Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jakarta International School–home away from home

jis000Kurt Vonnegut’s fictional religion Bokonism holds a tenet known as a Karrass.  A Karrass is a grouping of folks sort of like a tribe although the members may not be aware of each others existence.

Sara and I have had the opportunity to run into members of our Karrass all over the world. These are the folks that you just form an immediate connection with –people who just by happenstance you have met and immediately became friends. That’s how it goes with us and the Hodgsons – Kate and Murray.

Kate is the middle school librarian at the Jakarta International School and Murray is her husband and soon to be vice principle of the elementary there. Whenever we are in the neighborhood we drop Kate a line and always manages to find a way for us to drop in on JIS.

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This trip was no different we did a quick two day drive by visit, our fourth trip to the school in the last seven years or so – so this really was like a homecoming. we worked with seventh grade classes and teachers. This gave us not only the opportunity to run some of the lessons from our book (coming out with Corwin this fall) but also to reconnect with the Kate and Murray.

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Well, everything went great. The lessons with the kids couldn’t have gone better and the sessions we had with the teachers turned into a mutual learning session. I think we convinced them that poetry can be used across all grade levels as a writing tool and they showed us a well run team approach to teaching and assessment works.

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In our off hours we had new glasses made, enjoyed the best massage ever, sat for hours in the clotted and coagulated traffic that is – as I was informed by a taxi driver – traditional to Jakarta, went to the hairdresser and had several tasty meals.  Not bad for two and a half days.

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