Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What I'm learning...

Journal 6

Having the opportunity to assist my supervising teacher one a week long trip to Den Hague was an imaginable possibility just three weeks ago. Now that I am back from the long tiresome week, I realize that teaching is so much more than basic curriculum. In fact, I believe the classroom can actually stifle learning. The students went to the World Forum Conference Center, the same place that the real United Nations meets, to pass and debated resolutions they had been developing all semester. The Hague International Model United Nations, or THIMUN, is designed for students who are above and beyond what a regular student could achieve. INTASC 3 makes THIMUN very important for a gifted student. THIMUN can be used to fulfill the needs of those students who are not properly challenged in their everyday school setting. The students at THIMUN are children of diplomats, shareholders of multi-million dollar corporations, the heir to great fortunes, and sometimes even royalty. They have all received the best education. They have all been expected to do something great in their lives. Unfortunately, many people do not expect a lot out of the Baumholder students. For the most part, their parents are not highly educated. Most are expected to go into the military. Yet, THIMUN demands excellence. These nineteen students who attend work very hard to research, compile, and analyze not just CNN, but scholarly journals to form a strong, supported opinion about many global issues.

For the people from non-military schools that attend, the cost of the conference is inconsequential. Prior to the conference, Ms. Magowan went out of her way to raise immense funds to make the trip feasible for her students. Using INTASC 10, community resources and communicating with families, she managed to raise $5000. The students were still required to pay over $300 each. The total for Baumholder to attend THIMUN is over $10,000. This is a huge undertaking for any teacher or faculty member and they must wholeheartedly feel that this will greatly benefit not just the students going, but will help their community and the world. I was quite inspired this week as I watched Ms. Magowan with her students. Although this was very difficult to coordinate, their were many after school hours without pay, and the week was physically exhausting; she knew there was something greater that would become of this week. The students are going back to Baumholder with a significant understanding of the UN, of other cultures, and of themselves.

The United Nations is a very complex organization that consists of 190 countries and numerous Non-governmental Organizations, NGOs. Baumholder, being a very large delegation represented Finland, and Human Rights Watch. The senior who was the head of the Finland delegation got to meet the ambassador of Finland to the Netherlands. He also had to give a speech on behalf of Finland to over a thousand people (INTASC 6). Although not every student spoke in front of a number that large, they all communicated with other students while they lobbied for resolutions, made a “point of information” or a “point of personal privilege” in their committees, or gave a speech in favor of an amendment.

These skills they have acquired will be taken back to their classrooms, where speaking in front of fifteen classmates will seem like a piece of cake. They now know that they are just as smart as royalty and diplomats. I truly believe that many of them have gained a new sense of self worth that will not be taken lightly. One incredible student did not want to return home because at THIMUN, he realized that it was okay to be smart. At school when he voiced his opinion or said something too intellectual, the other students teased him.

Whether the students realized the significance of their attendance may not be important, but the students were cultural ambassadors. In a world where the US is despised (after going to THIMUN, I can assure that the US is indeed looked upon as evil) the students helped others realize that our government may be doing things that are looked down upon from the outside, but the American people are not bad. I heard many stories of unlikely friendships forms between students from Iraq and Britain, or Korea and France. One of the Baumholder students made a deep connection with a young man from Lebanon who is now living in Den Hague after last summer’s war. Not only did the American learn about life in Lebanon and the atrocities being committed, but the Lebanese became aware that there truly are Americans that care about his livelihood and not simply oil.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The North Sea!!!

Everyone loves Ike!! Especially in the Netherlands!!!

Super duper fancy hotel on the North Sea!

I got to go in the North Sea!! Isn't that soooo awesome!! The beach has shells, but the sand it nice and much bigger waves than the Dunes!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Snow in Den Hague

This morning is snowed...it was beautiful!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


UN Forum Room

Princess of the Netherlands - Princess Mable

On Sunday, I left with Ms. Magowan to attend The Hague International Model United Nations conference in the Netherlands. We followed the bus that carried the 19 Baumholder students.

Den Hague is truly a global city; there are people from all over the world, Thailand, Iraq, Egypt, and American International schools. The opening assembly was absolutely packed and was in the room where the actual UN members meet. The room holds an incredible aura, one of great purpose. It is hard to explain unless you’ve been in it. The key note speaker was the Princess of the Netherlands and the Mayer of Den Hague. Never in my life did I believe I would be able to see and do what I am doing here. The students have prepared so well and although I’ve only known them for a few weeks I am so proud of them! The student who is ahead of the Finland delegation got to meet the Ambassador of Finland to the Netherlands and our group is invited to the Finnish embassy!!

My hotel is a little place by the North Sea, yes, the North Sea!!! It is run by a little lady and her husband. The first night I was the only guest because they bring in a majority of their profit in the summer season. They really watch out for me and when I got lost yesterday morning on the tram, my teacher called the hotel. The lady was so worried about me! The people here are so sincere!!

We’re going to Amsterdam tomorrow afternoon and I’m going to go see the palace sometime this week!! I am truly blessed.

We went to Worms on Saturday! There is so much Jewish history there dating back to the mid 1000’s. It also has the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe!! Rashi studied there and wrote a lot of what is now in the Talmud. The synagogue was destroyed during the Crusades and the Middle Ages, and burnt completely in 1938 by the Nazis.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Sunset in Luxembourg.
Liz and I being goofballs in Trier, Germany. It is the oldest city in Germany. We also went to Luxembourg, Luxembourg and Heidelberg. It was a three day weekend so we had a lot of travel time. We drove all over in a rented car and we really saw a lot of things.

