Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Approaching rapidly...

Well, as I type this, I have only two and a half days left of the 2007-2008 school year. And, this year, I must admit, I am actually kind of sad about that. I have had AWESOME students this year and I secretly wish most of them could fail the seventh grade and we could do it all again...I would have so much more cool stuff they could do/learn in biology during a second year with me! 

But, alas, they are too smart to fail the seventh grade and as I am learning in my old age (I turn 30 in less than a month) time marches on, waits for no man, and runs you over. So, because I am a teacher and I have given this blog address out to my students, I must do a little bit of teaching here.

I want to give the "BK" (that's background knowledge for non-school people) about where I will be going this summer.  I will upload a map of India to this blog also but I want to list the names of the cities where I will be traveling, although at this point, I don't know the order except that we fly into Delhi on July 3rd and out of Delhi on August 9th. 

So this list begins with Delhi, but then continues with Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Agra. The information that I do have says that we will be "visiting schools, teacher training, and other institutions that specialize in the the development and implementation of curriculum." We will be meeting with teachers, educational planners, administrators and curriculum implementers at national and state levels. 

Everyone has been very concerned with the language situation for me. Though many languages are spoken in India, English is also very common. For those who don't know, (here is where the teacher in me cannot be contained) India was colonized by the British and so English was a major language for a long time and remains so today. The British "brought" their culture to India but didn't really ever truly adapt the Indian culture to the British one as they tried to wear their giant, corseted gowns and continued to die of things like cholera, typhoid, and likely of a variety of snake bites or malaria. However, remnants of the British colonization exist still today. For example, cricket is a major sport there, as it is just about anywhere the British "visited." 

Well, enough lessons for now. But, before I leave for my adventure, and as I get more BK about Indian history and culture (I am sure my students could add a lot here after their study of Asia this year with their fantastic social studies teacher but I have a couple of history and geography books in my line up) I will add to this blog. 

On the paperwork front, I have my visa all done and all that fun insurance you have to get called "repatriation" where they will bring your body back if you kick it while abroad. Now, the shopping for suitable clothing fiasco will begin.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

And it continues...

The paperwork situation that I whined about before is continuing to rear its ugly head as my visa paperwork has finally arrived. And by arrived, I mean...I had to drive to the Fort Collins airport to pick up an international envelope. But, as long as I have keep reminding myself that this whole trip is being paid for, I can also remind myself to shut up and stop whining.

I did find out my route and got my e-tickets. I have training for the first few days in Austin, TX and then I will be flying Austin-DC-Frankfurt, Germany-Delhi, India. It essentially takes three days to get there which is funny since I had a student tell me that he was going to India over Thanksgiving. "Indiana?" I replied. "No, India!" he insisted. You basically would have to turn right around and come home! My route home is Delhi-London-Denver. 

I am going to view this last week as "training camp" for India. Last week I began taking the pills for the typhoid vaccine. I had to take one pill every other day for 8 days one hour before eating. I had no problems for the first few days and then the day before my last pill my stomach began to hurt. Well, over the next few days it got worse and worse until I basically had the symptoms of typhoid. My students were doing research on bacteria caused diseases so I actually read all the symptoms last week...had 'em except for the dying part. Though, not going to lie, I kind of wanted to die for a few minutes in there just to put myself out of my misery as I was wrapped in a blanket in the bathroom because I was afraid to leave it. But, after a three hour each way ride to Pueblo with this issue, I can handle anything. 

So now I am awaiting more information than my flight itinerary and will update when I get it!