Saturday, September 10, 2005

To my tico friends....

The teachers and student teacher from American International School in Costa Rica...

Although this doesn't relate directly to Japan, I thought I'd post a picture of me with my "tico" teachers in Costa Rica and say "hello"!

Japan isn't the first time I have traveled abroad to experience schools in different countries. I student taught in Costa Rica during the fall of 2001. It was a great experience and I met some amazing people!

I know a lot of you are reading about my upcoming new adventure in Japan, so I wanted to say "hi" to you and thank you for all your support! I hope my trip to Japan is as amazing as my time in Costa Rica was! :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bring on the books....

I have decided what book I will have you (my students, both CP and Honors) read while I am in Japan.

Drum roll please….

The verdict is….. The Great Gatsby!!!

Have no fear, while I am gone you will still be working hard and reading your little hearts out. Although this is my favorite book in the world and I’m sad not to be teaching it, I am confident that Mrs. Brahler will do a great job with it. I am also confident that this will quickly become your favorite book also (until we read the next one!).

And the excitement never ends…

I will be able to communicate with you while I am in Japan, so perhaps we will be able to talk about the book while you are all reading it. I will try to get onto virtual classroom at least one night to chat live and I hope to respond to your postings and questions. I may be far away in Japan, but it will feel like I am still in the classroom!

I know you are jumping with joy! Honestly, this is the best book in the world!

Be excited!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gifts to take to Japan

Now that I have talked about what gifts/items to bring back (and got some great suggestions…thanks so much! Keep them coming!), I need to start thinking about what to bring over to Japan. I will be staying with a host family in Katsuyama and I can bring them some things from home as a thank you for the hospitality. I will also be going to visit schools of every grade level. I would like to bring some items there that will teach the students about what is popular in America.

I need your help again with ideas of items to bring to Japan! I have a few ideas, but I need more. I know I want to bring a Perry tee-shirt for my host family and perhaps something that my students prepare (any ideas?). I also want to bring them some picture books that they can understand without knowing the language (perhaps some books by Eric Carl). Does anyone have any ideas for my host family?

I would like to collect some things that represent “America” to share with the students at the schools. I like Katie Andrews’ idea of music. I want to burn a mix of songs that students listen to here. I think I need all of my students’ help with the songs, though, or the mix will be nothing but U2, Coldplay, The Beatles and Bob Marley! Ha! I would also like to bring some kind of candy/food (but I don’t know if this would be possible since it would have to make it through the flight). Some of my other ideas were pictures of my students/school/the city, magazines that are popular here, writing/letters from my students or other items that show what students in America are interested in. The main concern, though, is that I need to be able to carry it over so small items are good.

Hmmm….ideas, ideas? Please help me think of some good ideas to bring a piece of Perry to Japan! :)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Gifts, Gifts, Gifts....

I have gotten a lot of requests for items to bring back. I am allowed to bring one suitcase to Japan (which will be a feat in and among itself since I took two suitcases totaling almost a hundred and thirty pounds to Costa Rica!). However, I am allowed to bring two suitcases back for some reason. I plan to bring my large duffle bag from L L Bean that I can fold up tiny in the suitcase (to maximize what I can bring there…ha!). This bag will be solely for gifts and materials I receive from Japan.

I have had a few requests already for things to bring back including tea for Mrs. Trentanelli, a doll for Mrs. Phillips-Brown and Mrs. Hunter and jewelry for my mom. I usually collect bowls from places, but after carrying back the large bowl from Costa Rica (through two airports, customs and numerous cab rides), I am going to try to find something a little easier! I am planning to collect small squares of bright satin fabric from all over for my mom to sew me a giant quilt. I also want to bring back books/magazines, candy/food and other little things for my students.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Any special requests? Post them here and I will see what I can do!

Here's a random picture of what looks like Japanese toys found on the hotel website. I'm not quite sure why it would be on the site for a hotel, but I thought it was kind of interesting!  Posted by Picasa

Here is my hotel room in Katsuyama. It looks just like the one in Tokyo! I wonder if the view will be as nice? Katsuyama is known for it's large mountains and skiing, so I bet I will have a pretty nice view!  Posted by Picasa

This is a picture of my Katsuyama, Fukui hotel. The entire site is in Japanese, so I can't tell you a lot about it! I will be here for a week. During the time spent in Katsuyama, I will visit all different schools. This is also where I will do an overnight home stay with a family. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 04, 2005

This picture is of the pool. I think it will be too cold to go swimming in when I am there, but it sure looks nice right now!  Posted by Picasa

Here is part of the 400 year old garden that is on the grounds of my hotel in Tokyo. There are pagodas, shrines, a chapel, flowers, fish and many other things. I can't wait to see it! I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get a hotel room that overlooks the gardens! Posted by Picasa

Here is what the hotel room I will be staying in looks like. It looks just like the western rooms we are use to. Posted by Picasa