Last night, we got a discouraging email from our supervisor and although not everything was false, it was disappointing because everything was negative and I've been trying very hard. So I suppose I'll try harder and hope that we don't receive another similar email. =(

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I took the Praxis in Heidelberg this morning! We had rented a Mercedes and drove everywhere, but I'm pooped and going to bed. So I'll write soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I sent Katie flowers before I left Muncie in December and she got them today!! I'm so excited!

Monday, January 08, 2007


On the bus on the first day of school!! (This is for my mom, who never failed to take a picture on the first day!! I love you.) I hope you notice how dark it still is outside!

When we got to school, after a treacherously dumpy ride, I met the principal and my main teacher, Mrs. Rudd. Her short salt and pepper hair suits her sassy sense of humor. I will be teaching AP US History with her during 6th block. The students do not do lessons in this class. They write, write, and write some more in preperation for their AP tests that will be at the start of May.

I will met Mrs. (Dr.) Magowan, who currently teaches the Model United Nations class. After a few weeks and finals, I will teach psychology with her. I am quite lucky though because I get to go the The Hague with the M.U.N. class for the huge annual conference that holds over 3,000 students for the week. We booked my hotel room today!

Mr. Hollenbeck, who coaches girl's basketball and football, is the most laid back. I will complete my LAMP project under his supervision as well as teach two of his World History classes. They began the Industrial Revoltion today and won't start the next unit until next semester.

All three of my teachers are located in different buildings. The cafeteria is in a fourth building. I do not think I would mind the short distances much, but it has rained everyday I've been here but one as well as today. The forecast calls for rain until Wednesday. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to the walks outside between periods.

There was a lot to take in today and it was hard to stomach everything I will be doing, but I think every start of a semester is a little overwhelming! My shoes were killing my feet and I'm wearing my Crocs tomorrow.

Despite my hurting feet, headache, and blatant exhaustion; I'm looking forward to teaching. It'll be a great challenge and I'm ready to get my feet wet, as long as I'm not wearing heels.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Check out that awesome scarf!! I made it last night!

Mainz is home of Gutenberg and the infamous printing press! The Rhine was beautiful on the first sunny day of my stay! There was a beautiful cathedral dating back to 925.

We were suppose to go to Trier today, but I read the schedule wrong. The buses don't run on Sundays, so ended up taking a train two hours later. Everything worked out for the best though!

School starts tomorrow and I'm a little nervous, but also excited!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Idar Oberstein

Today we went to Idar Oberstein. It was about 15 minutes, by train, away from our home. There are two little castles, a church built into the rock, and a gem mine there! There was also a yarn store!!! FINALLY!! I was having withdraws. Really, the yarn is cheaper here. Especially the wool that is from Italy. So that might have been the highlight of my day!!
We met this really nice ladies at our grocery store and they have a lot of helpful tips! They're adorable!! I love talking to them when we go to the Commissary. We're going to relax tonight and have a little drink, but it won't be close to as good as Grandpa and Mom's cosmos!! Tomorrow we're going to Trier, the oldest city in Germany, there was Roman ruins there. We're also planning where the rest of our weekends are going to take us! Koln, Giverny, Versailles, Berlin, Prague, Rome, and Florence are all on the list!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Little Castle

Today we went to Ramstein to go shopping! It was quite enjoyable. Things were not that cheap though. For example, an iPod was $179 instead of $199 and you could buy three Victoria Secret items for $15. So a little cheaper, but not great deals.

Afterwards, we drove to this little castle called Burg Lichtenberg. It's really little compared to some other things and more ruins really. Nonetheless, it was very exciting to see the area. Tomorrow we're going to Idar Oberstein to see a castle that is built into the wall of a mountain!

All the other student teachers are awesome and we get along great! It's an awesome mix of people and we all bring something special to our van rides!

My room!

My big chair and closet! There is a lot of storage!!
This is my bed! I'll eventually get a twin instead of a full! I put pictures that Josh sent my on my lamp!

The pictures on my desk are of Nelly and family!! The little table will be removed!! I love it! It's soooo homey!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Frankfurt (Before the army post)

This is Frankfurt's town square (old one).
This is the river that goes through Frankfurt!!! Mom's camera is good at night as long as it is held really still, so I propped it on a railing!!
The city is much older than I had expected!! Dad and I took a walk that night, it was quite lovely.
Now that I'm on base we finally got our ID cards after two days!! We got to finally check our mail, so thank you to everyone who sent me things already!! (Mom, Katie, Rick, and Josh!!) It is much appreciated!! It felt like Christmas all over again!! Gene, our supervisor, calls me "Missing" because I'm always running ahead to see what's going to happen next, or I go off exploring!! Or she calls me "Ondrea" instead of Andrea!!! It's a little annoying, but now it's a tease with our group!!
Tomorrow we're going to Ramstein, the Air Force Base, tomorrow to go to the BX (which is much bigger than the PX on our post!!) I'm excited to see it!! I'm all settled in here and everything looks great, I have to have a huge dresser removed from my room because we have so much furniture! When I get my camera, I'll take a picture!
The first day of school is Monday! I'm really looking forward to it! I'll let you know how my teacher's are. I'm teaching AP US history, sociology, and world history. This is much more than I had expected but it will be a great challenge!!
Love and miss everyone!! Write to me!!
Andrea Wiese
CMR 405 Box 1777
APO, AE 09034

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On the base!

We all made it to the base!! We're just waiting and waiting for ID cards and registration! We got into our rooms though. I'll post pictures soon, I have to get a digital camera first though. We spent the night at Mrs. Moore's house, it was fun, but everyone is exhausted because they just arrived!! Love and miss everyone!!