Friday, December 2, 2011

Career Day 2011

We had career day again today. I like career day, so that students can listen and talk to people from various careers that they might be interested in. This year when had someone from Nursing, Chemical Engineering, Monash Universtiy, Taylor's University, Social Media, Architecture, and Design Media. I was super excited this year because my brother spoke to my students. Not only did he speak, he did his presentation via Skype. This was a huge step for our school. There is resistance to technology being used. I think that it can be a good thing and ever since I went to the Learning 2.011 Teacher's Conference I have been trying to incoporate it more. Last week my 8th grade students skyped with a couple students from a school in Melbourne, Australia. Anyway, getting back to career day, this year has been very crazy, busy, stressful. We didn't get as early of a start on getting people for today. Many of the people we asked were busy today. I kept thinking that I would like to ask my Mom, who is a Graduate Gemologist, or my brother who is a Design Media person to speak. Of course, they are in America and that is not an easy thing to do. Finally I brought it up to the Director of Studies that I thought my brother would be great, and I thought maybe we could do it via Skype. At first, he was worried about technology not working. I assured him that I would have a back up plan if it didn't work. He finally decided that yes, we should give it a try. After that I had to call my brother to ask him if he was available, and to work out a few of the details with the time difference. We then, e-mailed this week about what he wanted on his biodata sheet for his introduction, some websites he wanted to share, and a couple brochures. We did a practice Skype session earlier in the week to make sure that we could project him up on the wall and that we could hear him. It worked pretty well. Today came and I was super excited but also nervous about the technology working. I wanted it to work, so that it was successful and we could do this again, and do other things in the future with technology and skype. I was also picture taker for the yearbook, as the school camera doesn't really work and no one else remembers to bring theirs. The speaker before my brother ran late, since the bus driver had been late so we didn't get things set up as early as I had hoped. We set up two laptops with two projectors. We had one for projecting my brother onto the wall. The other we set up to show the brochures and websites. Luckily we were able to rent another projector as we had only two and that wasn't enough. Also, two of the other speakers at the same time as my brother brought their own laptop and projectors, so that helped. It would not have worked as well with one laptop and projector.  I also brought my laptop and Ipad as the screen for projecting things is kind of in the corner and I wasn't sure how well students could see it and my brother. I placed the laptop and Ipad in front of two different groups so they also had it close in front of them.


The first group was the high school. It worked pretty well. There were a few times he cut out on the audio, so I had to ask him to repeat himself. They had a couple questions for him. We also ran over since we started late, so he had to cut his presentation short. The second group was the middle school. That presentation was great. There were no glitches or cut outs at all. We could hear him really well. They were really excited. My brother also did better on his presentation since he had run through it once already. It was smoother in transitions, but both were excellent. One student couldn't believe that my brother was actually live and talking to them. They wanted to know what time it was there. One of my students want to ask him about some of the things I had told them about from when we were younger to see if they were true. My brother told them that yes, those things were true. At the end one of the students presented my brother with his Thank you gift/token of appreciation. That is my favorite picture that I took of my student holding the gift up to the computer screen and my brother reaching his hands out like he is grabbing it. The students were like how is he going to get it. I told them that when I saw our Dad over Christmas since our Mom and my brother can't come that I will send it back with our Dad. Some of the younger boys were jealous at some of the perks that my brother told them about for his job. Most of the students were excited that he likes their football (soccer) teams. I can tell this is something they are going to talk about for a long time. They were talking about how exciting it was and that the students who didn't go had missed out. This is probably something that will end up in the yearbook too. I am going to have the students blog about it next week, hopefully.


At the end of the day the Director of Studies thought that it went really well and he is glad that we tried it. He would like to know why it cut out a few times the first session but maybe it was because of the rush of setting up and trying to open the websites on the other computer. The second time they were already open so there was no need for them to load. We don't have a super great connection if more than one person is on the internet at the same time. He thinks that this is something that can be done next year and perhaps we can do skype for other things. I told him that I would like to see if I could set up skype sessions with authors to help get our students more excited about reading. He thought that would be a good idea. I am very glad that most of our people were in person, but I think that if there is a career where there isn't really a representation in our town that doing Skype can be a good thing. I hope that we do continue to incorporate things like this into what we do, as it is a great world out there with lots of resources and people. In today's society we have the ability to connect with people from all over that can help expand our knowledge, so we should take advantage of it.


