Friday, September 16, 2005

School Lunch

A teacher who has already went on the trip contacted me the other day. After reading his blog (, I thought I would share one of the pictures that he had in it. A school lunch! It's pretty interesting and VERY different from what we have in Perry's cafeteria. Where are the hot pretzels I love!

Things that I will miss while I am in Japan...

I know, I know...I will only be gone for a week, but that doesn't mean there are lots of things that I will miss!

It may not be like when I was in Costa Rica and had to go a few months without Diet Mountain Dew and McDonald's ice-cream cones. (That was painful! And, yes, my mom did meet me at the airport with a Mountain Dew. Ha!), but I will be away from my "comfort zone" for a few weeks.

I started to make a list of some of the major things that I would miss while in Japan.

Here they are in no particular order (well, except for the first one...that will be the number one thing I miss!)...

  • My students at Perry High School (I know you will all miss me just as much!)

  • My family (my sister and I)

  • My dogs (Libby and McGee)

  • My Friends

  • The Perry Teachers

  • The English Department (including Mr. Stavar, who is not in the picture)

I will also miss:

  • Chipotle
  • Fall (it's my favorite season and I will miss a large part of it...luckily, it will be Japan's fall, so I am hoping I'll get to see the leaves change there and expereince the fall weather that I love so much)
  • Halloween Preparation (I will be back for Halloween, but I'll miss all the fun that surrounds it
  • Homecoming at Perry (I figure since I went to prom last year, Homecoming would be my next dance. I guess I'll have to wait for prom again!)
  • Mitchell's ice-cream
  • Bad reality T.V.
  • My daily runs down Clifton

However, I will not miss the looooong drive to work!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My Letter of Introduction...

I thought I would share the letter that I wrote to introduce myself to all the teachers going on the trip. Did I mention that I can't wait!!?? :)

Hello Everyone!

It’s great to start to get to know all of you! I have been getting more and more excited about the trip from reading all of your e-mails. My name is Rachele Alpine and I am from a west side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio (although I teach in an east side suburb called Perry, which is about an hour away…phew…I’m feeling these gas prices!). I teach HS Language Arts (9th and 10th grade). I minored in theatre in college and direct some of the shows in my district. I’m interested in seeing a show while in Japan if possible.

I’m also a fairly new teacher (this is my third year) and wondered if there were any more teachers going on the trip like me with just a few years of teaching under their belt? I feel lucky that my school is letting me go on this trip, since I am young and new to the district.

I am content exploring Tokyo during the days that we have free there. I would LOVE to go to a baseball game! I am going to Katsuyama, Fukui for my prefecture. I was thinking that if anyone else has this same prefecture (Denyse, I know you are one of them!) to please e-mail me and I will set up an e-mail group, since we will be spending a week together.

Have a great rest of the week, everyone! I look forward to getting to know y’all better!


Monday, September 12, 2005

New friends from all over the United States....

Wow! I am officially ready for my trip. I’m so excited! The Fulbright organizers set up a list serve for everyone who is participating in the Japan trip. I have been hooked to the Internet for the past two days reading all the e-mails from my new friends whom I will be spending three weeks with very soon!

Everyone sounds so great and friendly. There are teachers from all over the United States including Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana (it’s very interesting to that teacher’s story about the hurricane and her struggle to leave at a time of great need). I believe that I am going to learn a lot from this trip both from immersing myself into the culture of Japan and from the others teachers participating. I can’t get over this unbelievable opportunity that I have to travel to another country and work with educators from all over! I am so greatly for the trip and I haven’t even left yet. I think it might be hard to get me back on the plane in the end!

Through the list serve I have not only begun to meet people, but I have learned a lot more about the trip through word of mouth. One of the main things that everyone is talking about is our free days and nights. We have some time to explore the city and possibly go on an overnight trip. Many teachers are planning a trip to Hiroshima, Disney Japan or Mount Fuji, but I think that I will find enough to do in Tokyo during that time. I really want to go to a baseball game (and met another teacher who is my age- yay, there are younger teachers going!- who wants to go to a game also). I am sure there will be plenty to explore in Tokyo. However, I’m thinking of going to a travel agent to see if there are any day trips that would be fun to go on.

What do you all think? Do you have any suggestions for places to visit? Does anyone know any friends that live near Tokyo that I could meet up with? What would you do if you have free days in Japan? Share your thoughts with me!