Monday, January 28, 2013

Club Buff

So Sara and I are working here in Borneo for our old friend Seamus Marriot who we first worked with in Shanghai a half dozen years ago, followed by Cairo and now here in Balikpapan.

Every international school has a personality, all hold high academic standards, while some may have a stellar art department demonstrated by amazing work on the walls, others  boast state of the arts robotics labs, most have some sort teachers fitness program for teachers and students.


Well Pasir Ridge take the idea of being fit to the obsessive level.


All around after before and some during school folks are running, climbing, yoga-izing,  swimming jumping. At morning assemblies little third graders are receiving necklaces with rubber foot charms commemorating their various running goals – 20-25-35 miles.


After school battalions of mountain bikers hit the surrounding city for an urban assault into hills that would make the roads in San Francisco look like a Iowa wheat field after tilling.


I’m doing my best to keep up with this fitnuts but I didn’t realize I had signed on to a training regiment as well as a teaching author gig.


So I sign off – a little sore – but a lot happy – and leave you with some pics from a power walk a round the ridge.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Borneo to be Wild

Okay – so begins the latest adventure in the Salinger/Holbrook world tour.


After nearly nearly 40 hours of constant travel (anything over and Ganesha, the Hindu god of travel would have owed us overtime) we are safely arrived in Balikpapan, Indonesia on the Island of Borneo. No wild man sightings yet – but we are slated to be visiting some orangutans (the original wild men of Borneo) later this week.


So five connecting flights – during which we got three hours or so of sleep – a fine Indian meal with our greeting hosts Brent, Cheryl, and their two lovely offspring and a chance to get some real rest overnight – I am up and about waiting for breakfast to be delivered to my door. After which – I think I will hit the gym and then hopefully con Brent into going for  a bike ride.

It’s a tough life for a couple of crackpot poets form the frozen north coast of Ohio.


Sara and I are so excited to be here to work with the teachers and students of the Pasir Ridge International School.


Safe and sound – over and out – I promise to tray and post lots of pics as they come.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lincoln and Guion Creek Middle Schools–Indianapolis


Spent two days in Indianapolis visiting the teachers and some students in Lincoln and Guion Creek Middle Schools. This was our second time to Guion at the behest of curriculum specialist extraordinaire Jennifer H. – over at Lincoln we were introduced to her equally capable colleague Tiffany C. We so enjoy our visits to these schools that we often cite their model as a stellar example for providing professional development for teaching writing  across the curriculum.


Each morning started with a session for all the teachers in the school and then we met in small groups of two to four with content area teacher. As session with science teachers, a session with math and then with social studies. At Guion we also went into the classroom and modeled one of the lessons we presented with real live students.


This was the perfect opportunity for us to test drive a couple of the lessons we will be having come out in a new publication with Corwin in the Fall. We work often with the language Arts departments of school – but getting the chance to work with other content area teachers really stretches us as instructors and consultants, giving us a different lens to project our lessons through. I even whipped out some root cause analysis exercises from my days as a quality engineer.

An added bonus to this trip was that our friend and partner in rhyme – Rebecca Kai Dotlidge – a resident Hoosier – was able to join us at Guion Creek and sit in on (and participate and add to) our lessons with the staff.

Thanks to Tiffany, Jennifer and the principles of both schools, Kurt and Dan for letting us work with their dedicated staff.