Not even a microbiologic sneak attack could keep me from my visit to the Jakarta International School. The day before our slated visit both Sara and I ended up flat on our backs with separate instances of some sort of food poisoning. Sara first then I followed about six hours later. She believes her assailant was a salad we had outside of that final temple we visited where the lettuce could have been washed in untreated water and my guess is that I got mine at the airport via ice cubes in an iced tea. I spent the evening shivering cold with my intestines cramping afraid that I would have to miss my first day of school at one of my international favorites.
Lucky for me the next morning I felt just good enough to crawl out of bed and make the trip to Jakarta International School. We couldn’t have been made more welcome. Kate and Matt the Middle and High School Librarians made sure that we felt like rock stars the moment we stepped (Mm my head still spinning a bit) onto campus.
We started our three day stay with an assembly for several hundred seventh graders beginning with some great introductions by a couple students and a number from the middle school string quartet. I told ya this place is a class act. The assembly ended with the Middle School Principal Mr. Henry giving us a very gracious and eloquent impromptu welcome.
One thing JIS does is keep us busy. Each morning Sara and I would say goodbye to each other and then head into the middle and high schools respectively. I worked with 9, 10 and 11th graders and Sara with 6, 7, and 8th. Occasionally we would catch a glimpse of each other as one was walking across the schools lush campus. But, other than that we were full steam ahead.
Unfortunately I could not say the same for my stomach. The first day I had to duck out of class at least once during the eighty minute sessions as we worked on personal narrative and definition poems. The second day I made it through whole periods as we practiced figurative language writing and by the third day, when we were working on public speaking, I was finally pretty much in control of my digestive system
Throughout the students and staff were hard working and engaged. I especially liked the extended class time allowing us to think more deeply about the work we were doing and the opportunity to work in the same teacher’s classroom a couple times really helped me to connect with a couple really great English teachers. I even met and AP English teacher who is also the schools champion rugby team coach.
This was not surprising though, see Sara and I have been here before and we had high expectations for our visit and they were met and then exceeded during a morning farewell assembly where we were given some lovely parting gifts and Mr. Henry ended the shebang with a poem he wrote about Sara and me.
Thanks for the warm welcome – the great three days – and the fond farewell JIS. Seeya next time!