Monday, November 28, 2011


To start off with, I think that Disney and Hollywood are both to blame and thank for dreams. First,  I like many young girls watched Disney movies when I was little like "Cinderella", "Beauty and the Beast", the "Little Mermaid", "Snow White", etc. and thought when I grew up my life would be wonderful just like that even if I wasn't a princess. I remember for many years I dreamed and day dreamed about how my life would be when I became an adult. I also remember a little, I don't know if I want to say ritual, of what I did when I had a nightmare or bad dream. In "Cinderella" where she sings, a dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep". I remember for many years if I woke up from a bad dream I would say a few times that I did not want whatever bad thing had happened and that was not a wish my heart was making. I eventually grew out of that, but never grew out of dreaming. I have made lists over the years with the dreams as they changed and crossed off ones I have accomplished but some are still on there after all these years. None of the dreams were ever accomplished very quickly. All of them have taken years.

One of my first dreams I ever remember was from when I was 3 years old. I wanted to be a ballerina and dance en pointe. It took up until I turned 16 after many years of dancing that I finally had the dream of learning about dancing on pointe come true. It actually happened the week of my 16th birthday that I found out that I was finally ready, so that was very memorable to me. I am missing many of the elements to become a professional ballerina, so even though I know it will never happen I still dream of it sometimes.

The next dream I remember is wanting to be a teacher. I started wanting that dream when I was 5 years old. That again was a long process of going through all my education, and job searching, but I finally accomplished that too when I was 25 going on 26. That is a dream with another Hollywood/Disney misconception. Not that I am upset at all to be a teacher. I love working with students and I love teaching. I just was unaware of how challenging and time consuming it could be. I had no idea that teachers had to take home work to do outside of school or stay late hours. I didn't know that there were going to be challenging students or  co-workers that hated teaching and were hard to work with. I am still glad every day though that I am a teacher. Even on days it is hard and frustrating I am still glad. My heart is content everyday.

Another dream that I came up with some time during my early childhood was to go to Australia. I saw the first "Crocodile Dundee" in the mid-80's and have wanted ever since to go. This year for Christmas in a little under 20 days I am going to achieve that dream.

Also, at some time during this time of my life I came up with the dream that I wanted to get married and have children. I am still waiting on that one. I have learned though as I have gotten older that it is also not going to be a fairy tale. There are going to be hard times and scary things, but I still dream about it. I know many of my married friends are envious of my being single and living on the other side of the world and all the traveling I am doing. I know people though who are married and living on the other side of the world and traveling. Some of them have children too. It just has to be a dream that you both have together. I am not saying I think being single is horrible because it is not, but part of me wishes I had someone to share these dreams and dreams coming true with. I am thoroughly enjoying living overseas and traveling but I think it would be more enjoyable to share it with someone. Plus, when I am an old lady I would be able to say remember when we did this living overseas or traveling. Like I do with so much of the rest of my life. It will be only me that has the memories. I will continue to reach and achieve my dreams whether alone or with others. I am not going to stop and wait to get married just to live my life.

Another dream that I have had since I was little was having a house built by my Dad. That dream came true a few years ago. I moved back to my hometown to teach and things just fell together to have my house built by my Dad. I love my house. It was custom built just for me. It had an awesome kitchen with a huge granite island. My dad is known for his kitchens. My half bath downstairs was awesome. It is purple color with a hand texture. I had it decorated with Betty Boop knickknacks. The stairs going up to the next level were extra wide which was nice. My bedroom was great and I had a huge walk in closet. My bathroom had a soaking tub so that I could lay all the way down in it and it was wide too. The laundry closet was upstairs so it was easy to do my laundry. I also had a garage which was great in the winter time. Everything about my house was great and I loved it all. I had bought art over the years and had been saving it for my house. I had it all outfitted just the way I wanted too. It didn't work for me to stay in my house. Life happens, and sometimes unexpected things happen. I did get to live there a year, so I can say that my dream came true. I still own it and someone rents it now that I know and they take good care of it. I will sell it eventually when I decided where I am going to settle down. Maybe someday my Dad can oversee building another house for me or at least help me if I have to have someone else do it.

