is where they took her temperature and blood pressure. That's it. Then they sent us to the doctor. The doctor looked at her (before the nurse) said all was fine, but he wanted samples and an ultrasound. We did the samples, well she did them I stood there. We left for a couple of hours and went back for the results. Because this time we were there at night, the wait was a little longer, but she saw her doctor from earlier in the day, and a new doctor in an hours time. She then went to the pharmacy and got her meds (nothing serious, but so glad we went to the hospital) and well...that was it. It cost 5BD ($13). The only annoying thing was that we had to leave and come back.
Quick facts about hospitals in Bahrain:
- Nurses wear suit jackets made out of scrub material over their cutesy scrubs.
- You queue for everything with a number. And they ring an annoying doorbell to update you on which number is up...hope you don't have a headache!
- You are constantly on the move. I thought I would sit and wait for a long time with her...it wasn't even worth it to set up my computer.
- I watched a guy pass chocolates on a tray to the staff . I'm serious.
- They have modesty nurses. A person who is meant to protect your modesty. My friend had a male doctor with a female nurse in the room. The nurse pulled my friends shirt up for the doctor...that's it. We have a friend who had her gallbladder taken out last year and she had a nurse primarily meant to keep her covered the entire time.
- Security is not big at the hospital...we walked where ever we wanted to
- I already said it but 5BD....for the whole day....awesome
06 October 2012
So there is something you should know about Bahrain, it is an awkward blend of Islamic culture, western ways and social status'.
The island is smaller than most US capitals. With that being said, half of the island is desert where large (religious) families live in compounds. So basically everything I do is within Manama which is probably the size of Durham.
So within this tiny area, you have a smattering of cultures from the traditional Muslims, to Hindu, to westerners like myself. It is also a very hypocritical island. This is like a judgement free zone as long as you do not mind being judged. Muslims drink here, and some even eat pork, but don't you dare say that outloud. The westerners all date eachother and can trace their relationships through others, but dont discuss who did what with who at the party, unless they are out of earshot.
So what do you do on this Muslim island?
Shop: the stores here are just like home, including varying levels of slut tasticness. The lingerie stores are worse than Victorias Secret with their mannequins. The clothes are all short, or backless. Malls are extravagant and over the top. But you better believe they have a mosque and a call to prayer.
Pool: it is hot here so pool parties are common. Hotels will have pool parties. However, just to note, most of the time, you do not go swimming. You just look cute. Because it is a time to be seen, be social and not judge who is judging who. Oh and dress in very little clothing that costs more than my rent. I think I have figured out there is a mathematical relationship between clothes and conservativeness...you can dress anyway you want to as long as the cost of the clothes is worth it, if x=amount covered and y=cost of clothes then x+y>the cost of judgement. This does not apply to women who wear the long robes, because some of them cost more than my house, not mortgage payment, but my house.
Eat: food is available anytime of day, with free delivery, anytime. There is also any type of food you can imagine, local cuisine, mexican, east asian, etc. The portions are not huge, but they always want you to try as much as you can. If you are offered food, it is also very rude to turn it down. Of course you will like anything they serve, otherwise you are so american.
Drink: alcohol is not widely available, not all restaurants have a liquor license. It is actually illegal to sell alcohol to a Muslim. However when they have alcohol, they do it right. The liquor store delivers and you get a discount when you do that. Restaurants always try to get you a double when they can. I've been in restaurants with men covered drinking a bottle of wine, and then judging me for wearing a short dress. I was at a party with a friend from Lebanon. Another friend was there and he was from the same city as her. She drank her drink out of a juice glass because he may tell somebody back home that she was drinking. His rum and coke looked great in the coke bottle too.
Well anyways, the hotels around here combine two of these things into a 4 hour marathon of all you can eat and drink brunch. Stations are set up in different areas with different foods and drinks. They keep your champagne glass full at all times. It is also the place to be seen. I knew people there and I've only been on the island for a month!
After brunch, you continue drinking. Then you go to a pool party. This was my Friday.
