Tag Archives: California

Change of Perspective

Thursday afternoon:  “weather forecast for tomorrow morning is 2 inches of snow and icy conditions…”

perspective: “Ah, man, why do I have to live in Michigan with these long winters? Why can’t I live in Hawaii or California or somewhere warm?  It’s March. Shouldn’t the snow stop by now? It’s going to be a bear to drive in that in the morning.”

Friday morning:  “tremendous devastation in Japan; worst quake to hit Japan, followed by a horrendous tsunami.  More tsunamis expected in Hawaii and California…”

perspective: “Michigan’s a great place to live.”

“Perspective is everything. Change your perspective and change your reality.” by Christina W. Baum


Posted by on March 11, 2011 in news


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Konnichi wa

I can’t believe it! I was selected to go to Japan this summer as part of an international educators to Japan program!!! This includes a home stay, sight seeing and school visits. During the school visits, I will observe their classroom as well as teach a lesson to the Japanese students. I’m a little nervous but keep reminding myself that I already teach ELL kids and it should be similar. Right? 🙂 I feel so honored to be part of this program and will post my thoughts on my blog as the days get closer and of course, during the two-week trip.

How did this happen? First, I attended a Japanese School Open House — pretty amazing stuff — and learned about the IEJ program. Then, I was recommended by my school principal and submitted an essay about why I should be selected.  I’m pretty blessed because they received applications from all over the world and they picked me! Woohoo!

We will be about 30 participants in the 2011 program — from Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Canada, UK and Belgium. I can’t wait to meet everyone.

So — how do I prepare for this (other than updating my passport)? Well — I decided I want to learn as much as I can about the Japanese culture, the country and the language prior to the visit. So far, I’ve learned a little Japanese etiquette (from AT&T On Demand) and I’ve checked out a number of library books and programs.  Of course, I’m not going to be fluent by summer, but something is better than nothing, right?

Just today, I received a tentative schedule and it looks like I’ll start out in Tokyo,  go to Hiroshima and then end up in Kyoto.  I plan to meet up with my brother-in-law who lives near Kyoto. It’s wonderful that I have family in Japan who I’ll get to visit.  So excited!!

So….today’s word of the day is Konnichi wa — hello.  Simple, but it’s a start.

If you’ve traveled to Japan, post your advice here!


Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Family, kids, Teaching, travel, Writing


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Girls on the run is about more than running

There is a lot on the news about girl bullying and meanness and it’s very sad because many girls commit suicide as a result.  When I hear about this stuff, I don’t just want to sit around and talk about it — I want to get up and make a difference in girls’ lives.  I think back to my six years as a Girl Scout Leader, which I only stopped when my daughter quit two years ago. Our troop started out small and grew much larger through the years;  I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to watch these girls grow up.  GS is an amazing organization that helps girls try new things and grow in a safe environment. Even as an adult, I tried new things such as high ropes and the zip line. I hope that I made a difference in their lives. I know they made a difference in mine.

This year, I’m a co-coach for Girls on the Run, which is through the YMCA.  It’s about making healthy choices in their lives, both physically and mentally.  I highly recommend it for young girls (3rd – 8th grades) because it teaches them to feel strong in the inside so they can stand up for themselves to bullies or peer pressure.  This is so important to learn before they go to middle school – where the angst of puberty heightens feelings for fitting in and what your friends say is more important than what your mom says.  My thinking is that a girl who is secure about herself will have a better chance when she’s thrown in with the sharks in middle school.

If you have a daughter – don’t walk, RUN to to the nearest YMCA and find out how you can register your daughter for Girls on the Run for the fall session. Or, you can become a volunteer or make a donation.  Seriously,  it makes a huge impact on girls!

So far, we’ve only had two meetings and the girls are super and keep me laughing the whole time with their unique personalities.


Posted by on April 18, 2010 in kids, Teaching, teenagers


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