Thursday, March 6, 2008

I am from...

I am subbing in a really cool classroom this morning at College Park Elementary School in San Mateo. It's a combined group of 4th and 5th grade GATE students. GATE is a special program for "Gifted" students and these kids are awesome and completely making my day!!!

They're smart, attentive, interested and curious and imaginative and gentle and fair and a whole bunch of other wonderful things.

Their teacher left a poetry assignment for them to do during Language Arts this morning but it turns out they had already done it and came running up to show me their journals in order to prove it. Sure enough they had completed it already and so I had them silently read (which they love by the way--how great is that!) while I tried to whip up another lesson plan.

I was in a 6th grade classroom yesterday at another school and the teacher had posted some poems called "I am from..." poems that I loved reading. So I decided to give it a go with these guys today and they completely took it and flew with it. I found some examples online and read them aloud and then we brainstormed some topics they could include in their poems and then they went to work.

For the last 10 minutes we shared our poems, I shared mine first to make em feel a bit more comfortable. I was totally blown away with the confidence and imagination and descriptive thoughts and words that came out of these little guys. I have been in high school classes that couldn't compete with what I heard.

So I'm loving being here today and these kids are inspiring me!!! I had one kid ask today, If I am finished with all my work (which he honestly was) can I read ahead? great is that!!!

What happens to kids when they leave elementary schooL????

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

thoughtful traveling

i read an article about the purpose and aim of travel for rick steves ( a semi famous travel writer) yesterday that really resonanted with my personal perspective on travel.

i have to start off my saying that i am not someone who enjoys a resort type vacation. i know there are many people in this world who really love indulging in pure leisure vacations where you are treated and fed like royalty--but to be honest, that kind of travel bores me and leaves me feeling unfulfuilled. i understand that people work very hard and so when they vacation they just want to do something relaxing and mindless--however, that mentality is just not in my blood.

vacation or travel to me is about the freedom to experience. travel to me is about the freedom to veer from my everyday routine and to learn and better understand myself and the world around me.

In his article Rick Steeves talks about how typical american vacations do not help to bring us closer to the rest of the world, they only serve to further distance us from the world. I want to do the type of traveling that brings me closer.

Monday, March 3, 2008

the joy of finding a new run!!

call me crazy but another thing that tops my list of things that i love is finding a new run. i recently found a website for a running club in san francisco and they have a bunch of different races and race courses posted. It was an absolutely gorgeous day today so I decided to try one of the out. The course is called the Twin Peaks loop. It's a lush, green, uphill run with the most spectacular views of the city at the top as your reward!

on my existing list of favorite runs around the world, this one ranks pretty high on the list. I am so excited to find a green, hilly running oasis around here to replace my blue sky runs in san diego, my point defiance runs in tacoma, and my sengen shrine and abekawa river runs in shizuoka.

Here is the website for the running website...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

another amazing photographer

one more gallery that joe and i ducked into...Thomas Barbey--he does really great things combining different photos to create very imaginative scenes and ideas... enjoy...

His explanations of each photograph are really touching. There is so much meaning in his work.

inspirational photgraphy

biking through sausalito today joe and i came across a couple of photo galleries that i fell in love with. The photographer--Lisa Kristine takes inspiring photos around the world of buildings, people and nature scenes, they are gorgeous.

Here is a link to the website...

home made pizza and a bike ride

my little sister came to visit this weekend. it's nice being closer to home so that we can visit a bit easier and more frequently. As wonderful as it was to be in a foreign country you do miss out on a lot of family stuff.

jess and ryan came over on saturday night for a homemade pizza night with joe and I. Since I moved up here Joe and I have been cooking a lot together. He's a really wonderful cook, an especially wonderful Italian cook being as that is his ancestral background. We recently discovered whole wheat pizza dough sold at Trader Joe's and so have been making our own pizzas. I showed Jess a picture of our previous pizzas and she mentioned that she would like to partake in pizza making--so her trip up here seemed like the perfect opportunity! Jess and Ryan made one pizza and Joe and I made another. They were delicious and it was fun to hang out and cook together!

sunday morning-afternoon joe and i did our first bike ride after having the bikes fixed up. we drove out to the golden gate and parked in a lot just north of the gate. we started off on a path out towards the marin headlands. we ended up at a place called rodeo beach where lots of people were sunbathing and surfing and just playing in the good weather. after some steep hill climbing we turned around and headed further north to the cute little town of sausalito. lots of beautiful views of the bay, the port in sausalito, the bay bridge, the golden gate and tons of cute bakeries, coffee shops and artsy shops along the way.