And as I say in my perfected Arabic voice "this is how we do."
Just so there is no confusion, it is a lot of fun here, and I do like it :)
20 September 2012
Life is good here...and hot like a desert....
However on this island....
Even though we are in the Middle East (Gulf)....
Even though you saw Sex and the City 2......
Even though Lawrence of Arabia had them everywhere....
These are the only Camels I've seen....
|Courtyard of my School|
17 September 2012
I feel like I'm already growing in my knowledge as a teacher, I am about to go to IB training in one week and I feel a huge need at the school for assessment analysis, why do we test, how do we know the students learned, etc. I am attached to some of my kids (I want to kick some too-kids are kids!) I feel a need here, which is crucial for me in a school.
I am going out and having fun. It's funny but since everyone here is in the same boat we understand that we have to be flexible. I can see how people meet internationally and become life-long "whatevers". It's kind of exciting. I know that I want to settle down somewhere. And I'm not saying Bahrain, I'm not even saying internationally. But I am saying my life is not on pause. And that is exciting.
15 September 2012
1. Fridays are the worst days for protests. Our weekend is Friday and Saturday here. Saturday is a normal Saturday, Friday is our Sunday. If that makes sense. The weekend used to be Thursday and Friday, but they switched it. Anyways, the groups form after religious services, which is why Fridays are the most prominent days for protests.
2. The protests are not intended to be deadly or dangerous. Their goal is to literally be a pain in the ass. One of the major things that occur through out the week are tire fires. They take large tires, douse them with petroleum and light them on fire in the middle of the freeway, just to be an annoyance, and show the powers that be that they are powerful. There are cop cars stationed on all the freeways and at the gas stations. If you pull over a cop car will immediately be on you.
So now lets talk about where I live. I live in Manama (pronounced Muh-NAM-a). My school is in Isa Town (Eesa) which is where ALL of the private schools are and the Ministry of Education. If you read the article, you see that the protests took place in Riffa and Isa Town, both south of where I live. They are towards the desert, which the southern half of the island is desert and large compounds for families. My school in Isa Town is about 15 minutes away with no traffic, but there is always traffic. There is a small mall in Isa Town, but besides that, the only reason I go there is for school. Riffa is a compound area. The other places listed were Muharraq, which is in the diplomat area of the island, and it's own island of the archipelago. Tubli Bay is the same. When they say parts of Manama, lets go over what they mean.
***edited to add: New information just came through text that things are still unsafe. We are taking precautions. I was supposed to go to base today but the boats (ships, but I like to call them boats) are confined. I'll keep you updated. ***
05 September 2012
26 July 2012
My beliefs on education are that not one person can dictate appropriateness for a general population. I have already expressed this concern in my Common Core post. I am enamored by the Sal Kahn debates in the Washington Post right now (he is not a king of math, he is just a guy with a good video voice). I can memorize JVTB’s beliefs, but I don’t believe that me copying them from the book would express that for Dr. C. I also don’t feel that I was given an outlet for relearning the material. Remediation and relearning information is a huge platform for me and integrating parts of Rick Stiggin’s Assessment forLearning. I provide my students newoutlets to learn, guidelines for turning in/showing their new learning. Test corrections do not do this in their practice alone. As a teacher, I consider it my job to ensure that students learn and that I have measurable, whether quantitative or qualitative, outcomes to demonstrate their learning. As the AFL framework suggests, these outcomes are not solely for me, but they are for the students too, so they know their learning objectives and can assess for themselves if they learned them. I do not know if my learning objectives for this assessment were to memorize JVTB’s work or to explain how this assessment was either appropriate or inappropriate. When it came down to it, I had higher priorities on my list than rewriting answers. Good attitude? No. There go those disposition points….
