Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lucerne and Zurich, Switzerland!


Monet - three waterlillies - all by myself. Not like in Chicago when there are people everywhere!!
This puzzle is AWESOME!! It was huge! I want it for my classroom!

Chagall stole my heart!!


Dying lion in Lucerne.

Group dinner in Lucerne!

Our group with the crazy Turks that were on the mountain with us!!

Rainbow over Lake Lucerne!

Rodin exhibit at the Zurich art museum!

Look at those mountains!!
Liz and I on top of Mt. Pilatus!

Monday, February 26, 2007


After a long weekend, I think I may be a little homesick. Mom sent me mandel bread, Amish friendish bread, some of Grandma's chex mix (the best in the world) and chocolate! It really reminds me of home. I'm so grateful to have such a loving family. Gail sent me a great email too. It was unexpected and definitely made my day.

Switzerland was beautiful and the mountains/Alps are overwhelming. (I'll post pictures soon.) But when traveling with 6 other people, nothing is easy. It's also tolling when they're not outwardly appreciative. It takes time to rent the car, I have to leave school to get the car, to get the diesel coupons, to drive (when everyone else can do homework or grade papers), to talk to the other drive to help them stay awake. It really wears me out. It was very fun though, but right when we got home we were cleaning out the van I asked one of the other student teachers to get his things out of the back and he appallingly responded, "Don't tell me what to do homo." I was taken aback on many levels. First, this person is 22, I would think we're past calling people names. Secondly, we just got back from a trip were I took his butt around all weekend without a peep of appreciation. Finally, the entire group knows that I don't like when people say "gay," "homo," or any word that is against a group of people, like "I got Jewed." So he deliberately picked a word that would make me mad.

I want to ignore him and be the better person, I have not spoken with him since the incident, but it's really upsetting and now I'm overwhelmed with papers that need to be graded, lessons that need to be written, and chapters that need to be read.

This too shall pass...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Blah blah

My sister sent me a Hello Kitty doll from the UN!! She has on a UN shirt and has "UN" embroidered on her feet! I love it. She also sent me stickers!! I've gotten so much mail lately. It's been great.

Stickers go a long way. I know it sounds silly, but really, students love stickers. In high school stickers are usually neglected, but I put stickers on everything and the students can’t get enough. It is such a small effort and the students really feel like it is a reward. Not only do I give praise on their assessments, but also I am getting better at giving different forms of assessment. This week alone, they’ve had essays, quizzes with matching and multiple choice, they had to write a story, and draw pictures, all different assignments, but all demonstrating their understanding of the content.

There are a lot of ESL students here, and that is also challenging, but I really like it. People seem to just ignore their needs, or they think they're dumb. I'm not sure. One girl is from France, but her parents are from Liberia, I've been working with her a lot and she told me that I was the only teacher she talked to, it made me really happy and sad at the same time. She’s so smart, but she really struggles with reading and writing, but not comprehension. Maybe I’m more patient because I’ve had so many exchange students in my life, practically one my senior year in high school. I had to teach her everything from the US History class she was taking. I did not have enough patience at the time and sometimes my dad would take over, but I realized how hard it is to comprehend detailed history in a different language. She comes to me at lunch for extra help and stays after class to talk.

I'm going to Switzerland this weekend. I'll post pictures as soon as we get back! I love and miss everyone!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Praha (or Prague)

Charles Bridge

Maisel Synagogue

Toy Store - Prague is famous for its wooden toys.

This week was great! I got a letter and stickers from Chie and a package from Jamee! (with chocolate.) Also, a letter from Nelly and mom! Thank you =)

We went to Prague this weekend. The sites were beautiful. The Jewish Quarter is very moving. One synagogue has names of the 18,000 Jews from Bohemia and Moravia who were killed by the Nazis. The names fill the entire synagogue. Upstairs there were drawings from children in the Terezin concentration camp. Their teacher, Brandeis, had them draw their emotions and what life was like. The drawings are very touching, one girl even drew Mickey Mouse. The Jewish museums are incredible in Prague because there was a movement in 1939 to have all the confiscated goods to be brought to Prague to house as artifacts. It was finally accepted and after the war, the pieces turned into museums. The ritual artifacts cannot matched.

No school on President's Day...working all done on lessons and LAMP!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Baumholder High School

This is pretty much the whole school...it's small!

The pep rally was really silly, but I guess some of them had fun!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Letters, postcards, etc!

So many people have sent me mail!! It really makes my day!! Grandpa Mel has sent me three letters!! Grandma Rina and Grandpa Al wrote to me, Gail and Larry, Peggy (made me cards)!! Katie wrote to me from NYC and Sarah sends me little notes all the time!! Joshua is a great Hoosier. Jamee sent me a postcard and of course my parents mail all the time. I got the invitation to Katie's "Bridal Tea" which I can't go to obviously. =( But the invitation is so adorable, Cindy did a great job!

I want everyone to know that it makes me smile everytime I get mail. I know that's corny, but it means so much to know that you're thinking about me. =)

Monday, February 05, 2007

The hills are alive with the sound of music…

"You are 16 going on 17..."

Part of the fortress.

The Sound of Music cow...

Our adorable hotel.

Salzburg by night.

Salzburg is an absolute beauty. I had a wonderful weekend with terrific friends. I drove 8 hours to Salzburg and missed the time to check into our hostel, but we ended up getting a great deal at a lovely, unique hotel since we arrived so late (and flirted...)

Liz, Steven, and I went on the Sound of Music tour!! It was an absolute delight, as was our flamboyant guide, Peter. Our drive Marcus yodeled for us too!! We tried some Aumdoodler, the Austrian soda pop while we were overlooking the 7km long lake that rested between two magnificent mountains and went into St. Michael’s church where Maria said “I do” to Captain Von Trapp! The gazebo is quite small and the line of trees where the children climbed was bare, but the flowers in the gardens where still in bloom and the Von Trapp mansion was as yellow as ever!!

We also climbed up to the most intact medieval fortress in Europe! Hellburn Shloss (The Hellburn Castle) held a spectacular view of the city, especially after the sun had set. Dinner was at Pasta and Vino where we ended up eating in the kitchen. The two workers only spoke Italian and called our table “America.” They also gave us a shot of Grappa! We had a wonderful meal and a terrific atmosphere for our “Goodbye Salzburg” dinner.