When I was in high school I went to Europe on a school trip with my German class. We went to France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and England. It was while on that trip that I had some new dreams. I wanted to travel to many countries and see as much of the world as I could. I wanted to live and teach overseas for a period of time. I wanted to live in Switzerland for awhile.

I am also a huge music lover so I have dreams of artists I would like to see: Bonnie Raitt, Yanni, Eric Claption, NIN, Fleetwood Mac, etc. So far I have seen Bonnie Raitt, Yannit, and Fleetwood Mac. If I could only achieve getting to see one other artist it would be Eric Clapton. So far, it hasn't worked out, but there is hopefully still many years to accomplish it.

These are most of my major dreams. I am lucky I have been able to achieve so many of them. Hopefully someday they will all be accomplished. Pretty soon I need to start making new dreams because I have a long life ahead of me and I don't want to get bored with not having anything I am working towards.

Dream big....keep dreaming......never give up on your dreams even if it takes many years to achieve....


In less than 20 days I am going to Australia. I have wanted to go since I was about 5 years old when the first Crocodile Dundee movie came out. It was one of those some day dreams that was never really going to happen. I figured when I was a little old lady too decrepited to do anything I was still going to be thinking that some day I wanted to go to Australia. Well, things don't always turn out like you except, they turn out much better. My Dad is coming to visit me for Christmas. My Mom is staying back home because my brother doesn't get enough time off work to come to the other side of the world and it wouldn't be nice to leave him with no family for Christmas. My Dad talked about Bail and not that I don't want to visit Bali, I do, kind of. I have wanted to visit Australia for longer. Who knows what is going to happen next year or ten years from now. It is better to go now while it is easily in reach. Plus, my Dad has wanted to go since he was in high school at least. So between the two of us we have wanted to go for a very long time. I talked to my Dad today. He and my Mom are visiting my brother for Thanksgiving and it was the first time since I moved over seas 16 months ago that I talked to all three of them together. It was nice, but in a way a little sad since I am not there. It has been almost a year since I saw my Mom since she came last Christmas to visit me in Malaysia and see where I had moved to, since it was a quick deal and not really any chance to check anything out before I moved here. I haven't seen my Dad in almost a year in a half. And my brother, well it has been at least 2 years since I last saw him. A long time for me, as I have always seen my parents at least every couple months. Most of the time I am not homesick and don't miss my family much. I just don't think about them because I know it would probably make me homsick. Plus, I am enjoying it overhere and know that even though I am missing some things if I wasn't over here there is so much I wouldn't ever get to do. It was a little hard though to believe when I was talking to my Dad that after waiting almost a year and a half I am going to see him. It is also hard to believe that I am really going to Australia. It is not a dream. So many incredible things have happened since I moved to Malaysia and espeically this fall that it is hard not to think that I am dreaming.
Well, now I have a little bit longer to wait and then I will be there and experiencing one of my long awaited dreams. Can't wait....


I am so excited. I have been connecting with other teachers through twitter and trying to connect to other schools through blogs. We are add skype to that. Last week on Friday, November 25th my 8th grade English class skyped with a couple students from a Jewish school in Melbourne, Australia. We did it with my Ipad as I ended up not bringing my laptop to school that day and it was kind of a mix up trying to get it coordinated, but it worked. We weren't quite prepared because I had thought that my 6/7th grade English class was going to skype, but they had to change the time. Anyway my 8th graders were excited. We talked about football (soccer), what it was like to live in Malaysia for those who are not from Malaysia since we are an International School and many of our students come from other countries. We talked about the weather. They asked us about our major religions and cultures and some celebrations that we participate in. We asked them some questions about Australia. We talked for about 20 minutes. Skype glitched a few times and sometimes they were hard to hear even though I had the volume all the way up. I would like to do it again and think I would bring my laptop next time.


This coming week on Friday (December 2nd) we are doing a career day. One of our guest speakers this year actually lives in the United States. He lives in Oklahoma City and works for the company Funnel Designs group. He works in advertising, marketing, and social media. I am very excited to have him speak to our students. Tomorrow we are going to do a run through to make sure things work. We are going to use the Director of Studies computer and we are going to see if we need to rig up a camera facing the audience. We will do a run through and see if there is anything else that we need to do before Friday. I am so excited to be doing skype. I hope that in the future maybe we can skype with authors to help students continue to get interested in reading.