So back to me crying. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I’m sad about leaving my classmates, embarrassed about my performance in the class or that I’m exhausted with thoughts running through my head. Dan asked me this morning how my family was handling all the changes in my life. He emphasized “all” and I knew what he meant. How are they handling them? Well it ranges from excitement for my new beginning, to fear for the lack of children in my immediate future, to complete disregard for any future changes…I started the program married, confused about my educational stance and with a 5 year plan. I am ending the program divorced, overly confident in my educational stance and no f’n clue what my one year plan has, let alone a 5.
I entered this program because I needed more in my life. I wanted to learn how to teach all kids better, especially the gifted students. I wanted to be a leader in my school and lifelong learning example for my students. Did I expect all A’s? No. If I had known half of the personal and professional ups and downs I would encounter in this process I may have expected less of myself. I believe that the fact that I made a B in my math class was fantastic. That was the semester that I taught three preps, coached tennis, lead professional development and moved out. I spent a lot of time on the math steps and processes, very little time on the journals. I put emphasis on what I thought was valuable for me, at the time, in my classroom. I made an A in our Foundations course. That, in and of itself is amazing, considering I never did the second half of the final exam. My first half kicked ass (thanks Liz!) and I learned SO much from it, I did not write the reflection of it. I learned so much in these classes, and I feel that I showed that I learned a lot in these classes, however I also prioritized my learning. This is a way that we differentiate in our classes whether it is from tiered lessons or unit matrices, students learn what they need to learn, but can focus on their interests through authentic assessment (cough: JVTB: cough)
So let’s Dweck this out. One thing I have focused on is constantly challenging myself. I want to build stronger, smarter, me. I want to surround myself with people that encourage and challenge me to learn more and be better. So what can I do with this “27”? Learn from it-reread, and then do better in the future. I tried my hardest on quiz 2…even though I didn’t follow Dr. C’s guidelines of only using JVTB because I don’t think we can just synthesize on JVTB. I want to put everything I’ve learned into practice. I have put a lot of work into our curriculum unit and expanded on my previous matrix skills from Anderson and Krathwohl to a more intense plan. I’m anxious for the final exam tomorrow. I’m nervous that I will not show how much I learned in this course. I’m nervous my over-exuberance in over-citations will annoy Dr. C. I’m also nervous that I will cry because the waterworks still have not stopped. I’m sad that I will be leaving some of the greatest professional development I have ever had-the people, the professors and Elon’s resources.
So think about me around 10 am tomorrow. Whether you are excited for new beginnings as a masters graduate or worried that all this “smarts” will make me not want to have kids (Gee and Pa) just send good vibes my way. I’ll make you proud. It may not be the way you want me to go about it, and it may involve more than you want, but I’ll make you proud. Or at least I’ll make myself proud.
07 July 2012
06 July 2012
29 June 2012
14 June 2012
11 June 2012
07 June 2012
However leaving Burlington may be another story. I have lived here for 10 years (minus the one year in Charlotte with Ann). I have known where to get food, airports to fly in and out of, roads to take in traffic and roads to take when I want to drive. I have had friends surrounding me and I know where to go to meet new ones.
So with tomorrow being my last day, it is also my last day of familiarity. I have ended 6 school years now. However this time, when we end, I am pausing a career in North Carolina. I don't know where I will be in two years-do I come back to NC or move to Minnesota? Why not just put my finger on a map and pick a new place? Do I think administration or keep teaching or get out of education (stop laughing, I can do other careers!)
Part of my thought process for moving was a fresh start-what will my fresh start look like in two years? I know no one can answer these thoughts. I know part of the awesomeness about it all is that no one can or will answer these.
"I ain't here to do anything half-way
Don't give a damn what anyone might say
I just wanna free fall for a while...
Usually the end of the school year signifies my break, my time to recuperate from the year and prepare for the next school year. This summer is so different because I cannot prepare for next year. I can pack and I can sell all my belongings but mostly it will just be living every moment to the fullest so that my memories of people and places can hold me until I come back...where back is...
...That rebel moon is shinin'
Those stars burn like diamonds
Hell bent on chasin' down that crazy spark
I'll follow you where you're leading
To the first sweet taste of freedom
You got me runnin' baby,
wild at heart."