17 December 2006

another day deeper

two days ago was my best friend's birthday. it was the second, and the last, that i have missed. next year, i'll be there in person to celebrate. he'll be picking us up from the airport midway through our time home in california; he will drive us to meet my mom. we're very excited.

yesterday, on a saturday, i held a leadership conference at my school. karen and i interviewed 23 students and selected the top twelve to take part in the conference. we invited another volunteer to help us give the conference. the start time was 10 am, and, par for the course, only a handful of people arrived on time. but, by 1015 we had eight students and we kicked off the four hour event with a kinesthetic activity. then, as we began our first session, and introduction to leadership, two more students came, bringing the final total up to 10. we talked in the second session about communication--active listening. in the third, and final, we discussed problem solving. the students were very active. i was surprised to see students who rarely ever raise their hands in class raising their hands in the conference. everyone was talking and cooperating, all in english. karen, casey, and i were very impressed.

and i was very happy. for all the lameness that happens at my school on the administrator level, i have to remember that the kids are where its at. they came in on a saturday and worked very hard. they wanted to participate, and they wanted to do it in english. i gave them an opportunity to speak in ukrainian, but they chose not to. they wanted to push themselves, to try. something i really don't see in class in school. it was refreshing. i'm hoping to do many more of these conferences. i also plan, next semester, to begin after school clubs: writing and debate.

lastly, we're leaving very soon! it's exciting, but i'm so busy here, our journey home hasn't been on my mind so much. but it's coming on fast.

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